It ends where it began. With Discipleship: Homily for the Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle

Readings for Today

As we come to the end of the liturgical year, we end right where we began. Discipleship. This story has been used by authors like Sherry Weddell as the illustration of intentional discipleship. Andrew and Simon drop their nets and leave their old way of life. While they do not fully know where that will lead, they do know it will always be with Jesus.  They have turned over their lives to follow, and to emulate, this person of Jesus.

What do you make of your state of discipleship? Are you closer to Jesus, or are you further away? Do you know Jesus more clearly, or are you more distant in what you know? The good news is that even after his decision to become an intentional disciple, Andrew was not perfect.  Andrew did not always understand Jesus, and sometimes he made Jesus angry. As you reflect back upon this past year, where do you need Jesus in your life?

Homily for Monday, January 12, 2015

Readings for Today

Last week the Dominicans of the Central Province held their assembly, and I went. One of the speakers we heard was Sherry Wedell, the author of a book, Forming Intentional Disciples.  She spoke of the importance for us to think of the need in the Church for disciples, and how we might understand better the process of becoming a disciple. One phrase she used was “drop the net”, which refers to the moment we hear about today in the gospel where the fishermen “drop their nets” to follow Jesus, the moment they choose to become disciples.

As we move into “Ordinary Time” (named, by the way for “ordinal” or numbers, not to distinguish it from the extraordinary), we begin with the important encounter of Jesus. We meet Jesus squarely in both readings, both a description of his divinity, as one through whom God speaks, and as one that seeks a definite choice to become disciples.

The first reading, though, cannot be thought of rightly as a reading that seeks to distance God from the people created in His image. Rather, it is through the Son, Jesus, that God speaks to us. The relationship is a personal one. Now, we encounter the very person of Jesus, Son of God, and we are able to know God because we know Jesus.

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Homily for Sunday, September 7, 2014

Readings for Today

Fraternal Correction. Chapter of Faults. For religious communities, these were attempts to put today’s readings into practice. In theory, these were designed to be moments where members of the community, concerned with the spiritual health of others pointed out areas of fault and sin in another person. Fraternal correction was a one on one conversation, whereas the chapter of faults was done in community.

I have never really experienced either, so I speak of them only from what I have read or heard from those who did experience this. It seems that most who did experience these things said it did not usually work too well. It is kind of easy to see why. No one really likes to hear criticism of their behavior.

We know there are non-spiritual ways where confrontation is used for a good thing. An intervention with someone who is struggling with addiction comes to mind. But there are other moments. Parents certainly have moments where they need to say things to their children that are not very pleasant. Teachers do the same with students, bosses with employees and spouses with each other.

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