Creating Room In Our Lives – Father Dennis’ Homily for November 27, 2016

Portrait of Father Dennis DirkxLast week we explored the idea of creating room in our hearts as the starting point, because if it doesn’t begin in the heart it will not happen anywhere else. Hopefully you have picked up the 1% Challenge and begun to get to know Jesus through Scripture. I personally am doing the 1% Challenge and I must admit that I am discovering new insights into who Jesus is. I am amazed that at 70 plus there is so much of Jesus that I don’t know.

In Mark’s gospel Jesus describes his family of disciples in this way when told that his mother and his brothers wanted to see him: “He said in reply, ’Who are my mother and my bothers?’ And gazing around him at those seated in the circle he continued, ‘These are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me.’” We who are His disciples are family to the Risen Lord. In the gospel of St. John intimate knowledge of Jesus is a prerequisite for discipleship. For the past few years we have been talking about discipleship both in the homilies and in small faith sharing groups. Each of us has intimate knowledge of our family members simply because we are a part of the family. This intimate knowledge of Jesus comes about in getting to know Him. This is the purpose of the 1% Challenge.

The commitment to becoming a disciple of Jesus is a dynamic, evolving process. There is no one point at which we can say that we intimately know Jesus Christ, because the more we begin to know, the more we realize how much about Him we do not know. Creating room in our lives implies that as our knowledge of Him increases that He becomes an intimate companion who walks with us through our day. I always like to use the image that He is in the driving seat and we are in the passenger seat. This takes a little shifting of how we live out our day and how we are in relationship with other people. The Bible calls this righteousness or justice, which is to say, we strive to live in right-relationship with God and others, especially the poor and the marginalized.

Creating room in our hearts is just the beginning. It also means creating room in our lives, creating room in our community, and finally creating room in our Church. There is a lot being said about making America great again, and there is no better way than putting Jesus back into the big picture.

Sincerely Yours In Christ,
Fr. Dennis

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