Sunday Morning Juggling: A Postscript

Cambridge, MA. A note to the interested: In my entry on Saturday, I spoke of my existential moment, juggling watching the Pope in the UK, my most interesting and daunting life at Harvard, and the prospect of preaching on I Timothy 2, with its own triple focus on the king, the one God, and the one head of the family.

So how did my homily go? It is always hard, of course, for the preacher to know, since the congregation is both most kind, and very used to putting up with homilies good, bad, and indifferent. One thoughtful parishioner and I spoke about the matter for five minutes after Mass - he was particularly concerned about the slippery slope from adapting the Word in our culture, to making it mean whatever we want.

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As far as I can see, at least I shared the challenge with my listeners, that we can neither accept a text like I Timothy 2 unchanged and unadapted, nor casually pick and choose the parts we like and parts we blithely ignore. The challenge of the Word really is a two-edged sword, and it does not allow us to be passive recipients. 

It was then a good thing for all of us at the 7:30AM Mass, to ponder this complicated word and then realize that we really do need to meditate, pray, worship, and yes, still think, if we are to live out the living Word today.

 

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J STANGLE
8 years 2 months ago
The 7:30 Mass was no doubt meditative and the sermon restrained and educative. A blessing to those who were there. Meanwhile, or shortly after, Lady Gaga was on national tv before 10's of millions with her song, act and message touting sexual equality of any sort. Then, the NY Times had a paean to the recently deceased writer of, "Lesbian Nation". Meanwhile the "Talk Shows" were all abuzz about the recent put down of the attempt to squash, "Don't Tell". Lest anyone think this is all about sex in I Tim 2, I received in the mail today a notice that Food for the Poor can feed 4 children for a month on $12. Let's see, the USA has spent how many thousands of billions of dollars on wars in the last 10 years. A thousand divided by 12 is, what, about 80. So, 80 billions of children times 4 could have been fed for a month on what went to destruction. Meanwhile, we maybe tease I Timothy 2 to make it say what the culture wants or is told by the "big mouths" what is right. Surely, "we really do need to meditate, pray, worship, and yes, still think, if we are to live out the living Word today." The thing is, in the balance of things can the 7:30 Mass keep the scales balanced against the tremendous weight of opinion exerted on the other arm? Seems so. I recall Thomas Merton saying that the world was kept from self destruction by a few contemplative monks or something like that. Symbolic statement, but apt. Don't underrate the, Word of God"!

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