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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, July 5, 2013

July 7 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is NOT available
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 4:00, 11:00, 6:00pm

Shake the "stumbling blocks" off your feet

Jesus warns his disciple-missionaries that if they are not successful they are to "shake the dust of that town" from their shoes and move on.  What I hear in that encouragement is that the dust of "failure" cannot be allowed to stick with  us without it becoming "stumbling stones" in our path.

Remarkably, Jesus says the same thing about "success" in mission.  He admonishes his disciples to forget their successes on mission  "rather, rejoice because you are sharing in the communion of the redemption(saving work of God)." Allowing the glow of success to stick to your cheeks can also result in stumbling stones in a disciple's path.  

All of this tells me that a faithful disciple is one who practices the art and spirituality of detachment.  This attitude of detachment is not the stoicism of people who "just don't care". This is also not the emotional habit of "not sweating the small stuff".  Disciples must be enthusiastic and passionate about their mission.  

This detachment is not a separation from the feelings but from the Self. Our being distressed about our failures and impressed about our successes tells us how NOT detached we are. 

Jesus wants us to see ourselves as gifted and called to build up the kingdom of heaven here on earth.  Jesus has invited us to be a part of His team, the Kingdom team.  That's our mission.  According to our vocation (calling) and our occupation (the work we do in the world) our daily life is an opportunity to advance the Kingdom/build or to destroy the kingdom/crumble.  The pain of "personal failure" and the rejoicing in "one's successes" are the sure sign of a wrong-headed disciple.  Its not about you.  Suffering and rejoicing over "how one is doing" is all about YOU and not about Jesus' mission team. As the saying goes, there's no U in team.

This is true enough that we can assess the quality of our participation in the discipleship mission/team based upon "what we are suffering over and what we are delighted about". The suffering one is easiest.  What are we so upset about?  As a spouse, a parent, a church member, a student, a friend....what are we so upset about?  Our lack of success?  What are we so happy about?  All of our success?

Would that we might all be at peace for having contributed the very best of our gifts to the work of the kingdom today...and allow the whining and weeping and bragging and high-fiving to others.

Be detached. Our lives are not about us. Our Christian faith calls us to make our living about His Kingdom:love!

Make any sense to you?


JoyFuralle said...

WOW, YES, makes A LOT of sense! I've lived the "whining and weeping and bragging and high-fiving" ... outwardly at first, then it went inward as I saw it for what it was. Teresa of Avila writes about similar things in the spiritual life from her own experience of them ... she also talks about how tiring it is experiencing such people, "God help us", because in them she recalls herself at a younger age. Reading that about her -- a saint - gave me great hope & helped me deal with the embarrassment of my self-aggrandizement.

I also came to realize that no matter what I do or how well, it's not that big a deal in the history of the planet and that I am giving of myself out of love...the Lord's Love for me, urging me to give and love. LOVE what-all the Lord involves me with, no kudos or applause, I'm just doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Simply that. PLUS, I see soooooo many good things others are doing, their love of the Lord, that it puts it all into perspective on what loving & serving the Lord are about.

The Matador said...

I like that insight. I am nothing more than what God has created me to be.

JoyFuralle said...

YES! And that DOES feel like something...your preaching has made me realize it more & more it makes me HAPPY to be folding clothes or praying or mowing or scrubbing toilets or assisting an elderly person or just taking care of myself, brushing teeth/bathing. There is GREAT JOY in doing what you're supposed to be doing... fullness of joy is being in the moment, in communion/union with the Prsence of Christ within, not bi-locating as you say.

The Matador said...

Check out popes message for 7/6 Mass. Whoa!

Peg said...

We are called to be humble and to keep moving forward.

anon 1 said...

I find your teaching on 'detachment' to be helpful and healthy. As you point out, the Gospel reading applies to so much in life that we typically cling to. Jesus is teaching detachment about successes and failures, and even about material things (money bags, sacks, sandals, - even what we may prefer to eat!). I also notice that He does so in the context of teamwork. Even while we have detachment from self, we are still encouraged to work together - and to work in connection to Him ("he sent them ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit"). I like this interesting combination and redefinition of 'self' - detachment and communion.

Anonymous said...

God's providence is not always revealed, and but only in His time and way.

Proverbs 3:5,6
Isaiah 42:16

Anonymous said...

Beautiful comments, but not until we are HUMBLE and we separate ourselves from our false self and those learned programs for happiness that we developed as small kids and present to our Divine Presence our NOTHINGNESS and consent to his will
we will not be able to say " The Father and I are one" John 10:30

Anonymous said...

i woke up thinking that detachment blossoms from pursuit of the rightly ordered life.

When God is first, there's just so much that doesn't realy mean anything, have any value.

getting over one's self is not an easy thing to do. That, is this world. i think that's why He told us to 'love one another as He has loved us.' unconditionally, without regard or attachment.

we don't know God's plan. we don't know where or how we're fitting into what He does or is doing, it's timeless. His ways are so far above our ways.

My heart is so filled with excitement to even think I can be part of that plan.

i think it is to be in pursuit of Jesus, to pray to know Him, to pray to grow in faith and love.

i am often reminding myself - "Don't be afraid."