Deacon Steven Johnson’s Homily 4-22-21

Deacon Steven M. Johnson – St. James, Belvidere, IL
Homily for the 3rd Week of Easter, Thursday, 4-22-21, Year B
Readings: 1st Acts 8:26-40, Gospel Jn 6:44-51
Theme: Taught by God

A little girl came home from school one day and ran into the house and immediately burst into tears. Her mother, astonished at the sounds of crying and tears, kneels down, gives her child a hug and asks, “Honey, what is wrong?” With a few gasps of breath between tears and sniffles, she tells her mother that some of her classmates kept telling her she was adopted and did not believe her when she told them she really was from her mom and dad. At that moment, the girl stopped sobbing and a serious longing crept over her face. With the remnants of tears streaking her cheeks and her eyes fixed on her mother, she calmly asked, “Am I adopted?”

Her mother, tears welling in her own eyes, said with a calm and reassuring voice, “Honey, you are as much a part of your father and me as your own heart is a part of you.  Through the love of your father and me, with help from God, He made you from us. You are our very own flesh and blood, our own daughter through and through. I think you know in your own heart that this is the truth.”

The mother went on to say, “You know, there was a man many years ago that told people the truth that He was from His Father, and yet they did not believe Him either. As a matter of fact, they treated Him very badly. Yet He believed and knew the truth and He was not going to stop telling them that truth. Eventually those people came to believe in Him because that truth would eventually save those people from very bad things. And you know what else He did?

He forgave them and said that He loved them no matter what. Those people eventually loved Him back and became His very good friends.”

The little girl, wiping her face with her hands, asked, “Who was He, Momma?

Her mother said in reply, “You already know Him, He is Jesus!”

The next day at school the little girl was once again confronted by her classmates who continued to tease her that she was adopted, but instead of running away and crying, she told them with confidence that she belongs to her parents no differently than they do to theirs. She said she knows the truth and that is all that matters. But before she left them, she told them that she loved them anyway and forgave them for teasing her. She left with confidence in knowing her own truth. Eventually she became very good friends with those girls, and to this day they are still friends with children of their own.

We are taught by God. We just have to believe in the truth and hold onto that truth even in the midst of trials. The eunuch was troubled with understanding his own spirituality until Philip (inspired by the Holy Spirit, God Himself) helped him understand the scriptures and the truth about who Jesus was.

And so it was when Jesus talked to the crowds. He explained the truth to them saying, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets: They shall all be taught by God.” Yet who is teaching them? Jesus is. And who is Jesus, but God Himself. If we have seen Jesus, we have seen God and thus are taught by Him.

Know that if you are open to God working in your life, you can be an instrument of God by drawing others to Him so they can be taught by Him, just as the eunuch was by Philip. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. All we need to do is believe in this truth and proclaim it to those who struggle to believe, love, and forgive them despite their unbelief. Who knows, through your efforts, one day they may become great friends of Christ’s.

Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL