Homily for Friday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
September 11, 200`1 – a day that none of us will likely ever forget. That day seemed like it stood still, like the world came to a sudden halt, and rightly so because it did. Everything we knew – or, at least, everything we thought we knew – changed in an instant and it’s never been the same since. For the last 19 years, our country and our world have been trying to recover from that one day when the face of evil reared its ugly head. It reminds me of another day. But this one happened long before you or I were born.
The year was 33AD. A man named Jesus had been visiting places throughout the Holy Land speaking about God and how much He desired for us to be in relationship with Him. A rabbi, some called him; others, a prophet. But His closest followers knew that He was the Son of God. He touched peoples’ hearts, cured the sick, healed the lame, brought sight to the blind, forgave sins. He preached about God’s love and mercy. He brought light to the darkness. And then, darkness seemingly won, another day when evil reared its ugly head. It was a Friday, the day when they put the Son of Man to death on a tree.
For Jesus’ disciples and those who were closest to Him, that day stood still and the world came to a sudden halt. Everything they thought they knew changed in an instant. They didn’t know where to turn or what to do. So they hid. But then something remarkable happened. Three days later, Jesus, whom the world thought was dead, rose from the grave. He walked amongst them again and continued sharing with them the Good News about why He was sent…to save the world from sin and death, to show the darkness that it would not overcome the light, and to make it possible for us to return to the Father.
Since then, that message has spread to every corner of the world and so many have come to know about this person named Jesus. Yet, recently, something has changed. Jesus’ disciples in this age have grown increasingly silent. It’s almost as if we have gone into hiding. The message that the Savior entrusted to us has gotten lost in the midst of a world seemingly gone mad. A world that I believe changed on that fateful day in 2001.
And we can dwell on the fact that it seems like darkness has overcome the light. But it hasn’t. The Truth remains the same. The victory has already been won! And spoiler alert, Evil did not prevail. It’s time for us to go out and proclaim from the rooftops that Satan has already lost.
As Christians of today, it’s our responsibility to help others recover a biblical world view. As our readings today remind us, we are called to go out and preach the Gospel. But that takes having an encounter with the Lord in and through the Scriptures, experiencing the Lord’s presence in our own lives, and then sharing that with those we meet. So on this day, let’s not get lost in the darkness of sin, let’s not get stuck in the darkness of evil that seemingly is winning. Instead, may we have the courage to go out today, especially today, and remind others that Jesus has overcome the darkness. Light will prevail again.