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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, March 18, 2011

March 20 - Lent II, the Transfiguration

Pain at the heart of glory!
-The homily from last Sunday is in the Library->
-The scriptures for this week are at>
-I am preaching at the Saturday 5:30 Mass and the Sunday 11:00am Mass

I am most encouraged and captured by Paul's words to Timothy from this week's second reading: "Beloved: Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God." Enduring suffering for the sake of the gospel opens or gives the apostle access to the power of salvation, grace.

We see this similar truth taught in the Gospel of St. Matthew this Sunday. The transfiguration of Ch 17 is  a remedy to the scandal of the cross that has been revealed to the disciples at the end of Ch 16. Together with Paul's admonition to Timothy this says that bearing the suffering for the gospel (the cross) is necessary portion of bearing the glory of the Kingdom. in fact there is no glory of salvation and eternal life but through the "access code" of the cross/suffering.

My continuing reflection upon the Mass Lent leads me to see that the gift of the Eucharist similarly preceded, anticipated, and interpreted for the apostles the agony of the cross. The scandal of the cross is made meaningful and useful for all the disciples of Jesus unto today. The grace of the Eucharist is precisely the power to bear with or see through life's hardships from the position or reality of the joy and glory of Jesus' triumph over death and the gift of eternal life. 

Jesus Last Supper (eucharisitic) advice to his apostles and all of us: Don't be scandalize (torn away from God), do not misunderstand the agony of human hatred, sin, and death(the crucifixion). See through it as a door to real life, joy, and peace of the Kingdom.

Does this make sense to your faith journey in life?


tom said...

my thoughts - The beauty, in my experience,of the Mass and Holy Eucharist is that we relive, are participants in, the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The minor sufferings that we endure during "life's activities" can not even begin to move us close enough to Christ's agony. We never have died for others like Our Lord as He became our Passover Lamb. He endured what I deserved so we can never really approach the depth of pain and suffering which Christ bore. We even know how the story ends yet sometimes are so reluctant to embrace our sufferings, or understand our pain. It appears to me that the great saints understood that these sufferings did indeed bring them closer to Christ's Passion. Suffering to me is to empty myself of "life's clutter" and focus on the Cross.Suffering is a cleansing of one's self and one's will while surrendering to God's will.Lent is a most beautiful time to understand the fulfillment of God's plan and the humanity and suffering of Our Lord and the risen Christ. I think I rambled..

anon 1 said...

Yes, in fact I think I would even broaden the statement and say this makes great sense out of my life! As my faith grows deeper and I realize the necessity of dying to self that was discussed in the prior week’s blog, I have a greater awareness and acceptance of the call to carry the cross. And, as the Matador describes, the knowledge and belief of the fullness of the Paschal Mystery (that is, including the resurrection and glorification of our Savior) is what makes the agony of the cross not only bearable but acceptable. As time goes on, I become more and more confident of the goodness in struggling with my weaknesses and the hardships in life for the sake of the Kingdom. Like Peter, I too would like to dwell longer where the glory is evident and the burden not felt. “It is good that we are here – can’t we stay a little longer?” But it’s Jesus who pushes us back down the mountain, reminding us that we too are here to do the will of the Father if we are serious about returning to Him one day. It is such a gift that He prods us on, and that He went before us to show us the way.

Anonymous said...

Suffering as Jesus did up in his cross involved a very conscious experience of pain.
His sacrifice for all of us is an attitude that we must imitate in our activities of daily living doing for others.
By embracing His cross we can purify/transform ourselves and grow more in His love. We must die to ourselves daily and rise again, as we mentioned many times in this blog.
As a new person we can bear suffering with humility and more important consenting to our ABBA.
At this time of Lent I imagine often myself helping Jesus with his cross... his cross is heavy! I am weak! the end he helps me more than I can help him.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself helping Him with the Cros.... it is an awesome thought. Gitana