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Get into the ring! How this works...

This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my 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, September 29, 2011

The 27th Sunday of the Year - October 2

-Last week's homily is available by request at .. frete@saint-albert.org
-The Scriptures for this Sunday are at USCCB.org >
-I am preaching at the 9:30 and 11:00am Masses

Are you INTO Jesus?

In the 80's maybe there was an expression among the really hip people that went something like this..."I am really into....blank."  Whatever the blank is was the thing that someone was really enthusiastic about, really interested in, or really preoccupied with.  What are you INTO?

Girls really used to be "INTO" their boyfriend.  Guys were really "INTO" drag racing.  Young professionals were INTO herb tea, vegetarianism, or jogging.  Being "INTO" something denotes more than simple interest or a casual hobby.  So, while the word "into" would be a preposition indicating location or action - the use of "into" in this way was meant to indicate "devotion or dedication" of a more serious kind.

St. Paul calls us to get "INTO" Christ Jesus.  Not in a casual or human interest way, but "INTO" Him.  His call indicates an intensity and a participation IN Christ Jesus to the extent that it is not accidental but substantial commitment, involvement, purpose.

Anxiety, or fear, is the enemy of "INTO".  For people of faith, fear is the killer of relationship with God.  I know that our first answer ew might give to the question "what kills your relationship with God?" is sin.  And that is true.  But fear is the innocent opposition to God.

Do you see fear/anxiety/worry as separating you from the love of God?  Tell me about that.

4 comments:

anon 1 said...

A couple of years ago, after the death of her mother, one of my best friends who has been single all her life told me that her greatest fear is dying alone. Now, within the last 2 weeks, she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and faces surgery in just a few days. She was baptized Catholic but hasn’t attended Mass in a very long time. Since her diagnosis, she continually asks me to pray for her. I assure her I will, but I also gently encourage her to do the same. “But,” her response is, “you have a connection.”
I have noticed that those who DON’T attend church typically have this belief about those of us who DO attend church – “they’re connected – but we’re not.” I am wondering if what is really driving this reaction from them is fear. Are they afraid that because they have not fostered a relationship with God, and perhaps in addition they are concerned that because of the unconfessed sinfulness of their past (as I think may be the case with my friend), they are totally alienated from our loving God? But in fact, those of us who are “connected” know God longs for nothing more than to hear from them – for them to respond to his call to be “into” Him. I think that perhaps fear paralyzes a relationship more than anything else. At least anger keeps the lines of communication open – but fear shuts everything down and closes us up. The good news is, God’s longing never ends. Those of us who are “connected” just need to pray we ALL open ourselves up to His loving invitation.

Jim said...

Yes, I do see fear, anxiety, worry, etc, sometimes separating me from the love of God. It is exactly at those times that I should know his love for me and have faith that he will be with me and see me through whatever it is that I was worried about.

For some reason though, doubt sometimes creeps in. It seems to happen more often for me, those times that I have been "too busy" to take time to pray and stay in touch with God. I have found the more often I pray and look for God's love and grace, the less often I am bothered by fear, worry and anxiety.

So, I have to agree with you about getting "into" Jesus. When I commit myself to him and include him in everything I do, there is no reason for fear or anxiety.

Anonymous said...

Testing. It works :)

Dave said...

I would completely agree that anxiety pulls apart our relationship with God. It opposes our faith in God and also our trust in His love and his will for us.

Something to think about is how we "handle" anxiety. It seems that most people commonly use the term "coping" with anxiety - as if its a reality that can never be eliminated. Maybe in the Christian sense we can look to something much greater? A true elimination of anxiety through Christ's love. The greater our faith the smaller our anxiety- they seem to be directly related.