Deacon Steven Johnson’s Homily 11-19-20

Homily for Ordinary Time-33 rd Week Thursday, 11-19-20, Year A
READINGS: 1 st Reading Rv 5:1-10, Gospel Lk 19:41-44
Theme: Be Prepare and Recognize the Savior

We have been told to be prepared for we do not know the day or hour that
the Lord will come, and we do not know when trouble will suddenly take over us
like labor pains to a pregnant woman. Have we prepared ourselves to be ready to
meet Christ or suffer through troubling times when they come suddenly?

In today’s Gospel, Jesus laments over the people of Jerusalem who will not
recognize him as their savior.

Jerusalem is a large, thriving city much like Rome was to Italy or New York is
to America. It had a varied makeup of people in believers, non-believers,
progressives, conservatives, etc. It’s not unlike any large city in our modern world.
Metropolitan areas usually have high concentrations of educated intellectuals,
philosophers, artisans, business executives and everyday common people. It’s
easy for these concentrated cities to develop what Pope Emeritus, Benedict the
XVI calls, “a universal dictatorship of apparently humanistic ideology.” He goes on
to say that “anyone who contradicts this dictatorship is excluded from the basic
consensus of society”. 1

In a very general way what this means is that the majority consensus of a
group imposes its ideologies on the rest and, in doing so, basically punishes those
who contests these ideologies with “social excommunication.” 1 So it is easy to
see how societal thoughts and practices can drive the general ideology of a
population, even many of those who don’t agree will agree in order to stay
connected and accepted by that society. There are, of course, those who will fight
against this ideology, especially when it becomes harmful to their lives or
relationship with God. We are in that fight today.

In Luke’s Gospel, this is the first time Jesus has seen the great city since His
childhood, when He stayed behind in the temple and His parents left for home
without Him. It was a great sight for Him to see. We can only imagine that the
vision of the city was bittersweet for Him.

Once in Jerusalem, Jesus knew that the people would first receive Him with
joy but then quickly reject His word and kill Him shortly thereafter. He also knew
that eventually Jerusalem would be destroyed for not recognizing their savior
who was right there in the midst of them. Their humanistic ideals clouded their
vision and tainted their theology. Indeed, 37 years later in 70 AD, Jerusalem
would be destroyed by the Romans for its iniquities.

We know from our first reading who is the only one who can break open
the seals of God’s plan for creation and execute it. That is of course, Jesus. We
should hold onto the truths of His gospel teachings as self-evident and not be
swayed by the “universal dictatorship of humanistic ideology.” This ideology
wants us to pull away and revert to paganistic ways that are vailed in a false love
and tolerance that we are experiencing today in our society.

It is time to hold our ground and not be lulled into changing our understanding of the Gospel in order to be accepted by the majority consensus of
humanism in our society.

Stay awake and sober, for you do not know the day or time when the thief
will come.

1 – From the article “Benedict XVI: In ‘new totalitarianism’, opposing abortion means ‘social
excommunication’” By Antonio Socci

Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL