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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, September 12, 2014

Sept 14 Homily Prep

-Hear Last Sunday's homily at this link:Sept 7th Homily
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at USCCB daily readings
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 4:00pm Saturday, and 9:30 and 11:00 Sunday(visit St. Albert Website)

Hang in there!

The image of Jesus hanging upon the cross is the image and central feature of this week's feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.  The corpus of Christ UPON the cross is the unique feature of this feast.  As with Moses and his lifted up the serpent on a pole - it is not so much the pole - but the image upon it.  So it is with the Cross of Christ - it is him "crucified and forsaken" ON the cross that transforms the cross from simple torture to tree of life.

What the church is encouraging us to see in this pitiful Christ hanging on a tree in torturous death is the "cost of love".  True love is self-sacrificing.  In fact, Jesus Crucified becomes the litmus test for all human loving.  No one since the death of Jesus can claim to truly love without sacrifice.  See how much our God loves us - he gave up everything (even his claim to divinity..."my God why have your forsaken me?") for the love of sinful humanity.  

In fact, God became sin itself in His desire to love us.  Do we recognize our sin on him?  What is the "wages of sin"?  Death: isolated, rejected, lonely, God-forsaken, extinction.  That is the fruit of our first parents in their sin.  Jesus is not only the Human Face of God but, on the cross, he is the epitome of broken humanity dead in our sin: isolated, rejected, forsaken by God, life-less.  

Like the Isrealites in the desert we can be healed of our affliction (death) only by looking at it held up before us.  But, will we look and see - and thus be healed?  Or will be look and NOT see and thus remain dead in our sin?  

Do you see yourself in the crucified Savior on the Cross?  If so, don't be afraid - be healed by God's love for you there.  If you do not see yourself in Him then there is no amount of mercy that will heal you.  You cannot be saved from that which you do not see.  Once you see your sin then you are set free.

Does any of this help you make sense out of the suffering in your life?  Is it all for love?  It can be.


Tom Sawyer said...

visualizing Christ on the cross, my sin on Christ and my redemption by His death is a powerful image. There are many paintings that are very moving and I thought about as I read this homily. The words explain why we as Catholics must keep Christ on the Cross paramount in our churches and our lives.

anon 1 said...

I think it is only this - "seeing yourself in the crucified Christ" - that helps make sense out of suffering in life.

I think it is normal when suffering to want to find ways to put a stop to it - to escape it. But if in the escape of it you realize that you would also have to deny the love that goes with it, you realize that the suffering is the price that must be paid - and it's worth the cost.Christ proved this for us in the death he endured.

Just this past week I met someone who lives on disability income - and he gives most of it away to the poor. He spends every day caring for them, feeding them, protecting them. As he tells stories about them, calling many of them by name, you can hear the concern he has for each of them and that he has grown committed to them. He wants more people to have this same kind of exposure to those in need because he said, "once you know, you can't unknow." That made sense to me. Once you know someone's story to the point that you've let it touch your heart - once you know their hunger, know their pain, know their loneliness - you can't unknow that. And then you have to give yourself away - to share yourself with them in hopes that it eases their brokenness to some extent. You might at times wish to escape it, but that would mean denying the love that is calling you in.

Once you know, you can't unknow - and it leads us down the road of costly - priceless love.