Tag: conversion

Heart: Homily for Sunday, February 12, 2017

Heart. Sometimes we can get caught in our own lives, with the idea that following the letter of the law is enough. We don’t break any laws. We certainly haven’t killed, or committed adultery. That means that everything is good with God, right? These readings remind us that the law is not simply focused on a desire to make sure we do the right things. The law is really focused, unchanging our hearts in such a way that we reflect God’s holiness. It’s interesting that when Moses struck the rock twice, when he was only told to strike the rock ones, it was not that he disobeyed the commandment per se. Rather, it was that he did not manifest the holiness of God to the people.

That really is the point of today’s readings. There are these commandments that have been given to us to help us to see and understand what it means to follow God. But as Jesus reminds us in the gospel, it is most about changing our hearts, our attitudes, everything. It’s not enough just not to kill. We should not get angry. It’s not enough to be faithful in marriage. We should not let lust control our lives.

In everything that we do, it is first and foremost about whether or not God has a place in our heart. Really, about whether God has the most important place in our heart. And so today’s readings, are not just about following the law, but more importantly about following Jesus.

Conversion: Homily for Wednesday, February 8, 2017

God wants me to change. God wants me to repent. God wants me to change my ways. I need conversion. I need to change. When I come to the realization that there is something that needs to change in my life, I face a choice. I can change the superficial, or I can really work deep within myself to change the evil that is in my heart.

That is the focus in today’s readings. We can focus, as the Pharisees did, on the external actions of little consequence. Or, we can seek to really change ourselves into really better people. This is the change that really is difficult. It is not easy to change our hearts. It is not easy to change our attitudes, those attitudes that keep us away from Christ.

But today we are challenged to seek the change that comes deep in our hearts. We are called to cast away very difficult things. The gospel list covers just about every way in which we can be away from God. It covers just about every way we can abuse others, treating them in a way like objects. We can see people only as a means to get what I want, as objects, slaves, that exist for my pleasure, or we can see them as people made in the image and likeness of God.

The purpose of a life of faith is to live in a real way this relationship with Jesus in an authentic way. We are called to imitate Jesus and his attitude toward people because he is the Son of God. We are called to get to know him better so that we are able to grow in faith. Today, remember the first word of the gospel. Repent.

Conversion: Homily for Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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.

Delighting in the grace of conversion: Homily for Saturday, February 13, 2016

It cannot possibly be that THAT PERSON is a Christian! How easy it is to decide who is beyond conversion. Yet, it might even be us. But imaging how wonderful it would be if we all could celebrate God’s grace by throwing a big party when we find ourselves embracing God. Such is the case with Levi. And as Isaiah reminds us today, but turning our lives over to God, even darkness and gloom can turn to light and celebration.

Homily for Saturday, December 27, 2014

Readings for Today

I do not remember the exact moment I first thought my faith was beautiful. It is the result of being born into a very Catholic family. For most of my life, being Catholic was simply something that was. It was like being from Vermont, or a member of the family, or any of a number of things that simply were always a part of my life. But make no mistake – I think the faith is beautiful.

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Homily for Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Readings for Today

Sometimes we need to be at the bottom before we realize that we are really in need. It is just when we realize that we have nowhere else to turn, that we can be ready to receive what will really help us. It can be the case that when it seems we have burned every relationship that we are ready to seek out the one relationship from which all these relationships flow. Sometimes it takes losing everything before we can really find what matters.

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Homily for Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Readings for Today

What was the purpose of the Law? Both the first reading and the gospel are getting at the heart of its purpose. For the past few days Paul has been making the point that when considering our relationship with Christ, it is not primarily about following a set of rules and regulations, but is rather about that change of heart that leads to our living out our full humanness.

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Homily for Sunday, October 12, 2014

Readings for Today

This is always struck me as a strange gospel, perhaps it has You, too. Guests refuse invitations, and then there is the search for anybody and everybody to come to the wedding feast. At the end of the story, a person invited at the last minute who is not properly dressed, and is thrown into the fire. What does all of this mean? How do we make sense of this parable?

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Homily for Sunday, September 7, 2014

Readings for Today

Fraternal Correction. Chapter of Faults. For religious communities, these were attempts to put today’s readings into practice. In theory, these were designed to be moments where members of the community, concerned with the spiritual health of others pointed out areas of fault and sin in another person. Fraternal correction was a one on one conversation, whereas the chapter of faults was done in community.

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