Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 9:31 AM
Tues, Apr 17 Exploring our Catholic Faith "Allowing God to Transform our Pain" 6:30 in the church. Thurs Apr 19, 6 pm Frank Kelly returns with witness talk and healing service. Bring your friends!

1/22/17 Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Deacon Tony

Deacon Tony Conti

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 67

 

  • From today’s Gospel… “…the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
    on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.
      From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’"
  • I think that most of us can agree that we too often live in a world overshadowed by death and often find ourselves dwelling in darkness…
  • Where’s the light?
  • Where’s the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus promises?
  • The Kingdom of God is at hand – But it’s not perhaps where we might normally search for it...
  • Like many things in life... It’s hidden in plain sight...
  • In Chapter 17 of the Gospel of Luke (17:20-21) the Evangelist writes: “Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He said in reply, "The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, 'Look, here it is,' or, 'There it is.' For behold, the kingdom of God is among you."
  • When Jesus says that the Kingdom of God is among you… He could have been referring to Himself… But He also could have been referring to the person to your left and to your right
  • It’s a lifelong process to unlearn many of the life lessons that we’ve been taught in order to help us “survive” in what we call the real world…
  • But what if this isn’t the real world?… What I mean by that is: What if this isn’t what God intended for the world?...
  • What if we’ve created this world through our human brokenness?...
  • What if the Kingdom of God exists within our hearts just waiting to manifest itself in the world around us?...
  • The world we’ve created is based upon fear… Which leads to division, and hatred, and violence
  • The Kingdom of God that Jesus offers us is based upon love…which leads to unity, and compassion, and peace
  • Our life’s goal should be to finally realize who we are and Whose we are
  • This in fact is what our faith life is intended to facilitate… A recognition or “re-cognition” of who we really are deep inside, and Who we belong to…
  • We learn fear… But we are love… And we need to be reminded of this every day of our lives…
  • The Kingdom of God is a state of being… It’s a way of seeing through the eyes of Jesus… and living with the wisdom of the Gospel
  • Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of God is at hand... But we fail to appreciate it, because we continue to see as the world sees... and continue to think as the world thinks...
  • It’s often very difficult at times to see the good in the world around us… It takes a conscious effort on our part…
  • The good in the world around us comes from God in the world around us…
  • The Kingdom of God is manifested in the world through our actionsBy the choices we makeBy the way we choose to live our lives
  • We can’t manifest the Kingdom of God with our own strength… We need God’s Grace…
  • We’re called to follow the promptings of the Spirit in our lives…
  • We get into trouble when we take the lead, and expect the Spirit to follow us
  • The manifestation of the Kingdom of God in the world comes through individuals who allow God to work through them
  • The manifestation of the Kingdom of God in the world is found in every act of selflessness… in every noble gesture
  • It’s found everywhere where kindness, forgiveness, and mercy exist…
  • The Kingdom of God is all around us in human beings who every day live to be of service to others
  • The question before each of us is: Will we choose to join them?...
  • We’re each given a basic choice every day
  • We can choose to join the rest of the world and pile on to the latest scandal… or get absorbed in the latest act of senseless violence… and end up losing all hope that the Kingdom of God can actually exist in this world…
  • Or we can choose to begin our day with a few minutes of silence and prayer and thanksgiving… and seek God’s wisdom before entering the fray…
  • But making this choice requires that we be open to change in our lives… That we be willing to let go of the status quo
  • Accepting and embracing change in life is always uncomfortable…
  • There’s a deep sadness in leaving behind, what we’ve become comfortable with…
  • Yet there’s an even greater sadness in resisting and avoiding change…
  • Because when we do so, we stunt our spiritual growth and resist being transformed by God…
  • We resist change at our own peril…. It takes discipline, Grace, and a deep faith to move forward in a new direction…
  • With the simple choice of that new beginning each day - We equip ourselves to become more aware of the Kingdom of God that’s all around us… And we slowly learn to begin to see though God’s eyes...
  • And if we can slowly learn to become more pliable to God’s will… We can become partners in manifesting the Kingdom of God in our own small sphere of influence in the world…
  • We shouldn’t expect that every day will go well… We’ll still face the same challenges that we’ve always faced… But we’ll do so with a new perspective
  • We’ll do so knowing that God remains active in the world through each of us who choose unity over division… who choose compassion over hatred… who choose peace over violenceWho choose love over fear
  • This is how the Kingdom of God is manifested in the world… and this is what Jesus calls us to every day of our lives

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