Longing for God or Something Else: Homily for Friday, October 6, 2017

Readings for Today

Have you ever longed to be alive when Jesus was alive in the flesh on earth? I think at one time or another people might have felt that way.  But why is this? What do we hope to gain by longing to see Jesus in the flesh? Do we somehow expect an easier life? Do we think we will be better able to believe? Do we think we are better than those who lived in Jesus’ day?

Truth is we might not have been much different then than now.  We might have found faith as difficult then as we do now? Jesus is still present today. Every time we go to Mass.  Every time we go to confession.  He has not vanished.  He is in our midst just as much as he was when he was hear on this earth.  So believe.  Believe in Jesus today for this is the time God has given you.

Urgency of the Kingdom: Homily for Thursday, October 5, 2017

Readings for Today

There is no time to waste.  Such is the tone of what happens in today’s gospel.  There is a disciple who will follow Jesus wherever he leads, but not yet.  He needs to take care of a few things first. But Jesus makes the urgency of the Kingdom of God clear. So many blessings await those who accept the kingdom.  There is so much suffering, not a moment can be lost.

Do you put off answering the call of God? Is there some excuse that keeps you from saying “yes” right now? It is easy to procrastinate.  It is easy to put off the miraculous message of the Kingdom of God. But the time is now. The place is here. Say “yes” to God.

Do we have a home or not?: Homily for Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Readings for Today

How interesting is the contrast between the first reading, with a desire and longing to fix the ruined home, and the gospel where Jesus emphasizes he has no home? The damaged home in the first reading is the result of the sinfulness of the people. In a way, so too is the fact Jesus has no home.  That too is the result of sinfulness.  For if we had not sinned, Jesus would have no need to become one of us to save us.

Both readings emphasize the generous action of persons.  Both have a desire to make better.  In the first reading, it is the repair of the city that makes better.  In the gospel, the generous gift of Jesus to become one of us does more than rebuild.  It heals.

Vengeance: Homily for Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Readings for Today

Isn’t it ironic that today’s reading features vengeance? The day after the Las Vegas shootings and we are face to face with the understandable human emotion. Vengeance. “Do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Today is a day where it might just be a little easier to understand such an emotion.

But the response of Jesus tells us everything we need to know about vengeance. No.  Jesus rebuked the disciples for their desire for vengeance.  Despite how good vengeance might seem to feel at the time, it fails to satisfy.  Why? Because it does not bring peace.  Quite the opposite.  We fall prey to the very thing we abhor. Lord, please send your peace into our hearts.

What does protection mean?: Homily for Monday, October 2, 2017

Readings for Today

I heard about the shootings in Las Vegas before I recorded this homily.  It is really awful. I am shaken, as I am sure others are too. Life is so fragile. In just an instant, life can change. Perhaps what is most difficult about a mass shooting is the ordinariness of the location. We feel safe.  We do not expect it.

So just what does it mean when we ask God to protect us? What does it mean? Does protection by God mean we have guaranteed safety? That cannot be true, as we know there are martyrs who gave their lives for the faith and were not safe, at least in the eyes of this life. Protection by God is protection for eternal evil. Our guardian angels protect us from anything that threatens our salvation. And that is pretty wonderful.

Conversion: Homily for Saturday, September 30, 2017

Readings for Today

I read a post from Sherry Weddell about Saint Jerome that underscored how conversion is a process.  Saint Jerome was quite a complex person.  He lived a wild life as a youth, became a Catholic, but did not really convert, according to Weddell’s post, until later. In fact, it was the bible that played an important part.  “Ignorance of scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”

It causes me to think about how well I know Jesus.  And it causes me to ask if I have really allowed Jesus to change my heart.  Or, is it the case that all too often I simply go through the motions.  Perhaps I need to pay more attention to the story of Saint Jerome.  Becuase it is clearly the case I can know Jesus better each day.

The World Around Us: Homily for Friday, September 29, 2017

Readings for Today

Today’s readings serve as a reminder that the world around us is both physical and spiritual.  This can be easy to forget.  And yet, by going to Mass, or confession, or at a baptism, we are reminded of this fact.  Moreover, it is the case that it is precisely through the ordinary (water, bread, wine) that the extraordinary becomes part of our lives.

By celebrating the angels, especially those who had very important roles in the world and in our life of faith, we celebrate the desire to have God all around us.  And knowledge of these good spirits serve as a powerful protection against the evil in the world.

Trying to See Jesus: Homily for Thursday, September 28, 2017

Readings for Today

Today’s gospel in many ways is an initial stage of discipleship.  Herod is trying to figure out just who Jesus is.  Has John the Baptist been raised from the dead? One of the prophets? Herod is curious about Jesus.  This is the same Herod who felt some attraction to the words of Saint John the Baptist. We are told that Herod kept trying to see Jesus.

That may very well provide a goal for today.  Do you keep trying to see Jesus? Maybe you could spend a little time reading the bible.  Or maybe spending some time in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Or perhaps it is finding silence, repeating a phrase, or praying a rosary.  Whatever you do, keep trying to see Jesus.

Let the Poor Change You: Homily for Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Readings for Today

There are many stories of dramatic conversions.  There is no shortage of stories of how an encounter can change someone. And the saint we celebrate today is one such person with a conversion story.  By encountering the poor, Saint Vincent de Paul reluctantly became a leader of a congregation that not only met the needs of the poor, in rural areas, but also educated priests to do the same.

The conversion was not simply one of a new faith.  History accounts indicated that Saint Vincent went from an irascible man to a gentle man.  He changed.  And this change was also in what he found himself able to do and being called to do.  He became a great leader.  He made a difference.  And all because he saw the face of Christ in the poor.

 

Access: Homily for Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Readings for Today

Who has access to Jesus? That is the question in today’s gospel. A first, quick read might lead a person to conclude that Jesus cares little for his mother or his relatives. But that is wrong. Luke emphasizes discipleship throughout the gospel. This gospel is a statement about access.  Who has access to Jesus?

The point Jesus makes is that access to him does not come from biology. It does not come from power, or position, or wealth, or any other way. It comes from hearing the word of God and acting upon it.