Appleton, WI

Homily Connect Feb 28: A Tight Fisted Trap!

Scriptures: Gn22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18, Rom 8:31b-34, Mark 9:2-10

Thinking Back – A Favorite Novel- Where the Red Fern Grows

  • An ingenuous method of catching a raccoon
  • The trap: the hole, the nails, the shiny object
  • The clenched paw and the inability to let go

The Image for the Second Week of Lent

  • Our tight grasping fist
  • What might we be holding tightly to-enslaving us?
  • Possessions, Money, Amazon, Jealousy of others?
  • My Smartphone-Never Looking Up

The Zen Master and the Visitor

  • The visitor keeps talking-Zen Master Keeps pouring tea
  • Visitor commented the cup was overflowing
  • Like cup, visitor was full of own ideas
  • No room for anything else
  • Is Lent about emptying our cups and opening our hearts?

The First Reading – Our Horror!

  • Abraham attempt to sacrifice his only son, Isaac to the Lord
  • Our Lord never condoned human sacrifice
  • It was prevalent in Abraham and Sarah’s time
  • The anger of the gods needed to placated
  • They thought human sacrifice would take care of it
  • An angel of the Lord stopped it
  • Forever would the Israelite People  let go of human sacrifice

Did the Father Demand Jesus’ Death?

  • Not!  What kind of Father would do such a thing?
  • Jesus died because of those in power who despised his message
  • Believed they needed to silence the messenger
  • Jesus loved everyone-no exclusions
  • The cross is more unconditional love than atonement
  • Let’s sit with that thought for awhile

What Theories/Philosophies Do We Need to Let Go?

  • On the mountain, Peter ,James and John wanted to hold on to Jesus
  • Wanted to be leisurely and be distraction
  • Wanted to build tents and camp out for who knows how long

What We Want and Need Today

  • We need to hold Jesus close for comfort and support
  • We push against being challenged to see things with Jesus’ heart
  • In Jesus’ heart is only mercy-relates from there
  • Jesus begins no friendship in judgement

Let’s Just Admit It!

  • Greed is a demon we have trouble overcoming
  • We will most likely never be victorious over greed. It’s ok
  • We can explore how we can be more generous
  • We might open our hands and hearts more to each other

Finally-A Gentle Nudge

From Jewish Rabbi, Abraham Heschel’s book The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Man

There is a realm of time where the goal is not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord.  Life goes wrong when the control of space, the acquisition of things…becomes our sole concern

Questions for Reflection

  • What impacted you from today’s Readings and/or homily?
  • What have you in the past or do you hang on to today?
  • What fills you up and doesn’t leave space for God to speak to you?
  • Do you ever want to hold Jesus near but not want to hear his message?
  • Has generosity ever helped you to overcome the greed demon? How?
  • Have you struggled with the importance of being instead of having?

Live Connected

  • Be intentional this week about finding new ways to let go and to be generous.