Sunday, March 30, 2008

Be a Disciple

Rough sketch of my homily, delivered at St. Mary's Hyde Park and the Catholic Campus Ministry Center at Wright State University:

There is a natural tendency after going through a traumatic experience to slide back into an old way of life, especially experiences of a profound conversion, a profound spiritual encounter; if it does not ‘take hold’ so to speak, we can find ourselves very easily backsliding into our old way of life, our old existence, and nothing really is changed from before.
In a very real sense, that is what we see here in today’s Gospel: the Eleven are still shaken from the events or a week ago, even though Jesus warned them that it was coming up, and they are starting to back slide into an old way of life: they are hiding, fearful, almost shamed that they knew Jesus. And their lives are still in danger.
Change -> personal encounter with the Risen Christ, moved them from their own human limitations to a deep desire to share the message of salvation wrought by Christ with all the world.
Kerygma, core, was His death, not ‘be nice to everyone’ but ‘This Christ, whom you put to death, God raised from the dead for the forgiveness of your sins!’
The power of their preaching, and the authenticity of their lives, that they were truly converted and won over by Christ, allowed that ‘every day, more and more were added to their numbers.’
Question: Is the way I am living inviting people to a closer discipleship of Christ, or am I a stumbling block to my brothers and sisters?

1 comment:

Adoro te Devote said...

Regarding your opening paragraph; I've found that often when I've gotten a huge blessing from God of some sort, or had a profound experience/realization, I have a habit of immediately backsliding. I've noticed this pattern by going to Confession frequently because it's the backsliding that brings me there (I'm a huge advocate of frequent confession!) That's when I realized that as I was doing my examination of conscience, I would be berating myself for offending God so much just after He was so good to me. And I was having that conversation with myself a LOT.

I have a few theories on that, but now, having read your post, I wonder if that's what was going on. They did have some profound experiences with the Lord, and then He was taken from them horribly. And then He rose, and today, stood in their midst.

I think that sometimes we backslide not because it didn't "take" but because it DID...and it freaks us out. Because when something big happens, we have 2 choices; take that leap of faith to something greater that is clearly calling for us to change...or hang back with what is familiar. It's like the story of Christ in the storm, walking on water.

Guaranteed, I'd have no problem believing that was Jesus right there walking on water, I'd be thrilled to see Him, but step out of the boat? NUH-UH! NO WAY! I'm just gonna crawl under the seat and look for my lifejacket...where IS that thing anyway....?