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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, April 8, 2011

April 10th - Lent V

-The homily from April 3 is in the library->
-the scriptures for Lent V are at>
-I am preaching at the 8:00am and 9:30am Masses on Sunday 4/10


In the years that I served as an emcee for the bishop I was always training young servers for big liturgies. Somewhere in that instruction I would say "today we are going to use the first definition of the word 'now'. When I say "now" to you about some task I mean now, immediately, right away, this moment.".

The instruction generally would make them smile but it alerted them to the mode of operating for the task at hand. Jesus' conversation with Martha outside the tomb of her very dead brother is missing the word "now" but the definition of "now" is implied and essential to the mystery of who Jesus is and what faith is all about.

Martha says " Yes, Lord, I know he will the resurrection on the last day." Jesus then gives her the "now" instructions..."I AM the resurrection". NOW!

There's obviously at least two ways to believe in the resurrection: for then or NOW. I am thinking that this is the heart of St. Paul's instruction to the in the flesh or in the Spirit. There must be disciples of Jesus living in the flesh (delayed resurrection) and those living in the Spirit (NOW).

In theology class we refer to some of this as "already but not yet" meaning that, while something is real for us, it is not yet complete. I think I and too many disciples of Jesus are straddling the time divide: thinking that we are living His life already with and in the Spirit, but really we are walking dead men in the "not yet" attitudes of the flesh.

What is a not yet attitude of the flesh? Yep, fear, sadness, and anger(see "Martha"). How many disciples spend how much energy and religious capital justifying sadness, fear, and anger. When we do that, we are if you will, dead in the water (baptismal water, that is). We really don't believe in the Jesus who is resurrection and life NOW. Or do we?


Anonymous said...

Matador, I cannot find the April 3 homily in the library. Are you sure it's there?

Kuhler Van Thee said...

I love that description of NOW and the challenging question about believing in the Jesus who is resurrection and life NOW. I think for myself it would be honest to say that I work my way back and forth between the two – between the NOW and “not yet attitude.”

Just about a week ago I had a challenging “of this world” experience – with a traffic cop, no less. I admit I was at fault, and he was quite kind and patient about it. And through the whole thing, as I had time to sit and ponder it in my car while he sat to write in his (ugh), I was amazed that I wasn’t upset. I found instead that I was admitting to myself that I was wrong and that I needed to correct my bad habits (!*?*!*); but outside of that I was at peace – and wondered about it. My conclusion was that it had to be related at least in some way to the amount of quality time I’d had for Mass and in prayer lately – more than is typically the case. I do believe if we are fully present at those times and allow God to be at work in us, we change little by little – learning to live in the NOW little by little, too, where we can most find God – in company with a traffic cop or not. Yet, it is easy enough to slip back out of that – back into the flesh – where I am more defined by earthly concerns.

The journey continues – but I am attempting to take it a little slower. :-)

Tom said...

This week at the Lenten Bible study you ( Fr.E) spoke about people who use the title Catholic because they have "papers" but do not have faith and Catholic beliefs. It strikes me that many of these people, who may at some latter date usually when in crisis or dying, decide that Now means when they want it to be Now. When it is convenient. They think that they can "get religion" when they need it. They may even at that stage regret much, endorse the Catholic beliefs, and repent. The sadness here is all of the life that they have wasted because they decide now meant latter. For many people now never occurs because they become so distant and self reliant that they can never surrender to the Savior and accept His death as an atonement for their sins. I am thankful that I do believe that now means now.

JoyFuralle said...

I find it eye-opening that you had to define what "now" means to the servers. Makes me realize what I think and what others think about the same thing can be very different.

Love the pointers you give of what is NOT now, of what is "not yet"...fear, sadness, anger. Do you think as we grow in love living the NOW becomes more subtle and refined? And also, as we grow the red flags/pointers become more subtle? I just recognized this, but I think I knew it all along. Instead of fear, sadness, anger, there might be an unsettled feeling, a niggling or nagging, teeny tiny undercurrent that can easily pass unnoticed for a very long time. I assume to be in the NOW we have to be attentive...NOW!

Anonymous said...

Is there any any relationship beteween the NOW you are mentioning in your comments and the Present Moment?

Anonymous said... know this well...YES! They are one in the same!