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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 25, 2014

Homily Prep July 27

-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 Saturday and 11:00am Sunday.

Church Matters!

Is that a description of details about church life or is that a declarative statement of a truth about our lives.  Does Church Matter?!  The parables of the Kingdom of God in this week's Gospel raise the issue of how important the Kingdom of God is in our lives.  Does God matter? 

Isn't the Catholic Church famous for a rather anonymous christianity....aren't we proud of the fact that we can walk into a catholic church anywhere in the world and "be at home" there?  As I get older I would like to see us be less happy about that satisfaction.  Would that all of us at St. Albert for sure, recognized the personal meaning that worshipping in our community has for us. 

Does Church at St. Albert the Great matter?  Why does your worship of the Holy Eucharist at YOUR parish matter?  What does it mean?  Are we making a conscious decision to "go to God together" as friends, members, family, Body of Christ, Communion? 

The pearl of inestimable value is the presence of Jesus Christ "in the midst" of those who believe.  Do you find it anywhere in the world? 


anon 1 said...

I do like being able to go to Mass in any city, state, or country and know that it will be “the same”. I can’t imagine starting my week any other way – and when I’m away on vacation, I consider it a gift to be able to count on attending Mass wherever I am. But I have to admit – I agree with your point. It’s the same, but very different.

When stepping into a different church, I quickly realize that I am away from my “faith family” - because while there I can’t connect with others in the same way that I do at our own parish. When attending Mass at St. Albert, I am aware that I join my life with others around me – especially with the people whom I have come to know well. In addition to the intercessions that are spoken, I am also praying for the man I see there who has just lost his mother – or for the woman kneeling close to me who is struggling with cancer – or for the family I’ve been seeing each week who just had another baby – or for the young adult I’ve come to know and enjoy who just graduated from college and is starting a brand new career. These are people whose lives are joined to mine – specifically through my worship – and who have come to be a part of my Christian living. They too care about many of the same people I find myself praying for; and we frequently join our minds and hearts, and our hands and feet, in trying to make the world a better place – or at least the community around us. Because of my connection with them, my own small contribution in acts of service make even a bigger impact – as so much more is accomplished by working together rather than individually.

So because of that connection, my prayer and worship with my “faith family” at St. Albert is certainly different than when I worship elsewhere. Here I am consciously joined with others around me in the offering. My joys and sorrows are united with what I know theirs to be. My walk in the procession to receive Holy Communion is a walk that I take with them, rather than walking alone. And my departure from the Church is altogether different – because we are usually talking about what we’ll be doing and accomplishing in the week to come – oftentimes together.

I really wouldn’t want to miss Mass anywhere I go – and I am grateful that I can count on it being “the same”. But I am also so aware that it’s different!

JoyFuralle said...

Devil's Advocate here! I understood the homily prep better by reading Anon 1. I am MOST at home at St. Albert's. At the same time, whenever I go to another parish I realize we are children of God, so loved, and we are connected, all family, no matter how distant. In that vein, I connect to others wherever I am, whether Church or store or about town, driving.

It is that unity in Christ, that Communion, Christ's Presence among the People of God that St. Albert's (specifically) has expanded my view in the world and daily life.

WOULD THAT each weekend we would connect (or at least greet!) with someone we have not met or spoken to. Our parish would benefit from that challenge.

Anonymous said...

Communion with God is (by my best human desire and effort) first and foremost in my life. I don't know if, why, or that it would make a difference in which parish I worship HIM. And this is not to ignore the different personality of each parish. Yes, God matters!

It seems to me this concept of 'which church' could have potential to open a door to division and competition in the Body of Christ. God's House of Prayer, no matter the location, is not a club or click of some kind. At every moment, somewhere in the world, Mass is being celebrated. Have we not all heard this? Remember the vine and the branches ? the Life Blood ? Does this make sense?

Please, forgive my impatience and frustration. With all of God's Love, I just have to say this prep is like a parable in itself. Of course, there's always the possibility that I just don't get it. (Dear God help me, keep your hand on me, and silence my tongue. (deep breath)).

All in all, I do believe it is good to participate in the Mass at different parishes, and it is good to hear different homilies whether that be in any of God's House of Prayer or through the social media/internet.

Fr. Asks: "Do you find it anywhere in the world?"

Yes, I do, i believe. The Kingdom of God truly is at hand. It is within and it is everywhere because God is everywhere.

I think through perseverance in living one's faith, witness, is where one may find it while in this world. It's only through our whole-hearted yes to Him. Oh, but this is not easy. The lure of this world's distraction most especially in some of the most important places for us (within and outside) is a killer. I am reminded of Jesus often going off somewhere to pray by Himself.

It's HIS Kingdom and HIS Law. Who do we think we are? My heart is so very heavy with this - I don't know what to do. Where is the fear?

It seems to me that many of the recent readings seem to contain that reference to the hardened heart. I do not believe that is coincidence. It is in my heart of hearts that it is when one seeks the fullness of the depths of Love in one's own heart is when one loses one's self and finds HIM. Even just for a moment is a Truth revealed. Does this make any sense at all………….

My prayer:

Dear God, I neither see nor hear. Please heal my hardened heart, the others', and most especially those who do not know.