Deacon Steven Johnson’s Homily – February 3, 2022
4th Week Ordinary Time, Thursday, Year C
Readings: 1 Kgs 2:1-4, 10-12 Ps 1 Chr 29:10, 11ab, 11d-12a, 12bcd, Gospel Mk 6:7-13
Memorial of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr
Theme: Pass on the Legacy Mission
For many of us, we want to leave a legacy behind when we pass from this life to the next. That legacy can be many things. For most of us it is a legacy of something we did that we want others to carry on. A mission if you will. But, in order for that legacy mission to be meaningful and fulfilled, it must come with something that those, who are left behind, want to carry on in our stead because of the life we lived and the impact we had on them.
For King David, his legacy mission to Solomon was to pass on all he had learned from living his life with God at his side. He wanted Solomon to learn from his mistakes, take joy in his victories and know his fortitude from his failures so that he, too, would know the joy of God’s friendship. King David’s legacy mission was to pass on his love for God.
We see the same legacy mission of Jesus being formed in the apostles. He sends them out two by two with His power to cure and proclaim the kingdom of His Father to all who will listen. Through this legacy mission, Jesus teaches the apostles what they need to know for the time when He will no longer be with them. Jesus’s legacy mission is for the disciples to imitate His life’s work and teachings so that all people will come to know the salvation that would come through Christ Himself. Eventually, the apostles, too, will pass on this same legacy mission to the next generation, and so on and so on, right up to Pope Francis and all of us today.
St. Blaise carried on the legacy mission of Christ through his faith and martyrdom. He was a kind person caring for the sick as a doctor prior to becoming a Bishop of Sabastia, Armenia (Turkey). When the persecution of Christians came by order of the Roman Emperor Licinius, St. Blaise escaped to the wilderness and lived in a cave. There he cared for the wild animals and the people who came to see him. He worked many miracles for both man and beast.
When the Governor of that region realized St. Blaise was living outside the town, he had men sent to arrest him and bring him back for trial. After his arrest, while on his way to the city, a woman came to him with her young son who was choking on a fish bone. St. Blaise prayed over him, and the boy was cured. After refusing to worship idols by order of the Emperor, St. Blaise was tortured and then beheaded in 316 AD. He lived a life according to Christ and passed Christ’s legacy mission on through his constant intersession in the blessing of throats on his feast day today. To this day St. Blaise is known as the patron saint of those who suffer diseases of the throat and patron saint of wild animals.
King David passed on his legacy mission to his son, Solomon, and Christ passed on His legacy mission to His apostles. For you and me, we must pass on what was taught to us by Jesus just as St. Blaise did so many years ago. By doing so, our loved ones can carry on our legacy mission, one steeped in God’s will for the salvation of all through faith, hope and love, with the greatest of these being love.