Saturday, March 15, 2014

And God said to Abram: (Not quite) a Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Lent

From Coffee with Jesus
I am preaching this weekend, in the way of the Carthusians, with my hands, not my voice.  My homily for the 2nd Sunday in Lent appears in the collection for Cycle A from Homilists for the Homeless: Naked and You Clothed Me.

The first reading is from Genesis (Gn 12:1-4a), where God promises Abram that he will become a great nation.

But what transfixed my attention was not the promise that birthed the Church, but those seemingly innocuous opening words:  "The Lord said to Abram..."

Here is an excerpt:
The author of this passage in Genesis is terse and matter-of-fact, opening with the bald statement: The Lord said to Abram… It is easy to let the eye and ear slide past these words, to consider them a mere frame for what God actually had to say to Abram. Instead, I invite you to stop for a moment and imagine what the experience summed up in that line might have been like for Abram. God spoke to Abram.

Was it a gentle breathing of God’s Spirit, like the small, still voice Elijah heard at the mouth of the cave in the silence after the whirlwind? The barest prompting wafting under the tent flaps in the cool clarity of a desert night. Or was it more like Peter, James, and John’s experience on the mountaintop? The ordinary became dazzling, time collapsed, prophets from the past appeared, and the voice of God left him trembling and prostrate on the ground.

Savor these few, perfectly ordinary words that hold out to us a dazzling gift: in whatever way he chose, God spoke to Abram; indeed, at any moment, and in many different ways, God may choose to speak to us.

If you want to read the whole homily, send me an email or leave me a message in the comments and I will send you a copy, or you can buy the book:  Naked and You Clothed Me. All the Homilists for the Homeless donated their work, and all the proceeds from the sale of the book go to the poor.

No comments:

Post a Comment