"Quasi modo" is Latin for "just like." They are the first two words for the entrance antiphon for the Mass for the Second Sunday of Easter (You might have noticed that, here at Nativity of Mary, we have begun using the entrance antiphon at the beginning of Mass. The cantor has been reciting or singing it as part of the welcome).
Every Mass is assigned an entrance antiphon. The full antiphon for the Second Sunday of Easter is "Quasi modo géniti infántes, rationábile, sine dolo lac concupíscite, ut in eo crescátis in salútem, allelúia." The English translation is, "Like newborn infants, you must long for the pure, spiritual milk, that in him you may grow to salvation, alleluia."
Many people, when they hear quasimodo, think of the main character from Victor Hugo's classic novel, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." At the beginning of the story a Gypsy mother abandons her baby at the Cathedral of Notre Dame on Quasimodo Sunday – hence the baby was given the name, Quasimodo.
The baby, according to the story, was born with a hunchback and a large wart that covered his eye. The unfortunate child was described as "hideous" and a "creation of the devil."
Victor Hugo is highlighting a central theological truth with his novel. He reminds us that we, like Quasimodo the hunchback, have been hideously deformed by sin and have become "creations of the devil." Yet, as we are brought to the church we are re-created through the grace of Jesus. Through this saving gift we become "like newborn infants" – innocent, pure, and embarking on a new life.
I pray that we can grow in the Divine Mercy of our Lord throughout this life-abounding season of Easter. Jesus gives us a chance to a fresh new life. Then, as mercy we have received, so must we freely extend that Divine Mercy to others.
Easter and the new life have just begun. Let's grow in God’s grace by leaps and bounds!