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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!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Lent IV, March 15 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at
-check out this weeks LinC letter at
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 8:00am and 6:00pm

 Is it a sin?  Well, is it a "work done in God"?

This lent we have been hearing the call to be "Reconciled as +ONE". This call has raised the topics of sin and forgiveness. Our Lenten mission part II this Thursday night will pick up the notion of "forgiving:a key to a life in communion".

I am often asked, "Father, is this a sin?"  It is a strange but pretty regular question. I think the Gospel this Sunday gives the best answer as to whether or not something ought to be confessed. If we bring an action of ours into the light of honesty we can pretty clearly see whether it is a "work done in God" or whether it is a work of the dark that remains in the dark.

Maybe this litmus test for our Christian lives would be helpful as we respond to the call to be reconciled as ONE.


Peg said...

Sometimes we may make a choice or decision to act in a particular way. That choice may be logical or fair and we may have prayed to the Holy Spirit for guidance before making the decision, but the result or impact of our choice/action might impact others negatively though not harmfully. My thinking is that this is a sin. Even if the choice/decision/action is irreversible, an apology, a reconciliation is still needed. I think that while we try to act in a state of grace we are still human.

Anonymous said...

When one lives with a loving heart in union with Christ, forgiving becomes "second nature" almost "automatic" to the point where one doesn't even think of having to make the "effort" of forgiving; it is already there.

For me, the challenging part of "forgiveness", is when Christ reminds us in Scripture that when we come to the altar and recall that "your brother has something against you, go and be reconciled first with your brother, then come and offer your gift". I am looking at this as even when we haven't hurt our brother or haven't wronged him in any way, perhaps there is something that he is "holding against" us.

Maybe I am looking too deeply into this ? ? ?

Joyfuralle said...

Sweet Father, you cut through it all & make it so simple it's almost unbelievable!

There is so much about sin & mistake & oversight that is misconstrued it boggles the mind. There is such lack of charity, lack of giving people the benefit of the doubt, lack of thinking well of people -- lack of charity -- that our thoughts & views are jaded towards the negative. Notice there are not too many prime time shows that mirror godly living or purity of body, mind, & soul. On one hand some (a good many lapsed Catholics) quip that Catholic guilt makes everything a sin; their point is made in making fun, not needing to be part of it. On the other hand, abuse & misappropriations & scandal & infidelity are not CALLED sins.

Upside down, inside out, topsy turvy. Who is the great father of lies but the prince of darkness???

We are good at fooling ourselves, Father. If I come to you in confession asking if something is a sin, I might be looking for you to affirm my action, some of which I have not brought to the Light. I want to hide from it, I am not ready to give it up or see my darkness. At times I need you (Jesus) to face my darkness with me because I am afraid & lack courage on my own.

Looking forward to the homily & the talk Thursday night.

Anonymous said...

Questions we should ask about sin or no sin:

Does it agree with the Bible? (John 7:17)
Will it make me more like Christ? (James 3:17)
Does my church family confirm it? (Ephesians 3:10)
Is it consistent with how God has shaped me? (Ephesians 2:10)
Does it concern my responsibility? (Romans 14:4)
Is it convicting rather than condemning? (Romans 8:1)
Do I sense God’s peace about it? (Philippians 4:6-7)

Anonymous said...

The key is honesty. One can be honest in intention but the circumstances before the outcome may go against another's soul or the least sadden them.
A work done in God" but as a participant befuddled , distorted, and confused the situation? An apology or an asking of forgiveness ?

older woman said...

I like the idea of recognizing "work done in God”. I do believe that any action which can be defined as patient, kind, loving, gentle, merciful - are all “glaringly obvious” signs of God's love for us, and go such a long way in conveying His tenderness and care. Perhaps what is even more common than "work of the dark" is work done without "the added touch" of the light. It is so easy for all of us to go through our days and be busy about our work - and it can be “good" work at that, by anyone's standards. But what a difference it makes when added to that work are intentional times of kindness, care, and mercy. I think that the addition of light such as that takes something from being simply "good work" to "work done in God".

The Matador said...

These were fascinating and unusual comments this week. Thanks to all. Sin and forgiveness really seems to be the crux of the faith and on the hearts of believers.