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Homilies, 2004–2005, Cycle-A

 

25 th Sunday year 2005

Habla espanol?
Vous Parlez Francais?
Fala Portugues?
Sprechen sie Deutsch?
Parla Italiano?

No I’m not running for Pope nor do I want to show you how many languages I speak. Actually I only know a little of each. To learn a language, to really speak and understand, you have to immerse yourself in the people, the culture. You have to live the language not just know a few words and phrases. There is one language that I have been immersed in since I was 18. It’s Ignatian.

Do you speak Ignaitan? It’s a language that has been around for almost 500 years. Ignatius of Loyola was it first speaker and in those 50 years, so many people have learned to speak Ignatian, if only a little. Folks like yourselves who come to a Jesuit parish, or go to a Jesuit school or retreat center.

So you may have heard some of this Jesuit Jargon:
Finding God In All things
What have I done for Christ, What am I doing for Christ, What will I do for Christ?
The Magis, which means “more”
AMDG Ad majorem dei Gloriam,? For the greater glory of God

I mention this Jesuit Jargon because our scriptures today really resound with these themes.

“Seek The Lord while he may be found call on him when he is near’ The prophet Isaiah has a similar intuition to Ignatius of Loyola.(or I should say the other way around) God, the mysterious, awesome, presence beyond, behind, above below, around all things, can be encountered. We can seek God and we can find God.

Think of the moments in your own life when you have felt that awesome presence of the Holy, the other, the (Speechless) Hopefully some of those encounters have been in a holy place like this but I imagine that others have been in the midst of nature and its power and beauty. But Ignatius says “in all things”, Where is god in the suffering of our brothers and sisters from the South, or in our own pain or those whom we love. Where is God ever in those natural disasters that we have seen so often. God is found in healing hands, the expression of compassion, the outpouring of generosity. We find God in the ways in which we go beyond our limited vision to seek and find God in others. Each and every experience in your life has the potential for seeking and finding God, even the most challenging ones.

In the second reading Paul says “For me life is Christ”. Like Paul, Ignatius wants each of us to have an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus. Recently when I asked people on our Pastoral Council if they felt comfortable talking about a personal relationship with Jesus they were pretty clear that they didn’t know what I was talking about. Those kind of relationships are for Evangelicals and not catholics. At the heart of Ignatius’ experience is that intimate, one on one relationship with Jesus that can be so life giving and life changing.

And then there is the challenging gospel, that most of us probably find very unfair to those laborers who have been working in the field/ We are used to quid pro quo relationships. We are very calculating when it comes to our fair share, what we deserve. But the landowner, who is meant to be like God, doesn’t have our ways or our thoughts. God is not calculating. God loves and God gives. What matters to God is generosity. Last week we heard Jesus speak of a God who demands infinite forgiveness, 77 times Today we hear Jesus speak of a God who models total generosity, in Ignatian Speak, “The MAGIS” the more.


I fact one of Ignatius’ most famous prayer’s is his “Prayer for Generosity”
Lord teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve
To give and not to count the cost
To fight and not to heed the wounds
To toil and not to seek for rest
To labor and not to ask for reward
Save that of knowing that I do your will.

And ultimately all that we do and all that we are is intended for the greater glory of God. And what could be more glorious than to respond to God and our neighbor with the same love and generosity that God has shared with us.

Do you speak Ignatian? If you don’t, or if you want to immerse yourselves in this language of faith, check out the opprotunites in spiritual development, liturgy and adult education that we offer in the parish.

 


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