HOMILY & IDEAS

Is 66:18-21; Heb 12:5-7, 11-13; Lk 13:22-30

Here are some stones I have overturned to see what ideas are underneath. I hope you can grab hold of something, pull -- and discover that it has some homiletic roots.

This week we continue with a - Preparation For Judgment -- theme with images including a narrow gate and a locked door to warn us of what is required to live a holy life and what can result when we delay or never begin any real journey of conversion and experience the spiritual and moral growth that accompanies it.

I am attracted to the exchange between the master of the house and those individuals standing outside the locked door knocking.

Perhaps there is a moment here that will preach well for you.

The communal request of the individuals outside the locked door is: Lord, open the door for us.

The response of the master of the house is: I do not know where you are from.

The communal response of the individuals is: We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.

The response of the master of the house is: I do not know where you are from. Depart from me all you evildoers!.

There is a particular phrase that we use in our modern times in the United States when we wish to explain to someone our reasons for acting in a particular way. After acting in an extraordinary way (extraordinarily great, extraordinarily bad, extraordinarily desperate, etc.) we may wish to provide some insight to our actions by beginning the explanation with -- Let me tell you where I was coming from in all of this . . .

Or, perhaps we witnessed actions of this caliber and we have asked ourselves or others -- Where is this guy coming from?

In our modern times -- where we are coming from -- is oftentimes equated with our patterns of behavior or what our internal motivations were -- both good and bad.

This week the master of the house clearly communicates to the individuals who are knocking on his door that he does not know where they are from. In a modern sense one may say that the Master does not recognize them by their past actions, by their internal motivations, or by their deepest sense of identity.

It is not enough to be an acquaintance of the master and to have dined with him in the past. It is not enough to have only listened to the master teach in the streets when he taught. These are exterior actions having to do more with proximity than inner conversion. Inner conversion and the actions born from that conversion is that which impresses upon the memory of the master.

How close in proximity we have been to holiness, wisdom, virtue, and charity does not have any bearing on -- Where we are coming from.

What counts are the kind of changes have gone on inside of us to lead us to lives that radiate holiness, wisdom, virtue and charity from the inside shining outward.

It may be a lifetime journey of ups and downs and struggles and victories; but when we stop for a moment and look back over the valleys and hills that we have traveled through and over we should see that this journey of ups and downs and struggles and victories that seeks to internalize holiness, wisdom, virtue and charity, indeed, has created for us a kind of spirit or attitude that gives us identity.

Do not settle for a life that simply gets close to Jesus by being near him according to proximity. Rather, let live lives that radiate his love so that when we knock on the door at the end of our lives Jesus will say -- I know where you are coming from.

This week we ask ourselves -- Where am I coming from?

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