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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, June 6, 2014

Pentecost - June 8th

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email -This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at -I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 4:00, 8:00, and 12:30

Forgive or Forget It #8 - Spiritual Forgiveness

On this Pentecost feast our gospel text returns us to the upper room and Jesus' commissioning of the disciples BY forgiveness FOR forgiveness. What we need to see in this final Homily of the Easter season is that our practice of intellectual forgiveness and emotional forgiveness can lead us into conformity with Christ-the forgiving Redeemer - spiritual forgiveness.

As we are convinced of the rightness and the truth of forgiveness in our spiritual lives, we begin to take on the likeness of Christ. This likeness can be construed or seen as a "spirituality".  A spirituality is the tone, color, characteristics, habitual manner of relating to God and neighbor. When we intentionally take on the spirituality of forgiving we can claim to be practicing spiritual forgiveness-our way of being like Christ is in imitation and participation with his forgiving mission.

I don't think most Catholics have thought about becoming known as people who are living a life or a spirituality of forgiving. This is fundamental to our baptismal faith and to our happiness in the church and the world. Could you see yourself as a child of God who employs forgiveness as the primary, principal, and most often chosen means of living life in communion with God and neighbor?

 As you have heard in these homilies over this Easter season, I am convinced that those Catholics who prefer a "spirituality of charity", being loving and kind, getting along with everyone, of necessity must first adopt a spirituality of forgiving. Forgiveness is the fuel for charity, forgiveness is the gateway to authentic Christian loving. Are you ready to adopt a spirituality of forgiving? Spiritual forgiveness. I am trying.


Anonymous said...

Spiritual forgiveness... certainly takes the focus off one's own self and opens the heart to God.

It's important to remember we're not the one who is doing it, God is. It's in authentic surrender. We are the one saying 'yes' to HIM --> That's the Free Will HE gave us.

Dear Jesus, please help my ego go away. (and please give me the strenth and faith to handle the change.)

anon 1 said...

My son and I had a discussion yesterday about forming new habits. As we shared a couple of personal life stories, we found that we both experienced a change in habit after about 2-3 weeks of a new behavior. We each found those 2-3 weeks to be challenging – likened to trudging through quicksand. They required sheer discipline and perseverance. But after a time, the new behavior became our preferred behavior. Both of us moved from “trudging”, to absolute acceptance and expectation of the new behavior becoming our way of life. It got to the point that we not only expected it in ourselves, but others came to see it as our norm.

While that discussion with my son was about diet and exercise, it still came to mind as I reflected on this week’s last segment on forgiveness. With the Matador’s final words being “I’m trying”, I thought to myself that it is exactly that which we must do – we have to try. And we have to try repeatedly.

What makes this different is that forgiveness involves more people and experiences than just me and my hard core actions (like eating and exercising). Because we are made for communion, when it comes to the spiritual life, our actions, habits, and choices have such a rippling effect –in both going out from us, and coming in to us. Our lives together are never stagnant and so there are new moments of love and kindness, pain and hurt, coming at us all of the time. But what can remain constant are our choices and our effort – our trying – to always choose mercy as our response.

In fact, that can be my only response if I am sincere in my desire to live as a member of Christ’s Body. The question, “if people look at me – do they see Jesus”, can only be answered in the affirmative if what others say and do to me is met with mercy – and if what I say and do is laced in mercy. At least, I must try – and I must try repeatedly – so that one day it becomes the response that simply fits with what is accepted and expected of me.