Category: Holy Days

Immaculate Conception: Will you help me? It is going to be hard. (12-08-16)

Will you help me? How often have you heard this question? Parents certainly have.  I have.  The most difficult part is when the help needed is hard.  Who likes to help a friend move?  How about spending time with a person who makes us uncomfortable? These situations, and others like them, are hard.  It is not always easy to say yes to helping. 
What is worse, sometimes we make excuses to avoid helping.  I’m busy.  I have to do this very important thing, like watching television.  I have to lie, so that I do not have to help.  We celebrate today two things. First, we celebrate the great gift of God to Mary to spare her from Original Sin.  Second, we celebrate her “yes” to following God, especially when it is hard.  Mary was aware of God’s grace.  Mary relied upon it.  And she also was aware of the people that God placed into her life.  Elizabeth.  And Joseph. 
So, today, as every day, God gives you grace.  And today, as every day, God seeks your help.  What will you say?  Will you help God?

Homily for Saturday, August 15, 2015 (Assumption Mass During the Day)

Watch out! I use a GPS system that not only tells me the directions, but also warns me of obstacles to driving I might encounter. It warns me by saying “Watch out!” and then it indicates what the hazard or issue is. The first time I used this, when I heard “Watch out!” I was startled. But know I look forward to hearing it, because I find the verbal warnings to be helpful in keeping me safe.

I think of the Solemnity of the Assumption in a similar way. Only on this day, when we are encouraged to “Watch out!” it is not simply to avoid hazards, though that is part of what we do today. It is also to give us the path to follow. By reflecting on the way in which Mary lived her life, we are shown the way a disciple of Jesus is led to follow him and find in doing so, God himself.

To be sure, there are many things we can encounter on a daily basis that might cause us to proceed with caution. It can be quite difficult indeed to remember that every person is created in the dignity that God gives. When people cut us off in traffic, it is not easy to remember God given dignity. When we see someone begging for help, it can be quite the challenge to see them as person of Christ himself. Even with those we love greatly, we can be tempted to consider only our own needs and not the needs of those with whom we live.

Homily for Good Friday, April 3, 2015

Readings for Today

One challenge in life, it seems to me, is to be a person of balance. Centuries ago, Aristotle discussed the ideal location for virtue was in between two extremes. There can be a value to being generous. But real generosity lies between being foolhardy with the gifts we have been given on the one hand, and resisting the type of stinginess that never gives away anything.

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Homily for Holy Thursday, April 2, 2015

Readings for Today

The Body of Christ. Tonight provides us the powerful celebration that helps us to focus upon the beauty of the Body of Christ as presented to us in the Scriptures. The Body of Christ. It is the Eucharist. It is the people of God. Tonight’s readings put before us both profound truths. At the center of Catholic worship is the Eucharist. This is because it is true that the center of Catholic worship is Christ. It can be no other way.

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Homily for Thursday, January 1, 2015

Readings for Today

Peace. What is it that brings peace? This is a day that focuses on many things. In fact, it has been a day where we celebrate many things. But today I think of peace. And the thought of peace today means thinking about the Blessed Mother. Why? Because she shows us in how she lived her life how in the way that lead her to constantly experience true and lasting peace. “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”

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Homily for Monday, December 8, 2014

Readings for Today

The season of Advent presents us with a variety of characters. There is John the Baptist who presents us with the importance of being the messenger preparing the way. He reminds us of the importance of knowing who we are and not pretending we are something we are not. His message about repentance serves as an important reminder of the starting p0int of the gospel and of faith. Those who are concerned about growth as a person, are those persons who recognize their need for a Savior.

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Homily for Saturday, November 1, 2014

Readings for Today

Sometimes there are homilies that stay with you. (Hopefully people say this about the homilies I give.) Once such homily for me was about the notion of the saints. The bishop who gave the homily was making the point that sometimes we see holiness as something that will only happen sometime way off into the future. But, he cautioned, if we always see holiness as something way off in the future, then we miss the point. Saints become saints be responding to God in their own lives while they are still alive on earth. It could be too late if we wait too long to answer the personal call to holiness that God gives to us.

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Homily for Friday, August 15, 2014

Readings for Today

When it comes to vocations, there is a tendency in the Church to use this word only in terms of priesthood and religious life.  And while these types of vocations are important to the life of the Church, the majority of people are going to be married, and as a result, it is important for us to focus upon the importance of the universal call to holiness.  We all have a vocation, and we are all called to live this vocation fully.  Every person who responds wholeheartedly to God does something that is beyond measure in the eyes of God.

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