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.

Meet Dominican friar who takes care of St. Jude relic

For Dominican Father Michael Ford, the history of salvation is contained in a chunk of bone.

Ford directs the Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus at St. Pius V Church, 1910 S. Ashland Ave., and as such, he takes care of the shrine’s relic of the apostle, perhaps best known as the patron saint of lost causes, and brings it to parishes and schools around the country where he offers parish missions, retreats and other events.

Relics, he said, are “a way for people to grow in their faith. Catholicism isn’t crazy for doing this.”

To read the entire story, click here.

 

Conversion: Homily for Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Readings for Today

Is there any conversion story that is more dramatic than that of Paul?  First, he is the least likely candidate.  He has persecuted Jesus.  He has rounded up his followers.  He concurs in killing.  He is a zealous Jew who feels the threat from those who believe in Jesus.  He is the candidate for conversion?  Really?

Today serves as a very powerful reminder that God and God’s grace are indeed all-powerful.  God’s grace can soften the hardest of hearts.  God can accomplish the unbelievable.  God can work miracles.  This is true even with me.  And you.  God can work marvellous deeds if we open our hearts.

We need to be ready.  We need to embrace the challenge.  We need to seek out the conversion.  Because God comes anytime.  Anywhere.  Anyplace.  When we have even a little bit of faith, we recognize what God can do.  God is ready to help each of us to turn away from our sins, just as he helped Saint Paul.  God is ready to lead us in the direction of fulfillment, just as he did with Saint Paul.  God is ready to change our hearts, turning them away from sin and toward love.  Today is the day of salvation.  Now is the time of salvation.  Go forth and open your heart to God.

Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle: Jesus Christ is Lord (November 30, 2016)

Today the readings suggest we are both drawn to God and at the same time sent by God to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord.  This idea of publicly proclaiming our faith is not always very comfortable for Catholics, but we are invited to share our faith by the Lord Jesus himself.

Readings for Today

Homily for Tuesday, April 22, 2104

Readings for Today

Whom are you looking for?”  Such a simple question, that demands a powerful answer.  It is clear from all of the resurrection accounts, that there had to be something quite different about the resurrected Jesus.  So often his closest followers do not recognize him.  Whether it is today’s account near the tomb, those who go fishing with Peter seeing Jesus on the beach, or the disciples on the road to Emmaus, it takes a while for the reality that Jesus is indeed risen from the dead to sink in.

I spoke to this yesterday in explaining the celebration of the Octave.  Today’s gospel provides a very important point.  When is it that Mary recognizes Jesus for who he is?  When Jesus calls her by name.  And so it is with us, too.  We too are called by name, by Jesus, into a deeper and saving relationship with him.  But it is not a generic call.  It is not a call that applies to “everyone over there”, or all who live in this or that city.  It is a powerfully unique and individual call, given to each of us, in a way we can understand.

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