Sunday, February 01, 2009

4th Sunday - homily

So, we have the Super Bowl tonight – should be a good match-up. It’s the Pittsburgh Steelers who have won five Super Bowls against the Arizona Cardinals who are making their first Super Bowl appearance. I’m rooting for the Cardinals for the obvious reason: the Redskins beat the Cardinals this season, so we can say that we beat the Super Bowl champs! It has been really neat to read the comments by the players and coaches on both teams about their faith in Christ. So many have been unabashedly proclaiming their strong Christian faith and on such a big stage. It’ll be cool for whoever wins the game.

I would like to use the analogy of a football team to describe God and the Church, using some parts of today’s Gospel and the Creed that we profess, tweaking some of the wording to fit the analogy. God is the “upper management” of the team. God the Father is the owner and maker of the team. God the Son is the general manager and God the Spirit is the coach. We, the Church, are the players. But, the Son also became a player. By the power of the coach, he came down from the owner’s box and became a player (let’s say a quarterback).

He had great power and authority over his opponents, as we hear in today’s Gospel. His power was so great on and off the field (in deed and in word) that he “amazed” and “astonished” the crowds, and “his fame spread everywhere”. His biggest opponent was sin. He won victory over this archenemy of his on the Cross. It was the greatest victory of all-time in the game of life, in fulfillment of the playbook. As players on his team, we all share in his victory. He retired from the game, and ascended into the owner’s box where he sits at the right hand of the owner.

Now, the Spirit has been the coach from the beginning and he has spoken through the players from of old. But, when the Son ascended, he gave full leadership of the team to the coach. The Spirit leads the Church. He teaches us how to play to the best of our abilities. He teaches us how to play as Jesus played – with love. If we play as Jesus played…if we play the game of life with love, we share in his victory. It is the greatest victory of all-time in the game of life.

Finally, the Son has one more role. He is the nourishment of the team through his Body and Blood. The Eucharist is our Gatorade! It nourishes us, refreshes us, and strengthens us as players so that we will play as Jesus played. We might look at Jesus in the tabernacle and think that his work is done…that he is resting after his victory on the field. He retired but his work is not done. He continues to work – feeding us and giving us strength in the Eucharist. If we play as Jesus played – if we live love – then we will share in his victory which is the greatest victory of all-time in the game of life.


At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was amused to read this article in today's Washington Post. Apparently the NFL think it's no longer PC to use military metaphors to describe preparing for and playing games.

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great game! I was happy to see the Steelers win. The NFL required Roethlisberger to remove the "PFJ" from his uniform (playing for Jesus) but he said the he still wears it on his person- just isn't visible.

Also- Aaron Smith's (DE, Steelers)little boy has been undergoing treatment for lukemia. They've had a rough go, but doctors gave the little boy an "all clear" to attend the Superbowl. What great medicine it must be to watch your dad win a superbowl! Very cool!

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

A few weeks ago, Fr. Greg addressed “custody of the eyes” in his homily. I hadn’t heard that term in some time and it reminded me of what I had learned as young woman- modesty is practiced through the custody of the eyes as well as the tongue. It’s about how we present ourselves in both dress and manner. Saying it sounds sooo old fashioned, but I was glad to be reminded of it as I’m raising my children- especially my teenager!

Custody of the tongue is something I wish would be addressed with our youth. I read an exchange from one of my daughter’s IM conversations and was astounded with what are kids are comfortable “saying” to each other via this technology. Between IM, Facebook and TM-ing, kids are becoming more than bold with their words. I think they forget that even though their words are transmitted via these little boxes, they are “speaking” words that represent the importance of their virtue.

I don't want to take away technology that is a continually growing means of communication. Instead, I think it's important to teach about using it responsibly. However, I don't hear much said about the way in which it's becoming a behavioral free-for-all. The behavior that should be addressed needs to go beyond posting inappropraite photos and being overtly sexual. The familiarity with which our youth are learning to treat each other is also problematic.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger fran said...


I agree! How many times did your family have to:

1. turn down the volume on..
2. change channels on..
3. turn off altogether ..

the television when watching the SuperBowl? Of course I am talking about the commercials which exploit and objectify women. I think about all of the hoopla the FCC made over the J. Jackson episode several years ago, and then we are subjected to essentially, more of the same from advertisers! When will it stop?

It can be so very discouraging when trying to raise morally upright, value oriented, respectfully speaking young adults. Of course all of it, can be used as a "teaching moment." I do realize that, but I am frustrated with just about every form of media being saturated with it. I'd rather teach it to my children using my own standards.


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