It begins with love: Homily for Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, June 23, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Do you feel unlovable?  Do you ever wonder if God loves you only because of what you can do?  Do you ever think that maybe if you worked harder, had more accomplishments, became more important, if you did these things you would really earn God’s love? It is interesting how easy it is to fall into the trap of this way of thinking.

Truth is, that we can do nothing to earn God’s love.  We are not loved because we are important, or rich, or famous.  Moses reminds the people of Israel of this in the first reading.  It was not because you are the largest of all nations that the LORD set his heart on you and chose you, for you are really the smallest of all nations. It was because the LORD loved you. God loves us because God loves us.  As we celebrate the Sacred Heart of Jesus today, think about how much God loves you.

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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Homily for Saturday, November 29, 2014

Readings for Today

We have come to the end of the year. This morning’s Mass is the last one before we begin the season of Advent with the anticipated Sunday Mass this evening. And the readings today provide a perfect transition between the end of one liturgical year and the beginning of another. Interestingly, they are the same. At the end of the reading from Revelation, we are reminded that the coming of Jesus is soon. The gospel tells us to be vigilant, to be watchful.

In education, teachers are taught the beginning and the end are important. It is important to being the class right. It is important to end the class right. The same is true for a unit, and for the school year. In fact, good beginnings and endings are important in many instances. We are told, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” We are also told, “All’s well that ends well.” In many instances, when we start and end well, the stuff in between kind of takes care of itself.

What does this mean for our faith? Well, it seems to me, if we are watchful at the beginning of the liturgical year and are still watchful at the end of the liturgical year, then the time in between probably will be that way too. If we can find ourselves open to being watchful, to being ready, to preparing our hearts for all that God longs to do for us, then indeed we can be ready for something new.

At the end of something, we can also find ourselves ready to reflect on what has been. We think of a year gone past in both good terms and bad terms. We can be grateful for accomplishments and we can regret failures. Finishing a new sports season, completing a job, coming to the end of a project; these are all times where we can become reflective.

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