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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, September 26, 2015

September 27 Homily Prep

Last Sunday's homily is available by email request
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at
-check out this weeks LinC letter at
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 4:00pm, 8:00am and 12:30pm

With Us!

 Jesus' teaching in the Gospel today declaring that "those who are not against us are with us"  seem to touch upon the gift of the presence of Pope Francis in the United States and the world family gathering in Philadelphia this weekend.  The connection seems to be "with us".   It all centers upon God's invitation for us to be one, together, communion.

The most startling example of this call to communion was the celebration on Friday at the 9/11  memorial with Pope Francis and the representatives of the world religions. In addition to it being an absolutely beautiful prayer service it was an even more beautiful image of God's children gathered around the call to love and compassion in the face of the world's aberration of religious violence and division.

 The disciples of Jesus like Joshua in the first reading are approaching life in the church as a privileged position to which not everyone is invited.  John's assessment of those who were casting out demons in the name of Jesus but  "they do not follow us"  exposes the role that judgment, competition, and self-promoting desires and perceptions play in  our understanding of communion.

 This judgment of John in the Gospel text today is something that we experience often in our families, in our church, and in our society.   In fact, the differences or the lack of conformity is for some of us the first thing that we notice when relating to others.   The difference in the way they dress, they pray, they live.

 When this type of "looking for the difference" strikes our marriages and our families it is particularly destructive. When members of the family begin to judge others as "unlike"  ourselves the destruction of the relationships is not far behind.

 We see this "looking for the difference" most vividly and regularly in our political lives. This notion of "polarization" is the philosophical and political expression of this "looking for the difference"  affliction.

 What Jesus and, like him, Pope Francis seem to be calling us to is the other end of the telescope, to stop noticing the difference or the imperfection and to capitalize upon the unity, the same in us, the common good.  This will require for most of us a change in approach since this "looking for the difference" is a habit of the mind and heart that comes from our broken human condition. The grace of communion is the ability to find and capitalize upon what makes us one,  One creation, one human family, one married couple, one family, one community. This common calling is nothing other  than the imprint of God our Creator and father of all.

 May we crucify our "fear of the difference" and be raised up and transformed into this community of God. It would be noticed  in our simple and regular affirmation of the goodness of others before we notice the imperfections in them and the differences among us. As Jesus prayed in John's Gospel that "all may be one".


Anonymous said...

Father may I understand the imperfections, failings, and sin in my own life and may I always see the goodness and understand that everyone has something powerful to contribute to your kingdom. My unworthiness is only purified by the grace and mercy of my Lord & Savior. Fear of difference is always overcome by accepting each person's different path to Christ of which no path is superior to another since all lead to God the Father.

S-N-E said...

"Finding and capitalizing upon what makes us one" is one of those "simple but not easy" actions that the Matador has pointed out before. There really are very many things that we can find that we have in common, but pride gets in the way. And as you point out, what we see in our own lives is just a microcosm of the same challenges we see in our families, our parish communities, our places of work, and the universal church and world. How good it would be if we could let go of insecurities that can plague us into the want to be special! It seems to me that the antidote to that need for affirmation is to cast our cares upon wanting that all seek to affirm the Lord as the one, true God. And to do so by loving them into it - not judging them into it. If we could place our efforts and energies upon that vision, everything else falls into place. Simple, not easy!

JoyFuralle said...

YIKES, feels like you've been in my head. Looking for the difference. Like your direction, can EASILY relate, keep preaching it till it hits our hearts in active love.

Went to a friend's home, enjoyed good food, good company, but some of the conversation was undermining others, speaking of differences negatively. I was not active enough in love, in looking for the good.. See the good, be the good, speak the good. All this stuff was on my mind for several days. When I went to share the events of the evening with my spouse, I realized I didn't have to share the differences, I could share all the good of the evening. As I was sharing the wonderful events of the evening, the negative was doing a dance within me, tempting me.

Then your homily prep. Wow! I can imagine a world as you mention, union, communion, unity, but I see I have to do my part in that work with as much gusto as I do other things. Thanks Father!

Anonymous said...

When one receives this grace; this gift from God, the whole world becomes strikingly more beautiful; as seen through the eyes of God.