Living Our Names for Jesus: A homily for the 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time (B)

honorToday Jesus asks his friends, “Who do the people say that I am?”  It was a poll of sorts.  They all have an idea.  I asked the the kids in my religion class in school the other day to name off all the different titles they could think of for Jesus.  Here’s what they came up with:

  • Master
  • Lord
  • King of the Jews
  • Messiah
  • Son of God
  • Son of Man
  • Christ
  • Lamb of God
  • God
  • Judge
  • Rabbi
  • High Priest
  • the Light
  • Redeemer
  • Good Shepherd
  • Bread of Life
  • Emmanuel
  • The Word

I was quite impressed!  I wrote them all out on the board.  This is a good exercise for all of us–to think of the different titles for Jesus.

But here’s what James is saying in our second reading:  our faith must be put into practice.  “Faith without works is dead,” he says.  In other words, we can’t just have our faith in our minds and in our hearts….it has to be lived out in our actions.  Our faith is only true if it is lived out; otherwise, it’s not true faith.  An authentic faith must be visible.

With the Gospel today, God is saying: it’s not enough to know that Jesus is all of those things in that list above. Instead, we have to live it!

  • If I believe that Jesus is the light, then I have to do my best to not live in darkness of sin
  • If I believe Jesus is my Savior, I have to let him save me….
  • If I believe Jesus is my Master, I have to do what he says!
  • If I believe Jesus is my Teacher, I have to let myself be taught by him…to study the Church
  • If I believe Jesus is Emmanuel (God-with-us), the I must look for him all over!
  • If I believe Jesus is the judge, I gotta live my life in a way that I’ll be judged well
  • If I believe Jesus is the Word, I must turn to the Bible every day!

Give your life….Pick up your cross and follow me….this always brings us life, and it brigns others life.