The 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time -The Homily
there are many forms of blindness. for example, one form of blindness is what we think we “see” about God. In the past, perhaps your “vision of God” was influenced by one of the following:
“Well, God is love. and Love is a reward by God for good behavior – and love is withheld by God for bad behavior.”
“Your sins are the reasons for Jesus being on the cross. Every sin you commit is like another nail being driven into the hands or feet of Jesus the Lord”
Both of these present a “distorted image of God” and lead to “faulty core beliefs about God.”
Another form of blindness is our “vision” about ourselves:
- I’m unworthy
- People wouldn’t like me, in fact they would hate me, if they really knew me.
- If people like me, there must be something wrong with them.
- I am a terrible person and need to be punished.
- I am the victim of someone else’s behavior.
- If I can control someone, they will love me.
- I need other people to be happy. (My need to be happy scares me. I have to push loving people away).
- My mask of self-confidence will fool everyone.
- If I can prove you’re a miserable person, that means I’m not as bad as I think I am.
This is a “distorted self image” and leads to “faulty core beliefs” about ourselves.
The problem is that Faulty Core Beliefs often leads to us to say:
- “I’m obviously missing something in my life.
- Thus, I must find something to fulfill my need”
This inevitably leads to sin or addiction or both.
So what does God really “look like?
Take your WORST day, your WORST decision, your WORST situation, your WORST sin, your WORST addiction, your WORST and darkest secret.
Imagine Christ holding you at this worst moment and saying,
- “I am so sorry that this happened to you.
- This shouldn’t have happened to you.
- I am going to make it better…and…
- I am going to stay with you until you’re better.”
Repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat ….
That is a “true God image.” That is a “true core belief about God.”
- Sight – the capacity and ability to begin to be able to see reality, God, ourselves, our situation.
- Seeing – gaining insights into what has happened, where we are, what the future could look like, a road to get to a better place.
- Sobriety – the decision to want to get healed and then – with God’s grace – actually doing what must be done to accomplish that.
- Resurrection (“Lazarus, come out!”) or actual inner healing that takes place.
- Transformation – a new life that is id a different, and better, place than previously.
- Serenity – achieving a sense of peace and contentment and calm, even in the midst of challenging situations.
This is not a moment nor is it a “self help” program. It is a journey and on the journey you will have several significant “encounters” that will unveil your eyes and provide new in-sight.
- Encounter with yourself (your past, your decisions, your choices, your mistakes)
- Encounter with your enemy – human and spiritual
- Encounter with God
This leads to a NEW set of core beliefs:
I AM worthy.
People would love me more if they really know me.
I can count on God and others to meet my needs.
My relationship with God and my relationships with others are my greatest need and source of comfort.
Consider Pope Francis and the Church as a “field hospital.” What are the parts of the spiritual triage in the field hospital?
- Proximity: healing the MOST severe wound FIRST “Raw evangelization” ESPECIALLY if they feel unloved.
- Proclamation: of the saving power of God.
- Personal: Not just that you are just “part of everybody” that Jesus loves. Jesus TRULY loves YOU.
- THEN catechesis
- THEN morality
The problem is that we have too often started with the last two items first.
You can be comfortable being alone and being quiet. Sin and addiction is the inability to be alone with God, a refuge. Look at Psalm 71. It’s supposed be the Lord who is the refuge, not something created that will never satisfy us.
You start to experience this thing called joy.
We rarely know what joy is because we don’t know what joy feels like. Usually we experience anger or pleasure or no emotions – but not joy. The first sign is when we experience the appearance of a certain “joy level.” Things begin to look and feel differently. the colors are brighter. We notice things that were there but our hut didn’t enable us to “see” them. As God’s grace moves us along, then we move into the realm of an increase of the “joy level.”
Audio version of the homily is here: