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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!