-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 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM on Sunday
What you love is killing you!
My late grandfather of happy memory had an opinion about doctors. He often said that the scheme of the doctor is to find out what you like and then tell you that you're not allowed to have it anymore. While that is a rather cynical assessment of the medical profession's strategy of what we now call preventative care, it really does make some sense. When we really love something and are attached to it we can do too much of it. This can be the case with our diet but also with our quest for happiness.
I have been reflecting throughout this advent season on the call to repentance and the definition of that word repent to mean "change the direction you're looking for happiness". As I have pointed out over the past couple of weeks there are various ways to identify the wrong direction we are looking for happiness. The first indication and pointer to our wrong direction for happiness is the unhappinesses of our lives, why we are so angry, sad, or frightened. When we answer that question we often times stumble upon the in adequacy of our chosen direction for happiness and it can be a pretty easy thing to "change direction".
There is a second and more difficult situation in our call to repentance or change in the way we are looking looking for happiness and that is where we are really happy. The danger of what makes us really happy is that we can often NOT recognize or hear the call to change our direction for happiness.
This advent time is one of examination into what are our values and priorities as we strive for happiness. John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, the blessed virgin Mary and today, Saint Joseph, invite all of us to have the faith and courage to acknowledge the emptiness of our current striving and to be open to God's will. It is in God's will that we find true and lasting happiness.
St. Joseph on this fourth Sunday of advent can be understood to be the model for repentance, changing our mind, changing the direction in which we are striving for happiness. Not only in his openness to changing his mind about "putting Mary away" but in several other features of his faith and choices throughout the infancy narrative of Saint Matthew, Joseph shows himself to be open to changing his mind, meta-noia, changing the direction he is looking for happiness. In all of it, he reveals the true source of happiness which is doing the will of God in love.
Do you have the courage to look into your "plan" and to see the false promise of happiness? Repent!
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!