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.

Think of the months Mary has experienced. There was the message of the angel, the trip to Elizabeth, and the challenge being pregnant without Joseph, and explaining what had happened would be difficulty enough. Then there is the travel while pregnant and the miraculous events of the shepherds. No wonder Mary feels the need to reflect and pray. She has experienced so many things, that it is only by taking the time to treasure them in her heart that she can remain focused on the meaning that God has brought forth in her life.

When we reflect on the blessings in our life as did Mary in hers, our eyes become more attuned to the blessings that await us in our life. We can even see in the difficulties and challenges how they can become blessings. In fact, this constant reflection lets us know that indeed we are never alone.

We spoke about this when we discussed the Incarnation. Today we learned that it is not just the awareness of the Incarnation, but that this beauty of God’s presence can come to us in so many ways. Think of how Mary will experience God’s presence. An angel. Joseph. Shepherds. Wise men. Miraculous signs. Jesus. And most importantly, Mary recognizes the presence of God that never leaves her heart. It is when she can treasure the events of her life in the perspective of God’s constant presence that Mary finds the true peace that lasts.

Our world certainly needs this peace, the peace that surpasses understanding and only God can bring. If we are to have this peace, we must change our hearts. We must see how the events of our life could be seen in the way God wants us to see the world. We need to be less selfish, and learn to share. We need to make sure the witness we provide by how we live our lives is indeed the way in which the gospel calls us to live.

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Homily for Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Readings for Today

There is great importance in considering beginnings and endings. Get off to a good start, make a good first impression, these are really important principles. We also have a saying, “All’s well that ends well,” and we know that a lot of mistakes can be made up with a good finish. Early season losses by a baseball team are forgiven if a championship is won. In many ways, beginnings and endings matter. They make a difference.

Isn’t that what we think about when we come to the last day of any year? Many stations have been reviewing the past year. They consider those who have died, the major news stories, those things that stood out over the last year. We also spend time looking ahead as well. What will the new year bring? Will we make a resolution to improve our lives and if so, what will it be? What blessings await us? What will challenge us in this new year?

Maybe the most important awareness of beginnings and endings though, is Jesus Himself. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. The most important aspects of the past year are those areas where we have been blessed not only to have the presence of God in our midst, but also, those times when we recognized that presence of God and cooperated with God.

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