No need: Homily for Saturday, September 2, 2017

To listen to the homily, click here.

Readings for Today

It is a nice thing when we receive a compliment.  How much more when the compliment is about our charity.  Religious life is described as a “school of charity.” In fact, any attempt at living together, whether it is about religious life, a family, or a workplace provides countless ways for everyone to learn to be more charitable.

And yet, even as we grow in charity, we can grow more.  We can seek to understand each other more, to hear the needs of one another more clearly.  We can confront those ways we have not been charitable.  Charity is not simply a question of willpower.  Rather, it is a journey to imitate Jesus.

Resources for Lent: 40 Bags in 40 Days

40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS DECLUTTERING CHALLENGE

Every year since 2011 I’ve done a project that has changed my life forever. Since then, thousands of people have joined in and changed their lives too. The project is called 40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS, and I’ll explain how it can change your life too.

WHAT IS 40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS?

40 bags in 40 days is a forty day period (coinciding with the 40 days of Lent) where you declutter one area a day.

The goal is one bag a day, however you can have more or less. The 2017 Challenge starts March 1st and goes to April 15th. Millions of people have read about #40Bagsin40Days and 2017 will be my 7th year hosting the challenge.

Can’t wait for the official challenge? Start now!  Go to the 40 Bags in 40 Days Website to learn how.

Petty: Homily for Tuesday, February 7, 2017

To listen to today’s homily, click the links above.

Readings for Today

When our lives are filled with challenges, it can be the case that we focus on the tiny, petty things in our lives. We see sometimes in homes for senior citizens the focus on what appears to be small when people lose control over aspects of their lives.  We see when world views are challenged there can be a tendency to focus on absolute ideas.  We see politically that when the world is chaotic, people seek leaders with strong and bold statements.

In today’s gospel, there is something similar going on.  Jesus and the Pharisees are in different places.  Jesus is challenging the world view of the Pharisees.  Some think that Jesus may have been a Pharisee. Nonetheless, he is seeking to remind Pharisees that the purpose of the law, rules, rituals, and traditions is to help people to become closer to God.  They are not the most important goal, but rather the means to the most important goal.

We can do the same ourselves.  It can be hard to love people we do not like.  It can be easier to find all of the petty reasons why we do not need to do so than to address our need to grow in charity.  In your day today, remember that the purpose of all religious practices is ultimately to lead us to a deeper relationship with God.

Giving Up Something or Doing Something: The Wisdom of Pope Francis

It is a common question for Catholics to ask each other during Lent, “What are you giving up?” But is Lent simply a question of willpower, or is there something more? Perhaps the question is better put in the way Pope Francis frames it: What are you going to do for Lent? For whatever practice of penance we undertake, it should lead us to accept God’s love and mercy and to become ever more charitable.

Pro-Life: What the Church does for the already born

This week we begin a new feature to highlight the many services the Catholic Church provides in various areas for children, families and adults. This is because there is a tired and untrue refrain that to be pro-life means that you care about the baby before birth but not after birth.

Unfortunately, the day to day, life-saving and life-providing services that are provided day after day neither fits the untrue narrative and is not “glitzy”. And so many believe that Catholic Church does not care about providing services to the poor and needy.

The truth is that nothing could be further from the truth. The Catholic Church provides services that help millions each day, both in the United States and around the globe. Hopefully by providing this information it might, even if in a small way, paint the more accurate picture of care for all life, born and unborn, young and old, near and far.

Homily for Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Readings for Today

The two readings for today seem to being in a completely contradictory way.  The first reading describes the conflict between those who come from Iconium and Antioch, and speak against Paul and Barnabas.  In fact, not only do they speak against them, they convince the people to turn on Paul and Barnabas and stone them, leaving them for dead.  The gospel finds Jesus reminding us about the power of his peace.  How is it that both readings can describe the same thing, even though they appear to be so different?

Saint Thomas Aquinas, the great Dominican saint, had this to say about peace:  “Peace is the work of justice indirectly, in so far as justice removes the obstacles to peace; but it is the work of charity (love) directly, since charity, according to its very notion, causes peace.” (II-II, 29, 3, ad.3)  So contrary to the way we might consider peace, namely as the absence of a conflict, peace as Jesus presents peace exists for an end or a purpose.

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