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Looking for Ideas?

Lord, increase our faith
Habakkuk 1:2-3;2:2-4; Psalm 95:1-2,6-9; II Timothy 1:6-8,13-14; Luke 17:5-10

Sermon Week Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 17:5

Comedian Paula Poundstone once quipped, "Adults are always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up because they are looking for ideas."

Indeed, life's journey offers us endless choices. The problem is, as some say, "by the time you know your way around, you don't feel like going." Perhaps that is somewhat the way author John Stuart Mill felt at one point in his life. In his autobiography, Mill says that his father had recognized that he was a very gifted child and proceeded to cram his head with all sorts of knowledge. However, since he had no religious faith of his own, the father would not allow anything religious to become part of his son's education.

Looking back on his education with a deep sense of loss, John Stuart Mill said that his mind was full with information, but his soul was starved. He said, "I was left at the commencement of my voyage with a well-equipped ship -- but no sail."

There is little doubt that many can identify with John Stuart Mill's complaint -- a well-equipped ship but no sail. We need something to push up the value of our hopes and dreams. We need something to push us up and over the waves of emptiness that pound our bored and weary souls. We need something to give us new life. We need something to get us sailing again toward genuine life goals. In the words of Louise Fletcher:

"I wish there were some wonderful place called the Land of Beginning Again, where all our mistakes and heartaches could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door and never be put on again."

One of the significant obstacles the Apostles ran into was that Jesus' death was necessary if there was to be new life. He tried to help them understand that God works through a process of Death/Resurrection; that this is the way God has chosen to bring new life into the world; that unless He dies, they cannot have new life. Unless He dies, they cannot have the fulfillment they've been dreaming about and hoping [...]

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