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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!

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 12, 2010 - 24th Sunday of the Year

  • the homily from September 5th is in the library ->
  • the scriptures for this coming Sunday are at ->
  • I will be presiding at the 8am and 9:30am Mass on Sunday Sept. 12th

Not What We're Used To....

The parables of Jesus in this week's gospel reveal to us the "mind" of God. And it's not what we're used to. In fact, the mind of God is a mind of Grace and our mind (corporately and personally) is so much the mind of the law - the law of the land!

The shepherd and the sheep, the woman and the coin, and the father and his sons are examples of "irrational" behavior based upon the "law of the land". God's way of grace and mercy, compassion and healing, doesn't make sense to the mind of man. Our minds are rooted in what's fair, what's the entitlement, what's my "just desserts". God's mind is "crazy" and irrational in love.

The gospel has to portray God as "over the top" in pursuit of his beloved. In the marriage preparation questionnaire we give identifies a "rose-colored glasses" effect in the engaged couples. No kidding...they are almost all guilty idealistic distortion. They're in love.

God's love and desire for us is this crazy, this irrational, this other-worldly, this "unlike" us. We really would like to create God in our own image, make God the "just and angry God" who is out to get vengence. Not so, says Jesus. He is so different than we are...He is Holy.

Does this impact your religious thinking?


JoyFuralle said...

From my Husband: In this statement, "No kidding...they are almost all guilty idealistic distortion. They're in love." are you missing the word "of" after idealistic? Otherwise I don't understand the statement of who is guilty or what is guilty.

I can honestly say I never thought of our God as an angry God. Just, yes. But He is the fountain of all that is good.

Why do you think that we think that God who is capable of agape love would be also perceived as angry & vengeful?

It was a polite "we" that you included yourself, but I know that you don't think of God as angry & vengeful. I know that from your homiletics.

JoyFuralle said...

Does this impact my religious thinking? I don't know where you're coming from or where you're going. So many times I think you want to say something and out of some sense of something, I don’t know what, you decide not to be forthright and then come up with some grouping of ideas that seem disjointed and don’t make sense. You are SUCH a clear speaker, you are!!! So what is this??? Are you afraid to hurt feelings or make sure no one’s nose is bent out of joint??? Are you talking of us being so awful or of how awful we make God? What are you veiling to the point of obscurity? What is going on ???

In talking with my Husband on this, he thinks you’re saying we must continually be on our guard from becoming too secular in a world that continually pulls us in that direction & pray that we might be able to, in some small way, put on the mind of Christ. Is that what you mean? I didn’t “hear” that.

I am giving my all to live as Christ, and I know I sin & have faults and weaknesses. But that does not stop me from seeing God's Beauty, Truth & Goodness in myself AND especially in those – and I mean EVERYONE -- around me. Not because I'm so great, but because what the Lord is within me.

If what you're sharing about us is true, if we think no differently than Joe Smith who doesn't bother with God & Church, if we're thinking like the law of the land, if we're not growing in holiness and love, what are we doing here? Why bother going to Church . . . or praying for that matter?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this TMW bc I often need to be reminded of God's unimaginable love for us. I tend to have a healthy holy fear of God bc He is all-powerful and all-just. I look at the Old Testament God who loved but yet punished. And after all, God the Father's Justice demanded that His Son die for our sins --- no exceptions or rule-bending.

I probably need to focus on God's Love more than God's Justice, but I think it's good to keep it in the back of one's mind that there are consequences for actions here on earth. Purgatory, for example. Fundamentalists think you are "saved" and going to Heaven and that's it. Yet with Purgatory, there again is God's Holy Justice; every penny shall be paid. lr

anon 1 said...

My reaction to reading the Matador’s reflection was to pause and dwell on the unimaginable depth of God’s love. To try to “sit for a moment” in that love. It brought a phrase to mind, “God is love,” that I think we can all buy. I think we hear it often enough – but do we really “get it?” It is hard to imagine one’s very essence being that of love – yet I believe that is the meaning of the ‘God is love’ phrase. While I know that’s my goal in life – to strive for loving that way – I also know that I do fail. I believe, as shown in these Scripture passages this week, that God’s “reaction” to everything is to love. While I may have bitter reactions to suffering, alienation, pain – God, through Jesus, shows us the possibilities of loving our way through those experiences.

I like to read what other writers have to say about what Thomas Aquinas had to say (since reading Aquinas himself can be a little daunting). One of my recent readings talked about the divine person being sent to us. That by acts of loving we come to know God, “to be touched by God” and to “touch God himself.” What an awesome thought that is! It went on to say that God’s “reason” for this, for us to be recipients of God’s grace in this way, is to make us holy. Now that sounds to me a lot like what the Matador is talking about.