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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 10, 2016

September 11 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email or on my facebook page.
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at
-check out this week's LinC Letter at
-I will be celebrating mass at 4pm on Saturday, 8am, 11am, and 6pm on Sunday

Profiles in Lostness

In the scriptures for this week I am seeing a profile of "lostness" that I haven't seen before.  I'm wondering how it sounds to you?

The great parables of "lostness" are the coin, the sheep, and the son.  Let's look at these "profiles in lostness".

I am seeing the lost coin as a sign of those who are lost from the love of God in their embrace of a completely material existence.  Like the coin, these souls are actually "inanimate" persons - they are lost from the love of God by their conviction that human life is completely devoid of God, faith, and eternity.  They do not know that they are lost.  They are fairly contented in the "material" world, its pursuits, and its rewards.  They have no need of repentance.

The second profile in lostness is the lost sheep which is a sign to me of those who are lost from the love of God in their slavery to their emotional existence.  This rather innocent creature knows through its basic instinct and its 'senses' that it is in trouble, it knows that it is isolated, it hurts in pain, it cries out for help from mother or flock.  This emotional lostness believes IN God however the love of God is not influential in their daily life.  Rather God is a distant figure who CAN make me feel better if and when He is so inclined.  They are fairly pre-occupied with the roller coaster search for happiness in life.  They have no need of repentance.

The third profile in lostness is the elder son on his father's plantation. These stand for me as a sign of those who are lost to the love of God in their religious existence.  These persons are lost to the love of God in their arrogant and self-satisfied religious convictions.  These are the strangest and most resistant of the lost - because they think they are found. In fact, these religiously lost people believe it is God who is lost, who has abandoned them in the pain of life because God has not been as faithful to them as they are to God.  These persons live their lostness in resentment - resentment of God, of other religious people, of other lost people.  They have no need of repentance, in fact, they have a theology of staying the way they are.

Repentance is the recognition of one's lostness and the acceptance of the never-changing, never-ending, never-withheld love of God.  You are my beloved Son.  Without repentance we remain lost.  Lostness is the greatest and most powerful enemy of God's gift of salvation.

Does any of that connect with your story?  Have you ever repented in your lostness?


JoyFuralle said...

Wow!!! LOVE the direction ... I don't know that until recently I've RECOGNIZED how lost I am ... Fairly regularly ... And I'm just learning ... that's okay ... We all are ... (NOT wink, wink we all are except me!). And ACCEPTING we ALL are! TRULY accepting! You, with your imperfections, me with mine and of how to love those warts and pimples of yours and mine!!

So being lost isn't the problem as much as thinking I'm okay, you're not and putting the 'blame' on others or finding fault.

So when you speak of repentance I need more words of what repentance actually is. Many times I am not realizing the way I feel bad in looking to blame is trying to shift my pathetic human imperfections and brokenness condition onto others. Is repentance more a realizing how pathetic and needy I TRULY am and that as the Lord loves and accepts me so I must offer that love to others? Sorry so scattered...

Fr. Estok said...

Yes, I believe that repentance is the recognition of lostness ( another new word in the Estok lexicon) and the acceptance of belonging to the love of God.

(In)finite said...

I like this too - both the reflection and Joy's reaction. It is reminding me of some reading that I am doing in which the author is mentioning the connection of the finite with the infinite. His point is that if when we don't come to grips with what is finite - if we avoid or deny the finite - we can never get a sense of the infinite. However, if we come face to face with the finite - accept it and even embrace it - then the infinite opens up before us.

I see that happening with this description of "lostness" (which has a red underline on my screen ;-). Webster doesn't know about your good word yet). If we will not face the ways in which we are broken, we will never see the invitation that we really have to enter into the fullness of life that God has to offer. For instance, I have 3 siblings and as we become older and wiser I am seeing ways in which our relationships are broken that I never admitted to before. After seeing my brokenness, and OUR brokenness, I am now beginning to see other ways that the relationships have some deep beauty that I hadn't before embraced. I first had to be willing to see and admit how we had reached a "limit" before I could then appreciate how much endless possibility there is in living out our love in a different way. Indeed, this does remind me of the saying "Insanity means doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results!"

I have to see it, admit the finite, repent, seek God's grace - and then the infinite possibilities make themselves known. What a shame it can be to miss them!