27 April 2009

Homily for Monday of the Third Week of Easter


Acts 6: 8-15
Portions of Psalm 119
John 6: 22-29

Every good and perfect work flows out of faith. In a world where signs on public transportation state “You don’t have to believe in God to be good”, this concept stands as a strong counterbalance to what we read about in the closing words of our Gospel reading today.

Why did Stephen, the first Martyr of the Early Church, perform such great works? Our reading from Acts tells us that it is because he was ‘filled with grace and power” – a grace and power which he possessed not on his own account, but only on account of his faith in Christ.

Now, you would think that in our Gospel, which follows in the wake of the miracle of the loaves and the fishes, that the crowds would have had some measure of faith. And yet Jesus points out to them “You aren’t looking for me on account of the miracle, you are looking for me because you aren’t hungry anymore.”

What a stinging rebuke – and yet it is a rebuke that will go on to illustrate the power of the flesh of the Son of Man and of his blood. In the reading appointed tomorrow, we will get more deeply into this portion of John 6, but suffice it to say Jesus is setting his massive following up for a major decision, all stemming around the veracity of his words.

Do we today accept Jesus at his word? Do we side with him when confronted with a society and a race that is so far gone from its original righteousness, or do we conform and compromise our message for the sake of ease?

Over the centuries, the Church has had the chance time and time again to compromise her message, her proclamation of Christ… but even in the darkest hours of Church history, the Truth has always been proclaimed somewhere, somehow – for indeed, even when sinners proclaim the Gospel, it is the power of the Word and it retains the power to change people’s lives. This change effects faith in people, and faith brings us to performing the good works of God.


All original material (C) 2007-2010 by Father Robert Lyons.

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