Charles Seagren, ocds: put last things first

Readings: 1 Cor 7:25-31, Ps 45; Lk 6: 20-26

Time is running out.
We know it.
However much money we make,
however much fine food we eat,
however on top of the world we may be,
we’ll soon be under it.

The thief is coming and we don’t know when.

We spend our life
rejoicing and weeping,
buying and selling.
Go deeper.
Go below the surface, with all its moods,
all the waves and currents that carry us
where we don’t want to go.

It’s all upside down.
The Kingdom of God belongs to the poor
but woe to the rich.
The hungry are satisfied
and the well-fed hungry.
The hated the excluded the insulted
rejoice and leap for joy.

You don’t need to give it all away
and live in a hovel.
But rejoice as if you’re not rejoicing,
weep as if you’re not weeping,
own as if you don’t possess.

Time is running out.
Sometimes we learn the simplest things last
which makes for difficulties.

Listen.
You can hear God
in the silence of your heart
and the whirlwind of the world.

In all that you do
put the last things first.

SOURCE: 23rd Week of Ordinary time Homily 2015. Menlo Park, CA

Copyright 2016 Charles Seagren. All rights reserved.

 

Charles Seagren, ocds: there’s a little Herod in each of us

Readings: 1 Jn 1:5:12, Ps 124, Mt 2:13-18

There’s a little Herod in each of us,
that little king, that little big man
so full of fear.

He sees with eyes of suspicion.
If you’re angry you see anger in others.
If you lie you think everyone’s a liar.
If you plot to get ahead
you know everyone is out to get you.

Sin is a beam in the eye,
a blindness of the heart.

So Herod believes a baby
will grow up to depose him
and take his place.
And when the magi deceive him
he kills the Holy Innocents.

There’s a fear that dwells in our hearts
of such small things,
being deceived or coming in second
or looking a fool.

We want to be grown up
and not a child.
We want to be in control
and not gullible.
And sometimes
we put aside our holy innocence
and view the world with eyes of darkness.

It’s a temptation we resist by grace.
And in this Holy Mass
we acknowledge our sins
and walk in light.

Holy innocence
is to see things as they truly are,
as God sees them
and as He sees us,
with eyes of love.

SOURCE: Feast of the Holy Innocents Homily 2015. Menlo Park, CA

Copyright, Charles Seagren 2016. All Rights Reserved

Charles Seagren, ocds: we are the magi

Readings: Is 60: 1-6; Ps 72; Eph 3:2-3, 5-6; Matt 2: 1-12

The Bible isn’t just something outside us
like a book you keep on a shelf
and dust from time to time.
It’s not something you hear
and it stops there
and who knows what the Gospel was today.

The Bible is inside us too,
written on our hearts.
When we read it prayerfully
or hear it well proclaimed
something happens.
Heart speaks to heart
and we’re changed
by what we hear.

Every character, every event, every place in scripture
is in us as well.
Pharisees, apostles, Herod, even Jesus —
we carry them with us
everywhere we go.

We enter the Gospel and see
how we’re the magi and the star and the newborn Child.

We’re magi
because we follow the light.
Every one of us longs for happiness
and we follow the light of it
wherever it leads.

We might stop short.
We might visit Herod the King
and hope the answer is here
in pleasure or power or wealth.
But after awhile it’s not enough.
We raise our eyes and look about.
We grow restless
and the star keeps moving.

SOURCE: Epiphany 2016 Homily. Menlo Park, CA

Charles Seagren 2016. All Rights Reserved

Charles Seagren, ocds: the exaltation of the cross

That’s when it happens,
when we’re worn out on the journey,
when we’re impatient
and Egypt starts to look good.
We grumble against God and Moses
and we don’t look where we’re going.

That’s when the serpent strikes.

So Moses nails a bronze serpent to a pole
and lifts it up.
He tells us to look.
Here is the result of your sin,
here is the pain and death it brings.
So we look,
we look in faith,
and we’re healed.

To make antivenom
you start with the venom.
To heal sin
you start with the fact we’re sinners.
But you don’t stop there.

It’s the Mystery of the Cross.
Like that serpent in the desert
Jesus is nailed to a Cross
and lifted up.
He takes all our sin on Himself,
all the pain and death and shame of it,
not to condemn but to save us.

Look at Him now, here on the Cross,
look in faith.
See the result of sin.
But more than that
see the triumph of Love.

In His wounds we are healed.

‘Arm yourselves with the armor of faith and the sword of truth.  Pray for the grace to forgive and to ask for forgiveness – and for the healing of wounded bodies and souls.’

 Try the Daily Disconnect as part of your Daily Meditation

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