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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, December 16, 2011

Advent 4 Prep -12/18/2011

-Last week's homily is available by email request
-This week's Scriptures are at>
-I am preaching at the 5:30 and 8:00am Masses

A House: our humanity

The entire first reading centers upon the notion of house. It begins with the consideration of the physical shelter of house as in tent or temple and it moves to the consideration of "dynasty" of David. This is an interesting connection to the Christmas mystery we are preparing to celebrate.

John's gospel uses the term "pitched his tent among us" which we translate as "dwelt". Mary is often considered the tabernacle or arc of the covenant, the container or house of Jesus' incarnation. While Jesus is known to us in the Eucharist as "bread of life" he is said to have been born in Bethlehem, which means literally "house of bread". And of course he was "laid in a manger (feeding trough) because there was no room for them at the inn." Jesus in John's Gospel promises that the Holy Spirit will make a dwelling place for the Father and the Son "with you".

Mary conceives of Jesus in her womb as a member of the household of David and she does so as a member of the household of God, the human creatures made in God's likeness.. She stands at that moment with her "fiat" as the gatekeeper on the household of humanity, God's house...human life!

God does not simply "enter the world" for a temporary journey through the pure womb of the Virgin Mary, God re-unites Divinity with humanity once again my and establishes my humanity as His household, a dwelling place secure. Or is it?

I am thinking that, from the beginning we have wandered away from that humanity and from God. We're not very good at sticking close to home(cfr: Adam and Eve). In our "material self-fullment" misunderstanding of what it means to be human, we are far from home. That's where God is -Emmanuel.

How human are you? How human is your family life? How human is your work life? How human is your experience of healthcare, for example? The economy? The church? How inhuman? How ungodly!

To find Jesus this Christmas...maybe we need to get back our human lives. That's where HE is, Emmanuel!


Anonymous said...

Please, let me know if I am understanding the meaning of this pre-homily.

If God created me in his image, I am his humanity. My heart and his heart are "Shelters" for each other. He is in me all the time, but I may wonder away to another place for my own convenience and close my shelter for a while to him. At this point I think I become inhuman in my spiritual sense.
I was thinking in the best way to go back to Jesus humanity and find my new self again.
PRAYER..As I learned from Matthew 6:6, I go into my private room- shelter/ heart- I "close" the door and there I pray to my Father in secret, and my Father that sees me in secret will reward me.
I believe the reward of prayer will be an incredible intimacy in HIS SHELTER that will be relaxed, tender and affectionate, humanity at its best.
Merry Xmas.

JoyFuralle said...

Loved "Respect Life" October, great insights into being human. We forget for most of our lives that we (and all those around us!)are created in the image of God.

By way of comparison, I think of how many things we do that are cultural for the Christmas holiday yet do not add an iota of good for our well-being in Christ. I'm just realizing it! The image of God and Jesus become obscure amidst decorating, shopping, baking and the like. Talk about wandering away!

I love when you question us, Father, when you stir our hearts & minds. So when you ask, "How human are you?" I think you have to give more info for those of us who might answer automatically or those who dismiss the question.

One can seem very human to have a family meal daily, yet conversation is not more than surface talk because of being preoccupied in mind. Saw an acronym for "busy" .. Being Under satan's Yoke. Being busy is not human, fullness of joy is.

anon 1 said...

I like where the Matador’s questions take us, too. In reading this reflection, I am taken to thinking about opening myself up to God dwelling within me – which in turn allows me to dwell in and among others through Him. Sometimes it is hard to be present – to really dwell where and with that which is present at the very moment. And as Matador pointed out – the created reality that calls out to me for my charity and participation includes issues and causes, too. So not only do I need to think about being present to my family, but do I tend to “the systems” around me – treating them as dear to me – since they too have become part of this created world? It is a good and challenging reflection about the deep meaning of the Incarnation.

JoyFuralle said...

Just found a stat that goes with, "How inhuman? How ungodly!"

I heard that more American servicepeople died of suicide than of hostile action last year. Very awful, but it's true, see

The effects of war & violence takes its toll, as do the effects of lack of love & self-centeredness.

Anonymous said...

the Christmas season, how timely this mention of suicide at it's highest rate. What could possibly bring one to lose sight, hope in what the Christmas season represents.. the coming of the new world. Jesus Christ is the perfect one, fully human, fully God. He is the way, the truth and the life. Sounds so good… how close can one come to that?... loving the way Christ did… that self-sacrificing love. God is present here among us, not IN everything, but definitely passing through and I think there’s a place, a point, somewhere in there when one can be blessed with that moment of grace to see what this world is… seeing the truth of where one is really at… not wanting to be a part of the inhuman and un-godly stuck somewhere between Heaven and Earth. Is that where those people are.. some to be lost in the inability to push through it becoming witness of self-sacrificial love. I think so.