Deacon Steven Johnson’s Homily – October 7, 2021
Homily for the 27th Week of Ordinary Time, Thursday, 10-7-21, Year B
Readings: Mal 3:13-20b, Psalm 1:1-2,3,4 & 6, Gospel Lk 11:5-13
Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary
Theme: God’s Saving Grace Through Prayer
“You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God, and what do we profit by keeping his command, and going about in penitential dress in awe of the Lord of hosts? Rather must we call the proud blessed; for indeed evildoers prosper, and even tempt God with impunity.’” At first read, we think of this statement as harsh, conceited, and brash in the face of God for indeed it is. Who would ever say such a thing? Yet isn’t that exactly what our society is saying today?
Do not many people worship material things, seek praise for their position in society, boast of being self-sufficient believing they control their lives and what happens to them? Do they not believe the body they were given is theirs alone and that they can do whatever they want with it? As a society of progressive thinking, where we make human laws that allow people to marry and divorce at will, attempt to change human physical sex, and allow the death of innocent life in the womb, aren’t we saying this very same thing directly to God in all of these actions?
As believers in God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we must continue to fight against temptations to follow the proud and the evildoers who tempt God with impunity. We must protect our “fear of the Lord” with prayer and repentance by holding fast to God’s words through the Holy Bible, of whose meaning cannot be changed by interpretations that fit our current societal values and ways.
Only through persistent prayer, repenting of our sins, praying for the conversion of our brothers and sisters who can’t see God for who He is, will we secure our future and become God’s special possession. Christ reinforces this concept in today’s Gospel in the parable of the friend in need. Through persistence, the friend will receive the loaves he needs. Even in the depths of night, God will hear our persistent prayer and grant us an answer. For as Christ says, “if you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit (answers to our prayers) to those who ask of him?
On October 7th, 1571, a monumental naval victory was won at Lepanto (near Corinth, Greece), when the forces of Islam that were threatening to invade Europe, were hurled back and broken, a favor attributed to the recitation of the Rosary by the European forces and civilians proving the power of prayer and the intercession of the Holy Ones. By 1573 the Feast of our Lady of the Rosary was instituted based on her intercessions there.1
We must come to the understanding that God will provide, even in the worst of times where confusion and conflict in our current world tries to latch onto us. If we pray to the Father as Christ has taught us, He will have compassion on us on the day He takes action because our names will be written in the book of life. For those whose names do not get written into the book of life, may God have mercy on their souls.
“For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, And the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the Lord of hosts.”
1-Facts attributed to the New St. Joseph Weekday Missal – Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary