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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 27, 2014

Opponents or Partners? The Whole Picture!

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 4:00pm Saturday and 11:00am Sunday

Feast of St. Peter AND St. Paul - Why Together?

You know, when we place two peoples' names in a title or on a marquee or in a song it legitimately raises the question as to whether they're competitors or partners?  David and Goliath, Romeo and Juliet, peanut butter and jelly, mom and dad, oil and water?

The title of this weekend's feast, St. Peter and St. Paul, is no exception to this conundrum. Are they competitors or partners? Do they compare or contrast? I think, as with  many of the mysteries of our faith, the answer to that question is "both".  What I mean is that St. Peter and St. Paul represent two sides of our beautiful Christian faith AND they represent the competing poles of our discipleship "head" and "heart", "pastor" and "teacher", "love" and "truth".  I am presuming that the icon of Peter and Paul is the invitation and the "target" of every baptized member of the church that we would all have the solid faith in the love of God that St. Peter represents and the zeal and eloquence for announcing that face like St. Paul.

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI wrote his fundamental encyclicals on love, faith, and hope. In the first of these, God is Love, the pope explained the need to keep the truth lovingly and to express love truthfully.  He warned there that to separate the two would be to empty both of their power and their God-likeness.

Maybe this feast of St. Peter AND St. Paul encourages us to what Pope Francis calls "missionary discipleship". What I think he means by that is that we should each have the love, friendship and attachment to Jesus Christ reflected by the witness of St. Peter AND the zeal and the dedication to spread the love of God in the world witnessed by St. Paul.

Probably too many of us pride ourselves on being Christian by "loving everyone" (while we avoid the difficult and necessary confrontation with falsehood, evil, and sin). Others of us are tempted to live as the righteous followers of Jesus in the church claiming to be right and justifying our alienation from others because they are wrong. The head and the heart in competition.

Let's allow this feast of Saints Peter AND Paul to help us to adjust our roadmap to holiness. From whom do we need to learn most today so that "our witness" in the world might be the whole picture of missionary discipleship in the world?