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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, April 20, 2012

April 22-Third Sunday of Easter prep

-Last week's Homily available by email
-Scriptures for this Sunday available at>>>
-I am preaching at the 8 AM and the 12:30 PM mass on Sunday

The devil is in the details!

Can you imagine a young couple falling in love with their perfect house, their dream home? They fall in love with it and they cannot imagine living in some other house-they have to have it! They go ahead to the bank, do the the loan application, and they get approved for their loan. The years begin to unfold month by month and the couple realizes what is actually involved in home ownership: a morgage payment, taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, yardwork, repairs, remodeling, new furniture, baby's room,…

Sooner rather than later, they come to realize that the "idea" of living in their ideal home, the "notion" of their dream house, is a far cry and a distant journey from the actual "reality" of home ownership. If they are going to survive they have to do two things: hang on to the dream AND stick to the day-by-day implementation of their possession. It is in that two-pronged approach to home ownership where the devil lurks.

I am using this imagery of the dream of home ownership versus owning your own home as a metaphor for the difference between believing and understanding, according to the Scriptures. Jesus again is recorded to have opened their minds to understanding the Scriptures. This means or indicates that believing, "having faith", in the fact that "Jesus miraculously triumphed over death and grave and is risen from the dead" is not the full story of faith in our Christian religion. Believing that Jesus was raised from the dead is much different than understanding what God's Word and good news means in our lives, our real lives, our daily human complicated, difficult lives. In fact, the point and the purpose of the gift of faith is to transform our minds into understanding the mind of God and thus "conform" our living to the pattern of his cross.

The devil and the details that are troubling in this regard is that often times for many of us our religion, our faith, has been handed to us as simply a dream-like proposal, a miracle about a future reality, that is supposed to comfort and encourage us to be good - but it has no understanding built into it. To the well-educated contemporary mind this religion appears to be simply an irrational, emotional and disconnected fantasy far from the real world. The stuff that only children and grandmas can get excited about(oh, and there are the fanatics who are crazy about Jesus).

Do we have a faith that simply tells us that "with God everything will be alright in heaven on the last day"? Or do we have the gift of faith, the gift of resurrected life, that is an instrument of God for the opening of our mind to the truth that God intends for us to have and to know and to live in our daily lives? Don't we have faith so that we can figure out our human life in God?

Good question Lord!


JoyFuralle said...

O M G ! ! ! OMG!!! Right there... "Don't we have faith so that we can figure out our HUMAN life in God?" Restated, We have faith to figure out our HUMAN life in God. OMG!!! You know how one domino falling will all of a sudden cause the chain reaction in an intricate pattern of dominoes to fall???

The devil IS in the details. What is the PURPOSE of a house? A place to live, to grow in faith and grace. It's PRIME PURPOSE is not to make me feel good or holy or pious or devout or whatever... SAME WITH PRAYER... what is the PURPOSE? It's not to make me feel good or holy or pious or devout or whatever ... it's to be strengthened to do the Will of the Father! What is the PURPOSE of a brand-new vehicle with all the newest gadgets? Will it help me to do the Will of the Father? What is the PURPOSE of belonging to this Parish? It's not to feel good or holy or pious about the place or what I'm involved in or how good the preaching is. It's to be strengthened to do the Will of the Father!!! OMG!! PURPOSE!!! What is the PURPOSE of Faith?

So...the more we are strengthened to do the Will of the Father, we TRULY repent (we don't keep doing the same sins over & over & lament over it, we REPENT!) . . . we keep the commandments . . . so, so, so that . . . THE LOVE OF GOD CAN BE GROWN IN that we can pour out OUR lives because it is HIS life!!! So that when tragedy happens, we stay nailed to the cross, we don't run. On & on, OMG!!!

Faith said...

I like the distinction being made - of the "dream-like proposal, a miracle about a future reality" vs. "transforming our minds into understanding the mind of God and conforming our living to the pattern of his cross." With finding our own lives in the stories of Scripture, and joining our own daily sacrifices and will with that of Jesus at the Eucharistic Liturgy, we are able to make the connection with the "mind of God" - here and now. It makes it possible to have experience of the kingdom present in our midst, when we can see it through, with, and in Jesus. I think that when we are able to go about life that way - in a way that empties ourselves for other people - we come closer to being able to say "I know him."