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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, February 24, 2012

Can You Be Happy With God?

-Last week's homily is available by email
-The Scriptures for this Sunday are at >>
-I will be introducing the Lenten Mission at all Masses this weekend (pray for me)

Drive(driv) vt, 1. to force to go; urge onward; push forward

Mr. Webster's first definition of the word "drive" is at the beginning, the heart, and the base of the Christian life.  I have come to this conclusion from this portion of Mark's Gospel, Chapter 1, in which we are told that following the baptismal experience of the Spirit.... "The Spirit drove Jesus into the desert.".  Think about that.  Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, is subject to the Spirit.  The Spirit moves him and he is subject to the Spirit.  Is that same Spirit the driving force of our lives, our church, our family, our parish?

What drives you? be driven. To go, urge,

The text then reveals that this same Jesus, who is Lord and Master of the Christian life, encountered other and contrary forces that attempt to "drive" him.  In this immediate case, Satan.  Jesus, of course, remains close to the angels of God and he demonstrates to his disciples that we can and must choose which powers, motivations, desires, compunctions, temptations we will submit ourselves to.

What drives you? be driven. To go, urge,

 That's, "Good News"!  Kind of.  What I mean is that Jesus (and we his disciples) are beloved children of God with whom God is apparently well-pleased...happy with us and we with God.  God's desire for us is our happiness....walking under his wings, "ever near to His side" (seasonal responsorial psalm).  This is NOT so Good News inasmuch as we are free and we are tempted to submit to "other" powers as our driving force.  Since Adam and Eve - the temptation has been there, Jesus showed us the "path to life" (seasonal responsorial psalm). 

What drives you? be driven. To go, urge,

Our lifelong call is to continuously submit to the Spirit as the driving force in our lives, that we may "walk ever joyful"  (seasonal responsorial psalm) clinging to the hand of God.  Happiness is God's desire for us - too often we choose to follow those forces that bring us nothing but ultimate unhappiness.  

What drives you?  

Our Parish Lenten Mission 2012 begins this Sunday evening at 7:00pm and we will spend three evenings reflecting upon this call to happiness with the Lord and how the Spirit might more and more be the driving force of our lives.  Mr. Jim Berlucchi will preach and teach, we will have wonderful prayer, and even enjoy the growing spirit of friendship among us through some social time.  

I urge you, prompt you, tempt you, dare you, to allow the Spirit to drive you to our Lenten Mission this year.  What are you driven to do the next three nights?  Come and be free!


JoyFuralle said...

Just realized something . . .huh! And of course I read this three times so it takes me longer! You & your “drive, force, urge onward, push forward”. It took me that many words & reading it over & over to THINK, to REALIZE! I’ve just realized how many times I am on “automatic pilot” to do good because of good past decisions. All well and good, but “automatic pilot”, cruise control, if you will, is not an active & fully engaged state of body, mind & spirit. Cruise control doesn’t have me realize that terrain changes, speeds change, weather conditions, etc. Yikes!!!

When you ended with, “Come and be free” it really struck me in a NEW way. And you use the word “free” often; and each time it SHOULD BE different! FREE means to be present to the Lord in the moment and circumstances at hand. FREE means to use every means – EVERY MEANS -- to respond to God, to give, to love! Free means to be active, alive, ready, attentive . . . reminds me of “full & active participation in the Eucharist”. W-O-W . . . all Glory to God . . . WOW!!!

Tom Sawyer said...

"allow the Spirit to drive you". It is a daily choice. It is a surrender to His Holy Spirit. I must submit my life and chose to allow Him to live through me in all my thoughts, words and actions. It is a conscious decision that I must make while being tempted by "the world" and the deceiver.I realize every day that it must not be my will but God's Spirit living in me that I allow to drive me closer to the Cross and my savior. I realize that success is helping to draw all people to true life in Christ is our purpose and what should drive us. Not what we want but what is God's plan should be the driving force in our daily lives. Drive to sacrifice, drive to worship, drive to allow Christ's love into our hearts.

anon 1 said...

I don’t know that I ever read that line so intently as now (being driven there by the Matador, of course), “The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert….” And I realize now that it was with that intensity that Jesus prayed – he was absolutely driven to it. Nothing could stop him or keep him from that time spent with his Father. Sometimes I do feel desperate to pray – usually in time of need or suffering; but for Jesus we see that it was a way of life. What a good pattern to set for myself this Lent, and onward – developing the urge and the push to pray with the devotion that Jesus did; to become more attuned to the Spirit so as to be driven to that which God calls me. Sounds like a perfect Lenten Mission to get a person headed in that direction.