A homiletic tale...

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It's been said that anyone who preaches for than two minutes on the Trinity will lapse into heresy - so many are the theological triggers in homiletic the mine field of our Triune God! On any day and certainly on a day like Trinity Sunday it's better to preach the scriptures and not the feast's title.

Shortly before the 5:00 Mass yesterday I decided that my 5 page homily was too much about the day's name and not enough about the day's scriptures.  Almost at the last minute I scrapped it and instead preached on the reference to the "stiff-necked" in the text from Exodus

I spoke of how the Father, Son and Spirit desire to massage the stiff stubbornness of sin from our lives.  But unlike a friend's massage, God never takes his hands away - they're always there for us.  The Father's hands created us from the clay of the earth and those same hands continue to shape us into the persons we were made to be.  The Son is ever-faithful and never stops reaching out his hand to us: even after giving his life for us on the Cross, he rises from death to be with us and sends us the Spirit.  The Spirit's deep inner peace is the relief of the stiffness, the healing that renders us always more malleable in the Father's hands.  While I preached this, I massaged the neck of a volunteer I'd called out of the assembly.

I concluded by speaking of the Trinity as the revelation of the intimacy God desires to have with us and how that intimacy is what we celebrate every time we gather to share in the mystery of the Eucharist, the table where the mystery is revealed and shared, where we are enveloped and embrace by the mystery, where the mystery of the Trinity enters and makes a home within us.

I preached away from the ambo (something I seldom do) and the mic on my digital recorder was not up to the task and so I have no audio.  And since I had no text, the summary above will have to do.

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  1. Thanks for the summary, Austin. There must be some good techies in your parish that can get you "wireless" for those trips away from the ambo...I'll pray that they volunteer to help you out.
    God's blessings on you and your ministry.

  2. I missed this homily, but I've really appreciated how your preaching is grounded in our physical natures.

    When the bulletin announced the Lenten book club title (Altars in the World), I read it too on my own, and that was one of the best aspects of that book. (I also gave it to my sister as a graduation gift!) We can't help but be physical creatures; best to make that an integral part of our spiritual practice. Christ was incarnate after all.


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