Archive for November, 2011

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First Sunday of Advent

November 28, 2011

LIGHT BREAKS THROUGH THE DARKNESS

Advent is understood by many as a season of preparation, but it is actually much more than that.

It is actually we celebrate as an in between time – a time between promise and fulfillment. The tension that results gives rise to many questions about God’s promises.

Not too long ago, several students surfaced these difficult questions about God and about doubt. We decided to use Advent to give us permission to ask these questions and ritualize the doubts that we have.  Due to the nature of this very different style Mass, there are two homilies for this Sunday:  the first is a normal Sunday Mass, but the second is highly interactive focused on doubt and bringing light to the darkness.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the First Sunday of Advent: (Isaiah 63:17-17; 64:1,3-8; Psalm 80; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37)

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Solemnity of Christ the King

November 20, 2011

LOVE IS AS LOVE DOES

What you hear in today’s readings are the qualifications for Christ the King. You could think about this like his campaign promise, which is also a rather brutal commentary on the incumbent party.

If you were to read the section of Ezekiel just before what we hear today, you will understand Ezekiel tells them, “Woe to you who feed yourselves. For you consume the milk, cover yourself with wool and kill what was fattened. You did not feed my flock. You did not strengthen the weak, heal the sick and because you did not lead them, they were dispersed and killed.”

And so we hear today, what the leaders would not do, God will do on his own. Through Ezekiel, God promises to save Israel – not just to send a Messiah, a savior, but to be the savior. God promises to come down and save us from ourselves.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Solemnity of Christ the King: (Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17; Psalm 23:1-3,5-6; I Corinthians 15:20-26,28; Matthew 25:31-46)

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 13, 2011

RISK AND RELATIONSHIP

This Sunday, Jesus is teaching a basic law of the divine life:  You get only in proportion to what you give.

So much of the divine life has an inverse relationship:  Security comes from taking risks.  Belonging comes from letting go.  Freedom comes from commitment.  Peace comes from unrest.  Life comes from death.  And Faith is not knowing what is certain, but knowing what is a mystery.

Why was the third slave punished?  Because he was unwilling to trust others with what he had been given.  He was more concerned with protecting what he had, than allowing for it to realize its own potential.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

  1. What are the fears we face?  How do we overcome those fears?  (For a GREAT interview on this, listen here)
  2. Who is the bad example here – the third slave or the first two slaves?  How does the landowner fit in this picture?
  3. What are the “talents” we are called to share?  Why don’t we?

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31; Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6; Matthew 25:14-30)

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32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 7, 2011

HOW WE WAIT

Every year, about this time of year, our readings become much more apocalyptic in nature.  As or liturgical year ends (just two weeks from now) and we begin Advent (three weeks from now), our readings speak of waiting, anticipation, preparation for Christ’s return.

As you listen to the first reading – you need to know that Wisdom in the book of Wisdom is understood in the Christian mind as Christ.  So it is not just wisdom for whom we are keeping vigil but Christ.  Paul and Matthew also carry this them of waiting and preparing.

And so we must consider now, how we have prepared and waiting – is it active or passive?

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

  1. What are the “oil lamps” of our lives?  (ie. the ways we illuminate our lives – prayer styles, books, resources)
  2. In what ways might we be caught off guard or unprepared for the wedding?What does “active waiting” look like?
  3. How do we practice for Heaven in our own lives?

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Wisdom 6:12-16; Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; and Matthew 25:1-13)

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Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day)

November 2, 2011

IMMORTALITY

At the heart of who we are is a desire for immortality – not to live in this life forever, but knowing that once this life has faded, we will be remembered.

We want to know that what we did with this life made a difference.  Jesus of course, is the ultimate example of this.  No one person has changed the world more profoundly than him.

So what do we learn from his example?

In our Gospel, Jesus tells us that it is not His will that was important, but the will of the Father.  This is what the Church offers our young people – though I rarely think anyone understands it.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for All Souls Day: (Wisdom 3:1-9; Psalm 23; Romans 5:5-11; John 6:37-40)