August 24, 2014

Sunday, August 24: Back to Basics, Part 2

•  All the readings together
•  Isaiah 22:19-23
•  Psalm 138
•  Romans 11:33-36
•  Matthew 16:13-20


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  • Quick welcome to visitors and guests
  • After I graduated from Nicholls I moved to Washington DC and worked for a management consulting firm
  • My experience of Nicholls was great … track ... fraternity … youth ministry
  • God was near. I could touch him. It was one of the best “seasons” in my life
  • On the other hand, living in DC was different … hours … stress … transition.
  • I don’t handle transition well, so it took me a long time to adjust
  • God seemed far away. I still prayed … kinda. I still went to Mass. However, the nearness was gone. 
  • Nicholls … DC 
  • Near … far
  • I think we all share this in common
  • I think we’ve all felt God close … then felt Him far away … near … far … personal … invisible.
  • How many times have you and I “repeated” the same pattern? 
  • I think a lot of us are searching in life.
  • I think deep within ever human being is the desire for something bigger than them … to know that something out there can help me 
  • However, we also want to know that God is thinking of me … my life … my questions
  • What if God were there … and what if you could experience more easily?
  • Often God seems mysterious, transcendent, completely other:
  • “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor?” (Romans 11:33-34)
  • On the other hand, God seems to want to be known:
  • “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15)
  • “flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father” (Matthew 16:17)
  • What we know about God is that He is mysterious – He is mystery – but He is also near; He is in Heaven, but He is also on earth; He is everywhere, but He wants to be immediately close to you.
  • How can we now – here on earth – in the midst of our lives in Thibodaux easily experience both God’s mystery and His nearness? Mass
  • Sunday Mass … and … daily Mass
  • Last week we started a journey together, a journey called “Back to Basics”
  • There are seven basic things that you can do to make this year the best year of your spiritual life
  • Last week: No. 1 ... we can prepare for Sunday Mass
  • This week: No. 2 ... we can go to daily Mass
  • Going to daily Mass can dramatically impact your spiritual life
  • Back to Nicholls … it was daily Mass …
YOU (What is the one thing you can do this week?)
  • As I offer the invitation … the opportunity … the challenge today, I also want to say I’m proud of you.
  • Last August 2013: 20 people at only one daily Mass
  • This August 2014: 100 people at now two daily Masses
  • If you’re already going to Mass daily ... I’m proud of you … and I challenge you to share your experience of what daily Mass has meant to you
  • If you usually go during Lent … or if you used to go during Lent … if it worked then, it can work again … try it again
  • If you’ve never been to daily Mass ... try it once
  • This week ... I challenge everyone of us to go to 1 daily Mass
  • What if we all did that?
  • What if you had the best spiritual year ever?
  • What if we all had the best year ever?
  • Let’s pray right now …

Recorded Sunday, August 24, 2014 at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Thibodaux, Louisiana. © Fr. Mark Toups, 2014