Appleton, WI

Homily Connect Mar 21: Sloth

Fifth Sunday of Lent-March 28, 2021


Scripture John 12:20-33

The Essence of Life – Jesus’ Powerful Image

Amen, Amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.

  • Thank heaven we don’t have many lazy seeds – we would be very hungry
  • Hidden in soil darkness, the grains are very active
  • Development of grain stalk begins with absorbing water
  • If the grain doesn’t open itself to water, noting happens- No laziness allowed
  • The work of conversion does not allow for laziness
  • With new found energy, the primary root breaks through the seed coat
  • The shoot and leaves emerge from the seed coat-no laziness here
  • Through the process of germination, the wheat grain surely dies
  • It surrenders to become something more
  • In emptying itself, it gives new life- is passionate about what it is about

Jesus is that Grain of Wheat

  • He did not withdraw into himself –
  • He emptied himself in humble service
  • St. Augustine says sin is incurvatus in se which means turned inward on oneself
  • Jesus did not know sin and so was never turned inward on himself

Jesus on the Cross

  • Emptied completely body and heartbroken open
  • In Jesus dying – we are born to new and eternal life
  • Jesus passion happened because he was passionately in love with you and me
  • St. Catherine of Siena: “The Lord is crazy in love with us!”

We are Jesus’ Friends and Followers

  • Living/Loving like Jesus expands our  hearts to include all who are suffering
  • We cannot always fix things but we can pray
  • The nun and Pope Francis kneel for democracy

The Connection – Jesus’ Passion and Our Responsibility

  • We need to bring the Good News of Jesus love to our families, colleagues, neighbors and parish family and those we never rub shoulders

The Questions

  • How passionate have I been in growing in my relationship with the Lord? Every day, when do I pray? Where do I pray? How do I pray?
  • How passionate am I about praying using my Bible? Am I familiar with lectio divina, using my imagination in prayer, trying other ways to pray? Would I be open to reading and praying through Fr Jim Martin’s wonderful new book, Learning to Pray?
  • How passionate am I about sharing my life, my possessions, my time, my talents, and my treasure for the good of others?
  • How passionate am I about exploring the teachings of my church, especially the church’s social justice teachings?
  • How passionate am I, even though sometimes I feel helpless, about opening my heart to the plight of the anawim, the least of our sisters and brothers?
  • How passionate am I about including in my life and in my heart those who are very different from me, refraining from judging others or shoving at them all kinds of rules and regulations?

Pope Francis on the 500th Anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines

  • God asks Church to care for the hurting, those living on the fringes
  • God does that for us- we need to do for others
  • Church called not to judge, demand or condemn but to sow seeds and to bring Christ

We are Commissioned to Holy Ministry

  • We need to be passionate about St. Mary’s Mission and Vision
  • We are getting ready to convene a Synod – A Leadership Summit
  • Saturday, May 22 – The day before Pentecost
  • It’s been a six year journey
  • Parish family time to embrace and become passionate
  • More to come – Come Holy Spirit!

Questions for Reflection

  • What impacted you from today’s Readings and/or homily?
  • Consider the questions imbedded in the homily.
  • What are you passionate about as a disciple of Jesus?

Live Connected   Make a list of the things you are passionate about.  How can you use your passions to bring the Good News of Jesus to others?