Are You at Home with Yourself?

In lieu of a normal post I offer you an audio treat today. My wife Sarah was invited to preach this last Sunday at our Jesuit parish where I’m on staff, and I’d like to share it with you. Sarah and I are blessed to be able to minister together often. You’ll gather from her homily that we are days from welcoming our second child into our lives so forgive any decreased frequency of new posts and podcasts. You’ll know why. This may be a time for you to browse the archives and listen to something you haven’t yet.

Click here to listen to Sarah’s reflection (here are the readings she preaches on).

Categories: Scripture Reflections

9 replies

  1. Sarah, I have been praying about a topic for a retreat that I have every summer for the women in a Bible Study that I facilitate in my home. As I listened to your homily, I realize that God has provided what I was praying for through you. With your permission, your homily will be the starting point for our day of retreat. God always provides! Blessings to you and your family as you welcome your new little one!!

  2. What a lovely start to a new week! Thank you, Andy for sharing it, and especially thanks to you, Sarah for speaking so eloquently to your own journey which impeccably mirrors mine – and all of our human stories. How wonderful that your parish allows the female experience to be heard at Mass, and to sadly realize how very seldom we do.

  3. I say only with love and deep respect, hopefully her “homily” was not giving during the Mass. A lay woman gave the homily at my parish a few years ago, and it caused a great rumble. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) states clearly that a lay person is never to give the homily:

    “The Homily should ordinarily be given by the priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to the deacon, but never to a lay person. In particular cases and for a just cause, the homily may even be given by a Bishop or a priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate.” (GIRM 66)

    At the request of Pope John Paul II, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament in Rome issued the document, Redemptionis Sacramentum (RS), for the purpose of stopping liturgical abuses. Regarding the preaching of the homily, the document reiterates GIRM 66 and adds the following:

    “It should be borne in mind that any previous norm that may have admitted non-ordained faithful to give the homily during the Eucharistic celebration is to be considered abrogated by the norm of canon [law]. This practice is reprobated, so that it cannot be permitted to attain the force of custom.” (RS 65)

  4. Dear Kim, I hear your point, and I hear the love in your voice. However, given the circumstances and time we live in, and the power in Sarah’s message – you could hear a pin drop, people were shifting uncomfortably in the pew as tears fell down their faces – there is so much else so much graver that we must pay attention to before we concern ourselves with this (legitimate) question. Until we are serious about addressing the root causes of sexual abuse crisis and scandal in our church, in preparing our young people adequately for the vocation of marriage and meaningful human relationships, understanding how trauma gets in the way of our encounter with God, in having a full and consistent ethic of life, in actually living in surrender to Christ with an awareness of how addicted, broken and numb we become otherwise…I feel her voice must MUST be heard, and in this particular context. Women’s bodies and what they tell us about how God made us to be in relationship with him are so sacred – why, why on earth, do we and those realities not belong on that altar? Why on earth? I used to be extremely conscientious about what is clearly defined by the Church’s teachings, particularly with respect to the liturgy – so believe me when I say I would have felt similar to you a couple of years ago. But frankly – in the face of such utter UTTER scandal, trauma and pain derived very much from our inability to hear the voice of our maker, of such blatant inability to listen to those who are ‘Other’, as I learn for the very first time (it feels) in my 30s to search for God as instinctively as a newborn searches for his or her mother’s breasts…I can’t help but say, I hear your point…delivered graciously (which is always appreciated)…and I think the Spirit is calling us to fry much bigger fish right now.

  5. What a blessing! Thank you both for your continued grace and kindness. God speaks through you to me often and always. Blessings be yours as you continue to seek home with yourselves and with our Gracious God.

  6. Brava!-I find female preaching (despite the rules) brings me closer to God.

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