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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, August 15, 2014

Homily Prep August 17th

-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 Sat., 8:00am, and 6:00pm Sunday


Everybody is encouraged to exercise.  Especially those who are preparing for a big contest.  Practice or conditioning is what we might call that.  So what all of these things are is an "exertion" of energy, effort, and discipline that apparently "doesn't count".  It's like a pre-season or scrimmage game - it's a lot of work but it doesn't really count.

All of these physical exertions are difficult but not real, they are not the "game" but they are essential to the game.

Apparaently, Jesus was putting this syro-phoenitian women through a bit of "testing", a scrimmage, an exercise that not only revealed her faith but it deepened her faith.  

Do we ever experience confusing challenges to our life plan as the preparation for the real game?  I think I have had this experience....I was led into a challenging situation in life and ministry for no apparent reason.  In fact, it felt almost "unreal" at the time.  I really couldn't understand why this particular thing was happening to me and why I was enduring this challenge.  But I hung in there. 

Then, years later, I encountered something very real that required the precise grace, skill, wisdom, perseverance, etc. that I had gained in the earlier testing.  It was then that I realized the good God at work in me "back then" Who was responsible for the success or perseverance now.

I think that's what the daily dying to self involved in spiritual discipline and devotion does in our faith lives.  Like the treadmill everyday - I can often times "feel" as if I'm going through a repetitive and disconnected exercise - only to discover that it was precisely the preparation I needed for the real struggles in life. 


anon 1 said...

Both of these examples, the woman in the Gospel and the Matador’s experience of challenge, remind me of the ironic gift of struggles in life. As they occur, and even as I may plead for God’s intercession, they may seem empty of his presence. But if I choose to stick with it, if I continue to practice virtue, eventually there will not only be some positive outcome from that effort – but I will become even stronger as a result of the process. Chances are good that this will not only be helpful in my own faith life, but possibly it will be helpful in the lives of others who are on that part of the journey with me, too. Perhaps my “strength-training” will actually be a doorway for another to come a step closer to living with me the life of Christ.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

oops sorry: meant to say,

"even if one thinks they live 'their' faith."

Anonymous said...

I've read and re-read this. Over and over, I don't get it. You are saying that exercising, practicing, testing, are "not real" to the "game". What is "real" and what is the "game?" So, you were led(?) into this experience of a confusing challenge to prepare you for the real game, but it felt unreal, and you couldn't understand why it was happening to you.

It has come down to 1 of 2 things. #1. I don't understand your preps and/or mostly how they apply to or teach the Word of God. #2. I am on my way to real craziness and my comments reflect just that.

I don't know what to believe. As a priest, you have convinced me the club does indeed exist and it does at the risk of one's spiritual growth and relationship with Jesus Christ. All those people. It's the scam thing again. Where does one go for the true and real guidance for spiritual growth?