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Get into the ring! How this works...

This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily 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!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Sept 10 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at
-check out this week's LinC Letter on the back of the parish bulletin or at
-I will be celebrating mass at 4 pm on Sat and 9:30am and 6pm on Sunday

Love them anyway!

Jesus is not letting us off the hook when it comes to loving those who hurt us. In this Sunday's Gospel Jesus gives us a process not of remedy for the broken, but of transformation of the self.

            People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
            If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
            If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.      
             Succeed anyway.
            If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.
            What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.
            If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
            The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.
            Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
             In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

The beautiful poetic text known as "anyway" is an original composition by Keith Kent re-worked by Mother Teresa.  It is a list of typical complaints that people make about others, if you will, their sins, shortcomings, and lack of love.  The poem says in reply to every complaint about other people-"love them anyway".

The gospel for the Sunday appears to be a method for dealing with difficult people in the church community.  For those social scientists in the group it might give us a sense of security  to know how to deal with difficult people, how we might make them behave according to our standards. I am recognizing however that the prescribed strategy for dealing with difficult people, misbehaving people, problem children in the family, annoying relatives, difficult bosses, as with mother Teresa's poem is ultimately a call to love them as God has loved you. Jesus says to treat the unrepentant sinner like you would a tax collector or a Gentile. In other words,  Love your neighbor as yourself.

So the misbehavior, the sins of others cannot be an excuse for us withholding our love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness.  The unrepentant sins of others cannot be an excuse for us to "alienate" the sinner. Rather, it is just another opportunity for us to exercise our Christlike holiness.  Love them anyway.

Maybe we have another strategy here to go along with trying to correct the behavior of difficult people, trying to "make people get along",  we can  turn those moments and difficult situations into the opportunity for us to step into holiness by simply "loving them anyway"!