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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, August 17, 2012

Bread of Life - August 19 Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-YThis Sunday's Scriptures can be found at
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 5:30, 8:00am, and 11:00am.

Thriller and Sr. Helen Prejean!

Do you remember that first full-length TV music video entitled thriller? It was Michael Jackson's title song from his album in which a bunch of zombies, the living or walking dead, come to life and dance to Michael's music. I am recalling it because the bread of life discourse brings us to the question of, although we are walking (or even dancing) around, "are we really alive?" Our ancestors, Jesus says, "ate the bread from heaven but died nonetheless". We are offered and have eaten the living bread from heaven-but have we come to life?

Are we truly alive in Christ Jesus? This question of life in Christ, living, is the challenge of this fourth homily in a series on the bread of life. Is it not possible that we who have been baptized and have fed upon the living bread come down from heaven are nonetheless not alive? It is deceiving, because we seem to be alive as the Jews in the desert - we are surviving. To what extent is what we call our daily life surviving or truly living? How much of my daily existence is alive?

Is it not true that through sin death entered the world? Our ancestors were cast out of the garden, experiencing death, but they were still living in the world. They were challenged to work by the sweat of their brow and the labor of their childbirth. This death that entered the world was not human dying, meaning the cessation of respiration only, this death was separation from God and life lived for self. Dead men walking!

The life that Jesus offers us in himself is communion with the living father and a life that is given away(even when our hearts stop beating). We become "life livers" inasmuch as we are "life givers". So that is the litmus test - I am alive in as much as I am giving life to others. Living for self is a zombie experience, the walking dead.

Are you alive? Are you giving life? Have you eaten of the living bread? Are you a walking dead man? "It is no longer I who live, but Christ living within me!"


Kathleen said...

If I worked in a medical profession or on a safety force, or was a teacher or a mother, or if I donated blood once a month, I might be more inclined to consider myself “life giving.” But I found your remark interesting that “the life that Jesus offers us in himself is communion with the living father and a life that is given away (even when our hearts stop beating.)” It reminded me of Therese of Lisieux saying she would spend her heaven doing good on earth. In the thousands of communions I’ve received since the first in 1970, I’ve more often partaken in the Israelites’ manner—for earthly survival, for help getting over the next of my life’s hurdles—than with thought of the eternal life Jesus promises. I tend to think of that heaven as eternal rest, eternal life, paradise, the heavenly banquet, being at peace, being with God, but seldom do I think about being “alive” in heaven and continuing to love, to do good on earth. (even though I ask and expect the Blessed Mother, every saint and all my deceased relatives and friends who are in heaven to intercede for me). Therese’s little way was to do as she was capable, to do little things with great love. I won’t be a zombie if I follow that advice and St. Paul’s admonishment to “watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making most of the opportunity” – to do everything with love

JoyFuralle said...

Wow, Kathleen, LOVE your comments, WOW, GREAT stuff ... I had to read Father's comments again cuz I missed a lot on the first read and I didn't realize it until I read your comment.

Life livers are life givers. In a secular sense, I could jokingly say "it always goes to sex!" And same with this. Life is procreative. Back to the Garden of fertile and multiply. Doesn't matter state in life...give.

So I can be in an office working doing the 9-5 thing, making a paycheck, but in the manner that I engage in my work I can "be fruitful" and multiply, give life.

Communion - union - with the living Father & a life that is given away.

Wow, it's what Jesus lived, gave it all away, continues to give it all away, so that we can give it all way . . . the surprise is especially in for all eternity, but of course it would have to be!

W O W ! ! !

Anonymous said...

“How much of my daily existence is alive?”

I just spent a vacation away with my family, and this meant living in a house together with my mother-in-law and father-in-law for a week. As I read this homily prep by the Matador, an image of my mother-in-law came to my mind. She was sitting alone at the breakfast table, her bowl of carefully prepared cereal before her, her eyes closed and head bent, resting on her folded hands in prayer. I thought it touching at the moment I first caught that glimpse of her, but many minutes went by and every time I looked over at her she was in the same posture. Even as I left the room, that pose had not changed. I realized there was a lot more than “grace before meals” going on there.

Earlier in the morning she told me about the frustrations and difficulties she experienced with my father-in-law the evening before, after I had gone to bed. In their very old age, he has become quite frail and is so dependent on her – and that previous evening, as happens at least at some point every day, he had become very angry with her for not attending to him as quickly as he wanted. “He was absolutely fuming,” was her description of him – and it was quite clear she was still upset about it after many hours of her almost sleepless night. This wasn’t the first time in the week that we talked about their relationship and her feelings about living with him, wanting to be a good wife, but sad and frustrated with her alternating reactions of pity and impatience with him.

So, this prayer of hers – I know her well enough to know that there was certainly some expression of gratitude for the food that lay before her. But I have no doubt that she was also begging for mercy, strength, and some time of consolation with her loving God. She was in need of endurance for the day that lay ahead, and at the same time she was hoping for His forgiveness for her moments of shortness of temper – which I had also witnessed. She is such a good woman, and wants to be a good wife, but she knows that without God’s help, her “daily existence” is too difficult and she can’t pull it off. I think she often feels like a “dead man walking” because at times of self-examination she is hard on herself and sees only her own weakness. But I know that while she suffers from human frailty, she keeps trying - and finds the strength to do so by turning to Love and Strength Himself.