Sunday, May 13, 2007
Homily, Sunday May 13.
Happy Mother's Day! Let's have a round of applause for all the mothers. All you mothers, will you please stand up? Thank you. You know, last night Fr. Juno and I were watching The Horse Whisperer with Robert Redford. And I was thinking that Church is like the horse whisperer. You know, we're like the horse. He has to whisper to us. If he just tries to get on our back and ride us, then we bolt. We run away. Because we're scared, scared of being ridden, scared of being taken to a place that we don't want to go, that we're not "comfortable" with. And that's what it's often like for us, isn't it? It's about comfort. We want to be comfortable in our pews, we want to be comfortable with our friends. But that's not being Church. Being Church means getting out of that comfort. It means listening to the horse whisperer. And that's not comfortable. It's not comfortable when someone you don't know asks you for something, or if you don't like singing and someone asks you to sing. But we're all called upon to sing - that is our vocation, to sing! To cry out in joy, Alleluia, Alleluia! Isn't that what being a mother is all about? It's like being Church for your family. Only we don't have the luxury of just our families. That can be selfish, allthough heaven knows there's work enough to do in the family. Mothers are like horse whisperers too. If they try to get on the backs of their family, the family will sometimes bolt or shy away. So mothers have to whisper, to plead. Sometimes we get so caught up in all these roles that people pick out for us that we don't stop to be Church to each other, either here or at our homes. Today's gospel is one of my favorites, and for me it is all about how we can be Church without shouting or trying to jump on each other's backs. When I was growing up in Boston, my family was like a bunch of horse-breakers without a horse. Everyone was on everyone else's back all the time. And when I grew up, I finally said ENOUGH! I tried to be Church to my family first. I can't say it was very successful. I think my family, and my mother in particular, wanted it to be easy. They wanted to jump up on someone's back and just ride them wherever they wanted to go. They didn't know that you have to whisper. They didn't know that you have to be Church. Happy mother's day!