So, how are the lessons going?
You’re here to take lessons, aren’t you? You’re here to learn? What are you learning?
Not to belabor the point but I’ve been sent here to teach you a lesson. Are you ready to practice?
Yesterday I went fishing. As you can see, I got a little sun.
One thing became clear: I’ve got a lot to learn about fishing.
I read a number of articles on the internet before I went.
I did catch a few keepers. But the whole experience was a fiasco, a comedy of errors.
I spilled my bait several times…once I actually spilled it in the water.
I got my line caught in the trees.
I probably spent half the day fishing where there were no fish.
I got snagged on rocks and sticks on the bottom.
….poked several times by the hook. I cut myself.
My line got tangled.
The wind kept taking me where I didn’t want to go.
I dropped my fishing rod/reel into the water at least 3 times.
I kicked the plug that drains the water out of the boat while in the middle of the lake.
It opened and water started bubbling in.
It got so bad that I became a little paranoid. I said “Lord, are you trying to tell me something?”
But then I turned it around to favor my want….I wanted to go fishing…
so I said “Lord, just think of all I can learn about fishing for men and women
as I practice fishing for fish.”
There is a lesson: never get into a fishing boat with Msgr. Enzweiler.
When it comes to worship, to celebrate, to rejoice, to pray.
We give thanks to the Lord as we recall his wondrous deeds.
Sometimes we forget, we are also here to learn….not just receive information,
but to practice our faith for the sake of spiritual growth and improvement,
for the sake of drawing closer to God and one another.
The worship of God in the Eucharist is a means of restoring us, restoring the Church, to grace.
Somewhere along the way, we have lost possession of grace. How do we lose possession of grace? Sin!
And lest we misperceive what is going on here…we are here at God’s invitation.
And any time we pass from sin to grace it is because of God’s initiative, not our own.
If worship leaves us unconverted, unchanged, unaltered…
then we have not practiced anything. It has been empty worship…
we’ve gone through the motions, we’ve spent our time, but nothing has been gained.
The purpose and goal of conversion is to improve with regards to obedience to God’s commands.
It is to improve our behavior and conduct…so that it more often corresponds to God’s will.
It is to renounce false gods and idols, put our confidence solely in God,
and to adopt a trusting orientation of our whole being toward God.
The ends of conversion is new life in Jesus Christ.
The scriptures we hear are lessons.
Recalling the past action of God and the past human response to this action
helps us interpret how God is at work in the world today,
helps inspire us, motivates us, to respond to divine activity today with and in faith.
I don’t know about you but I need help, spiritual help as far as living well in this world,
as far as dealing with imperfection and limitation and tragedy.
As I worship I say “You are my help, O Lord.”
The scriptures bring our attention to good things that await us in the future,
things in which to put our hope.
They remind us of the life we are to lead as we wait for the Second Coming of Christ.
The lessons are clear: cooperation with evil, lapsing into previous sin, leads to doom.
Cooperation with goodness and grace and love leads to the land of milk and honey.
Our prayer: “O Lord, you have been so good to me. I appreciate and am grateful for Your concern about me. Fill me with a new desire to take responsibility for living in communion with Jesus, Your Son. Amen!”
15th Week in Ordinary Time
So, how are the lessons going?