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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, June 24, 2010

June 27, 2010 - Sunday 13

Last Sunday's homily is in the library>>>

This Sunday's readings are at the>>>

I am preaching and presiding at 4:00pm Mass on June 26 and 11:00am Mass on June 27th. See you there!

Free for what?

I had an old friend who, when asked, "are you free" would always say, "I'm cheap, but not free." Rather risque for this blog on preaching, but it always comes to my mind when I think or preach about freedom.

Fr. Robert Barron has a great reflection on today's readings and he reminds us that freedom is about vocation - doing God's will. And freedom, in the biblical sense, is the freedom from attachments and a freedom for doing God's will - vocation!

I think people in today's world cannot hear this call realistically. They hear "leave everything and follow me" and they think they have to either become a hermit or a monk or they're doomed to deny Jesus. As if "having stuff" is the opposite to following Jesus.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. The truth is that having stuff, having relationships, having responsibilities in the world is not a lack of freedom. When your stuff, your relationships or your responsibilities HAVE you - that's a lack of freedom to follow Jesus.

How can we be in the world but not of it. How can you raise your family, love your spouse, do your job, take your vacation, and enjoy your life in a way that it doesn't keep you from loving your neighbor as yourself - Jesus' will for you?

Good question. No easy answer. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Father -- another question for you along those are we supposed to enjoy anything, like vacations, dining out, etc. when Jesus says so many times that we are to be penitent and to make sacrifices for sinners, Holy Souls in Purgatory, etc. Thanks for listening lr

Anonymous said...

Father, another question along those are we supposed to enjoy life, like vacations, dining out, movies, etc. when Jesus says we are to atone for our sins and practice acts of penance, especially for conversion of sinners, and for the Holy Souls in Purgatory?

Anonymous said...

sorry i accidentally posted twice!

Faith said...

I am thinking about Fr. Estok’s reflection on freedom, vocation, and doing God’s will and I think if I were to title my response I would call it, “Everybody has One – Everyday.” I say this because I am reflecting on my own thoughts and understanding of the term “vocation” over my lifetime – and it has changed considerably. As a young person (teenager/young adult), when I thought of the term “vocation” I thought only of vowed religious life. In my later adult years, my understanding (and it seems to me the Church’s efforts at explaining the term) changed, and I came to think of it as the specific path, or the status, any of us baptized chose – believing it was the general direction given to us by God. So, not only was it the vowed religious life, but it also included married life and single life. When I check with Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, this resonates with their definition, too.

But now as I’m considering the Matador’s reflection, and as I read the Scriptures, I am thinking that it also includes a daily choice – not only the once in a lifetime choice. So being a priest, or a nun, or married, or single is a choice – but that’s not the end of what our vocation looks like. Every day we get up and there is a fresh call before us and how we respond to that call also becomes part of our vocation – it’s a serious thing. In fact, it can be confusing as to what is the right decision – what is the right thing to do – what is God’s will – every time we have a choice before us. I like Fr. Estok’s final point – there’s no easy answer. But I think a good guideline is to consider whether we are using all of the gifts God has given us to the best of our ability – for the sake of God and neighbor. Or - are we burying our gifts; are we hoarding our gifts; are we simply not even considering what our gifts are and not seeking the best way to use them? Maybe that’s at least part of the answer.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, our guide, invites us to follow Him on his journey, "leave everything and follow me."
This is a daily invitation that only the good listeners can hear.
It is a challange, it is very difficult at times. Following Jesus is not a part-time job, it is a full time commitment, it will require many sacrifices in our part, it will require to die to our old unnecessary attachments and rise to a new life, a life of freedom, a little ray of light in other people's life... Following Jesus daily is the greatest vocation.P.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, our guide, invites us to follow him on his journey, "Leave everything and follow me."
This is a daily invitation that only the good listeners can hear.
It is a challange, it is very difficult at times. Following Jesus is a full time commitment, no a part time job. It will require many sacrifices in our part, it will require to die to our old unnecessary attachments and rise to a new life, a life of freedom, we will be a little ray of light for other around us.
Following Jesus daily is the greatest vocation. P.

Anonymous said...

How smart of you bloggers! The church recognizes our universal vocation belonging to all: holiness, communion with Christ. We also have our particular vocation, state, mode of being saved. I like your thoughts. -the matador.

Anonymous said...

I like the comment about our things "having" us and how that is not true freedom. This is so relevant to me. There is such a real sense of freedom when we feel we aren't ruled by material things, that we don't need them to be happy. How many times are we unsettled bc of wanting something we do not have. We allow the thing we do not have to dominate our thoughts instead of Jesus.
At the risk of oversimplifying this topic, one way I find peace is the hope that God will judge us based on our hearts, and what our motivations and intentions are, and how we used what He gave us. What good is it to help our neighbor if our hearts are not truly in it and we are not truly loving? If we love, it is evident in our eyes, our demeanors, our respect for others. lr

Joyfuralle said...

What did I hear most in Father's homily? We are supposed to become like God Himself. God!!! By the way we love! Radical freedom! It means loving God above all others and above all things to be able to love others as ourselves . . . better yet, to love others MORE than ourselves. THAT's RADICAL! But it's what Jesus did!

Imagine not getting an upgraded phone so you can give more money to a worthy cause... imagine giving up pop so that you can taste how good God's Gift of water is... imagine NOT accepting a promotion so that your family time is not infringed upon . . . imagine not surfing the web so that you can have more time to pray or read an uplifting book . . . Scriptures says that God's will for us (1 Thes 5:17) is rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all things. Radical... how many people do that???

Then there's the other question of Father's . . . what do we have to leave behind??? It's not only the stuff, it's easy to learn to give up stuff once you realize it does not lead to freedom, that a lot of stuff is a dead end. Harder to give up are hurt feelings, rejection, "my way" versus your way, blame, teaching "lessons" when life already brings enough of those, judgments, criticisms, giving up always having to say something (oneupsmanship), figuring things out. Freedom also entails allowing indecision, allowing confusion, allowing uncertainty or discomfort or mixed feelings ... not knowing what to think, not knowing exactly where God is at or what is in mind, walking with that, perhaps barely making it through a day, KNOWING, with absolute CERTAINTY, God stands with us, within us . . . all of the other stuff doesn't really matter that much . . .

It's easy to love family and friends when all is well. Harder to love the stranger who flips you off in the parking lot or freeway... harder to love the co-worker who takes credit for your work, harder to love the spouse who helps others out but doesn't do enough at home, harder to love the grown kids who can't seem to find time to help out, harder to love the parishioner whose kids always seem to get all the glory. Hmmm.

Radical love . . . like God, WOW!!! In good old North Royalton, in our very own homes and families and neighborhoods! Imagine God wants us to be like Himself!!!

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