Deacon Steven Johnson’s Homily 7-29-21

Deacon Steven Johnson’s Homily – July 29, 2021
Homily for the 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Thursday, 7-29-21, Year B
Readings: 1st Ex 40:16-21, 34-38, Gospel Jn 11:19-27
Memorial – St. Martha
Theme: To Serve is Devine

For Moses, serving the Lord was natural and engrained in him. He did as the Lord asked without question, without complaint. He did it with love.

Martha also served in a very similar way as Moses. Her first thoughts were those of hospitality for people she met. She always wanted her guests to be welcomed and comforted, knowing they were in a friendly place in her home in Bethany. She received all people with love, especially our Lord. Are we always open to receiving our neighbor as Martha did our Lord?

Martha, her sister Mary, and her brother Lazarus, all had a close relationship with Jesus. He was fond of them, and they returned that love back to Him. But Martha was about serving, making sure her guests, and especially Jesus, was honored and cared for, wanting nothing, needing not to ask for anything.

Martha learned from her first experience with the Lord in Luke, that Jesus appreciated her work of service but explained to her that Mary had chosen the better path in putting aside her chores and anxiety to listen to the Lord. After that experience, Martha knew to first acknowledge Jesus for who He was and then to serve Him. We can learn from Martha today that we must first recognize our creator and the good He does for us and then to serve Him without question and without complaint.

So, recognizing the Lord as our Savior, allowing Him to work through me as His servant, I offer this blessing to you. It is a blessing adapted from one I gave our daughter & son-in-law on their wedding day many years ago.

To all of you:

May the winds of change always blow your way.
May the lamp light of your love for each other never go dim, even if your oil runs low.
May you always show your love and affection for one another openly wherever you are and wherever you may go.
Smile and laugh often.
May you be humble and always help those in need.
Serve instead of being served.
And may all your dreams come true.
But, if they don’t, may you have the strength of character and an optimistic love to create new dreams from of the ashes of the old.
And may you always, always, remember that everything you ever were, everything you are now, and everything you are ever going to be comes from God.
For if you keep God in your hearts always, He will bless you and protect you, He will make His face to shine upon you, and He will give you peace.


Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL