Deacon Stu Dobson’s Homily 6-25-21

Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection
June 25, 2021
Friday, June 25, 2021 – 12th Week in Ordinary Time
Gn 17:1, 9-10, 15-22 Ps 128:1-5  Mt 8:1-4

If I were Abraham, I am not sure I would have reacted in the same way. Seriously? At 100 years old with a 90-year-old wife you think I will have kids? Not a chance. I would probably be rolling over with laughter at the thought of it. Yet God still promises to Abraham that he will have a son with Sarai, or Sarah, as God wants her now to be called. 

Abraham, on his part, knows God is not kidding. He has seen too many things that God has done for him to NOT believe this will happen. Abraham remains faithful to God, trusts Him, and remains obedient to His will. God then blesses Abraham’s other son from his servant, Ishmael, on Abraham’s behalf. Abraham wants to be sure that Ishmael is also taken care of. He knows too well what could happen to Ishmael once Abraham has a son from his true wife. 

The complexities of relationships from that time period are too difficult to go into now, but suffice it to say, Abraham and Sarah were trying to do the right thing. God has promised a son, one that will maintain the covenant that God made with Abraham and his people. So, Abraham and Sarah believe that will be true and remain faithful and obedient. And God blesses them abundantly with Isaac. 

Now think about the leper that approaches Jesus. During Jesus’ time, lepers were considered one of the most unclean lowest life forms on earth. Yet, out of faith and trust, the leper approaches Jesus. “Heal me,” he pleads, so that not just his physical life will be saved, but his spiritual life as well. And Jesus heals him. What is interesting is what Jesus says next. “Tell no one, except the priests, so that THEY may believe.” Nothing more is said in the Gospel of Matthew about this particular healing, but I have to believe it is a twofold message. The leper believes and is healed, but also, the example of faith and obedience are presented to the priests as well. Who has the authority to do this? None other than God Himself. So, hearing that Jesus healed the leper could only mean one of two things, either Jesus is of (or is) God, or Jesus has just created blasphemy by pretending to be God.  

How critical we are sometimes of our own belief, our own trust, and our own obedience. If only we had the faith of Abraham and the leper, how much better would our lives be? What proof do we need to know Jesus is God, part of the Trinity? Do we need a miracle like Abraham and Sarah? Do we need to be healed like the leper? Or do we just need to believe, trust, and be obedient to God’s will? My hope is, we all choose the latter. 

Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL