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Get into the ring! How this works...

This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Advent III - The Lord is Near so rejoice! Or at least shape up!

The readings for this coming Sunday are found:

Masses this weekend are: 5:30 Sat and 11:00am Sunday

As I have been preaching throughout this season, Advent is about the appearing or arriving of Christ in History, Mystery and Majesty. Week I was dealing with the majestic and final appearance of Christ at the end of time. Weeks II and III are about the Mysterious appearing of Christ in our midst. Week II was about faith and Week III is about charity. We have to know and believe that salvation is about Christ being present and appearing mysteriously in our "doing something".

If we believe by faith that the Lord is near (he has appeared) than we no longer need to live in defensive fear of life and others, we are free to live in kindness and joy - charity. Believing that the Lord is near sets us free to be loving. So when others ask John the Baptist "what are we to do?" he was able to answer "stop living out of self-justifying fear and aggression and demonstrate to others that you believe in Emmanuel. Show that He is near (advent) by living a joy-filled generous life.

When the pastor comes to the house for dinner everyone "is on their best behavior". Because the "religious one" is near we act more like the love of God. We must treat others as if the Lord were in our midst. It is advent - he has arrived, he is near, he is in our midst - so rejoice!

If you are not rejoicing is it because you do not believe the Lord is near? That's what I think. What do you think?

If you want to hear last Sunday's homily click on the link under "Estok Homily Library" to the right>>>>>>


Wither said...

Good morning Fr. Ed. Well you have gone high tech and full web. I have never been a blogger so we will see how this goes.
You write..."defensive fear of life and others" and the "religious one" is near we act more like the love of God. Great words and images. As I shared last week I believe many people do not real rejoice at Christmas because the Lord is near. Over the last few years I have taken to reading more newspapers and news magazines. What I have found very interesting is how the comic strips treat Christmas now days. The satire and parody about family and relatives is very reviling about our culture. I think if you boil it all down it is about the fear of not knowing and receiving unconditional love. As the comic strip all point out the Christmas is all about expectations and “giving” but something always seem to get in the way and complicate manners and someone is upset.
Upset because in the most basic sense they did not give or receive love. So I think you are right on with the focus to live and love as if the pastor (Jesus) is in the house. We should focus on how we treat others and if we all had the unconditional love of our Lord then we would have no unfulfilled expectations.

Lynne said...

The New Year prompted me to do some introspection and brought me to this Advent series of Homilies. I am searching for the continued deepening of faith that provides me the strength to joyfully do charitable acts. Listening to the words of this Homily incited me to ask myself three questions: Is God real to me? Am I benevolent with a smile? Can I find strength though my faith to conquer fear?
God is real to me and I believe He has called me to serve the role of care-giving to loved ones who are elderly and disabled. I believe that God is in my loved ones and the frail, human being that now embodies them is of this world. When I look past their current state and see God in them it gives me the strength to love and care for them.
I am doing acts of charity, however lately I find the smile is missing. Why? Is my faith in God slipping? I don’t think so. I think it is fear that I do not have the strength I need to properly perform the acts of charity I have been called to do.
So how do I conquer this fear? Deepening my faith through prayer and further introspection is a start. And trusting that God has given me the strength I need to be benevolent with a smile.
Thanks for the words of these Advent Homilies which continue to provide motivation to deepen my faith.