Light: Homily for Monday, September 25, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for today

Today’s gospel appears to state the obvious.  A lamp is not good if it is unseen.  If it gives off no light, it is no good. This seems more than obvious.  Of course.  But when we think about the light of faith, do we share that, or hide it? Do we want others to leave darkness behind? Or do we want to leave them in darkness?

It is only when we see faith as a light the end of the gospel makes sense.  Of course, when people receive faith, they get more when they believe.  Of course, people lose what little faith they have when they do not believe. But as Saint Paul reminds us, if people are not able to share the light, how are they to believe?

Failing to Grow: Homily for Saturday, September 23, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

I am one of those who was a little sceptical of the sanctity of Saint Padre Pio.  There seemed to be a lot of questions for me, and for the Church, around the authenticity of his holiness.  But what could not be denied was the way in which Padre Pio led people to God.  And is not that the definition of a saint? One who is so holy the witness of life leads people to God?

Today’s gospel is a familiar one.  We have likely heard it many times.  And we may even have tried to find ways to prove to ourselves that the soil of our soul is the one that produces 100-fold.  But is it true? Do not I have to consider my scepticism as a potential way in which the seed, the Word of God, misses my heart?

Compete for the Faith: Homily for Friday, September 22, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Today’s first reading could easily describe the current climate in our country.  How many feel envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction? How often do we hear insulting words about positions that we do not share? It is much easier to shame than it is to argue convincingly for the truth.

And yet this is contrary to the way in which Jesus gathered disciples.  And thankfully Saint Paul outlines the types of things we should be pursuing.  Pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. This does, however, require trust, not in money, wealth or any other thing, but trust in a person, namely Jesus Christ.

Faith, Not Philosophy: Homily for Tuesday, September 12, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

There are some people who are very clever.  They speak eloquently. We might even admire what they say.  But we can never confuse this with faith.  Faith is not always about the right words, smart thought, or philosophy. Faith is faith.  It is about believing and trusting in God.

This philosophical approach was used by Paul.  But it was not successful.  That is because faith is about a personal relationship with Jesus.  It is not simply about thinking, or “cleverly concocted myths”, but is about allowing Jesus into our lives and hearts.

The Action of the Holy Spirit: Homily for Wednesday, September 13, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Saint John Chrysostom.  The Golden Tongue.  But not such an easy person to live with.  For preachers, today reminds us that it is rarely, if ever, about us.  It is about the Holy Spirit.  And the temptation is to think, as preachers, that if we can just be a little more clever, a little more clear, we too will have great success with the people of God.

But the ultimate goal of any preaching is to foster a deeper connection between us and Jesus.  And this is the role of the Holy Spirit.  We can never forget that.  As preachers, a homily is about the action of the Holy Spirit.

Unlikely Choice: Homily for Thursday, September 21, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

The choice must have raised eyebrows.  There was clearly grumbling.  People talked about it. There was grumbling.  After all, he was a tax collector.  He hung out with the wrong crowd.  He was beyond hope, wasn’t he? This becomes clear when we read today’s gospel.  Matthew was an unlikely choice to be an apostle.  But Jesus called him.  And Matthew followed.

Who is it we write off as beyond salvation? Who do we grumble against? In what way do we believe there are people who are too evil to be saved by Jesus? How is it we limit the power of Jesus?  Because when we believe that there are people who cannot follow Jesus, who cannot be saved, then we believe that Jesus is not powerful enough to change hearts.  And in doing that, we deny Jesus the chance to change our hearts.

Unsatisfied: Homily for Wednesday, September 20, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Have you noticed the excitement any time Apple announces something new? I face the challenge of being tempted by something new.  I am not satisfied.  It seems that regardless of the circumstance, I want something more, something better, something new.  There simply never seems to be a moment where I can be satisfied.

But this is not something new.  Saint Augustine said as much centuries ago. “You move us to delight in praising You; for You have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You.” Because all of the moments of dissatisfaction have one thing in common:  they do not have anything to do with God.  And only in God can our hearts be truly at rest.

Despair to Hope: Homily for Tuesday, September 19, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for today

Today we encounter a woman who is understandably in the depths of despair.  Her son is dead, and to make matters worse, she is a widow.  This parent must face the death of her son alone. Can there be any greater heartache to a parent than to lose their child? I cannot think of one. I bet most parents cannot think of one, either.

And yet, in the height of her sadness and loss, she encounters Jesus.  And as Jesus always does, Jesus brings life.  Sometimes in moments like today’s gospel, he does so in an easily observable way.  At other times, it is in the challenge that might mean initial sadness before receiving life.  Regardless, today we are all reminded that Jesus is the author and source of life.  Let Jesus raise life in you.

Introducing Jesus: Homily for Monday, September 18, 2017

To listen to the homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Today’s gospel is interesting.  A Roman centurion, who appears not to have ever met Jesus, places great trust in him simply because others have told him about Jesus.  Wow.  Do you wonder who it was that first told him about Jesus? Who was the person who told him in such a tremendous way that he could believe in Jesus? Who created such great trust and faith that the centurion only needed Jesus to speak the word?

It does seem that we could do so much more in helping others come to know Jesus.  Do we talk about Jesus to others? Do we share what Jesus has done in our lives? Do we want others to get to know Jesus? Catholics do not often think of themselves as needing to evangelize, but in fact, it was one specific thing that Jesus told us to do.  Who in your life needs to know Jesus?

Saving Sinners: Homily for Saturday, September 16, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

The first line from today’s first reading says it all.  Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. So simple, and yet it is the foundational belief of our discipleship. We need a savior because we sin.  And Jesus is that savior.  Every other belief comes from this fact.  Jesus is our savior.

Also, this line gives us hope.  Our sin does not lead to our damnation if we confess it to Jesus.  We know this is true because Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  And that means I can be saved, and so can you.