Thursday, August 26, 2010

Confirmation I and II: August 22, 2010: The Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time – Read the Gospel: Lk 13:22-30

Journal: How did you live out last week’s Gospel message? What was tough? What was rewarding?

Was Jesus talking about the church parking lot in this Gospel?
Watch our church parking lot after Mass. See who lets others go first and who races to be the first out, cutting off other parishioners.
Or maybe Jesus was talking about the sign of peace. I remember one parishioner who refused to offer it to another because he was angry with him.
Or maybe Jesus was talking about who is welcome at church. I remember another time, while I was in college on the mainland, when a parishioner at the church I frequented was angry when her church let homeless people spend the night in a parish building. I think Jesus was talking about all of the above in this week’s Gospel. You see, going to church, where we eat and drink in Jesus’ company, is really pretty easy. It takes about an hour. But after the final blessing, some people think they’ve done their part for the week, and don’t connect that “meal” with their behavior for the next six days.
But following Jesus requires much more. The challenge we face is letting the Sunday Eucharist shape our lives all week long. How does your weekly meal with Jesus shape how you play sports, treat outsiders, live with family, work at your job and act at school?
And there’s another challenge in this reading. We might be surprised, Jesus says, by who we meet at God’s banquet in heaven. I’ve met homeless people who never go to church but are more compassionate than some people I know who go to church weekly. Eat and drink in Jesus’ company. But remember your dinner partner for the rest of the week. And also remember that he dines with a lot of people we’ll never see in church.

Journal: If you were on trial for being a Christian, would the prosecutor find enough evidence if they looked only at the way you live your life Monday through Saturday? Give examples of what the prosecutor might find as evidence against you. Use the Ten Commandments or the Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy as the basis for your examination of your life. Be specific.

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