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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, May 13, 2011

May 15th - Good Shepherd Sunday

-last week's homily is not easily found by some. Here is the link
-the Scriptures for Sunday are at>
-I am preaching at 4:00, 8:00, and 9:30 Masses

The Gate

On a Sunday which is typically celebrated as "priesthood Sunday" or World Day of Prayer for Vocations, the image of Jesus as the gate captured my attention. The most revolutionary thought I might have is that Jesus is NOT gate or door as we imagine these barriers. Even the Pearly Gate is imagined as a barrier.

Jesus is gate or door in the sense of "way" - thus "gateway" or "doorway". This is in contrast to the Pharisees who, in just the previous scene, have "barred" the man born blind from the synagogue. Rather than gateway or shepherd, the Pharisee is barrier and bouncer.

So, as was the sheep guarding practice of ancient palestine, Jesus lies in the gateway, making himself the principal path, the way, the conduit, the viaduct between sheepfold and green pastures of life (read: ourselves and the life-giving springs of communion).

Jesus Christ as sheep gate, priest, and lamb of sacrifice has placed himself between (mediatrix) God and humanity, reconciling us to the Father IN Himself. Priesthood is mediation! His priesthood lasts forever and he shares that priestly mission with the baptized, but in a special way with our consecrated priests. It is a noble goal and a humbling privilege to lay down one's life in the church as the gateway of grace, salvation, and reconciliation so that others (Jesus and souls) might traverse upon us - ecclesial doormats. The priesthood is encounter place, the way, the rendezvous for Jesus and souls. Thank God for priests.

It is of course a sad and serious temptation to assume that priestly position as pathway and usher of grace and then turn it into a barrier or become a bouncer in an material human reality called church! Ouch, Pharisee. Have mercy on us.

So, passing through the gate of grace and reconciliation is not a one-time is a perpetual care plan. Priesthood( of Jesus and in the ordained office) is the role and function of mediation. For our souls must constantly and continuously enter into unity with Jesus as a way of walking through the gate. Be united with Christ and in Him pass through to communion in eternal life! There is no other way!