-Last Sunday's homily is NOT available
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at USCCB.org
-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?
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!