Sunday, October 23, 2011

A whole lotta lovin' going on!


Homily for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Scriptures for today's liturgy)

Audio for homily


LOVE:
- we talk about love, we write about love, we sing about love
- we dream of love, fantasize love, hope for love
- we sell love, buy love, ignore love -- we grieve its loss
- we offer and receive love, we make love
- we need love, we promise and betray love
- we abuse and refuse love, we forget and regret love
- we fear love, we reject love, we welcome love,
- we love love…

Love is such a pervasive reality in our lives:
this complex, perplexing, beguiling, bewildering,
demanding, ambiguous reality that runs through
all of who we are and what we do.

Our hunger for love, our drive to love and to be loved
is given to us by God who embeds a desire for love
in our minds and hearts and imaginations,
a desire intended to whet our appetite for God who is love.

All love is from God -- and all love leads us back to God.
True love has no source other than God
and real love always, in some way, draws us closer to God.

Jesus is clear in the gospel here about how much God desires our love.
God wants me, wants you, wants us all -- heart and soul.
God wants all of my heart and all of my soul and all of my mind.

But even God's desire does not exhaust the love I have to offer.
I’m also called to love my neighbor -- and to love my self as well.
In other words, all of my relationships (even my relationship to myself)
are to be relationships of love.

All love is of God and all love, true love, leads us back to God,
in one way or another.

The first scripture today tests the depths and limits of my love
in calling me to love even those I don’t know,
to love the stranger, the alien
and to love those who have nothing to give back,
to love the poor.

I’m called to love the one whose ways are alien to mine.
And I’m called to love generously those who are in need,
expecting nothing in return.

This is a selfless love, offered to and for the other,
a love that finds its greatest peace and deepest joy
not in self-fulfillment but in caring for the beloved.

Jesus himself, of course, is the model for just this kind of love.

Look to the Cross and you see the One who loves us
with all his heart, all his soul and all his mind.

Look to the Cross and see the One who loves us
even though our sins threaten to estrange and alienate us from him.

Look to the Cross of Jesus and see the One
who loves us who have nothing to offer in return
except our thanks and praise -
and our efforts to love one another as he loved us.

We come to this altar every week to remember Jesus
and his willingness to sacrifice everything for love of us.

We come to the table to offer thanks and praise
and to be nourished with the life he gave for us:
his Body and Blood shared with us in the Eucharist.

We come here to remember, to be reminded that:
all love is from God -- and all love leads us back to God.
True love has no source other than God
and real love always, in some way, draws us closer to God.

I’ll close with a reflection on love written by Pedro Arrupe,
a Jesuit priest:

Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.

What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.

It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.



 

 
Subscribe to A Concord Pastor Comments 

4 comments:

Philomena Ewing said...

Wonderful homily Austin.: I love Pedro Arrupe's reflection too. It brought back many memories to me. He was totally selfless in promoting faith embedded in social justice and action in society and his vision and legacy was inspiring.
His motto for all of us was Amen, Alleluia : to do always the will of God for making the will of God makes us truly happy.
When I was a teenager I remember there was much emphasis on social action as part of our faith.
The Jesuit refugee service started by him to help look after the Vietnamese boat people in the 70's. Some came to Staffordshire UK and it was a talk by a Jesuit that enthused myself and others to help these people.
Thanks for activating good memories - brings back the true spirit of Vatican II(IMHO)!!

Blessings

samantha said...

I think this is a homily to be cherished.

lu said...

Thank you, FrAustin, for always giving your best fruit of love (as i call it). Earlier today, FrFausto Tentorio, PIME was laid to his resting place in Mindanao, Phils. His "death is an emulation, a following, an imitation of Jesus’ own death on the cross.” Only a few days ago, i read the prayer for Priests that you posted. He definitely was one of those sent to answer the prayers of the natives/poor in that area. It's a struggle to love people who are bent on using violent means...maybe praying for them will lead me there. Thank you, FrAustin.

lu said...

Thank you for always giving your best fruit of love - as i call it. Earlier today, FrFausto Tentorio, PIME Missioner was laid to rest in Mindanao, Phils. His "death is an emulation, a following, an imitation of Jesus’ own death on the cross.” A few days ago i read the prayer for Priests that you posted and FrFausto was definitely sent to answer the prayers of the natives/poor in that area in Mindanao. It's a constant struggle - loving those who are bent on using violent means. Am just hoping that praying for them will eventually lead me to that path (of love). May your lamp continue to give light, not only in Concord but also in Hongkong. Thank you.