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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 27, 2012

April 29 Homily Prep

-last Sunday's homily is available by email
-Sunday's scriptures are available at
-I am preaching at the 4:00 PM Saturday mass the 9:30 AM Sunday

Who are you? Where are you going?

Maybe this good Shepherd Sunday is the obvious opportunity to speak about vocation. Obviousl, the vocation of the priesthood is on the top of mind. However the role or function of vocation in the life of the church is not so obvious.

Last Sunday I offered the parent instruction class for those who are bringing a child to baptism for the first time. One of the three topics for discussion is the actual rite of baptism. I explained that the rite of baptism begins by asking "what name have you given this child?". Then we ask "are you parents ready to lead this child in faith?". The final question is to the sponsors, "are you ready to assist these parents in their role as Christian mother and father?".

We have just celebrated the sacrament of confirmation. At the time of confirmation their is the opportunity and the necessity to identify a name and a sponsor. Since the sacrament of confirmation, in the current theology, is understood as a completion of baptism and/or initiation, young people are invited to recall that they already have a baptismal name and a baptismal sponsor-at least one.

At the rite of ordination, after the gospel is proclaimed, the deacon goes to the ambo and announces the following "for the diocese of Cleveland". Then he says the name "Edward Thomas Estok Jr". The one to be ordained steps forward and says "present"!

What is your name? And where are you going? These two question: identity and leadership strike at the heart of vocation who are you and where are you going?

The good Shepherd, hopefully manifested powerfully in the ministry of the holy priesthood, is the time for us to reflect upon who God calls us to be and where and how God calls us to walk in the world.

As a religious person in 2012 "Who are you? And where are you going? How will you get there?"


JoyFuralle said...

Wow. . . you've just helped me understand something in a bigger picture/time frame that I may have known but not realized until now.

Baptism, Holy Matrimony, and the Baptism of our children. These are not isolated moments stuck in time and space, something good & religious we did, it is a continuum of life in Christ, that portal of supernatural life, Christ calling us and walking with us, urging us on. It's all about the Lord same as when all of creaton was worked! That Good Shepherd has NEVER quit...not with me or with my spouse or with our children . . . though we may have ignored Him.

I have known my vocation to be Child of God, Wife and Mother. Since our sons have grown up and fallen away from the faith, I didn't realize my role continues on, these sacraments (Christ!) continue to call, to offer opportunity after opportunity to walk with Him, to give of self.

At pre-Cana & at the Baptism class, requirements that we had to fulfill, who can ever put into words the wonder of God?!?!?! It can't be grasped. And in my narrow field of vision on our wedding day I could never have realized the Lord's bounty in store for us. And on our sons' day of Baptism, who could ever guess these marvels?!?! It can only be lived and realized by following Christ.

anon 1 said...

I appreciate the nudge to consider the Good Shepherd reading as an opportunity to contemplate my own vocation - my own identity, and my own response to the call of leadership.

I have recently been re-reading bits and pieces from Vatican II documents and was again inspired by the call to all the baptized to be "a holy people." I was stirred anew at the challenge to be an instrument of change in the world - and to work to infuse our Catholic values into a society that believes in entitlement rather than the way of the Cross. So as I read the Matador's homily preparation, I appreciate being confronted with these questions and the reminder that, by the nature of our baptism, we are all leaders. We all have a role to play – individually and together as a community.