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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!



Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 8, 2010 - 19th Sunday of the Year

  • Homily from August 1st is in the library>>>
  • Sunday Scriptures are at usccb.org>>>
  • Preaching this Sunday August 8th at 8:00 and 9:30am

Make an act of faith! Believing is Seeing!

Abraham stands out as the role model for believing. He could see Isaac in a new way now... "as a symbol". If faith can be said to be a new way of seeing, then the danger held out for us in the scriptures this weekend is to "mis-read" the value of life.

X-rays are probably the best image of this call to see or "mis-read" the reality of things. A doctor "reads" an x-ray and we hope he sees what's really there. The gift of x-ray or CAT scans is that they can pierce the shell of our flesh and really read the situation. They can reveal what is truly the value within. Without such tools we are often left with limited "insight" into what is really real.

What Jesus reminds his listeners is that there are two ways to read the reality and the mystery of life - by faith or by the world. When we mis-read the realities of our lives we can sadly "mis-feel" and mis-behave. When we fail to see where the true treasure in life is we can invest our hearts in the wrong stuff. When we mis-read the purpose of life we can begin to act as if it is "ours" for "our" benefit for "our" satisfaction. So we cling, and fight, and abuse life, self and others.

Faith is the gift of insight - to see inside - to the real meaning of life, the real purpose of things. By faith we are set free to know and celebrate the Truth of our existence. When we see by faith we can be free of the compulsive emotions of fear, anger and sadness. Faith can set us free to be loving in the presence of Love.

Can you see?




19 comments:

JoyFuralle said...

Every day I pray to see, and every day I pray to see more. I’m the blind man yelling out, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” Because with each passing year I see how blind I’ve been; how blind I am; and the only cure for that blindness is Jesus – in Eucharist, Reconciliation, and “radiation treatment” (adoration).

Now, as far as the real purpose of things, I’m wondering more and more about the purpose and meaning of things. This goes to last week’s readings, vanity of vanities, all is vanity. Vanity – bubbles. I desire to love our Lord with all my heart, mind, soul & strength. I pray for the Grace to be free of myself so that I can see Christ and His Will. This world has so many fun, cool, absorbing things….takes time (and sometimes trial and error) to see the Real. Keep pointing us in the right direction, Father.

Fr. Ed Estok said...

Well said JF

JoyFuralle said...

Would that it would be as well lived as well said. Sigh. Jesus, Son of David, have pity on us.

Anonymous said...

JK.. Your comments are very delghtful to read, I am thinking about the "Radiation treatment," truly a dosage penetrates your flesh and bones and... your heart!!

Now, without the healing from The Divine Therapist through Faith and Prayer, we are blind too, -spiritual blindness.- We will perceive the reality in a very superficial way, we will be able to "listen" the Word, but we will not be able to "listen to the meaning" of the Word.
The Lord emphasized to the blind men that his FAITH healed him.. he called Jesus in a loud voice.. he consented to God when He called him.

Do we at least hear His voice when He calls? Well,I think at times we are so preoccupied with all the external events in our life that's hard to hear, or may be we like to ignore because we know the consequences.

We have to allow God to transform us as He did to the blind man.
The kingdom of God is near, actually "is within us for us to enjoy" ( Fr. Keating, Thomas), the price for the enjoyment will be to get rid of the attachments in life that make us so very "happy", as we did reflect a couple of weeks ago at the Matador.
Prayer is wonderful, the problem is that we pray "too hard" because we want to impress and posses God. We can't posses the Lord, He is a gift to us, to recive and share with others with the eyes of faith.
God bless. P.

JoyFuralle said...

Okay, I have to play devil's advocate with P. . . I've never blogged, so I don't know if I should respond back. And when you say "we" I don't know if you are referring to yourself or all of us. That part of blogging confuses me.

Our Lord is not consistent with the different stories of blind men calling out to Him. In Matthew 20:29-34 these guys have the nerve and boldness to call out, even with opposition, and Jesus pities them, gives them what they want -- just out of pity (wow, what love and mercy!).

Cool little tidbit -- check out No. 2830 of the Catechism.

Anonymous said...

JF,
What confuses you? Sorry.
"We" is "all" including myself.
I do not understand your question, Would it be a difference in meaning in my blogging if I stated "I "
God bless. P.

Anonymous said...

When I was lay director for a renewal team years ago, my focus quote of my witness was Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be." Not to oversimplify, but if your heart is for God, nothing else truly matters. The root of every decision you make can basically be categorized as "for God" or "against God."

I am also thinking of how the apostles had trouble with their faith **even after LIVING with Jesus and WITNESSING his miracles, and EXPERIENCING His love and holiness firsthand! ** How could that BE?

John 20:29 "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." Does anyone else find comfort in those words? 2000+ years after Jesus walked this earth, we have faith and believe without ever having seen or known. Praise God for the gift of faith! lr

JoyFuralle said...

Father starts out sharing food for thought and teaching much like a homily (that’s his cape). He tells us what Jesus is saying or teaching. He waves that cape. I am assuming in this blog thing we read it then perhaps mull over our experience and then perhaps share that or what is the Lord speaking to our hearts. I don’t know if I have this part right, and my apologies for my confusion, but I’m going with this premise.

So when you write "Prayer is wonderful, the problem is that we pray "too hard" because we want to impress and posses God." . . .

do you mean . . .

"I think prayer is wonderful, the problem is that I pray "too hard" because I want to impress and posses God." If that's the case, okay.

Or do you mean . . .

For me "Prayer is wonderful, the problem is that I think people pray "too hard" because they want to impress and posses God."

Because the way it is originally written, I don’t know if it’s possible to speak for everyone.

My apologies if this is labored, I'm just seek to understand what each person is really trying to say.

JoyFuralle said...

Adding to what LR said about the apostles having trouble with their faith, did you read this morning's Gospel?!?!?! What you said . . . Mt 17:14-20.

And yes, I believe -- without seeing Him -- but at the same time how much faith do I REALLY have??? Lord, I do believe, help my unbelief!!!

Anonymous said...

JF, It is a question of personal interpretation, of course I am not including the whole world in my comment, but I am including many Catholics that I have been in contact with and the message is very similar, " I pray so hard" and nothing helps...
may be I need to pray harder and God will listen...."
I am sorry if I didn't explain myself well, do not worry about the WE and the I, just pray for me and I will pray for you. Love. P.

Anonymous said...

We all hold in our hearts different experiences of Faith, different levels of prayerful communion, different types of relationships with God, different styles of prayer and talking to Him, different levels of spiritual intellect and understanding. Indeed He talks to us in different ways. How He communicates with Fr. Estok is probably different from how He chooses to communicate with me. God made us all individuals and He knows and appreciates everything good about us. He knows our hearts.

JF: I believe this is what P means when P says not to "pray too hard." Appreciate and CELEBRATE your own style of prayer. Don't stress out so much about it that you do not enjoy your relationship with God and the Residents of Heaven. Pray for strength that you will always remain firm in your faith no matter what. Pray to the Holy SPirit to give you the spiritual eyes you need and the tongue to witness to the Faith if you have to defend it.

We are imperfect creatures due to sin. We cannot perfectly pray because of this. Trust like a child that God will take care of you and understand you and your imperfect worship of Him. Reach out to God as a helpless little toddler reaches out to its mother. Even after getting into all kinds of trouble, a toddler knows mommy still loves her. Celebrate this relationship and trust God to care for you. Peace to you. lr

Anonymous said...

By the way, Fr. Estok has God over for coffee and crumbs :) God communicates differently, like I said. lr

JoyFuralle said...

Love it! Thanks to each of your for your love and patience!

Anonymous said...

JF and lr, from P...
Thanks for your comments, you both are right.
Matthew 6:1-18 says it all.
Pray your way.. yes... in a simple way, allow God direct you, that is what I try to do, and it is hard..there is not good or bad prayer, all is love for God.

JoyFuralle said...

Beautiful . . . how marvelous! Okay, now I think we should continue with a song as we have officially had a loosely definited Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharist --

Holy God, we praise Thy Name . . . .

Anonymous said...

Friends

This was engaging. The question raised is "what are we suppose to be doing here". My hope is that by suggesting a focus for preaching that readers will either confirm it or challenge it. I am most interested not in what you think about the readings but what your reaction is to my homiletic point. I do not expect that you would be engaging each other on points of theology or spirituality. You are free to do as you like but the question was raised as to what "I was intending these pages to be". God bless you all for your willingness to share. The Matador

JoyFuralle said...

Okay, I get it now, so here goes . . . Scrabble challenge time . . . .

After having many, many doctor appointments, many different kinds of x-rays and tests, our "specialist", one of the best in the business we're told, still does not have a concrete answer. This going on three months of pain and lack of sleep, near disability. Could be the back, might be the hip, doesn’t exclude problems with the upper quad. He is not ENTIRELY sure. And we went to all these appointments for “maybe it’s…” I could have done that! So much for the value within.

I’ll again play devil’s advocate… I think I know what you mean but your message is not clear... How do we know whether we are mis-reading? What are signs of it? I’m not sure what you are saying about “mis-feeling” and “mis-behaving”. The language is too . . . I don’t know . . .heady? . . . psychological? At a level most people are not at??? I don’t know the right word. That whole paragraph leaves question marks of “what’s he talking about”? If we’re living our lives & doing what we do (earning a living, raising children, etc.), doing our best (not always), loving God, that’s our reality. We can easily say, we don’t seem to cling, we don’t fight with others, we’re peaceable – I think that’s the way many people in the pews are – so what is Father talking about?

And then . . . Set free from what? For what? The Truth of our existence? I think people will scratch their heads. I know a lot of people who don’t have very active faith lives and don’t notice the little bit of fear, anger & sadness within themselves. Others think that fear, anger & sadness are just part of being human.

Free to love in the Presence of Love? It sounds good, especially to those actively engaged, I know what that means, but I think most will say, “Huh?”, “What”? Application and connecting the dots is missing.

Okay, so that’s my take . . . I look forward to hearing your homily when it’s up. . .

Lynne said...

‘Faith is the gift of insight’ really hits home. My experience that relates to the message of faith is surrounding my challenges with caring for loved ones with health issues. I have been on a journey to strengthen my faith in order to better listen to God’s calling to me. I agree that ‘When we see by faith we can be free of the compulsive emotions of fear, anger and sadness.’ Initially, when I learned of the serious health state of my loved ones, I found I prayed for the comforts of the world. I thought of myself and my burdens in dealing with the impending loss of very important people in my life. As I prayed and listened, I have been able to gain insight through my faith to understand my calling in this circumstance (at least I hope I so!). I have been able to put aside my worldly desires and pray with my loved ones as they transition from this world to the eternal life. The end of worldly life transition can be long and painful, and the example from the agony in the garden has been an inspiration. I believe my purpose is to be with my loved ones during this time of transition, and pray. So, Fr. Estok, it is because of this experience in my life that I can affirm that ‘Faith can set us free to be loving in the presence of Love.’ Your focus definitely connects with my daily life. Thank you!

JoyFuralle said...

The homily was very, very clear. The Word of God was spoken and opened and there for the taking for whoever wanted their hearts and minds and ears to hear.