-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at USCCB.org
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend on Sat. 4:00, Sunday 9:30 and 11:00
Nailing Jello to the Wall!
I am convinced that keeping the love of God and the love of neighbor together and integrated into one Christian life is as difficult and as challenging as trying to nail Jell-O to a wall. It is as if the wounded or broken human condition (read: Original Sin) is, of it's nature, inclined to one or the other of these virtues...but not both at once.
In fact, the competition between love of God and love of neighbor may very well be the specific manifestation of original sin. I am, of course, talking about the popular or customary understanding of what "love of God" looks like (read: devout, holy, pious!) And, of course, "love of neighbor" in our popular understanding is to never offend anyone else, tolerance, if you well.
Pope Benedict, in his first encyclical as pope, "God is love" tried to bring this point to bear. He said there that there is no such thing as love of neighbor that is not true (in the line with The love of God). Conversely there is no love of God, truth, that is exclusive of the love of neighbor. The Pope had to make this point because of my suggestion above that in the world today one cannot cling to the truth revealed by God and "appear" to be "loving" according to the standards of this world (read: tolerant).
Therefore, many of us are challenged today to be faithful to the love of God or the truth about God (who is love) and at the same time deal with the perceptions and the feelings of others who do not find the truth revealed by God to be loving.
I believe in popular culture we call this today "tough love". To know the truth and to do it in love in spite of the pain that it might cause us and those we are loving. I don't think there's any way around it. And it seems that all of us, who are planning on being faithful to the Gospel, have to go through it. It is as challenging as trying to nail Jell-O to a wall.
In a world whose greatest value is tolerance, how can we cling to the love of God (who is truth revealed) and avoid this pain in our emotional lives? Can't be done-check with Jesus on the cross. For me and my household, we will obey the Lord!
Get into the ring! How this works...
This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my 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!