Deacon Steven Johnson’s Homily 12-1-22

For the 1st Week of Advent, Thursday, 12-1-22, Year A
Readings: Is 26:1-6; Ps 118:1,8-9,19-21,25-27a; Gospel Mt 7:21,24-27
Theme:  Don’t Just Be a Hearer But Also a Doer

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my father in heaven.”

Just because someone says they believe in Christ does not necessarily mean they will be saved when the end comes. There must be works to go along with that faith. One argument Catholicism has with some Protestant faiths is their idea that one only needs to have faith in Christ and nothing else to be saved. While this statement is true, it is only half the equation to gaining salvation. The other half of the equation is works.

The Letter of James addresses this issue in Jas 1:22-25. “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.”….. “the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does.”

 James’ letter also addresses works in Jas 2:14-17, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?”….. “faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

So how do we know what the will of God is so we can do it?

We do the will of God when we sing in our land of prosperity & strength where He set up the walls and ramparts to protect us. We do God’s will when He opens the gates to let those of us in who are just and keep the faith. We do His will when we are of firm purpose, where He keeps us in peace; in peace, for our trust in Him. We do His will when we trust in Him and acclaim Him as our eternal rock. We do His will when we emulate His son, Jesus, in the life He led here on earth, caring for the lost sheep of this world.

For those of us who only give lip service to Jesus and do nothing else in our daily lives to help others, will have a rude awaking when Jesus comes again.

As you focus on the coming of Jesus this Advent Season, build your house on the eternal rock of Christ and His will, and do not be just a hearer of His word but a doer.

Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL