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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, January 11, 2013

January 13 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 5:30 Sat, 11am and 6pm Sunday

Take my hand

My mom and I went to see the movie Les Miserables a couple of weeks ago. It was a great film presentation of the often told story made famous by Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical. My favorite song that is reprised several times is the death scene in which the actors sing "take my hand...."

This gesture of taking one's hand is a familiar human concept that is referenced in the first reading from the prophet Isaiah on this feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Here the expression or a gesture is described of having "grasped you by the hand". It speaks of the mystery of this Christmas season which we call Incarnation.

When we take someone by the hand, request their hand in marriage, offer our handshake in commitment, or hold hands as we are walking down the street - in all these ways we are committed to one another, we enter communion with the other.

In the incarnation of God, Emmanuel, the birth of Jesus we are grasped by the hand of God. God has thrown his lot in with our human condition. God has picked us up, taken us by the hand. As adults we often times accompany children in public and as we approach the intersection of a busy street to cross we naturally reach for each other's hands for security, for protection, for solidarity confronting something intimidating.

This is a concept of faith. When we conceive of our God taking us by the hand in life we know that we are not alone, we have no need to be afraid, we can walk securely in the face of intimidation, danger, strife. God has grasped us by the hand in the incarnation, Emmanuel, God with us. He is our redeemer, our vindicator, our protector, our guide, our friend, our father. Sweet.


Anonymous said...

. . . how sweet it is.

JoyFuralle said...

LOVE this "take my hand" imagery, especially with the children. Makes me recall when I heard a very powerful speaker, his words impacted me. Afterwards, he shook my hand and held it. He had a TREMENDOUSLY H-U-G-E hand so that I felt like a little girl! Not only that, because of the SIZE of his hand compared to mine, it felt as if ALL of me was being held, embraced. For all my life I will never, EVER forget that because it reminded me of the Lord's grasp.

Anonymous said...

These reflections also made me consider precious and meaningful times of hand-holding. One that comes to mind is that there is a lay minister who visits our sick parishioners in the hospital and gives them a prayer shawl, knitted by the good folks on the prayer shawl committee. As she gives them the shawl, she holds their hand and reads this prayer:

This shawl was crafted by hand and threaded with prayers of love and hope. This shawl is our gift to you. May it bring blessings of comfort, gifts of warmth and the knowledge that you are loved. As you wear this shawl, may you feel the warm embrace of our Heavenly Father.

I am picturing the circular connection of the hand of God, with the hands of the knitters, with the hand of the lay minister, with the hand of the sick - back to the hand of God. Great communion.

The Matador said...

Now THAT'S nice

Anonymous said...

I am thinking of the many times I have felt comfort just with the touch of a hand. And hopefully given comfort or encouragement in the same way. A thought came to mind from when I was very young...Bishop Sheen came to our parish, as he was a friend of our pastor. Everyone got in line to meet him. When my mother and I approached, I stepped back into her, being very shy at that time. I mean, he was a Bishop and he was on TV every week! He bent down to my level and put his hands on my cheeks and told me softly that I needn't be afraid of him. The human touch can be very soothing...but the feel of God's hand is beyond description...

JoyFuralle said...

Wow!!! Further comment... after I posted I was considering (like Annon!) all the times someone held my hand, grasped my hand, shook my hand or touched my hand in a deeper, intimate, more meaningful way. And I'm thinking...all those was the Lord!