Tag: challenge

Challenge: Homily for Wednesday, June 14, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

As a teacher, I have been known to say “Christianity is not for wimps.” My point was that Jesus was not a teddy bear whose only purpose was to make us feel better about ourselves.  Following Jesus would require something from the disciple.  Following Jesus means discipline.  Following Jesus means sacrifice.  Following Jesus means standing up for what is right and true, even in the face of opposition.  Why engage in a way of life that can be so hard?  Why not simply strive for enjoyment?

Truth is, anything worthwhile requires discipline and sacrifice.  Ask those who are married about the challenge of being faithful to the demands of marriage.  Without sacrifice and discipline, marriage becomes a selfish endeavor.  Parents who make no sacrifices and have no discipline will not raise healthy children.  Good employees, good practitioners, good students, good laborers, good anything means discipline and sacrifice.  Those who do not sacrifice or have discipline will not receive the fulfillment hard work brings.  What are you willing to sacrifice for Jesus

Homily for Saturday, August 29, 2015

It might seem strange that the first reading today discusses remaining tranquil and to mind one’s own affairs on the day that we celebrate the beheading of Saint John the Baptist. First, tranquil is not the first word that comes to mind when thinking about him. Second, it also does not appear to be the case that Saint John the Baptist was one who could mind his own affairs, since it was his challenge to Herod that caused his ultimate death. He was able to take on Pharisees, Herodians, and others to make sure that the knew clearly that to follow Jesus required an absolute choice to live in a particular way. In describing Saint John the Baptist, it is easy to remember there is simply nothing halfway about living the life of faith.

On one level, this is coincidental since the first reading is the reading for today is the continuation of the Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians we have been reading over the past few days. But since they are together, it does raise the question about whether there is a way that Saint John the Baptist could be seen as one who is tranquil. I think there is.

To be sure, first, it must be considered that there is evidence the preaching of Saint John the Baptist had appeal to a wide number of people. Leaving the comfort of the the known to follow this odd preacher out into the desert and to be challenged to reform their lives does, on the one hand, seem to be a challenge. Yet, it happened. What is it that appealed to those who went out into the desert?

This is precisely a version of the question Jesus asks about John. What did you go out to see? Why is it the challenging message of John made such a difference in people’s lives, when it could be seen at the same time as very unsettling? Perhaps what was most appealing to the people was the authenticity that was readily apparent to those who came to hear John speak. Could they have witnessed in John’s life and message the authentic witness that does bring tranquility? Was that the case?

Homily for Tuesday, May 19, 2015

“Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.” The glory of God is our gift of eternal life. There is a powerful connection between the divinity of God, the power of the Trinity, and our ultimate destiny. Why were we made? Ultimately the answer to that question is tied up with the the mysterious and glorious relationship with are called to have with God.

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