Homily from the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
"The Catholic Church, and here we are at Newman, we exist to be one, giant, saint-making machine. The whole goal of our lives is to become like Christ. And so what do Christian friendships look like? It looks like us working together, me pouring myself out for you, you pouring yourself out for me in pursuit of the good, in pursuit of the best: in pursuit of Christ."
Mass Readings from October 24, 2010:
2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Homily from the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Homily from the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
"The safest place for any man or woman, no matter what your tendency, no matter what your temptation is, your safest place is here in the Catholic Church because we're saying this: you may never be bullied, you may never be treated as a thing, you may never be treated or reduced to your temptations or to your sins. You are more than that. That is what the Church teaches. And that's why we, if we are going to have the microphone, if we are ever going to have the microphone on the public sphere, we need to have this line that says every person must be accepted with respect, compassion, treated with dignity."
Mass Readings from October 17, 2010:
2 Timothy 3:14-4:2
INTEGRITY OF THE PERSON...
So, in today's homily, I'm going to make reference to a few passages from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is essentially the official "What Catholics Believe" book written by the teaching office (known as the Magisterium...it's Latin and means teaching office...hmmm interesting) of the Church.
We are going to be talking a little bit about chastity today. The successful life of chastity is necessary for the Art of Living.
Here is a sample of what the Catechism says about it:
THE INTEGRITY OF THE PERSON
2338 The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech. 124
2339 Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy. 125
"Man's dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end." 126
Now, we are also going to look at what the Church teaches about Same-Sex Attraction (I invite you not to leave at this point and say, "I know what the Church teaches...the Church hates homosexuals!" That is not true.). We will hear today about God's (and the Church's) great love for everyone. (FYI: The term "everyone" actually means "everyone.") We will look at the following teaching as well:
CHASTITY AND HOMOSEXUALITY
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, 140 tradition has always declared "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." 141 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
I invite all of us to find out what these words and terms mean. Today, we will look at the first paragraph (2357) as it is written (and not necessarily as how we Americans might read it)... but especially in light of the second two paragraphs. What we will find is that there is no hate and there is no fear. There is no bigotry and no homophobia on the part of the Catholic Church. That might sound like a big claim (or even a false one!), but I hope that we will see that it is a true claim. I pray that we can all (no matter what we may happen to struggle with) know of God's deep and abiding love and power in our lives.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Homily from the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
"If you want the infallible sign of God's presence, joy, if you want that gigantic secret of Christians, I would invite all of us to cultivate intentional gratitude. Kill expectation, because that kills joy. But instead, cultivate intentional gratitude."
Mass Readings from October 10, 2010:
2 Kings 5:14-17
2 Timothy 2:8-13
How do these readings fit in with the homily?
If you go back to the story of Namaan the Syrian and Elisha in the First Reading, Namaan expected Elisha to ask him to do something heroic, something huge, and he almost missed out on the great gift that Elisha actually gave him. Naaman had expected that Elisha, this man of God, would ask him to do something extreme, something extravagent, something way out there, and all Elisha asked Namaan to do was dip himself seven times in the Jordan waters. Namaan, looking at expectation, almost missed out on the gift that God had to give him. It can be the same way with us. When all we're doing is looking at expectation, what we expect to get, sometimes we miss out on the gift that God wants to give us.
In the Gospel reading, those lepers were the perfect examples of people who experienced God's gift, God's grace, God's healing on that day. But it took one person, the Samaritan that Jesus praises, who recognizes the gift he was given. That's the lesson for us. If we don't recognize the gifts we are given, we can go through the rest of our lives and just be blessed and blessed and be given so many gifts, and not even take a time to stop, with intentional gratitude, and turn to God and tell God, "Thanks." This is one of the great gifts of the story that Luke gives us in his Gospel today, that we can be blessed and not even know it, not even recognize it. But here is the Samaritan that gives us a perfect example of someone who recognizes the gift that God has given him, stops, and is intentionally grateful, has intentional gratitude. That can be us.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Homily from the Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time.
"When our values, what we know to be true, become our virtues, how we live, we will begin the art of living."
Mass Readings from October 3, 2010:
Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4
2 Timothy 1: 6-8, 13-14
Luke 17: 5-10
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