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Get into the ring! How this works...

This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my 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 9, 2012

March 11 Prep

-Last week's homily is available by email
-This week's scriptures are available at USCCB.org
-I am preaching at the 4:00pm, 8:00 and 9:30 am Masses

Pixelation! A problem of imagining

All the buzz in the technology world is the rolling out of the New iPad. And the buzz on the New iPad is the retina screen - which I understand means a lot more pixels per inch(points of light and color) that go into the quality of the picture on the screen. Remember in the days we used to worry about dpi's: dots per inch on our matrix printers.

Pixels are electronic dots of color and light that make the images we see on our screens either duller or clearer. The secret of pixels is that the more pixels, points of light, that we put in a square inch of the screen, the richer the image is that we see. Pixels are really invisible, if you know what I mean....we don't see the individual pixels unless there's a problem. When pixels start breaking up, we call that pixelation.

Pixelation is that crazy, choppy, blocky, jerky, thing that happens on the screen that we're looking at. And we can no longer see the image but the difficult pieces that make it up.

The cross of Jesus Christ is the troubling and distracting piece of the self image that God is proposing to the world. For the Jews, they are looking for religious sign, and the Greeks they look for reasonable argument - the cross is stumbling stone and foolishness, weakness, and defeat.

So, the message of St. Paul and of lent for us may be that what we are looking for from God may have everything to do with what it is we find. What I mean is that many Christians look at life in the world, in the family, in the parish, in the marriage, and see only sadness, human conflict, boring ritual, oppressive teaching, emptiness and pain. They may be concluded that the Christian life therefore is not for them, it is not meaningful, it is not the answer or purpose of their lives.

What St. Paul might say to us is, "stop and ask what it is that we were looking for from the life of faith. What did we expect to find in the Christian life? Was that what God had promised?

The cross is the disturbing revelation of the manner by which God is going to save the world.....and we can't see it. Self-sacrificing love really blurs the vision of worldly-oriented eyes. If we are coming to religion so that we can win in the world - then we are going to be pretty disturb, confused, and disinterested in the religion of Jesus.

However, if we are converted to Jesus' religion, the golden rule, the downward mobility of holiness - then the crucified God comes into perfect focus.. We see and then we're saved.

3 comments:

Steve Finnell said...

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anon 1 said...

That phrase – “the downward mobility of holiness” – stood out for me. One would typically think of holiness as an “upward mobility,” I think; but when I remember Paul’s additional words from 2 Corinthians, that he could boast of his weakness so that the power of Christ could dwell in him, I am reminded again about the “contradiction” of the cross.

It is the only “way” that does make sense out of life – that gives it full meaning. The worldly view, with its focus on success measured by money and power, has short-lived pleasure that can lure a person into its pursuit – but only to come up unfulfilled again in the end. “The power of God and the wisdom of God” is the real goal through Christ – the only “way” to find assured meaning and purpose.

JoyFuralle said...

I like the direction you're going. I know this is not your entire homily, and I'm hoping the last two paragraphs are developed further, explained more. Sometimes I have to hold myself back from saying, "What did you say?" or "Say that again?!"

You're talking a lot about "seeing". Love this line...
Self-sacrificing love really blurs the vision of worldly-oriented eyes. When I first read it, I read right past it. Woah, back up! That's a HUGE statement definitely worth a repeat!

I always questioned what is self-sacrificing love...and do I have that? For myself, I'm just now realizing that self-sacrificing love costs me something. Every time. It always has, it's just that now I'm seeing it. And just recently self-sacrificing love has cost me my time, my energy, disturbing feelings & emotions, my prayer, my finances, my tears...my all. And the Lord gave me all those things so that I could give them back to Him. Self-sacrificing love ALWAYS costs something, it cost Jesus His Life. I get it, I see!!! Self-sacrificing love also brings peace and joy, I think those are signs of true self-sacrificing love and not just enduring it till it's done.

I agree with Anon 1 about the downward mobility. Downward mobility is what gets saved and raised! Lines worth repeating and explaining further, Father.