I will be preaching at the 9:30am and 12:30pm Masses this Sunday March 14th.
The readings for this Sunday can be found at http://www.usccb.org/nab/031410c.shtml
The homily from Lent 3 is available at the Estok Homily Library to the right of the page.
The elder brother in the story of the prodigal (younger) son is an "icon" if you will of precisely where we do not want to be and, sadly, where all of us, to some extent, are . The tragedy of the older brother is two fold:
1. He refuses to enter the celebration of life and love that the Father has invited him to share and
2. He thinks he has been and is faithful enough to his Father.
Both failures on the elder brother's part are failures to live in the Communion of the Father. They are especially tragic because in both cases the elder brother stands arrogantly upright in his misunderstanding. He doesn't know what he doesn't know. Ouch!
How much he looks like me. I so often refuse to enter the Communion of life and love that God offers to me in the present moment. I am hurt, sad, or frightened that what God is offering is somehow going to mean a "loss" for me (and a win for someone else). Even more tragically, what contributes to my stubborn failure to embrace Communion with God is the mis-understanding that I am sufficiently "righteous" - I don't need anymore because I have responsibly lived my faith up to now.
Ouch. Isn't it funny that our perceived "success" at being faithful religious people can become the obstacle to our becoming truly religious people "reconciled with God and others".
To be truly religious, truly converted, truly turned toward the Lord we must be reconciled in the blood of Christ - made more deeply one with Him. The only believable proclamation of such a converted life is the deeper and deeper reconciliation with our neighbor.
This is a tall order this week. Let's pray for one another.
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!