Deacon Steven Johnson’s Reflection 9-24-20

Homily for Ordinary Time – 25th Week Thursday, 9-24-20, Year A

READINGS: 1ST Reading 1 ECCL 1:2-11, Gospel Lk 9:7-9

Theme: Only God Satisfies

Vanity of Vanities! All things are vanity! Save one – faith in God.

You want the answer to life? You already know it. Only God can satisfy.

Yet, we stumble around thinking things of this earth will fill the void that only He can fill.

When some new thing comes along, we get excited, then later we get bored with it and move onto something, or someone else. We strive to keep up with the Joneses. We amass things because we desire accolades from our neighbor for the accomplishments that were made to acquire them.

We strive to make sense of how we compare to others and what we need to do to make ourselves somehow relevant in this world. And so, we ask ourselves; “Do I have everything I need to live according to this world?” That is the wrong question. We feel the things we do here on Earth are actually done for ourselves when in reality we only do them out of vanity for the perception of others. 

This eludes to the meaning of the today’s Gospel.

Herod was trying to see Jesus. He wanted to know who He was because of the reports he had heard about Him. Yet Herod’s motives were suspect. He was only seeking Jesus to know Him because of His fame. In other words, there was a famous person in town who he just had to know.

He needed to make him his friend so he would appear important to others. He needed a name he could drop so he could then say, “I know Jesus, He’s a friend of mine.”

Herod’s intention was all vanity. There was nothing eternal about his desire to see Jesus. His intention was all about how knowing Jesus would advance his stature in his kingdom. Vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!

We cannot take any things of this earth with us when we die. The only human act that is beyond vanity, beyond all yearning, that can fill that void we feel so driven to fill with this earth’s offerings, is the act, faith in God and the hope that it brings.

Through Jesus’ example, a simple life of love and kindness do we find the life-giving water that will fill the empty void in the glass of our life. 

Worrying about what was, is now and will be tomorrow, is vanity!

Trust in the Lord. Live with simplicity in your mind and love in your heart. Store up treasures in heaven and leave the vanity of earthly things behind. Many times, less is more in the light of Christ.

Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL