-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 on the back of the parish bulletin or at www.saint-albert.org/lincletter
-I will be celebrating mass at 5:30 on Saturday and at 9:30am and 12:30pm on Sunday.
In God's Image
From the first book of the Bible with the creation of man we understand that God is not an individual but rather a communion of persons, speaking in the WE and creating humanity not as a single unit but as a complex communion of persons in love( male and female). This communion that we know as holy matrimony is "the image and likeness of God”.
This concept of “male and female as a communion of persons in love” must be added to the next step in the first book of the Bible and that is God’s invitation to humanity to join God in his most basic function as Creator. So that man and woman/male and female/husband and wife is not only a reflection of WHO God is but, in their fundamental call to “be fruitful and multiply”, they are sharing in the fundamental work of God...we call that procreation. We might even be able to say that husband and wife are the image of God and in their procreativity they are the like God.
Why this is important to mention on the feast of the holy family is that we, as a biblical religious people, have to admit that the way we are expected to know who God is and how we are to be like God comes out of our imperfect however dedicated and committed and faithful moms and dads. The point of the feast of the holy family of Nazareth of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph is that God is revealed to us and to the world through the love of husband and wife and theit divine work as procreating parents - a human family!
Now if that is not the least politically correct thing I have said in the last 12 months I don’t know what is. Those two paragraphs about the existence of God, the nature of God, the nature of humanity, and the fundamental purpose of matrimony really sum up the entire Christian faith. Humanity was created by love, as love, in love and for love. God is love. It is only by us receiving the pattern of godliness and living our lives according to the plan of godliness that any of us can hope to live forever with God.
It seems to me that every other philosophical system, political system, psychological system, and educational system are all trying to figure out another way. And there just isn’t one. It started with Adam and Eve, quite frankly, and it is a raging fire in 2017. We do not want to admit who we are in God and we do not want to struggle with how we are to be in God because it’s difficult.
So, inasmuch as we do not know our married parents to be the face of God and the power of God then human life becomes a difficult struggle to survive in a material world in which God becomes a Hidden mystery of no apparent use in our culture. Since we will not accept God for God as God is and we will not accept our humanity as God has created it we cannot have life in God.
But, of course, The opposite is true and possible. The point of today’s feast and the truth of Christmas and the incarnation is that we can see and know who God is and who we are in God and we can choose to allow that to make all the difference. We can see the face of God where God has intended us to see him. We call that faith and it is ours for the asking.
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!