Ego-Drama vs. Theo-Drama

(February 5, 2020)

Bottom line: the "Ego-drama". That's when I see my life as a drama in which I am the writer, the director and the main character. This is different from the "Theo-drama".

In these weeks leading up to Lent and for Lent itself I am using Bishop Barron's book - The Strangest Way (hold up). He explores the three paths that constitute the Christian way:

finding the center, knowing you are a sinner and realizing your life is not about you.

Finding the center: A beautiful song says, "Lord, you are the center of my life." When Jesus becomes the center, the Beatitudes make sense. Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are they who mourn, blessed are you when people insult you and speak falsely about you. If Jesus becomes the center, we can bear all things with joy.

Of course, I have to know I am sinner. Jesus begins his preaching by saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Jesus wants us to become life-long learners. One of the great Christian practices is to do a daily examination of conscience. At the end of the day, look back with gratitude to God. At the same time, recognize I have fallen short in my thoughts, words and deed, what I have done and what I have failed to do. Not to beat myself up, but to do better tomorrow.

So, find the center and know you are sinner. Today's readings speak about the third path - realize your life is not about you.

Jesus says, "You are the salt of the earth...you are the light of the world." Salt's not so great on its own, but when you put it on an egg or a steak, it's magic. Likewise, a lamp does not exist for itself, but so we can see the other things in the room.

This is Black History month. They chose February because of the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. As a young man, Frederick Douglass escaped from harsh slavery. He became a lamp showing the rest of us what was going on in the south. As a Methodist minister, he realized his life was not about himself. Lincoln would also discover his greater purpose.

Lincoln, perhaps better than any other American, expressed that our lives are not about ourselves, but part of God's plan. Although he wasn't much of a believer as a young man, Lincoln learned to say, "The Almighty has his own purposes."

Most of us are attracted by what's called the "Ego-drama". That's when I see my life as a drama in which I am the writer, the director and the main character. This is different from the "Theo-drama". That's when I realize God is the writer, director and the main player. That's when life starts to become interesting - that I have a role to play that involves the universe and all human history. God has given me a part that I need to discover and live.

For funerals I've heard people quote Frank Sinatra, "I did it my way." When you think about it, "Ho hum. Who cares?" But if a guy tries to do it God's way, that does make a difference.

Next week we are going to hear about God's plan which was hidden and mysterious, but now has been revealed to us. Not totally, but we will see the key to opening God's purpose.

For today it's enough to consider how God wants you & I to be salt and light. Amen.

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From Archives (Fifth Ordinary Sunday, Year A):

2017: Hidden Wisdom Week 2- Salt and Light
2014: Where Your Synthesis is
2011: Kalos
2005: Less Noise, More Light
2002: When Salt Loses Its Taste
1999: A Sure Thing
1998: Do Not Grumble, My Brothers

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

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Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Kurt Nagel (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron

Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)

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