-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 11:00am on Sunday
The Bible tells us today that John the Baptist was in prison. It was from prison the John sent his disciples to Jesus to inquire as to whether or not Jesus was "the one" or should I look for "another".
Throughout this Advent time I have been considering the call to repent, the word for conversion or "a change in the direction you were looking for happiness" as Fr. Thomas Keating has defined it. I have recognized the unhappinesses of our lives as key indicators as to the direction we are currently looking for happiness. I would like to suggest that our happinesses, what makes us happy now, might be on unforeseen prison that is separating us from the Lord of true joy.
On this Gaudete Sunday, which means rejoice, my question Might better be seen as what makes you happy, where are you finding happiness in life? The danger of our answer is that those sources of happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction may be at a distance from the Lord himself. So that our satisfaction or happiness might in fact be a prison that is preventing us from a needed change in our direction toward the Lord of glory.
What John's imprisonment reminds me today is that we are not always free to change direction. Cause we have misread the signs of the times. We may believe that because we're happy and satisfied that we are doing God's will for us.
We can even see our happiness in life as a prison preventing us from responding to the Lord. Some of us have been so attracted to our chosen direction for happiness that we are truly in prison, addicted, trapped. The good news of the Gospel today is that Jesus Christ was born into our imprisonment to self-fulfillment and by the cross and resurrection he has set us free, free to change the direction we're looking for happiness. Free to go deeper to pierce the worldly satisfaction and to open ourselves to God's gift of true joy in the peace of the Kingdom.
While Jesus Christ has broken down the gate of our alienation from God, we must choose to walk away from satisfaction and follow him to true Kingdom joy.
What makes you so happy? How much of that is God? How strongly are you trapped in your own happiness - separated from the love of God. Repent - change the direction you are looking for happiness.
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!