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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, July 15, 2010

July 18, 2010 - 16th Sunday of the Year

The homily from last week is in the library>>>
The readings for this Sunday are found at>>>
I am presiding at the 11:00am and 12:30pm Masses on Sunday 7/18

Y'all come,now! Y'hear?

The story of Martha and Mary is so famous that most adult Catholics will use their names on occasion to indicate two "different but complementary" personalities or people.

There are traditional and ancient interpretations of this Sunday's scene but the one that captured my attention was that which reflects upon the astounding position that Mary has assumed in this picture and that Jesus has permitted her.

In Jesus' time we know that he was not a man of convention,especially as it relates to foreigners, sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, the unclean, the leper, the dead, and women. Jesus broke convention for the sake of the kingddom of God. All are called to and have access to the Kingdom as disciples of Jesus the master.

This universal discipleship is no better portrayed than Mary, a woman whose place is in the kitchen, taking the disciple's place at the feet of the Master, Jesus. Not only does Mary dare to do it and Jesus "permits" it - Jesus refutes Martha's criticism and says, "she has chosen it and it shall not be denied her" - he defends it.

Mary's premier place at Jesus' feet was reserved for the scholars, siciples (read men)that would customarily gather with Jesus in the "parlor" while dinner was being prepared(by the women). Not just any men but only those who had been accepted into his tutelage, his circle of learning.

I am suspecting that most adult Catholics (that would include young adults) do not see themselves as called, welcomed, or entitled to the role of disciple. Members, maybe. Servants, possibly. Spectators or casual observers, probably. But disciples in the inner circle of the Master Jesus - that is for someone else.

This Gospel text and the scene from the book of Genesis in the first reading are repeating the message to all of us that God is accessible and that we are called to intimacy "at his feet." We cannot excuse ourseles from or criticize others for assuming that intimate posture within the circle of God's love and life.

This time of renewal of our parish ministries is a perfect time for us to re-evaluate where we are in the picture? Are we comfortable with the role of disciple, sitting close to the heart of God? Are we a reluctant observer of religion - it's just not for me? Are we jealous of others thinking that somehow we are not welcomed?

The truth is that we are all not only welcomed but called - universal discipleship and we need to get into the picture.

End of Life - The Third Thursday "Chat" at St. Albert

This "Third Thursday's Conversations in Faith" from St. Albert parish has been recorded and is available in the Estok Homily Library>>> (July 15, 2010)

The topic was "The End of Your Life" and the teaching of the Church on euthanasia. Some Catholics are overly concerned with the burden of their final illness. Finding meaning and value in the suffering death of loved ones is not easy. The Church comes to our "rescue".