Deacon Steven Johnson’s Homily
August 5, 2021
Homily for the 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Thursday, 8-5-21, Year B
Readings: 1st Nm 20:1-13, 34-38, Gospel Mt 16:13-23
Optional Memorial – Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major
Theme: Trust in the Truth
Trust, what is trust? According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, trust is the assured reliance on character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.
Pilot once asked Jesus, “What is truth?” Little did he know that, at that moment, he was staring at the truth. Jesus has said to us, “I am the way and the truth…” (Jn 14:6). In the truth of Jesus is the trust that He can do anything as He stated after the rich young man left in sorrow over not giving up his wealth and following Jesus. The disciples said to Jesus, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” (Mt 19:25-26)
Trust is knowing the truth of something. You trust it because it is true. The difficulty comes when we doubt the trust that something is true. Moses experienced this when he had to strike the rock twice to make the water flow. He did not fully trust that the truth of God, who can do anything, would make water flow from a rock.
In opposite fashion, we see what happens when we trust in the truth of God as the Canaanite women did in yesterday’s Gospel, trusting in Jesus’s ability to heal her daughter because she knew that in God anything is possible. The same can be said of Peter’s acclamation today after Jesus asked, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter trusted in the truth of Jesus, whereas his fellow disciples, who did not say anything, missed the answer Jesus was looking for.
Do you trust in the truth of Jesus? Do you accept that all things are possible for God? If you do, then there should never be a worry in your mind. God gives you what you need and provides for you always. But remember, like the rich young man, we need to give up our riches, the earthly desires we have, and trust in God and follow him. If we do not have trust that all things are possible for God, we could end up like Moses and not be allowed to enter the promised land for lack of faith, or like Peter who was rebuked by Jesus for thinking like humans do.
How liberating it is when we trust fully in the truth of Jesus and His teachings, and know that in the end, we will be with Him because He gave us the keys to the Kingdom of heaven!