Compete for the Faith: Homily for Friday, September 22, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Today’s first reading could easily describe the current climate in our country.  How many feel envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction? How often do we hear insulting words about positions that we do not share? It is much easier to shame than it is to argue convincingly for the truth.

And yet this is contrary to the way in which Jesus gathered disciples.  And thankfully Saint Paul outlines the types of things we should be pursuing.  Pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. This does, however, require trust, not in money, wealth or any other thing, but trust in a person, namely Jesus Christ.

U.S. Catholic Bishops Chairman Statement In Response To Senate Judiciary Committee Line Of Questioning Of Nominee

WASHINGTON—Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty has issued the following statement in response to the line of questioning directed at a federal judicial nominee earlier this week.

Archbishop Lori’s full statement follows:

“America has a strong and venerable tradition of pluralism that respects all religious views. In this context, this week’s hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is deeply disappointing. Rather than simply consider the professional achievements of a nominee for the federal judiciary, multiple senators challenged her fitness to serve due to her Catholic faith.

Such questions are not just contrary to our Constitution and our best national traditions, which protect the free exercise of one’s faith and reject religious tests for public office, they are offensive to basic human rights. They also, sadly, harken back to a time in our country when anti-Catholic bigotry did distort our laws and civil order. These comments are a reminder that we must remain vigilant against latent bigotries that may still infect our national soul.

Were the comments of the Senators meant as a warning shot to future law students and attorneys, that they should never discuss their faith in a public forum, if they have aspirations to serve in the federal judiciary? In truth, we should be encouraging faithful, ethical attorneys to serve in public office, not discouraging them by subjecting them to inappropriate, unnecessary interrogation based on their religious beliefs.

People of faith—whatever faith they may hold—should not be disqualified because of that faith from serving the public good. Rather than hold people of faith in suspicion, our laws and lawmakers should tolerate, if not celebrate, the role faith has in society and in the lives of individuals. To do otherwise is contrary to the ideals of a healthy, pluralistic society.”

The lowly: Homily for Saturday, September 9, 2017

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Readings for today

Saint Peter Claver was known for his tremendous care for the poor.  The office of readings today, part of the prayers priests and deacons pray each day comes from his description of his care for the slaves. He reminds us that before one can speak of faith, it is important to provide trust and care.  The description of his care and the later catechesis is beautiful.

In such a fractured country, we are reminded of the need to express care and concern for one another.  Without care and trust, not much else is possible.  And we do not trust each other.  We argue and we are divided. Perhaps we can heal and come together through the intercession of Saint Peter Claver.

Love Neighbor: Homily for Saturday, August 26, 2017

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Readings for today

Which commandment is the greatest? That was yesterday’s question.  Remember the answer.  Not just the greatest commandment, but Jesus mentioned the second greatest commandment too.  Today it is clear why Jesus felt compelled to say this.  He discusses the difference between the knowledge of the law, which the Pharisees have, and the application of that knowledge, which they do not have.

Too often this is applied to mean Jesus did not care about the Law.  That was not the case.  Jesus says other times that he has come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, not do away with them.  So just what does he mean?  He clarifies by his words and actions the purpose of the Law.  The Law is always meant to bring a person closer to God.  So to preach is not just about knowing the Law, but helping others to understand it, to apply it, to live it.  And, it is about accompanying others when they fall, and seeking their forgiveness and understanding when we fall.

Queenship: Homily for Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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Readings for Today

Last week on Tuesday we celebrated the Assumption of Mary.  Mary did not sin, and so Mary did not receive the consequences of sin.  She did not die. More than that, today we celebrate her high place in heaven.  Mary is our Queen.  She is the queen of all saints.  Her “yes” to God was total.  She did not hold back any part of her will to following God.

What this means for us is a powerful intercessor.  We know Mary can only lead us to Jesus.  It is not possible she leads us astray.  The Eastern Church, in her icons, demonstrates this.  Mary is always pictured with a hand pointing to Jesus.  He is always the center.  Today, may we ask Mary to pray for us, that we too might follow her generous response to God.

Anxiety: Memorial of Saint Martha, July 29, 2017

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Readings for Today

I can readily identify with Martha.  Anxious.  Worried.  Will everything turn out ok? What if it doesn’t? Her mind likely runs a mile a minute.  Everything little and not so little thing produces the same anxiety.  How she must envy her sister Mary.  Calm.  Able to relax.  Able to listen to Jesus without the worry and anxiety of making sure every little thing is perfect.

Anxiety arises when we do not have control.  Faith arises when we recognize God is in control.  Today we celebrate Martha’s holiness even as she is anxious.  She comes to believe in Jesus.  She becomes holy by trusting God.  She comes to believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life.  Pray that in spite of our anxiety, we too may come to believe more in God.

The Divisive Jesus: Homily for Monday, July 17, 2017

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Readings for Today

Divisive.  It is not common these days to think of Jesus as a divisive person.  It seems the popular notion is that Jesus is a warm fuzzy teddy bear.  He loves us.  He does not challenge us.  He never scolds us or thinks we do anything wrong or sinful.  Jesus reaffirms what we already believe.  But today is different.  Today we read in the gospel about a Jesus that comes to bring division, not peace.

It is important to remember that being a Christian is not always easy.  That is why we need grace.  We need the help that God gives us to be faithful to our relationship with Jesus.  Being a Christian means standing up for what is good and right.  And there is a cost to us when we do so.  Sometimes the cost is standing up for what is right and losing friends.  Sometimes the cost is not giving in to fear and welcoming the stranger.  Sometimes the cost is not accepting the priorities of the workplace and to make other aspects of life more important.  And always the cost is recognizing that as important as family relationships and friendships are, there is no relationship more important than the one we have with Jesus.

Daily prayer for Monday, July 3, 2017

O St. Thomas, the Apostle of India, Father of our faith, you spread the light of Christ in the hearts of the people of India. You humbly confessed “My Lord and My God” and sacrificed your life for love of him. We pray to you to strengthen us with love and faith in Jesus Christ so that we may dedicate ourselves totally to the cause of the kingdom of justice, peace and love. We pray that through your intercession we may be protected from all trials, dangers and temptations and be strengthened in the love of the Triune God, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Taken from: http://lordcalls.com/prayers-to-saints/prayer-to-st-thomas-the-apostle

Faith: Homily for Saturday, July 1, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Do you have faith? Do you really believe God can do anything? Do you really believe that God will always do what is best?  Obviously, the thought that an old woman can have a child is remarkable indeed? It is so unbelievable that Sarah laughs. Abraham laughs.  But the Lord comes through, as always.  Faith is rewarded. Abraham and Sarah listen and ultimately believe.

What seems impossible in faith? What is it that seems unimaginable? Can you believe in God even when it is difficult?  When it is hard? Today’s readings remind us that for people of faith, God can do anything.

Daily Prayer for Friday, June 30, 2017

Daily Prayer

O My God,
I place my trust and confidence in You,
who will reward the good and punish the wicked.
I believe in You and accept everything
You have taught and revealed.

I believe that in one God
there are three Divine Persons –
God the Father,
God the Son
and God the Holy Spirit.

I believe that God the Son became Man
without ceasing to be God.
He is Jesus Christ, my lord and my Savior,
the Redeemer of the human race.
He died on the Cross for my salvation
and eternal happiness.

O my God, give me a strong faith.
Help me to believe with lively faith.

O my God, all-good and all-merciful,
I sincerely hope to be saved.
Help me to do all that is necessary
to gain eternal salvation.

I have committed many sins in my life,
but now I turn away from them.
I am sorry, truly sorry for all of them,
because I have offended You, my God,
Who are all-good, all-perfect,
all-holy and all-merciful.

I love you, God, with all my heart.
Please forgive me for having offended You.

I promise that, with Your help,
I will never offend You again.

My God, have mercy on me.