Search This Blog

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, March 2, 2012

Any Hope Out There?

-Last weeks homily available by email
-This weeks Scriptures available at >
-I am preaching at the 9:30 and 12:30 Masses on Sunday

Anything to be hopeful about?

In our parish lenten mission we were encouraged to understand our journey to God as being lived on four tracks...bodily gratification, ego-satisfaction, care for others, and communion with God. We have to get to God on all four tracks. And, of course, God has not left us alone to make this journey....he has planted his very self at the core of our being. So, we begin with the end in mind.

This presence of God is understood as grace and it is grown in us through virtue. We need the grace and we must build the virtues because the journey to God or holiness is tough. Jesus explained this to his disciples....about the cross and all - and he knew they were "feeling it". What does "feeling" the harshness of the human journey to God mean? Hopelessness!

So, he is transfigured before them. What? He is revealed to them as 1. God and 2. With them! Emmanuel! Well now that's precisely what they needed: to be reminded that in the challenge of human life - the Lord is with us as love, light and life. That's hope. Hope is a principal feature of fortitude. Fortitude is one of the cardinal virtues and is best understood as courage. Foritude is associated with level two and three happiness (ego-satisfaction and caring for others above). So, when we are feeling discouraged, failed, unloved or appreciated, weary in the long struggle of loving others - we need fortitude and it's friend HOPE.

So, regardless of how hopeless things appear, be strong, have faith, see things as they truly are, God is with us, Emmanuel....hope.

Does that make any difference to your difficulty at the moment?


Anonymous said...

I am always amazed at how God gives me what I need at just the right time.
When I am bogged down with doubts, fears even feeling a little sorry for myself ...HE puts answers before me.
Your prep is just what I needed to read. This is a keeper. Thankyou Father.

Tom Sawyer said...

Hope is not a wish but a promise from God, a covenant. Hope is truth. Jesus is my Lord and Savior and no matter what happens in this world I am a new creature in His kingdom which is His church on earth that will be transformed into life everlasting. The glory revealed is what we will witness and be part of as His select. Do not worry, Do not be afraid, watch and be prepared are the paths toward a deeper realization of the promise and glory. It is level 4 without any regard to levels 1-3. We strive for that perfection which only Christ was able to achieve in His perfection.

anon 1 said...

I am currently reading Julian of Norwich and can't help but make connection between the Matador's reflection and what I am reading. Julian saw all of life through the lens of certainty of a loving God.

In her writings she reminds us that God is always the one initiating, loving, inviting - and in knowing that, we can in fact remain HOPEful. Even when we are desolate, "our Lord God is following us, helping our desire." She maintains that in our darkest hour we must believe in the hidden working of the godly will in us, even when (especially when) our own will seems to be failing, because of the "great desire which the soul has to see God."

So we must assuredly hold onto hope, for "you would not seek me, had you not already found me." Isn't that true?

JoyFuralle said...

Good, good stuff, blessed be God!

One thing that I love that you do, Father, is to empathize with our hardships and heartaches and problems and put them in proper perspective. The examples of our difficulties allow people to relate more to the message, to Christ.

Something I don't think people understand. . . this doesn't come all at once, these things . . . perseverence is part of it...Abraham didn't become the Father of Faith at his birth, but through believing with hope, with fortitude... and perseverence.

Faith said...

I read the Matador's reflection last night, and this morning I was reminded of it when I awoke and said my daily morning prayer before my feet hit the floor. This routine is similar to what Gitana (I think) wrote about in a previous reflection. It's a way to consecrate the day to God - and seek his help, knowing of my own limitations. This is something I've been praying for years, but when I said it this morning, the word "fortitude" stood out for me:

O Lord,
I give you this day; I give you my life.
I give it to you - and the Body of Christ.
Grant me the wisdom to know your will,
the fortitude to live it,
and the grace to do so
with joy, humility, endless love, and patience.

Anonymous said...

Very consoling to me the Prayer of JABEZ, Chronicles 4:9-10.
"Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain." So God granted him what he requested."
The last phrase of The Matador comments gave me a lot of reflection during this weekend.
I WANT to de DEPENDENT on God, and be free to ask for His blessings, I want to serve Him in a humble way, I want to change and imitate Him.
I need His help at this moment, He is giving it to me. Thank you Lord!!