Tag: forgiveness

Repent: Homily for the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, June 24, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Yesterday we focused on the love that God has for us.  But why is it that we do not always feel loved?  Sin.  Today we celebrate the birth of Saint John the Baptist.  He became quite “popular” by what he said in the desert.  People were attracted to his message, and they came out in droves to hear it.  Why?  It was a challenging message.  It demanded that to be whole, complete, and entire in our relationship with God, that we needed to change.  To repent.  To stop sinning.  Why is it then, that this appealed to so many?

Isn’t it because people know, deep within themselves, that they need to change, to repent?  Isn’t there something that we know deep within us about our relationship with God? We do not always admit it.  We do not always act on it.  Sometimes we run from it.  But, deep down we know it.  We are not always at our best, often deliberately so.  To make a heart ready for Jesus, it needs to be tilled like soil.  And Saint John the Baptist shows us how.  Repent and believe n the Good News.

Our Father: Homily for Thursday, June 22, 2017

To hear the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

How many times does a person pray the “Our Father” in a day, or in a lifetime? Often, really. But how often does a person really think about the words of the prayer?  There is so much richness in such a simple prayer. First, there is the acknowledgement that the prayer is one of community.  It is the “Our” Father, not the “My” Father.  It reminds us that in all prayer there should be an element of praise and thanksgiving.  There is the dependence upon God for everything.  There is the need to forgive.  There is the need we all have to be forgiven by God, and the connection between the two.

This prayer is a model for all prayer.  The basic outline of this prayer reminds us what it takes to pray.  The simplicity of the prayer invites us to reflection.  We are invited by God to contemplate the meaning of such a simple yet powerful prayer.  Most of all, this prayer brings us into the loving relationship with the Father.  While a short homily cannot exhaust the richness of this prayer, it does call us to think about our relationship with God and the loving embrace to which we are all called.

Sin: Hating what God Hates, Homily for Monday, February 27, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Sin. God hates sin.  Do we? We do not often think, at least I don’t, of God hating.  But God does hate.  God does sometimes detest.  And what God hates, what God detests, is always the same.  God hates sin. God detests sin.  Fortunately for us, God does not, however, hate the sinner.  God does not detest the sinner.  And God offers to the sinner a way back.  God hates sin, but loves repentence.  God hates sin, but loves the sinner.

Today’s first reading is a wonderful reminder of this.  To the penitent God provides a way back, he encourages those who are losing hope and has chosen for them the lot of truth.  As we are ready to begin Lent this week, how grateful we should be that God provides to us a way back.  God wants us to return to him.  In fact, this is what we are told to do.  Return to him and give up sin, pray to the LORD and make your offenses few. Turn again to the Most High and away from your sin, hate intensely what he loathes, and know the justice and judgments of God,
Stand firm in the way set before you, in prayer to the Most High God.  This is the perfect time to do so.

This is the perfect time to do so, for today is the day of salvation.  Lent is that time where we seek to be transformed, to change, to become a new creation in Christ.  It is the time when we turn back to God.  But giving up sin, the ultimate goal of Lent and the Christian life, is just the beginning, as we learn in today’s gospel.  Keeping the commandments of God is one thing.  Filling our souls with God and God’s priorities is quite another.

This is what the young man seeking more from Jesus learns.  This man has kept the commandments of God.  This man has really been faithful.  But, that is not enough.  He is not allowing God to fill his life, but rather his many possessions.  As a result, spiritual growth is stunted.  He is not able to give all to Christ.  And neither am I.  I too hang on to too many things that take me away from God.  If you wish to be perfect, surrender to God and seek the way of holiness.  Lent is the perfect time to start.

Homily for Saturday, September 12, 2015

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Such a statement, one which Saint Paul calls trustworthy and deserving full acceptance, hardly seems controversial or something upon which we need to give much thought. But a closer reading, and some deeper reflection suggests to me, anyway, that sometimes I do not always present a faith where I seem to show forth a viable witness to this truth.

That is because, there are too many times where I do not show forth the hope of the gospel and the reliability of God’s forgiveness. Too often, I want to reduce the spiritual life to something that seems too clear to me, has only my needs in mind, and is centered on me. “It’s all about me” is not that far removed from what I think about the spiritual life sometimes.

Yet on the other hand, there are too many times where I do not see myself as having much need of forgiveness. When I take this line of thought too far, it is during these moments when I become too much like the self-righteous Pharisee who in the front of the synagogue thanked God for not making him too much like those other people.

Homily for Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Have you ever hand an instance where you asked someone to speak plainly, to tell you the truth, but when they did you really were not sure you wanted to hear it? Kind of like the movie line, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” I suppose sometimes parents run into this with their children, and I know that there are times when bosses and employees, students and teachers, and even Dominicans can find themselves in the same situation.

Homily For Saturday, April 25, 2015

Clothe yourselves with humility. Humility is one of those words that is not easy to define, but as the saying goes, we know it when we see it. It is hard to understand because while it does mean having an honest assessment of one’s person, it does not mean thinking of oneself as having no worth. Being humble is not the same as humiliation. And to be authentic, there must be an aspect of humility that understands one’s proper place, both a sense of strengths and weaknesses. It means keeping things in proper perspective.

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