Search This Blog

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, December 16, 2010

December 19, 2010 - Advent 4

  • The homily from Advent 3 is in the library ->
  • The scriptures for this Sunday are at ->
  • I will be preaching at the 4:00pm Saturday 12/18 Mass and 8:00am and 9:30am Masses 12/19

The Grinch who stole Christmas

Remember...? The Grinch's heart was too small. The message and invitation of this fourth Sunday of Advent is whether or not our hearts, our faith is big enough. Can we dream God's dream of ourselves and our world?

Ahaz in the first reading and Joseph in the Gospel are both good men, but too small of heart. They are righteous, having done everything according to the law of the Lord - but they are short on the love of the Lord, God's love that can imagine the whole truth of our lives with Him. God's heart. That's us, too. Righteous but small of heart.

This seems to be a natural conclusion to our Advent reflection on "heart".

1. God wants our hearts,

2. We have the power and skill to "set our hearts" o something (or Someone),

3. We are paralyzed or by grief of the past and fear of the future thus being hardened of heart to the presence of God, Emmanuel.

And now..... we see the task is to expand our hearts by the Good News, the Word of Truth announced to us and born among us. Emmanuel!

Have a heart, get some "heart" dream the dream that God has for you which is bigger than your limited imagination and your pusilanimous heart....tiny heart. Grow your heart by being loved by God. Grow your heart by loving according to God's Word.

Have a heart - the size of God's dream for you!


anon 1 said...

A recent popular movie/book, “Eat Pray Love,” had a lot to say about those three activities of our lives (eating, praying, loving, that is); and while some of the movie’s message didn’t resonate with me, there were several quotes that were worth capturing. One such quote was, “Look through your heart so you will know God.” On a similar note, Fr. Richard Rohr (Franciscan priest, author) has suggested in some of his writings that there is danger when we rely too much on our brains, and don’t include the use of our hearts. He points out that when we live our lives that way we can’t get the whole picture but instead – when we think, using only our brains – we will see things in a very limited way. This reminds me of the Matador’s message, and it strikes me that perhaps Ahaz and Joseph were reacting by thinking – that is, using their brains – and not including a view through their hearts, where they could come to know God. I like the Matador’s challenge of “dreaming the dream that God has for you which is bigger than your limited imagination and pusillanimous heart.” (I had to look that word up, though!) I think our hearts are in fact capable of being bigger than our imaginations, and I am inspired by what the world might accomplish if we rose to this challenge!

Anonymous said...

Nice, Father! I would love to see the final paragraph expounded upon. I think it's particularly relevant at this time of year. I mean that our hearts and imaginations are so limited that we begin to define seasonal "joy" by what we have experienced culturally and not by the dreams and "imagination" of God. The Nativity set fits into a box and consequently, so does the Incarnation. We become so wrapped up in the "magic" of Christmas and feel compelled to make that particular "magic" bigger and bigger. Santa is magical. Frosty, too. I'm sure we've all seen an adult person passionately defend the existence of often have you seen someone do the same for Jesus Christ? If a BIG Jesus doesn't fit our boxed up idea of the "magic of Christmas", we tend to give him a box worth of notice and move on. How boring is that? Is there anything more incredible and awe inspiring than God made man? Anything more miraculous and "magical" (if you will) than the real Christmas story? Our narrow hearts squeeze the life out of it. We are passionless. Utterly boring.

You point out that we are too paralyzed by our fear and grief to open up and take that risk. It is in this way that we feel safer with Frosty than Jesus. We sense that something bigger than our imagination and our comfort will happen if we step beyond that sparkly line. And it might hurt.

I just reread your post and thought about the irony in the title. We always think about the Grinch stealing Christmas. But he just steals STUFF. Maybe the real culprits are "Santa" and "Frosty" when they steal our hearts by standing in the place that Jesus aught to occupy. lol
I like the way you are going with this. Thanks, Father!