The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? Show No Partiality Carrying the Cross for Whom? Outside the Lines The Camel and the Needle Ask First for Sight What God Sees Only God The Arc of the Universe Turmoil, Fear, and Dismay The Gift of the Desert A Punch for the Holidays Politics and Religion Jesus Always Understands One Body God’s Love The Call Blessings and Woes Imitating God’s Mercy The Blind Leading the Blind The Devil’s Agenda Looking Closer, Looking Beyond Accepting God’s Love Mob Thinking The Easter Egg Fishing with Uncle Mike Loving Like Jesus God’s in Love with This World

Change and Continuity

November 9, 2014 click on left end of black bar to play-pause

November 9, 2014
1 Corinthians 3:9c-11, 16-17
Fr. George Smiga

It may seem today that we are celebrating a church building in the city of Rome, but we are not. There is, of course, a church building in view. It is the basilica of St. John Lateran, the oldest basilica in the city of Rome, the cathedral of the pope, and often called the mother of all Christian churches. But this basilica is not our main concern.  St. Paul makes this clear in the second reading where he tells the Corinthians and us that we are the building of God. We are God’s holy temple. So the church is not a building of wood and stone, but an assembly of believers in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. So to the extent we remember this basilica in Rome, we do so that it might help us to be buildings of God ourselves, better holy temples. How can the Basilica of St. John Lateran help us to live the Christian life?  It points to change and continuity.

The history of St. John Lateran is a history of change and continuity. The land upon which the church stands was given to Pope Melchiades by the emperor, Constantine, in 314. That’s 3-1-4, very long ago. The Pope built a church on it. In 443 an earthquake destroyed the church, and it was rebuilt. In 455 the Vandals sacked the city of Rome and destroyed the church again, and it had to be rebuilt. Around the year 900 another earthquake leveled the church and it was built yet again. It was destroyed twice by fire in 1308 and 1360. And it was extensively expanded and remodeled in the fifteenth century and in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The history of St. John Lateran is a history of change. Yet it is the same church.

This history invites us to accept the changes that come about in our lives and to celebrate the good things that continue. We tend to fear change and to resist it, but change is a part of God’s plan for us. A healthy life can only be lived as we learn how to negotiate transitions. We have to be willing to leave behind some of the good relationships that we made in high school or college, to adjust from one job to another, to cope as our children leave home or as we leave home ourselves for retirement living. We have to re-focus when our health fails, when our marriage ends, or when we lose someone we love in death. In any of these transitions we are tempted to say, “My life is ended. The beautiful edifice in which I have been living is destroyed.” But life can continue, and we believe that God moves with us into the future. We cannot anticipate all the changes and transitions of life, but God knows all of them. God is already working to give us the strength to face them. God is already acting to place new people and new places into our life that will allow us to grow.

Even as these changes take place, God makes sure that there are some good things in our life that continue. There are some friends from high school and college who remain friends with us throughout their entire lives. There are some things that we learned in our first job that we still use today. There are customs and memories that connect us to our adult children and to those we have lost in death. Even as change pushes us forward, there is the continuity of who we are and how we love. Even as life shifts in a new direction, we are still the same person that God cares for and that God has saved.

Change and continuity is the pattern of life. This should give us hope. Like the Basilica of St. John Lateran, we will change over and over again. But this does not need to be harmful. In fact, it is something holy—not a holy church building in Rome, but a holy people who understand that our God is always building and rebuilding us, always making us new.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options