Homily for Thursday, July 17, 2014

Readings for Today

It is not unusual to find people whose image of God is as a harsh and mean God. Perhaps it is the hurt that has happened in their lives, the experiences of deep and tragic losses,were the type of abuse and experiences that lead to deep shame. Such persons can also find those who profess to believe who only serve to deepen this difficult image of God.

What is our image of God? In answering this question, there are a few assumptions we can make. Since we are made in God’s image and likeness, then there has to be something in us, we are at our best, that teaches us something about God. But what does it mean for us to be at our best? Is it when we are harsh, rigid, seeing the world only in black and white ways, an image of God who is a judge? Is it when we believe that “anything goes”, that there are simply no reasons for God to get mad at us, the image of God as a teddy bear?

Both extremes would be unfortunate and wrong. We believe that God has deep and abiding love for his people. More than anything else, God desires us to be at our best, reflecting the love that calls us to greatness. At the same time, the mention of sin and forgiveness in today’s readings reminds us that not everything goes. There is right and wrong.

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Homily for Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Readings for Today

You think too much.  Ever heard this? Usually this expression is used when someone takes a difficult situation and consider is simply too many options, and often those options that lead to poor outcomes. Perhaps today’s gospel is a reminder that sometimes our spiritual life we too need to avoid thinking too much.

Over the past few days, we have been reminded of sin. Sodom, Gomorrah, Tyre, and Sidon, Chorazin, Bethsaida.  These cities have been used as examples of those who did not fully allow their faith to take deep root in their attitudes and beliefs, that alone their actions. And we have reflected on the fact that these actions, attitudes, and beliefs, can be present in us too.

All of this can cause us to think. And such might be the great temptation of our age. It may be that we too often believe that we can solve every problem by ourselves. Less and less as Western culture admit a place for ministry or those things that cannot be seen. Perhaps we are simply thinking too much.

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Homily for Sunday, July 6, 2014

Readings for Today

Don’t worry, be happy.  Do you remember that song? There was a period of time where it felt like that was the only song the radio stations were allowed to play. It’s presence was ubiquitous.  The basic message was that regardless of what happened in our lives, we should not worry about it. We should just be happy. The song was released in 1988, shortly after a major correction of the stock market in which it lost hundreds of points in a single day in the fall of 1987. Perhaps the song resonated so much with people because it was a message that was appealing to them given the difficulties they currently faced.

But how are we to be happy? The song provides no pathway to happiness. It’s basic admonition is that worry is destructive and that happiness is life giving. And I do not think anyone can disagree with that.  But when we find ourselves experiencing worry or anxiety, we often need more than simply a trite phrase encouraging us to be happy.  The good news for us this morning is that while the song does not provide a solution, the Lord Jesus does.

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