Monday, February 13, 2012

Two For One Special: This Week Only!

Two Homily Service blogs this week? Quel fromage (as dear Molly Ivens of blessed memory would say). Well, here’s why.

This Sunday, 19 February 2012, most of the Christians in the world will be doing one thing, but some of the Christians (and possibly a majority of readers of this blog) will be doing an entirely different thing. Some Christians celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord on the last Sunday after Epiphany, but most Christians celebrate it on August 6th. That’s why there are two Homily Service blogs this Monday.

This one is for those readers who are preparing to celebrate the seventh Sunday after the Epiphany rather than the Feast of the Transfiguration.

The gospel lesson for the seventh Sunday after the Epiphany is Mark 2: 1-12, in which the friends of a paralyzed man carry him to where Jesus is teaching, tear a hole in the ceiling and lower him down to be healed. In 2009, Virginia S. Wendel invited readers of Homily Service to reflect upon how human persistence in faith can contribute to Jesus’ ability to make himself known in our lives.

Where and when have you seen glimpses of who Jesus is, and his authority?

...Like the paralytic and his friends and the apostles, we are living participants experiencing the transforming power and authority of God. When we approach God with open hearts and open minds, we never know what grace-filled moment will change our lives and move us so as to want to preserve that moment in time for all eternity. We are given opportunities to be transformed and to experience the glory of God. If only we had the same kind of persistence as the paralytic’s friends.

It may very well be in the persistence of sitting through the night at the bedside of a loved one one whom doctors have given up. It may be in the persistence of keeping faith when being surrounded by doubt. It might be the persistence of striving to live a holy life in a world that is riddled with temptations. It is that persistence that leads us closer and closer to experiencing the glory of God in all that has been given to us to live a faithful and holy life.

What do you do when it is difficult to persevere in faith?

Virginia S. Wendel (2008): 22 February 2009: Ordinary 7, Homily Service, 42:1, 147-148.

Virginia S. Wendel is the director of Mission Integration and Pastoral Care at St. Joseph Village of Chicago

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