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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!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Homily Prep Oct 28

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at Sat 5:30 and Sunday 8:00am and 6:00pm

Faith is all about the approach!

In order to connect with my thoughts about the homily this week it's necessary to recall the gospel story from last Sunday. If you recall the Sons of Zebedee asked the Lord to "do for us what we ask of you". Contrast this approach to the blind man in this week's gospel who is asked by Jesus "what do you want me to do for you?"

Wow. These two stories right next to each other in the scriptures and in our liturgy beg for comparison. They instruct us in the process of faith and discipleship.
1. You must recognize Jesus as Lord and Messiah - both did that
2. You must be convinced that being close to Jesus can make a difference in your life - got that!
3. You must desire what Jesus desires not what you desire for yourself. Oops.

An act of faith by one who presumes to be a disciple of Jesus of necessity requires that you desire that Jesus do something in you that will further HIS life NOT that Jesus do something to guarantee the build up of your self/ego or esteem. Secondly, faithful discipleship obviously demands that you strive to see things the way Jesus sees rather than that you get Jesus to see things YOUR way. Duh.

I know it's obvious but obviously from the time of Jesus and even among his closest followers we've not been getting this. Maybe even today Christians think that faith is a process of trying to get God to see things our way (prayer, petiton, devotion, storming heaven)rather than growing into the gradual and graceful way of seeing our lives the way God sees them. Hmmmmm.

Unless and until we have our hearts turned by faith so that we begin to see Him and His way as the answer to life's question - we are going to remain blind and worse arrogantly imposing our short-sightedness upon God and of course following our own best ideas rather than Him.

Faith...seeing myself as he sees me. hmmmmm!


Anonymous said...

Yes Father I am getting this. As I grow in my faith, I find I ask God for what I need, like when I do a reading at mass, let the words flow from the Holy Spirit so someone out there gets it. Let me go beyond just reading the words...let me proclaim your word..hey it works! And sometime God just gives the greatest gift, just to feel Him.
I attended a mass a couple of weeks ago, where I was rendered speechless by the priest's homily, the way the words were delivered and when he returned to the alter and continued the mass, God was there, bigger than life, just everywhere. I know God is always present, but sometime He just overwhelms me. I was on a high for 3 days and still when talking about the feeling to a friend made me teary. All I could say on the way out of mass was WOW! I should have said "Thanks, You have no idea what just happened to me..WOW"
Sometimes it all just works...

Faith said...

When I reflected on the Matador’s writing this week I considered, what do I have to do to (1) desire that Jesus do something in me that will further HIS life, and (2) strive to see things the way JESUS sees them, not the way I see them? The answer that came to my mind was that it requires total surrender – and ideally, trust – in our Lord.

I just saw the movie Argo – and it’s based on the true story of the six diplomatic personnel from the United States who were trying to escape Iran through a combined CIA-Canadian effort. At one point the CIA agent relays the OUTLANDISH plan of escape to the six fugitives and he says to them, “You’ve got to trust me.” And the reply from one of the six was plain and simple – “I DON’T trust you.” Despite the ongoing lack of trust, however, the six followed through with the plan. They had no other option if they hoped to escape Iranian execution.

I suppose we could go through life just that way. We Christians know the story – the story of redemption and salvation. We’ve heard all about Jesus Christ who died and rose again for us, so that we might have life – and we’re called to enter into that same Way. It sounds kind of outlandish, but we can buy into that and even go so far as to surrender ourselves to that way of life. But what a difference if we add “trust” to the mix. What a different life that can be. Because in my thinking, “trust” allows love to take root in the surrendering. It makes the journey different – more full. It doesn’t take away the pain – in fact, it guarantees pain – but it allows a joy and a peace and a wisdom (and all the fruits of the Holy Spirit) to grow in my life.

I think the faith of Bartimaeus included that trust. I see it in his persistent way of calling out to Jesus, in the way he “took courage” and sprang up. That’s what came to my mind when I considered the Matador’s words of “having our hearts turned by faith….” My heart can only turn when I allow myself to trust Him deeply – and then the Holy Spirit works on me.

Kathleen said...

Yes, Father, the juxtaposition of the two passages is interesting. Your remarks give me a reminder about humility in my relationship with God. I shun limelight and I’m not intent on any high and mighty position in the here or the hereafter, and unlike the two sons of thunder in last week’s gospel I wouldn’t have the gumption to ask for it even if I was. I certainly approach Jesus with requests, though, and though I tell Him in closing that ultimately “I want what You want”, giving Him the front seat on the tandem bicycle ride of life is definitely hard for me as someone who wants to be in control, who is more comfortable seeing only the parts of life that I want to see, and seeing them from my viewpoint, and not with God’s viewpoint or His mission in mind. I’ve never been totally blind like Bartimaeus, but it wasn’t until fourth grade that it was discovered that I needed glasses. I didn’t know what I was missing. As an adult, if I’m not humble enough to recognize that my vision isn’t right and I need an eye exam and different lenses, then I can’t see even my own physical self in a mirror. Thanks for the reminder that I must be humble enough to see my life through the lens of faith, in the way God sees it.

The Matador said...

Great insights. Thanks.

JoyFuralle said...

I think of elsewhere in scriptures that says we have the mind of God. So if we have the MIND of God we should be able to SEE as He sees. Fine. But if we live our lives with OUR minds and at a worldly level, we're left to see things on a purely wordly (what's in it for me, how will this work for me) level. Makes sense.

Then I think of the Book of Genesis ... after God made man...God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.