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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, October 8, 2016

October 9 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at
-check out this week's LinC Letter at
-I will be celebrating mass at 8:00am on Sunday


The telltale sign of a heart that is free is thanksgiving.  Gratitude in every circumstance is the sign of a heart that sees clearly what is a blessing and is free from fear, sadness, and anger over what is not.  Especially in moment of pain, loss, and persecution only the truly free person can be grateful for life, love, and eternal salvation.  The only things of reality.

Death beds are the place where this freedom is most evident or it's absence is so obvious. At the end of life when everything has been "taken away" the one who is grateful sees rightly. For the grateful heart, everything except sin is gift, grace, and blessing. So gratitude is the only response.

What has imprisoned your heart?  What are you NOT grateful for?


JoyFuralle said...

LOVE your direction, love the questions ... so, so sad that 'Death beds are the place where this freedom is most evident' ... makes me realize I have never, ever met a person who is 'too grateful'. Also makes me realize any goodness that is true and authentic can't be overdone. Wow, that's a new thought for me!

I had a profound occurrence and as I am typing a new discovery also. When I was in the hospital after SUPER major surgery I was in terrible pain, over the top of 10. I indicated I needed more meds & the nurse said, "oh, no, honey, you just had them an hour ago. You'll have to wait." Now, I feel I can tolerate pain well. I had delivered two children WITHOUT ANY kind of drugs! Here is the BRAND new realization: I did not do that on my own, wow, that was a grace, that was gift and here all these years I've been taking credit for it!

Well, I could NOT stop crying, the pain was sooooooo bad ... and as I lay there crying for an hour (an hour!), the thought that occurred to me was that our Lord was ahead of me and taking the WORST PART of the pain. I cried even harder! Oh my, ugh, our Lord took my 'over the top' pain ... for me ... so that I could bear my current suffering. After an hour I rang for the nurse again, still crying, and insisted something was wrong, the pain was brutal. A doctor was called in and sure enough I had pain associated with trech trauma (at the hands of the nurse) and more meds were given, a different trech tube given. That experience made me realize Christ goes before me always in all things, and your blog makes me realize I don't realize it deeply enough on a daily basis ... as the Lord does this in all things, in all circumstances.

Thanks for jolting me out of my stupor, Father ... again ... thanks for continuing to shine Christ's light & love and illuminate the Life of Christ waiting to be resurrected and lived!

Stark Contrast said...

Joy's powerful witness above speaks well to this week's Matador message. Perhaps it is precisely because the Lord operates "ahead us" that we oftentimes are stuck and operating in our pusillanimous state. We are blinded and cannot see the magnificent "newness" that God does indeed provide in every situation. Because of our weakness, when great pain or great fear are involved, it's understandable that we are especially challenged to "know" the freedom that is actually present. Christ showed us on the cross how to work through those times with grace.

I attended an event last night at which one of the speakers appropriately recalled an event of horror in which he was a victim. He was one of three young men living together in a house at the time. The other two were abducted, tortured and murdered. Since that time he has been trying to live a life of service for the weak. He is devoted to the mission and is accomplishing great things - but not surprisingly he weeps when he relays memories of the horrific event of which he was a part, and somehow his life spared. He reflected on the existence of evil and confessed that it does seem at times that evil gains ground. I don't think there was one person in the audience who could not understand that at times this young man struggles with believing in an over-arching power that evil may seem to have. I fell asleep last night praying for him, the souls of his companions, and the families who have suffered over the brutality of the event.

So in reading the Matador's insightful message this morning, I was struck by the contrast. The contrast of the beautiful message of gratitude against the bleakness of horror and sin. And I knew with confidence that it is indeed God's grace that wins over - even when all else seems lost. I think the Matador is right - that these things are usually seen most clearly of all on our deathbeds when we are stripped of everything but that which is truly real. The "truly real" is the presence and love of God. All else may want to think itself real - but it cannot last for it doesn't have God's power of life.