-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 4:00 on Saturday and 9:30am on Sunday
We go to God together
This is the theme that I have struck for this Lenten time particularly focusing upon our Lenten spiritual formation process called "church@home: friends encountering Christ". This first Sunday of Lent has the traditional temptations of Jesus in the desert. It is also the weekend when we send our catechumens and candidates for initiation into the Catholic Church to the bishop for the Rite of Election. My call and invitation is against the traditional individualistic pietistic interpretation of the season of Lent. I believe that most of our lenten thinking, praying, and spirituality is not very Christian.
What I mean by not "Christian" is that it is largely a denial of our membership and participation in Christ, the church. So much of our religious thinking around the season of Lent is about our personal sinfulness, our individual unworthiness, and our strategies for convincing God that we are not be sent to hell. Nothing could be less "Christian" than that.
I'm suggesting that the spirituality of communion, that we "go to God together" is at the bottom of our baptismal theology of salvation. We are baptized "into Christ" so that we do not approach the throne of grace or the Father as individuals but rather as members, branches on the vine, members of one another, belonging.
I am going to be focusing upon the prayers of the mass. Notice with me that they are all spoken in the plural first person or the plural subject of the preposition so it is all "we, our, us, your people, etc". Maybe the grammar of the mass ought to challenge the grammar of our personal prayer, our personal spiritual lives, and our personal confession of sin. Do we pray, think, and confess as a member of the body of Christ or as an individual, "me and Jesus" mentality?
This corporate, communal, "believing as belonging" is underlying the spirituality of encounter or the spirituality of communion that we are growing in through our Lenten program of "Church@home".
Do you believe this? How do you see yourself approaching the throne of grace? Is there anyone with you? Let me know
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!