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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!



Friday, September 19, 2014

September 21st Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email Sept 14 Homily
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at Sunday's Scriptures
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 5:30 Saturday, 12:30 at OurLady Lourdes

It's not about the pay, it's about the work!

This Sunday's gospel parable of the overpaid workers in the vineyard is the scriptural background for our parish ministry fair. As the title of this homily prep says, if we are distracted by the unfair wages being handed out than we have really missed the call of the Gospel in the text. The kingdom of God revealed through Jesus Christ is all about participation and not about compensation.

In our consumer society and materialistic world and mindset, this redirection of our focus onto participation and away from compensation really doesn't make sense. That's okay, it didn't make sense to Jesus' first audience because they, as the children of Adam and Eve, experienced life in the world and even in relationship to God from a broken perspective.

This principle of "participation instead of compensation" brings to mind the worldly approach to marriage. So often and too often people in the world today consider marriage to be a "50/50 proposition".  In other words, the spouses are overly conscious about who's doing more work in the relationship.  Of course, the contemplative approach to the sacrament of matrimony sees it as a "100/100 proposition".  Marriage can only be what God intends it to be when both spouses are in it for the "participation" (sharing of life and love without reservation) and realizing that it is the ability to "participate" that is the "compensation".

St. Albert the great parish, on this ministry fair weekend, is proposing this "participation model" in relationship to our life in the church. There is no compensation for the ministry and service that we each offer through the ministries of St. Albert. That is, of course, unless our "giving ourselves away" is the compensation that we've been looking for.  I asked our PSR students last week what is a "sacrifice". They answered readily "giving up your time and effort for the church and the good of others". I know St. Francis said it better however, "charity is it's own reward".

Anyone who is approaching the church or the kingdom of God from the perspective of "what's in it for me?" is in fact not entering the kingdom of God nor the church. The Lord calls us to the church and to the kingdom so that we can participate and sees that participation as the sharing in the life of heaven. There is no better compensation then  eternal life.

4 comments:

John Valvoda said...

I have asked people at work about church and why they attend services and how often. Invariably, most of the answers end with my same response: "If you don't actually participate, you are doing yourself a disservice. if I got nothing out of mass other than it's a task to be checked off and I felt obligated- I probably would feel the same way you do"

Peg said...

Sometimes there needs to feel as though there is a reward. If someone is estranged and trying to rejoin, make a come back they might need to feel a sense of welcome or an invitation to move in closer. It's great to give without a tangible reward, but if we want to 'add one' we need to be sensitive those around us.

anon 1 said...

I was struck by the "Go in peace glorifying God with your life" dismissal at Mass this evening. It made a great connection for me with the homily and this reflection on participation. We can't be content with only glorifying God with our worship - we have to go out into the world and glorify the Lord with our participation there, too!

Fr. Estok said...

Great reactions folks!