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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, December 22, 2011

Christmas 2011

-last weeks homily is available by email
-scriptures for Christmas masses available at
-I am preaching at 4:00 (up), 10pm and 9:30am Masses

He "tented" among us

I am using the Gospel of John at all the Masses I'm preaching. I am planning to raise the question as to whether or not we have shown up where God has come to dwell -at home in our most human living. God has come to inhabit our lives no matter where we choose to live them. The tent was a shelter that the people of God used in the desert as the wandered. God came and found them in the worst of circumstances. He not only found them but he joined them "in a tent". God is not afraid to get down and inhabit our human lives. Wherever we might be.

But we don't believe God will do it for us. Let's face it, so much of life in the world is lived on a base, material, empty level. Preachers like me can even be heard to say that we walk away from God in choosing such lives. However, God's message to us is that he has come as savior, redeemer, one born into our empty lives...and he comes to find us there, where we've walked away. He is mercy incarnate: Hesed in Hebrew.

Do you think that most people are feeling distant from God because of the complications of their lives? Do you think they would be challenged to see with faith that God has come "there" to get them? God would stoop to my level? ....oh yes He does. God behind enemy lines, stealing captives in exiles and carrying them back home!


John said...

Come Emanual! O God-with-us. God is in the details evidenced by a softened heart caused by the details -- smiles and good tidings, the wonder of a child, our own childhood memories of Christmas, random acts of kindness, remembering our deceased love ones, buying a special gift for a loved one and the surprise it brings, sing-along Christmas caroling, a Christmas classic that brings a tear to eye. Details and complications that soften the heart and remind us that we are all too human. O Emanual.

anon 1 said...

I think it is hard to truly wrap our minds around the notion that God dwells within each one of us. But as I reflected on it through the day I began to realize that it is this very mystery that makes it possible for us to talk about “loving ourselves” (love your neighbor as yourself…). Probably more often than not we can get caught up in the disbelief that “God would stoop to my level.” But I would guess most of us can remember times of “a sense” of the transcendent – maybe it was an experience in nature, such as a sunset or a warm gentle breeze; or a special time with family and loved ones; or an exceptional moment in prayer. When those occurrences happen we may be tempted to “see” it as an experience with God out there – in a distant heaven. But because of Christmas, because God dwells within us, we can begin to understand those moments as reminders of God’s communion with us – God being with us, in us, a part of our souls. And this reflection from the Matador reminds me that God is dwelling within me always – not only in those special moments of consolation, but also in difficult moments when even I may not want to be around me! It is what makes “loving myself” reasonable – and an act of faith.

JoyFuralle said...

This is so, so bold a statement, so far from the sentimentality and mush of the little baby/stable fable we have made Jesus that me-thinks you should be wearing camel hair & a leather belt! I'm praying it is heard.

God in the mess of our politicians??? Why, they're a bunch of hypocrites and thieves!!! God in the mess of my neighbors? This guy, he's living with different people and women come & go! God in the mess of my family where "Catholic" takes on whatever meaning that works for them??? God in the mess of the guy down the street who is listed as a sex offender??? Outrageous!!! God in the mess of my life??? Yes, yes, yes!!! God's Love and Presence IS TOTALLY outrageous!!!

God does GREAT things with messes, and I'm eternally grateful he pursues/pursued me! That's why I love the Altar at St. Albert's so much...Christ is carrying us whether we realize or not.

I googled "definition hesed", wow, that was a lesson in itself, what an incredible God.

Anonymous said...

After 20 years being lost in a world without HIM, he persued me too, big time.
It is easy to be lost again, but I am learning to listen, and I listen better when I am in silence listening with the ears of my heart.
Baby Jesus brough salvation to me at least I am trying to do my best.