Deacon Steven M. Johnson – St. James, Belvidere, IL
Homily for the 2nd Week of Easter, Thursday, 4-15-21, Year B
READINGS: 1st Acts 5:27-33, Gospel Jn 3:31-36
Theme: Commit to Christ
My old football coach used to say, “You have to give it everything you have! Leave nothing in the tank. If you don’t give 110% and commit fully to your efforts on the field and worry about getting hurt, then you will get hurt and contribute nothing to the team. Look beyond your limitations and concerns and see the victory at the end and reach for it with everything you’ve got, holding nothing back.”
So many times, we lack the commitment to complete a task, fight a fight or make a change when change is needed. We talk ourselves out of doing something, and we worry about the consequences if things do not go right. When you look at successful people or campaigns or programs, the one thing you do not see is a lack of commitment and resolve to accomplish the task.
Our readings today speak of a commitment to know who Christ is and what He has accomplished in His death and resurrection. The apostles, who are fortified by the Holy Spirit, were 110% committed and worked with resolve to remind the people of the meaning of the events that had taken place.
Yet, the chief priest and scribes of the Sanhedrin, who witnessed along with the Apostles, what happened when Christ died on the cross, in that their temple was split and the veil of the Holy of Holies was torn and what the Centurion testified to as Jesus died on the cross proclaiming, “Truly, this was the Son of God,” still did not want to commit to believing Christ was indeed the Messiah.
We can be like the Sanhedrin sometimes. We can be stubborn and uncommitted and put up roadblocks to change that is good for us. We can outsmart ourselves and convince ourselves what we know is enough for us. We can be afraid to commit to a new way of thinking, a new way of believing, even when it hits us over the head as it did for the religious leaders of the Jewish Sanhedrin.
We need to challenge ourselves to look at our commitment as it relates to our faith in Christ and to the teachings of the Church. Can we proclaim this knowledge boldly, without reservation and with resolve when called to do so?
St. John says in the Gospel, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.” So, give it everything you have! Leave nothing in the tank and look beyond your limitations and concerns and see the victory at the end, which is Christ Himself, and reach for Him with everything you’ve got, holding nothing back!