SUNDAY'S SERMON FOR LENT
Moonstruck is the story of an Italian family in Brooklyn.
It's about any family, USA.
Moonstruck is about a mother, Rose, and, a father, Cosmo, and their daughter, Cher.
Rose suspects her husband is cheating, and says: "Cosmo, I just want you to know that no matter what you do, you're gonna die, just like everyone else!"
Later, mother says to daugher: "Your life's goin' down the toilet!"
Deadly thoughts, no?
Wake up calls, you may say.
Ashes smudged on my forehead reminded me Ash Wednesday, Lent's 40-day trek in the dessert of these days of desolation and consolation, that in the tribe or klan, whether a kook or a king or queen,
I'm falling short, missing the mark - that's what sin means - missing the mark, a Greek word, "harmatia."
Missing the bullseye.
We all do.
And, we all are missing the mark, no?
What I do now since being smudged with black, shiny remains of palm trees, and, the day I die, really matters.
I must awaken.
Cher, the daughter in Moonstruck, like each of us this Lent, goes to confession in that same movie admitting that she slept with her fiance's brother.
Temptations trump so many choices we make.
Jesus endured and triumphed over three temptations in the dessert. Jesus would have no part of abusing his power by using it to feed himself by turning stones into bread, to turn on a magic show like in a night club with color flames and flare.
This Christian campaign we're about in prayer, fasting and works of charity are means to morph and mend me, and, you.
In this trek, however, it's not about power at all, political or otherwise.
It's about so much more.
It's beyond ashes.
I am claimed for more than this passing age, more than just a blade of grass that fades, as the writer of Psalms, warns.
This Chrstian campaign ends with death sooner or later.
We will pass over.
To heaven, of course.
Unless, we have other plans!
But, for now, we are in exile, in a dessert, as it were, like ghosts wandering until we rest in glory, in Christ's Light, the Victor over sin and death and temptation.
We are, in a sense, Dead Men Walking.
These days are filled
with frustration, and more,
yet, despite dosolation of
doubt, despair, even depressing
moments of temptations, you
buoy me up as I distract from sin
and run into your beloved arms.
There I am safe from the desserts
of Flint, the turmoil within, from
temptations of Cheboygan, Detroit,
Israel, and beyond.
There I am yours.
In your tribe.
Marked with more than mortality
Claimed your own for ever!