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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, November 7, 2015

Nov 8 Homily Prep

-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at
-check out this weeks LinCLetter at
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend on Saturday at 4:00pm, and 8:00am (12:15 at Cathedral) and 6:00pm on Sunday

Those Pharisees!

 So often the widow's mite gospel text that we have this weekend is the opportunity to talk about the sacrificial nature of our lives. We church people especially like to reflect on tithing or financial support of the church. I don't know if I would do that though.

 Back in the 1980s a scripture scholar put this story of the widow's mite into the context of the previous episodes in Marks Gospel when Jesus was being critical of the Pharisees. From that perspective the widow's mite is not recommended practice for Christians but rather a critique of the Pharisees who are willing to put heavy burdens on other people's backs without lifting a finger  to help them.

 You recall Jesus is criticism of the "marketplace mentality" of the temple life. He was upset with the "quid pro quo" of buying and selling in the relationship with God.  Why would we have a situation in which everyone "must" make an offering at the temple into the treasury if they don't have anything to live on? I'm wondering how are we carrying out this "marketplace mentality" in our practice of  catholicism.

 I'm thinking particularly of the difficult responsibility of Christian parenting where in some cases parents put the obligation and expectation, for example,  upon their children of receiving first holy Communion and Confirmation while not  living a life in communion with the church or under the influence of the Holy Spirit in their very homes.  Children often feel the burden of having to be a better catholic then their parents are willing to be.

 In what ways do we fall under this criticism by Jesus of pharisaicalism? It is the "hyper legalistic self-centered marketplace"approach to life with God in religion?


Anonymous said...

When I hear this Gospel that which comes to my heart are the grace filled moments of my life when I did give everything I had, my life, even my very self to God and the beautiful life and Him dwelling within me He gave in return.

JoyFuralle said...

Wow, really love the way you're hearing the Word! And you made me realize there is a healthy balance between being a Pharisee and the poor widow. Going towards either extreme in our culture leads me then to rely on MYself, that holy trinity of me, myself and I instead of seeking the Lord, relying & trusting & seeking the Lord in all situations. Can't wait to hear the homily!

so many good people said...

As I prepared my heart for the upcoming Sunday and reflected on this Gospel, I was touched when I noticed the great number of people who do "give everything they have." When I stop and think about it, I really am inspired by how many are hearing God's word and are doing their best to answer His call in their lives. So many good people - and yet we know that still more need to hear the invitation!

As to the Matador's reflection, it was good for me to hear of yet another way to consider this Gospel message. That was a fresh new message for me to relate to this text. The example of a child was especially striking. I see Pope Francis as one who is trying to help us work our way out of this pharisaical approach to religion. Instead he calls us to live out love, joy, and mercy. Preoccupying ourselves with manifesting those fruits and virtues will take us in the direction of God's Kingdom more readily than burdening others with legalistic expectations that are at times not even attainable.