Saturday, June 21, 2014

Writing expectantly

I am working on a homily for the 9th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B in the Roman Catholic Lectionary).  Even though next year we are using the Cycle B readings, there will be no 9th Sunday in Ordinary Time, nor an 7th, 8th or 10th -- because of an early Easter.  So I'm writing well into the future (if I've figured it out correctly the next time there will be a 9th Sunday Ordinary time B I will be, God willing, in my 80s).  What I wonder, will people hope to hear in so many years?

Preparing to write this, I read Patrick Willson's homiletical perspective on Psalm 81 in the incredible rich series Feasting on the Word.  At the very end, he quotes John Webster (not that Webster, this Webster):

"The church exists in the space which is made by the Word...The church exists and continues because God is communicatively present; it is brought into being and carried by the Word."

Willson goes on to reflect about homilies in general. Do we "hope for a word from the One who pleads, 'if you would but listen to me!' or are [our] hopes confined to more ordinary hopes, that the sermon will be interesting and not too long?"  And this question, which reached me where I am right now, writing for times and places I may not see.  Am I writing with  "the expectation that God set apart and sanctify [my] carefully prepared words as a means of speaking God's own Word?"

Do I go to Mass in hope? Do I write in hope?


This sharply earthy reflection on Psalm 139 by Patrick Willson reminded me of Mike Leach's recent beautifully wrenching piece in NCR.

Related posts
Fierce Prayers (27 July 2012)


8 comments:

  1. As I read this I began thinking that we need to live expectantly as well. Each day brings new opportunities to live as God intended us to live and to be truly present to others. Let's expect God to live and love through us and see what amazing things will come to pass.

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    1. Ah...that is the trick, can we live expectantly?!

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  2. Oh, I literally just wrote about hope.

    I go to Mass so infrequently between working and being sick that YES! I have realized that I go in hope. My hope is not really about the homily and more focused on the entire frame of sacramentality, though.

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  3. I thought OT Sundays just picked up where they left off after Pentecost/Trinity/Corpus Christi. Do they have a protocol for how much gets skipped?

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    1. OT picks up at that point, but the Sundays get overriden by the Feasts...so there is a 7th Monday in OT, but not a 7th Sunday (it's Pentecost). There's a couple of other subtleties, but that the basic idea...

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  4. Makes me think about the state of mind of the folks writing/compiling the prophets and the gospels. Seems like many of them were writing in hope, hoping that their words would mean something to people far distant in the future, and that intentional stance of hope is what made their works endure.

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    1. Oh, indeed...yes! Thank you...

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