Homily for Sunday, August 3, 2014

Readings for Today

It can be quite difficult when we spend even a little bit of time considering the news. There simply is so much bad news going on in our world right now. In fact it can seem almost overwhelming. Will things ever get better? Will we ever make progress against those problems that have been with us since the beginning of time? Will we be able to change behaviors that cause people to go without even the basic necessities of life? Will we be able to change those attitudes that are responsible for the deep violence we see in so many parts of our world?

The current circumstances in our world can make us feel quite helpless. These questions have not even considered those difficult circumstances that many of us face our own personal lives. We can rightly wonder where God is in the midst of all of this.  The temptation in the Western world is to sit down and work out those types of actions that we can take, programs that we can create to tackle these difficult problems.

In fact, even a cursory look at recent history suggests that such an approach will, and, also leads almost always, to our inability to solve the long-standing problems. And so perhaps today’s readings are challenging us to look at the situation that we face in our world in different ways. Because perhaps the problem lies in the very reality that we try to do everything ourselves.

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Homily for Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Readings for Today

Salt.  Light.  Bread.  Water. As Catholics, we like the tangible.  And the powerful belief we hold is that God can become real in these types of ordinary things.  And perhaps because of this, some find it hard to believe.  Our lives seem too ordinary.  Great things can be explained away as a coincidence.  Relying only on what we see can appear to be quite safe and secure.

Jesus calls his disciples to be noticed.  Putting salt on things gets noticed.  Being light gets noticed.  We are called to be noticed, by standing up for our faith, by witnessing to the faith by the actions we take.  This means that we need the grace so that we are not afraid to speak what we believe, and live our faith.  This does not mean we need to be obnoxious about it, but if we believe we have found something life-changing, it means we should want to share this with others.

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Homily for Monday, March 24, 2014

Readings for Today

What type of God do you wish?  One who is the “Hollywood Special Effects” God, or one who does what is best for us at all times, even in ways that might seem quite ordinary.  Poor Naaman.  He would have done anything had is been spectacular, and not involved and “oh so ordinary” river.  Nothing magic.  Nothing spectacular.  Just go and bathe.  Fortunately for him, Naaman had servants that cared for him.

If the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary, would you not have done it? All the more now, since he said to you, ‘Wash and be clean,’ should you do as he said.”  While it is true that in the sacraments we are surrounded by the extraordinary, they look very ordinary.  Water.  Wafers.  Oil.  Words.  Laying on of hands.  Our worship, our praise often appears quite ordinary without faith.  But with faith, it becomes eternal.  It affords us eternal life because the extraordinary Jesus becomes present in ordinary ways.

We can be too much like Naaman.  Expecting God to do something extraordinary.  This is a common temptation.  In a few weeks we will hear the people wonder why the one who opened the eyes of the blind man could not do something for Lazarus, or those who mock Jesus by telling him to “come down from that cross”.

The psalm reminds us that authentic discipleship means being athirst for God, to be longing for that relationship with Christ that fulfills more than we can possibly imagine, not by magic, but by the profound love Jesus has for each one of us.