Appleton, WI

November 14 Homily Connect

Surveys and Me

  • Used broad strokes on surveys among priests ordained in 60’s/ 70’s to last decade
  • A thousand Catholic priests across our nation responded to the survey
  • I never received one – Truth-Not a good responder to surveys
  • Much information to be gleaned from comparing younger/older priests and more conservative priests – who tend to be older
  • Sadly, larger percentage of younger priests’ struggle with Pope Francis as opposed to those ordained in the 60’s-80’s – Very disappointing to me

Surprising Observation

  • No matter what the age, over half the surveyed group was pessimistic about the future of the Catholic Church – It’s disheartening – Hold that thought

Pope John XXIII – Opening Address of the Vatican Council

  • Significant and transformative
  • Said Church would apply the medicine of mercy instead of judgement
  • Opening windows of Church – Let the wind/breath of Holy Spirit Blow through

I Would Add

  • Open the windows to go out into the world
  • Council Bishops need awareness of signs of times – be more relevant/present to world
  • We need to be in and for the modern world – not against
  • Consider relationship of Church to our Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist brothers/sisters
  • The Council would stress the first and foremost the Church is the People of God
  • The Council would talk about the People of God before the institution/hierarchy

Councils Opening Address

In that Opening Address, Pope John XXIII said this:

It often happens, as we have learned in the exercise of the apostolic ministry, that, not with offense to Our ears, the voices of people are brought to Us who, although burning with religious fervor, nevertheless do not think things through with enough discretion and prudence of judgment. These people see only ruin and calamity in the present conditions of human society. They keep repeating that our times, if compared to past centuries, have been getting worse. And they act as if they have nothing to learn from history, which is the teacher of life, and as if at the time of past Councils everything went favorably and correctly with respect to Catholic doctrine, morality, and the Church’s proper freedom. We believe we must disagree with these prophets of doom who are always forecasting disaster, as if the end of the world were at hand.

Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Daniel

  • Refers to a time surpassed in distress – apocalyptic in nature
  • Apocalypse refers to end of time – A genre of writing in Scripture
  • Book of Revelation is apocalyptic

Jesus Picks Up On Apocalyptical Theme

  • Speaks of darkened sun and a moon that no longer shines
  • After great tribulations Jesus predicts stars falling – powers of heaven shaken

Terrifying End of the World Image

  • Might resonate with the overly pessimistic/critical
  • Prophets of doom might like this language

Friends and Followers of Jesus

  • Never prophets of doom – overwhelmed by pessimism – preoccupied with gloom

I Am Not Pessimistic – Prophet of Doom, but Prophet of Hope

  • About the future of the Church
  • I am person of hope- I believe in the Holy Spirit – Alive in our St. Mary Family
  • It can light a fire of love for Jesus and others in all of us
  • A love that celebrates diversity, equality for all – extends warm inclusive welcome
  • It can transform many hearts and even our world – We are on a mission for the Lord
  • Our hearts hold the beauty of Jesus’ love – There is reason to have hope

Let us Be People of Hope and Gratitude Together

  • So much beauty in our Church and world!
  • Let’s choose to celebrate the beauty while confronting head-on evil
  • No room for naysayers when gratitude spills over into love and generosity to the world

Prophets of Doom, Stay Clear of us Prophets of Hope

Questions for Reflection 

  • What impacted you from the readings/homily?
  • Are you a person of hope or of gloom for our Church, or world?
  • What is the challenge of living in hope today?
  • How does your St. Mary Parish help you to be a person of hope?

LIVE CONNECTED Take time to turn some gloomy thoughts to thoughts of hope this week.