Greetings on this the Fourth Sunday of Lent
Readings: 1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a; Ps 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6; Eph 5:8-14; Jn 9:1-41
Notes: using phone and one finger. First homily notes at new parish so I figure better write some notes.
I made this comment to a friar this morning March 12th, a week ago:
“I am a secular deacon but now assigned to a Franciscan community. I want to mold my homilies with the spirit and charism of Franciscan spirituality. I leave on pilgrimage in a few weeks, what shall I take on my journey?”
Reply: A San Damiano Cross.
So perhaps, God willing, these will be my first changed nuanced or last secular homily notes. What it is, with certainty, is a commitment to mold my life to Jesus in a new way. Saint Iago, pray for us. Saint Francis, pray for us.
Themes for 4th Sunday.
1. Sent. Samuel was sent to pick from among the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem to become King. Now listen up, he did this once before (1Sam 10:1ff) with Saul and things ended badly. See 1Sam 15:1, 26, 35. Whatever his trepidations he went and anointed David. We know he lamented Saul’s fall. Jesus sends the blind man to The Pool of Siloam. Just reminding you he was blind. But he went and now he sees.
2. The Innocent are not exempt from the troubles of life. In the case of the man born blind and (as in the Gospel of Luke 13:4) the innocent who died in the collapse of the Tower of Siloam. Jesus said, neither he nor his parents sinned. The tower, a recent tragedy, 18 people died. They were like everyone else. The innocent, the ordinary and the wicked all are subject to trouble in this world.
3. The Third and Sixth Sign of Jesus in Gospel of John. See my page image here. The injured sinner at the Pool of Bethsaida engaged in likely pagan god worship (Priests of Asclepius stir the pools). The man who was born blind at the Pool of Siloam, a mikvah place (Jewish ritual bathing). Both healed by Jesus. Sinner and sinless are under divine care. Those stuck in paganism called forth. Those faithful heard too.
4. Laetare Sunday. Rejoice. Isa 66:10-10. Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her, all you who love her; Rejoice with her in her joy, all you who mourn over her – So that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; That you may drink with delight at her abundant breasts!
5. Challenges of Unbelief.
- A. Sinners are punished. Confusing consequence with cause.
- B. Disbelief people can change.
- C. Mercy on Sabbath – an affront to self-righteous.
- D. Mercy on Sabbath – a sin!
- E. Intimidating parents.
- F. We are not his disciples! Disown.
- G. Ad Hominem. Attacks.
- If Jesus sends you, go!
- God listens! He always listens! Always!!
- God acts to the good!
- Men doubt (our common problem).
- Witnessed prove.
Take the psalmist’s words to heart. We all encounter difficulty in life. Sometimes a direct consequence and sometimes things just happen. But in every case with faith in God we can say with confidence: Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come. We are only limited by how much we trust the Lord. How we treat the people and the world around us, the same thing.
Story of the two buckets. There was a boy who went to the well each day to draw water for the family. He had two buckets, one perfect and one leaky. The leaky bucket was sad one day. He relayed his feelings to the perfect bucket who replied: While it is true I carry the water without spilling, you carry water too. Now look at the path to the well. Filled with grass and flowers! Day in, day out, You have been watering the earth and it brings forth goodness.
You will know them by their fruits.
Peace be with you,