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March 4th 2012 AD - Second Sunday in Lent

Catholic Homilies

March 4th 2012 A.D.

Second Sunday of Lent

Mk 9:2-10

Second Sunday of Lent

"This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!"
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 Like Last Sundayís Gospel, this is a story with a strong theological overlay. However, Jesus surely had an experience of his Father in heaven at some point in his public life in which he perceived that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem and like the prophets die for the good news he had come to preach.

The disciples did not understand this experience then. Nor is it clear that we understand it now. Jesus saw that, like all humans, he had to die. He also perceived that his death, like all deaths, would be horrible, though more horrible than most. Nonetheless because he was confident of His Fatherís love for him, we went to Jerusalem bravely because he knew that ultimately God would vindicate the good news with his powerful love. So we must understand that God too will vindicate us eventually and that Jesus will accompany us down into the valley of death. Lent, in a way, is more about our own deaths and resurrections than it is about Jesus.

Fr. Greeley's Last Book:Chicago Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church

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Once there was a scientist who believed in nothing at all. He enjoyed especially putting down those who had near death experiences (NDE) in which they were revived after they clinically died. It was all brain chemistry, he insisted, an evolutionary adjustment for a species that was conscious of its own mortality.

 There was no tunnel, no figure in white at the end of it, no choice about whether to stay or come back. It was all an illusion caused by the brain chemicals that were released at the moment of death. Then he had a heart attack and was clinically dead when they got him to the hospital. However, the doctors revived him and he reported that he had indeed gone through an NDE. It was an illusion, he insisted, caused by brain chemicals.

I still do not believe in anything at all except science.

When we are dead, we are dead and that’s that. However, he seemed less afraid of death than most of his atheist colleagues. One of them asked him if he was not afraid that he might be wrong. Promise you won’t quote me? Yes. Well, I figure that if the NDE was all an illusion then I have nothing to lose by saying it was an illusion.

On the other hand, if the person in white that the brain chemicals made me imagine is real, well there’s so much love there, I have nothing to lose either because I will be forgiven. So it’s a good gamble. Oh, said his colleague.


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On the other hand, if the person in white that the brain chemicals made me imagine is real, well there’s so much love there, I have nothing to lose either because I will be forgiven. So it’s a good gamble
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Gospel Reading: Mk 9:2-10
Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.

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Psalm 116:9-10,18-15-19

9 I walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
10 I kept my faith, even when I said, "I am greatly afflicted";
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
16 O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your handmaid.  You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.
18 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem.  Praise the LORD!


Chicago Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church
The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
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Why Stay Catholic?
Catholic publishing eminence Leach asks, and answers, a good question that the nationís second largest non-congregation Ė the church of ex-Catholics poses.
This book has a chapter about Fr. Greeley and is dedicated to him. Great read!
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