Thursday, February 2, 2017

Homily for 3 Feb 2017

3 Feb 2017
Memorial of St. Blaise

Jesus isn’t the only who proclaimed the Good News of God’s Kingdom.  A lot of others did that, too.  And some of them even died for their unwavering belief in Jesus Christ.  They’re part of this huge family of believers we know as the Church.  And today we remember one of our brothers in the faith; we remember Saint Blaise.

He was born around the year 280A.D. and is believed to have been something like a doctor; he apparently had a knack for treating people with throat problems.  And then, at some point, he had an encounter with God and he changed his life into a life of prayer; he became a “doctor of the soul,” and many people went looking for him to be healed of their illnesses.  He eventually became a bishop.

But then, in the year 316, Christians began to be persecuted in the area where he was (in what is today eastern Turkey).  And so, he was arrested.  Then, one story has it, that as he was being taken to prison, he came across a woman whose little son was choking on a fish bone.  Blaise was able to cure the boy just by touching him.  And the people who’d arrested Blaise were amazed, but they still demanded that he renounce his faith.  He wouldn’t, and so they beat and tortured him, and then beheaded him.     

St. Blaise proclaimed the Good News of God’s Kingdom, and he never denied his belief that Jesus is the Son of God.  He was a powerful person back in the 4th Century, and he’s still a powerful person today.  He’s part of that big family of believers we call the Church.  And even after 1600 years, we still ask our brother, St. Blaise, to help us.

That’s why we have the Blessing of Throats today.  On this day when we celebrate St. Blaise’s martyrdom, we ask him to pray a powerful prayer to God for all those who need healing in their throats, and who need healing in general.  Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God heal us of whatever ails us; may the Kingdom of God come to us.  St. Blaise, our brother, pray for us. 

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