(Preaching at 4:00pm, 10:00pm and 9:30am)
This is the first Christmas for the people of St Albert and their new pastor (that's me). What a grace. The priest is permitted to choose which of the four gospel readings of Christmas he prefers. I have chosen St. John's "In the beginning....the Word became flesh....this was life for the world".
Where my heart is drawn is back to the image on St Albert's altar of the Good Shepherd carrying the lost lamb back to the flock. This is what I see in the birth of Jesus as a human being. God not simply "became man" but took on the human condition trapped in the isolation of sin and self-satisfying materiality. We needed rescued and we could only be recovered by one like us. Jesus had to fall very far from heaven to the back of an old cave to reclaim "Old Adam". Now it is done - but it's not over!.
How do you see yourself still trapped in the old Adam of selfishness, material survival, the lost human condition? The liberation or rescue of Jesus birth made freedom possible for all - but faith is necessary for each one. Let me suggest that stress is the sign of our lack of being rescued in Christ. Stress! That's it. To the extent that you are "stressed" you're trapped. We need rescued still. Raise us up Lord Jesus and carry us to the freedom of new life in you! Hmmmm. What do you think of that?
Get into the ring! How this works...
This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my 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!