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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!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at >
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 4:00, 9:30, and 12:30

I Am Not He

Remember the television show "what's my line"? A person would present themselves with some sketchy details and a panel of experts would ask questions to determine what it was that this person did. Who is this person? What is his or her "line" of work?

What we do and who we are, role and identity, are at the heart of our human journey and thus our Christian journey. Carl Jung is quoted to have said "a man spends the first 30 years of his life finding out who he is, and the next 30 years finding out who he really is." Our recent high school and college graduates, no doubt, have been confronted this summer repeatedly with the question "so, what are you going to do?" This is the fundamental question of our lives not only who are you but what are you going to do?.

John the Baptist, whose birthday we celebrate on this Sunday, is a man whose life is a solemn celebration of identity and mission: a call. John is icon of identity and mission in God! Knowing who we are and what we are called to do is important and essential to our salvation. Who is God? What is God's mission in the world? Who are we in relationship to the truth of who God is? What role we will play in God's work of salvation!? Those are the basic religious questions we must ask and be asked.

If we have misread the "clues" (read here scripture and tradition, self-knowledge and God-knowledge) then we will misunderstand who we are. If we misunderstand who we are we will not take our proper role in the mission of the kingdom. Look around. It is apparent that we as a people, a culture, a church and as individuals are very unclear about who God is, who we are in God, what God is doing in the world, and how we share in that reality. As the prophetic (read: John the Baptist) mission of the church (read: new evangelization) is less and less effective in reaching the human family so the chance for identity and mission in Christ is threatened. God is frustrated!

Who are you and what are you going to do? Who is God for you and who are you in God? What's your line?! What, in the world, are you going to do?


Kathleen said...

I think I/we perceive, at least at times, that my/our potential to discern and fulfill our mission as Christians is different from John the Baptist’s. That we haven’t been “prepared in the womb” for our mission, as is brought up several times in this weekend’s readings. We forget that we were baptized, so we ARE prepared, with the same Spirit that John received. It is interesting that you should bring up the Carl Jung quote. Scripture says John “was in the desert until the day of his manifestation”, so though he had received his mission before his birth, and he "recognized" his Divine cousin in utero, there was still a lot of preparation involved before his mission could be fully carried out. Jesus, too, began his public ministry at 30. In our “results now” society, we need to understand that God’s timetable isn’t the same as ours.

anon 1 said...

I like this message for the homily very much because I think we often forget that this is really what our lives, as baptized Christians, are to be about. I think it’s typical for a graduate from school to think in terms of ‘how will I make a living to support myself,’ rather than ‘how am I best able to fulfill my mission here on earth in serving God’- knowing that from there ‘my living’ will come. There is a difference. Certainly when I graduated from college I wasn’t thinking that way – but now at this time of my life it is obvious to me. It not only strikes me as my responsibility, but it actually makes so much more sense out of life. I am wondering - and believing - that if more youth would be helped to see this, the number of crises in their lives (drugs, self-mutilation, suicide) would decrease.

JoyFuralle said...

Great comments above!

Reminds me of something I just read in "Living the Catholic Faith" by Archbishop Chaput... Sociologist Davidson surveyed a group of affluent congregations--he found that about half the people regarded their work as a career. Another 29% viewed their work as a "job" -- something they did to earn a paycheck. Only about 15% considered their work to be a calling.

When we had babies, I felt called to stay home. Those "babies" are now 22 & 24, & I still feel called to stay home & do whatever work the Lord puts before me. Doesn't matter whether I clean toilets or take care of the yard or take my parents to doctor appointments... all part of my call, thanks be to God! What's my line? Serving the Lord!