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 9, 2010

Guadete, Rejoice! Third Sunday of Advent

  • A summary of last week's homily is in the library ->
  • The scriptures for this coming Sunday are at ->
  • I will be preaching at the Sunday, Dec.12th 9:30am Mass

Be strong, fear not! Here is your God!

Hardening of hearts is a definite danger throughout the history of God's people in the Old Testament. It is be carried off apart from God. In fact, Jesus has come precisely to soften hearts and his tactic is to "be here". Emmanuel is the Advent word that is translated to "God-with-us". The predicament of the human condition is that we have hardened our hearts so much so that we are not "here" where God dwells. Our hearts are hardened in another place and time - where God is not.

The heart, as I have been preaching this Advent, is the center of our faith life, it is the object of God's desire. God wants "all" of us - he wants our heart where He is. Last week I spoke about the possibility of our "setting our hearts", onto the Kingdom of God. But we have to do it here where God is.

This week I am reflecting upon our hardness of heart, our teflon hearts, our hearts hardened and separated from "here". In that condition they cannot grasp the presence of God which is "here". When the heart is hardened the eyes are turned backward and forward, the mind is resistent to what's real. Hardened hearts cannot "feel" or "perceive" what is, they are stuck in what was or what isn't yet. And God is not in either of those places. That hardness feels....sad.

Gaudete Sunday calls us to rejoice, give up this sadness, the gloom of a prison that hardness of heart is. Come alive to what is ....and what is is the Lord is near, the Lord is now, the Lord is here. This living in here and now is not something we should think about doing, it is now!

Jesus said and says, "no, God dwells here and now and we have got to come alive to what is. God is real and God is reaching out to us. Make "firm" (not hard) your hearts by grasping God present here, now.


Anonymous said...

Intellectually I couldn't agree more. It seems to be a very long 12 inches between my head and my heart, though. I'm not sure how to cross that gap.

Faith said...

These words from the Matador this week hit close to my…heart. Because while I value looking back and remembering the ways God has been present in my life, and I see the goodness of looking ahead and yearning for the fullness of life to come, I admit I can get stuck in all of that – and I don’t treasure what lies right before my eyes. I miss the gifts that are here, calling me to recognize them as such, and celebrating them with gratitude. The sadness of this is that these are missed opportunities for loving – because clearly if I’m not recognizing the ways God is present with me here and now, that means I’m not extending myself in love or opening myself to receiving love from another. It seems to me one leads to the other. So perhaps that is the key – to recognize the gift present at any moment (because there always is one!), allow an expression of gratitude from my heart for that gift, and to further extend myself in love. Then “ they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.”

Jim said...

Your thoughts on the "hardness" of our hearts are right on. With that in mind, I took the second reading from James to mean that our hearts are like the soil that needs the rain to soften up and accept the gifts from God (precious fruits.) We need to be patient and soften our hearts for the coming of the ultimate gift. Like you said, we should rejoice. The rain is coming soon.

The gospel reading seems to be giving us another example of how to soften our hearts and be happy-- By helping others as Jesus did.

Anonymous said...

If we are able to be in God's Presence everyday, with silence and solitude, I truly believe that our hearts will become soft and we will accept God's will regardless how painful it is..we will be in love with Him.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to what Faith said about the unacknowledged gifts right in front of us and the countless opportunities to love right in front of us. Thank you Faith for your reflection on TMW's reflection. LR

Faith said...

:-) Examples of gifts and gratitude, here and now. Thank you, LR.

Anonymous said...

The Lord is now... The Lord is here....What a precious phrase how beautiful is "to try" to be living the present moment..forget the past forget the future. The Lord is now... The Lord is here.
Thanks Fr.Ed and all of you for your beautiful reflections.