Homily for Monday, April 27, 2015

Readings for Today

Would we believe Peter today? What if Peter today were to recount a vision from God that changed dramatically a defining practice of our faith? The dietary laws of Moses were no small thing for one born Jewish to disregard. The challenge for Peter can be seen in his own “flip-flop”, to coin a modern day political term. His position changed on the issue. He had been an observant Jew, but now, things are different. Why?

Put simply, it is all because of Jesus. Peter is not swayed by an intellectual argument, nor is he convinced by another apostle. In fact, the Apostle Paul more than once argues with him. It is because of his relationship with Jesus that things can change. Jesus too made it a point to stress the reason for the Law. Paul, in his writings, reminds us that the Law is not the end. It never was. It was a means. A way to enter into a relationship with the Lord.

Such is at the core of what Peter comes to believe today. It is because he believes in Jesus, and more importantly, has a personal relationship, and multiple experiences of and with Jesus, that Peter is able to come to this belief with confidence. It is important to note that Peter has relationship and experience not only with the Risen Christ, but also with Christ while he was on earth. In fact, it is in recalling one such experience that helps Peter to trust his vision of the Lord.

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Homily for Monday, April 6, 2015

Readings for Today

Do you take the resurrection for granted? Has it become so familiar that it has little or no impact in your life? Put simply do you find yourself “fearful, yet overjoyed” by the resurrection as the two Marys felt after the encounter with the Risen Christ? Because truth be told, even a short consideration of the way in which the resurrection of Jesus changes our lives should also make us “fearful, yet overjoyed” because of what the new life given to us, not only without cost to us, but removing the debt we owed, has reversed completely the course of our lives and our destinies.

The two Marys needed time to take it all in, to begin to absorb all that the resurrection of Jesus meant for them. For without the risen Christ, the Church is not possible. Without the supreme act of mercy, the innocent Jesus going to the Cross to die for our sins, and to rise for our future, we are condemned. Without the resurrection of Christ, our faith is worthless, leading to nothing.

But because of the all this, the resurrection of Jesus means the new life of baptism is not only possible but real. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we receive him every Mass in the Eucharist. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, our sins are forgiven. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we too are sent forth, just as the two Marys were sent forth to proclaim the Good News. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, marriage is a domestic Church and priests act in the person of Christ.

The resurrection of Jesus changes everything. Nothing can be the same, because we are now a people filled with hope. We are now a people filled with the new life of the resurrection that only Jesus can give, and a fulfillment becomes possible that can only have as its source God himself.

Easter makes all this possible. Easter changes everything. So, go, tell, teach, proclaim: Jesus is risen! Alleluia!

Homily for Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015

Readings for Today

We have a very important story to tell. The world, weary from too much evil, sin, violence, a lack of sharing even the most basic things, selfishness and greed, is tired. The world is weary, and it needs so desperately a word to rouse it. The stories of the world are all too often the same refrain, the same sadness, and have the same inability to lead anywhere significant. Think of the world for a moment.

When we consider the world on a global scale, what do we see? We see beheadings by ISIS, those sold into sexual slavery, humans trafficked like cattle, sold and used in the most banal ways, we see young school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. There is so much blood in the Middle East is can seem impossible for the earth to hold it. Throughout too much of the world we see people die, not because of something external, but for lack of something basic — food. Syria, Nigeria, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libia and countless other countries experience far too much in the way of violence, death, evil.

And then let us consider our own country. We too have people who are poor, suffering, and blamed for their own situation. Too many young lives, many without much to begin with, find themselves killed every day at the hand of gun violence. Far from providing opportunity that leads to a good life, in too many places we are preparing too many young people for a life in prison.

And in our own families, we can see too much suffering, sadness, disease and death. There can be too many broken relationships, too much hurt, sadness, loss. In too many families this is the case.

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Homily for the Easter Vigil, April 4, 2015

Readings for Today

We live in an age where technology has made so many things instant. The news comes to us immediately, we can text one another at the moment, and in many ways the world is just a click or two away. But this immediacy comes with a cost. Maybe it is not true for everyone, but I find in my own life I need to work at a longer attention span, back to a time when I find it (a little) easier to wait. There is the “black hole” that technology and its uses can become in our lives. Perhaps one of the biggest weaknesses is that the immediacy of technology can cause us to forget and become ignorant of our history.

For to understand the Easter Vigil means to understand the long and deep history of God’s relationship with people. In the readings tonight, especially if all are read, we are invited to “soak in” the rich salvation history. History, and the study of history is an interpretative endeavor. As much as we might like to believe there is an objective history, battles over history textbooks in states indicate that we are always seeking to discover not only “what happened”, but more importantly “what does it mean.”

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Homily for Easter 2014

Reading for the Easter Vigil

Readings for Easter Sunday

I have been getting yearly eye exams for years.  That is because my mother and my father both have Glaucoma, a disease that is highly treatable but does not show any real symptoms one can feel until it is too late.  And while I have been fortunate to avoid the disease to this point, I see a lot of my eye doctor.

For the first few years, as a young adult, the visits to the eye doctor went something like this.  I would go through all of the eye sight tests, looking at charts, then the Glaucoma tests to measure eye pressures, and would hear the doctor say to me at the end of each visit.  “Well, looks like next year we will need to talk about reading glasses.”  And next year would come, and we would repeat the same ritual.  And each year I would not need reading glasses.  In fact, during some of those years my eyesight was better than 20/20.

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