-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 5:30pm on Saturday 9:30am Sunday (and 12:30 at Our Lady of Lourdes on 55th St)
Can we put Jesus Christ back on the throne?
Some of you may remember July 20, 1969 like I do. You might know exactly where you were and the people you were with. It was the day of the Apollo space landing on the moon and Ohioan Neil Armstrong stepped out onto the surface of the moon. We were all glued to a television set and filled with anticipation, solidarity, and pride as Americans.
The beautiful pictures taken from orbit of our planet earth spinning on its axis were relayed back to earth and for the first time we earthlings got to see what we look like from outer space.
That image of the earth seen from space was a revolution in our "worldview". It was an experience of no longer being the center of the universe but being a participant in a galaxy much bigger than ourselves.
Changing one's worldview is a process that happens in our personal lives every so often. We suddenly recognize that the king at the center of our lives and the universe in which we have been operating has changed from the center outward, and all of the relationships in our universe have shifted along with it..
We could use another word to explain our changing worldview, a shift in our paradigm, or in the Christian dispensation we could call it conversion. These shifts or conversions usually follow a "bottoming out": we hit bottom or hit the wall when we fail in succeeding in life lived according to our worldview with its values, rewards, and costs.
In these frustrating and often sad bottoms or walls on our life's journey we are suddenly open to a new world view, a new perspective, philosophy, or path going forward. For religious people or human beings created in the image and likeness of God this new path going forward is often the world view of the kingdom of God with Jesus Christ upon the throne.
The feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ king of the universe is the invitation for us to once again put God at the center of our world and of our lives. The funny thing about religious conversion in our lives is that until we hit bottom or hit the wall we don't even realize that we have been walking the wrong road. This opening of our eyes to who and what is the king of "our personal universe" is often shocking and painful. The death of a loved one, the loss of a lifelong career, the loss of personal health, the failure of our primary wife project… All of these things and many more are the difficult opening of our eyes to see who is the God that we serve.
The conversation between the two thieves crucified with Jesus is an example of our options today. One thief sees the Lord Jesus even crucified as redeemer and king offering him everlasting life while the other thief looks at the crucified Jesus and mocks him as diluted , helpless, and foolish in his proposed role as Messiah who can't even get us down off of this miserable cross.
Who or what is the king of your universe and what is the world view from which you are operating? How could Jesus replace that kingship in your life and thereby change your world?
Get into the ring! How this works...
This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my 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!