24th Sunday (A) September 17, 2017
I was in Great Clips earlier in the week. I don’t have much hair so it doesn’t take long to cut, but there was a conversation going on behind me that I was tuning into, so I tried to stall a little. (A woman was talking to her stylist about the fact that her husband was a stay-at-home-dad.)
“How come he gets all the fun while I bring in the money in a job I don’t like!”
The fun was described as 5, 3, and 1 year olds. I’m single, so a parent needs to describe to me in this story what the definition of “FUN” is!
Things have changed a little from my generation’s families.
A lot has changed; one of them is that we live in a faster, more complicated, often boundary-less world—a wonderful culture, yet a dangerous culture.
These things are only 10-15 years old:
- Smartphone with a computer in your hand
- Facebook went public
- Google went public
- First APP was released, now there are 3 million
- Crayola brought out the 256-box of crayons (what’s the divisible by 8 thing?). By the way, they are now being slammed for calling the newest color bluetiful. Why? Because it isn’t a word. Who missed the memo that you are allowed to make up a word. Just ask Miriam-Webster or Google dictionary
Life is accelerating! A Zillion times faster than we can keep up!
And there is no end in sight!
If we are in this world relying only on ourselves, we need a padded room where no one can hear us scream. Then we come out and say “Hey, I’m OK now!”
In the past, we had a good chance of living in a place and time that reflected good morals, ethics, values and beliefs.
That place can still be found, but you can’t just GOOGLE it.
Whatever shortcomings the church has, and there are many…
…we still offer the value of PRESENCE!
Belonging to a common mission, repeating the sacred stories, showing up at the same place and time
Take the value of the Gospel today:
Peter: “How often must I forgive!—seven times?”
If I were to ask you to finish the story, nearly all of you could:
Jesus says “Seventy times seven”
Come on, you can finish the story: a rich guy so loved his foreman he forgave a large amount because the foreman begged, and then the very next day, the foreman already forgot the gift he had received by refusing to forgive a much smaller debt.
We all go, ‘that bum! How could he be so blind?’
To which Jesus says: “you are that person!”
This is the value of PRESENCE
- Coming to mass strengthened by our communion (repeat and repeat)
- Faith Formation sessions (repeat and repeat)
- Community gathering (repeat and repeat)
Your chances of strengthening the virtue of forgiveness, or love, or compassion, or healing, or call to service, or standing up for the downtrodden, or etc. are increased—and meaning comes from it.
You are not looking for a product you can buy off the shelf that will help center your life.
Rather, it is connecting to a story!
It becomes ‘your story’!
We are called to support our story with our time, our talents, our treasure
Tithing is not money that buys a product, rather it buys a Story!
How many times must I forgive my brother or sister?
We are a parish that supports each other in experiencing a transforming encounter with Christ, who empowers us to be his presence in the world!
One Christ + One Parish + One Mission