-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 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.
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!