Vineyards of En-Gedi | Homiletic Explorations into Communion, community, and evangelization
193
home,paged,page-template,page-template-blog-compound,page-template-blog-compound-php,page,page-id-193,paged-31,page-paged-31,ajax_updown_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,qode-content-sidebar-responsive,transparent_content,qode-theme-ver-17.2,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.6,vc_responsive
  • The practical spirituality and ministry implied in the I Corinthians 5 reading is too much to pass up; the gospel story of the prodigal son provides a concrete example of what Paul is talking about for the Church. Reconciliation shows itself in the qualities of justice, joy, thanksgiving, humility, and wisdom. The joy in this Laeta...

  • Lent means to transform us into conformity with Christ in the flesh and in the resurrection. So the Lenten sojourner witnesses the transfiguration of Christ, and thus is enabled to enter into a deeper understanding of th Paschal Mystery for one’s self. Thus, a significant milestone in the Lenten walk with Jesus is attained. Lent ...

  • Human life is frail, given to the distractions of the world and subject to the whim of bad luck and needing to be set free from the oppression of the world’s domination. God appears to Moses and in the person of Jesus Christ to save us from slavery to sin and to accompany us in mercy on our own journey to Jerusalem. The readings ...

  • The gospel story is so well known and so many readers get fixated on whatever Jesus mysteriously wrote in the dust of the Temple pavement. Sometimes the main message of the personal encounter with Jesus is missed, but perhaps this is the binding link for the readings. If anything, the highlights of the Philippians reading are key t...

  • The readings challenge us to think about the dynamics and psychology of sin from the view of these ancient texts. Recognition of the truth of the human condition and authentic honesty about ourselves will result in an increase of yearning for Jesus. Sin is never comfortable to discuss, and yet it should not be in a “hell fire and...

  • The Ash Wednesday proclamation focused on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, each the opposite of money, power, and fame. The gospel makes us consider the ways of the world as opposed to the ways of God. All God’s blessings belong to God; we return our money, power, fame and we praise God alone. How do these readings mature us in o...

  • Lectionary CatechesisFr. Alan Hartway, CPPS Guardian Angels Parish in Mead, CO Thus Lent begins. God desires conversion of heart; our Lenten practices are directed to that goal or end. At the same time, the three penances commended by Jesus are done for others who have less than we have ourselves; at any angle, penance has som...

  • The anointed one, foretold in Cyrus according to Isaiah, and fulfilled in Jesus Christ comes to save us through the trial of baptism, death to sin and an assent to God’s grace in the resurrection. The readings are about lamentation for the effects of sin; this is what Pope Francis means by a renewal of compunction, the gift of te...

Homiletics Notes, Uncategorized / 08.11.2019

St. Paul connects faith and works in his final chapters of Romans. Putting the faith into practice is the phrase we use. "May the Word of the Lord speed forward and be glorified," and "you are doing and will continue to do." These phrases describe the evangelizing work of the Church, because this is the first and foremost work of the Church, certainly in the theology of this author. The image of the Word "speeding" ahead, or literally "running" or "rushing' seems rather slow compared to the spread of information in our internet and social media culture. While we have every opportunity to promote the Word, we are seemingly still at about the pace of 1st century AD. The point may also be that the Word wins the race and not I. We all like to think of ourselves as winners, in at least something. Can we imagine that God's Word should win this race, this pilgrim journey we are on to the heavenly city of Jerusalem? We are also a culture that loves speed! The faster, the bigger the better. Which makes of us a lazy culture because we expect and demand that some machine do it for us. We don't take the time in our rushing around, and then after all that speed, what is it exactly that people have been freed up do do? Exhaustion and crashing. How doe this Church culture promote forward the Word of God in our lives? ...

Homiletics Notes / 07.11.2019

As the liturgical year ends, the readings turn toward teachings, reflections, and the meaning of the resurrection for our lives today. The first truth tells us that the resurrection is to about something in the distant future either after death or at the end of the time, but rather an event that means something for the immediate now. This first teaching appears already as a key insight into "the reign of God is at hand." In the second reading, we find another implication. The resurrection should "encourage and strengthen" our hearts for the work (the good) that we do today, right now. In other words, if I keep my focus on this truth, then I have a rationale for resisting temptations and sins. This process was apparently more successful to the ancient mind than it is today, largely because we are a culture awash in feelings, and neither the intellect nor the will. Our hearts are to be directed to the love of God, not love of this world. This is the crux of the challenge for th Christian today. The last truth in the readings relates to and connects the resurrection to evangelization. The Word of God proclaims an alternate reality to the one we have accepted like Esau's porridge. One's salvation is not personal, but rather oriented toward the common good, and there is no common good if we have withdrawn ourselves from any sense or meaning of community. The second reading is written in the "you" plural, which pathetic English has no way to distinguish from "you" singular, unless you're from Texas, where "all y'all" seems to work. Another truth regards body purity, becoming the greatest challenge in this culture of all. This physical purity orients the present body in the flesh toward the resurrection of the body, which will be transfigured or changed in some profound way in relationship to Being itself, if not "in Being." The question is this: do these things connect to the modern person,...

Homiletics Notes / 06.11.2019

I'm struck by the words in the second reading from II Thessalonians the promote the evangelizing work of the Church. "Encouraged and strengthened for every deed and word," and "so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified." This remains the work of the church today, although poorly done when one considers the state of homiletics in the US today. The hearts of the people may be admonished, moralized, and denounced, all of which is a far cry from encouraging and strengthening the hearts of the people. I don't mean some kind of verba up lift, but rather inviting people, offering examples, setting out the high road, and bringing them to love, not fear. Twice, the brief reading mentions "hearts". The homiletic appeal is to the heart, not the intellect. Unfortunately, in the United States, hearts hardly means the interior self, but rather some mushy runamuck emotions, a feeling that is transient. It is the will ("direst your hearts") of the disciple to order this interior transformation by the grace of God stirring up that will in us, for in the opening verse, it is Christ who stirs the will. Elsewhere, for Paul, this is "conform yourself to Christ." This is the life of the saints. This is the resurrection in the gospel. ...