Sunday, November 29, 2015

In This Place / Of This Place (2015-11-15)

SUNDAY 15 November 2015
33rd Sunday Ordinary Time

• Daniel 12:1-3  • Psalm  16 • Hebrews 10:11-14, 18 • Mark 13:24-32 •

[__01__]     If the city – Newark, New York, Los Angeles – were visited by a famous person – PRESIDENT or POP SINGER (or the POPE) – the city would also observe a difference between the visitor and the natives (or, everyone else).

The visiting celebrity is in the city, but not of the city.

 [__02__]     There is, on the one hand a location, a place, or residence. We can be in a place, or location. We may not be of – or from – this place.

The Democratic-party candidates for the U.S. Presidency are in Des Moines, in Iowa, for a debate aobut political and governmental issues.

On October 28th, the Republican presidential candidates were in Boulder, in Colorado, for a similar debate.

place, the venue, is seen as challenge, a mountain for the candidate to climb or clear.  Could the candidate bring the message to a particular place …even if he or she were not from there.  

 Even Jesus himself said, a prophet is not accepted in his own land, in his own hometown

Maybe it is better to go somewhere else to bring the message.
Another example  would be when a new boyfriend or girlfriend shows up at home, to meet our family. We might think. OK, this person is “in” the house, in the family …. But is he or she “of” the family.

To marry someone means we take on, in a way, the origins of the other person. Uniting oneself to one’s spouse, a person is now “of” the family.

This can also be a political process with primaries and voting and debates.  Check the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

[__03__]      Am I in a place? Am I of a place?
        We might ask ourselves this question as we grow into young adulthood and adulthood.

For example, as we grow up, we observe that we spend less time in the home of our parents or grandparents. We might spend less time in the presence of our parents or immediate family.

We may be away at college or university or even if we live at home, we not physically at home as often.

Nevertheless,  can we not admit, confess – profess our faith – that we remain of our home, we remain a son or daughter of our parents.

We would remain their son or daughter even if we have mourned their passing.  So, in this regard, we COULD be “of” a family … or “of” a home, even if we were physically outside the home, or not in the home.

[__04__]    Cardinal John Henry Newman describes the early apostles, the early representatives or emissaries, of Christian in a similar way.

That is, they were in certain places, locales, but not of them.

Jesus says this of himself and his disciples in John, Chapter 17, speaking of his disciples as being in the world, but not of the world.

Newman further observed that the beauty and strength of Christianity is not that we founded a nation, or found a Promised Land, or built a Temple.

Rather, the beauty and strength of Christianity – our Catholic faith, our religion – is that we build on the inside. That is, we are part of God’s kingdom wherever we are.

Newman wrote this about the early apostles and disciples and teachers of the faith. They did not arrive with any celebration or celebrity status. They were truly a grass-roots, bottom-up movement by whom the city and government and world were influenced

Yet, Newman writes:

Who among the wise men or the disputers of this world will take account of a few helpless men wandering from place to place and preaching a new doctrine? It can never be believed, it is impossible that they should be the real agents of the revolution which followed.” (John Henry Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, Bk II., Serm. 20, “The Kingdom of the Saints”, p. 377)

[__05__]   Though we are neither in Paris, nor in France, today, in solidarity with the French people, with the victims, the injured, the family and friends and victims.

We are of Paris, of France …even though we may not be in France or Paris.

For we are one body, many parts as St. Paul writes:

As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many are one body, so also Christ. For in one spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)

Paul continues:

The eye cannot say to the hand, I do not need you …
But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another.  If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy … Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.

And we pray for God’s peace to be in us and of us, to be in our world and of our world that we might be one in his Kingdom and in his body as one people.  [__fin__]  

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