Deacon Steven Johnson’s Reflection 10-29-20

Homily for Ordinary Time – 30th Week Thursday, 10-29-20, Year A

READINGS: 1st Reading: 1 Eph 6:10-20, Gospel: Lk 13:31-35

Theme: Courage Under Fire

We are in difficult times. These are times that demand all the gifts of the Holy Spirit from us, especially courage. As St. Paul writes in the first reading, “Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the Devil.”

We are at a crossroad in this world where remaining quiet so as to not appear to be overzealous or pushy with Christ’s Gospel vs. putting God out there and proclaiming the goodness of the Lord has become necessary. For too long many of us have been silent in addressing these challenging times and the shelving of God by many.

The propensity to make God smaller or move Him to a shelf relegated for obscurity appears to be taking over our society. God is becoming smaller in many instances and His teachings are becoming clouded, distorted, or changed to meet a personal belief structure.

Courage is needed. In the time of Christ’s trial before Caiaphas, Peter learned two things. First, that he was unprepared for the courage that would be demanded of him in the face of certain death for Christ’s sake, and second, the forgiveness he would receive and the glory given him in that the entire Gospel would rest in his hands as the vicar of Christ.

We can learn from Peter’s denial that it is extremely difficult to go up against the Devil in times of trial. We cannot underestimate him. In that light, we must be prepared, trained, and fortified with the knowledge of Christ. We will meet opposition. We will meet anger and hate. We will meet confusion and ignorance. We will meet unbelief, unfamiliarity, and curiosity. We must be prepared. Christ showed perseverance and courage in the face of possible death by Herod. He gave us an example to follow and to know that His resurrection will save us all (the forgiveness Peter needed).

Christ is asking us to stand up for Him, to be willing to express His Gospel with courage and understanding. Remember too, we must do all of this with love and compassion, for not all people will understand the message we bring at first.

No matter what, know that the Holy Spirit is always there to support you. Are you ready to stand up for God? Are you ready with love, compassion, care and understanding to present Christ and His teaching to the world? Do not be afraid for God is with you!

Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL