Homily 2017 10 20 – Not fearing peaceful snarky Jesus, Judge of living and dead

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5 responses to “Homily 2017 10 20 – Not fearing peaceful snarky Jesus, Judge of living and dead

  1. elizdelphi

    I like that I can listen to sections of these homilies repeatedly if I didn’t get it the first time. I have the worst, worst attention for listening, I think my ability to pay attention and understand things in general has eroded. At Mass it’s not possible to rewind to find out what the priest said while my mind was wandering.

    This was a fantastic, I almost want to say perfect explanation of this passage, I never thought about it quite the way, or quite as clearly rather as you explain it. The One to be afraid of is the One who Judges us with mercy. “Treat them like tax collectors and sinners”… like Matthew whom He made an apostle. What Jesus really proclaims and teaches and the way people actually think and act even in the Church can be very different.

    We started the children’s sacramental preparation earlier this year and are now in the midst of a short series of First Reconciliation classes. I put a lot of emphasis on how HAPPY the Good Shepherd is to have his lost little sheep back, and how HAPPY the father is to have his prodigal son back. God is very HAPPY when we are sorry for our sins. Heaven rejoices. I have thought many times that if only we could make rejoicing over the return of fallen away Catholics more visible and make it clearer and more actual how not only God but we value them, it might lead to more people coming back to the Church, and once returned more people feeling loved and part of the family and having the strength not to backslide. There are reasons why even a major sinner’s turn back to God sometimes goes very unnoticed–such as the seal of confession. People certainly do not necessarily want a public fuss made over their repentance from sins it is reasonable to be ashamed of, and return to the life of the Church. The prodigal son would perhaps not have thought of wanting the rings, the shoes or the best robe or the fatted calf to be rushed out; these things are expressions of the father’s heart. But still, if there was some way to make visible the Church’s happiness over the repentance of those who had been dead and are now alive, who were lost and are now found, that would seem valuable and helpful to say something true about God and draw people to come home. These are my own thoughts I have been having rather than directly a reaction to this homily. It is just a related theme.

  2. Elizdelphi, I agree with you, I think the sacrament of confession has been downgraded. It may not have been on purpose but if you consider that a local parish boasts of having over 6,000 families and yet confession is scheduled for 30 or 45 minutes once a week, even with two priests in the confessionals it seems like it can’t be very important. (not my opinion – just how it might seem to someone who just doesn’t understand)

    I think if the church made a bigger fuss over confession – maybe going back to more times or more preaching about the sacrament it might help.

    Father George, I almost fell off my chair when I heard you explain how to treat a ‘knuckle head” – make him an apostle! I had never thought of that. Thanks for jogging my brain cells once again.

  3. Elizdelphi, a nearby church ( a non denominational ) had a very clever recruiting activity. They placed popcorn packets on people’s doorstep with a flyer that said POP IN ! and a copy of their bulletin. Maybe a clever try like this to the inactive parishioners would help.
    Our diocese had a ‘Welcome Home’ drive one year for Advent. Don’t know how successful it was, but I thought that should have continued it every year.

  4. elizdelphi

    My parish is relatively small in English speaking attendance (very, very few families, mainly young adults and retired people) but has confession times 45 mins 4 days a week because it is in the middle of downtown and a lot of non parishioners go to confession here. And confession is still rarely preached about or very actively promoted. Most people who come to Mass here it can be assumed most probably do go to confession, they are devout people who drive in from surrounding areas. However there are tons of people living in the parish territory that don’t come to Mass and the parish does nothing to be visible to or reach out to, much less to show that we and God would be happy if the Good Shepherd found them. So I have in mind people who have truly wandered away and are physically not with us Sundays.

  5. elizdelphi

    joisygoil, I would totally be pounding the pavement to do that…. I did go around on a below-zero day one year before Lent to put lots of fliers I made myself with Lenten confession and Mass times and some brief education about what Mass and Confession are on doors in the parish one year ….

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