Alert and Sober: Homily for Tuesday, September 5, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Alert and Sober.  These words are meant to help us. It can be so easy to be sluggish.  We can let life just happen to us.  We can allow distractions to be too much a part of who we are and what we are about.  Rather than alert and sober, we can become sleepy and lazy.  Rather than making life happen, we can sit back and let it happen.

Many religions believe in being awake.  For many religions, the virtue is to be alert, awake, alive.  Rather than allowing life to happen, people should reflect.  They should be awake, making life happen by their deliberate choices. Jesus wants us to be sober and alert.  So, wake up! Jesus is coming to meet you.

Homily for Thursday, August 28, 2014

Readings for Today

I do not like mornings. At all. I am a night person. And religious life is really skewed, in my opinion, to morning people. In some ways, so is our culture. As one bit of proof, I mention the 2 times (yes, only 2) where morning people are invited to stay up a little later for religious celebrations. One is the midnight Mass at Christmas and the other is the celebration of the Easter Vigil. I joke that when I suggest to morning people these are nice events to attend, they react as if I am suggesting they cut off their left arm. 363 days I must think (and usually act) like a morning person, and 2 nights are too many for morning people. Oh well.

Regardless, both morning and night people can understand the warning to “Stay awake!” It is interesting that Buddhism too, uses the notion of being awake (awareness) as an important metaphor for religious attitudes. What does it mean to be awake as a follower of Jesus? What causes us to “fall asleep” in our faith?

One obvious way we fall asleep is when we become complacent. offers being “smug” or “self-satisfied” as a potential definition. The sense is that to be complacent is to become unconcerned about personal growth and to acknowledge things that could cause us harm.

Specifically, this suggests we simply do not examine our lives. We do not consider how to deepen our prayer life, or how we can improve ourselves. We can become self-satisfied when we think that we really do not have to examine our lives because “God loves us.”

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