Saturday wasn't too bad...
Pet blessing in the morning (every year near St. Francis Day); worked (fitfully) on homily till confessions at 3:30; Mass at 5 pm. Had to run over to other parish before confessions to take care of a few things, took a little longer. After Mass, retired priest who lives at rectory and I had dinner, something that happens rarely.
Sunday up for 7 am Mass; visited children in religious education classes at 9 am, presented Bibles to 6th graders. Mass at Noon; baptism after.
From 3-4:30 pm I was with junior high, giving them some information about the Bible. Back to St. Mary for evening Mass. After Mass, a distraught parishioner needed to talk about a problem, we could only speak a short time before I headed to the nursing home to visit a parishioner. Turns out the parishioner was sent to hospital, so I went there (after visiting other parishioners).
After that I had dinner around 8 pm. Around 9 I remembered I was going to try to stop in at another church in town for a tribute to a soldier who died in Iraq, but the call to the nursing home prevented that.
Sorry no text of homily. I developed some points but never wrote it out.
Briefly, my homily was about heaven. And I explored three points:
> Heaven is good--we don't know a lot about it, but it will be good. However, it may be good in a way we don't, at present, like (and not everyone wants it; note the folks who refused the wedding invitation); because we may have to give up other things for heaven. I compared how some say heaven sounds "boring" with those who say the same for Mass; and pointed out that if you view Mass in a worldly way, it is boring. But the true reality of Mass is anything but. What's more, I said, "let me tell you a secret: when you're at Mass, you're in heaven." And I explained that.
> Heaven is a gift--we don't earn it, we get invited. I said: "we don't go to heaven because we're good; we're good to the extent we're being influenced by heaven." Our spiritual life is the back-and-forth between heavenly influences and what we want that's not heavenly. If we allow it, heaven will draw us and make us ready for heaven. I touched on purgatory here.
> But we do have to get ready for heaven. I explained the fellow who lacked a wedding garment; it seems unfair to have him thrown out, but that detail serves as a warning for us: get ready; be ready in case you are summoned quickly.
The possibility of missing heaven and going to hell is real; or else so much in the Scriptures would be pointless. But God is working really hard to get us to heaven, so we have hope.
I said other things but that is a quick summary.
Today I had my day off, and I'm taking it easy. I saw "Moneyball" which was enjoyable but slow at the beginning. Too much navel-gazing.