Mediator: Homily for Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, June 28, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Sometimes it is a good thing to focus on the saints.  Today we celebrate Saint Irenaeus, who in some ways might be a stranger.  He was born in the early second century, and was really the first major saint after the apostles.  He wrote eloquently in refuting Gnosticism, a belief in the value of the spirit over and against the body.  It was a dualistic philosophy that refuted the true integration of the humanity and divinity of Christ among other things.

Perhaps most of all, the gifts and talents given to Saint Irenaeus were well suited for the time.  He had the gift of being a mediator, which enabled him to write against Gnosticism in a way that for the time ended its appeal.  His most well-known quote is “The glory of God is man fully alive”, something that speaks to the goodness of creation.  We are made in God’s image and likeness.  And so if you have trouble accepting yourself as good, you might ask Saint Iranaeus to pray for you.

Daily Prayer for Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Act of Faith

O my God, I firmly believe that you are on God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that he shall come to judge the living and the dead.  I believe these and all the truths the holy Catholic Church teaches, because you have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

The Narrow Gate: Homily for Tuesday, June 27, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

For many Americans, the biggest and greatest value is to be able to do what we want.  To be able to choose this or that.  To be able to chart our own destiny.  And often we think that wen we do so, it is then that we will receive total happiness.  But like the kid who can eat anything in a candy store, who eats too much and gets sick, often the same happens to us when we focus only on doing whatever we want.  The truth is that if we do not choose limit our choices, if we do not sacrifice, then we are not free.  This is what Jesus means by the narrow gate.

Jesus has referred to this over the past few days.  We shall not kill.  But the narrow gate also means we shall avoid anger.  We shall not commit adultery.  But the narrow gate means not being lustful.  We shall not hate enemies, because the narrow gate tells us to pray for them and to love them.  Enter through the narrow gate, because this means life.

Set Out: Homily for 12th Monday Ordinary Time, June 26, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

It is hard to imagine a human being who has never faced a challenge.  Most of us have confronted something that was difficult to do.  Maybe even now we face something hard.  So many challenges in life.  Marriage can be hard.  Jobs can have demands.  Children can cause us to pull our hair out sometimes.  Faith can be a challenge.  It is hard to love someone we do not like.

Abram in today’s first reading faces a challenge.  At his age, he is sent by God to a new place.  He has long faced the challenge with his wife of not having children.  Can you imagine being in his shoes? Going where you do not know anyone? To a land that is unfamiliar? And yet, by accepting this challenge, Abram becomes Abraham and Sarai become Sarah.  They are filled with more blessings than ever.  Today, go where God sends you.  You will not be disappointed.

Daily Prayer for Monday, June 26, 2017

Morning Offering

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in thanksgiving for your favors, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.

Fear: Homily for 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 25, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

It is very easy to feel afraid these days.  There are so many violent events in our world. London. Paris. Brussels. Moreover, we read about so much crime.  People getting shot.  Even Congressmen.  If you live in a big city, especially like Chicago or New York, it is not hard to read about crime.  It is always in front of our eyes.  We can be afraid economically.  Will I have a job? Will I be able to afford health insurance? Will my family be ok?

There is also a moral challenge. How hard it is to speak the truth when people do not want to hear it? How hard can it be to stand up for what is right? This is the problem faced by Jeremiah in today’s first reading.  He is being persecuted, even threatened with death, for simply speaking the message God gave him.

And yet, Jeremiah helps us in our fear.  He trusted in God.  So too should we.  While there are certainly many powerful things that cause us to fear, God is more powerful.  God is stronger.  God is indeed more than anything that can be thrown into our way.  Often, it can be that when we give into this fear, and act from it, that we make our worst decisions.  We need to remember the words of Saint Paul, who assures us that the love of God is more powerful than anything we can imagine.

Repent: Homily for the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, June 24, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Yesterday we focused on the love that God has for us.  But why is it that we do not always feel loved?  Sin.  Today we celebrate the birth of Saint John the Baptist.  He became quite “popular” by what he said in the desert.  People were attracted to his message, and they came out in droves to hear it.  Why?  It was a challenging message.  It demanded that to be whole, complete, and entire in our relationship with God, that we needed to change.  To repent.  To stop sinning.  Why is it then, that this appealed to so many?

Isn’t it because people know, deep within themselves, that they need to change, to repent?  Isn’t there something that we know deep within us about our relationship with God? We do not always admit it.  We do not always act on it.  Sometimes we run from it.  But, deep down we know it.  We are not always at our best, often deliberately so.  To make a heart ready for Jesus, it needs to be tilled like soil.  And Saint John the Baptist shows us how.  Repent and believe n the Good News.

U.S. Bishops Chairman Reacts To Draft Senate Health Care Bill

WASHINGTON—After the U.S. Senate introduced a “discussion draft” of its health care bill, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, highlighted certain positive elements in the bill, but reiterated the need for Senators to remove unacceptable flaws in the legislation that harm those most in need.

USCCB President And Bishop Chairmen Urge DHS To Defer Deportation Of Refugees Who Have Escaped Religious Persecution

From the USCCB: WASHINGTON—The President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston as well as the Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, have sent […]

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