You’ve seen what you need: Homily for Monday, October 16, 2017

Readings For Today

This eleventh chapter of Luke’s gospel is an interesting one.  It appears to be centered, for the most part, around the idea of prayer.  We hear Luke’s version of the Our Father.  Then there is a parable about the need for persistence in prayer. There is the questioning of the source of Jesus’ power, which reminds us of the ways in which we can doubt the good deeds of others. Today the focus is on the power of a sign.  Jonah and Solomon are mentioned as examples of signs given already. And to those who doubt, no sign will be given. It is not unlike when Jesus went to his hometown.  No miracle was performed because of a lack of faith.

This is a stark reminder that when we go looking for signs we must be careful.  We cannot look for signs in place of Jesus.  Rather, Jesus is the sign.  Jesus is the person longing to give life, love and grace to a new relationship.  We do not need the signs of others, for Jesus is already here.

Jesus meant EVERYBODY: Homily for Monday, October 9, 2017

Readings for Today

I want a loophole.  I want to exclude some people from being my neighbor.  Some people might hurt me.  Some people might take advantage of me.  Why must I love them? Why must I include them in my list of neighbors? These are not easy questions.  But this gospel today is radical.  It is tough.  When Jesus tells us to love our neighbor, and then tells this story, he means everybody is our neighbor.  We have to love everybody.

And this is not easy.  Because I do not want to love everybody.  I want to love those people who are easy to love.  I do not want to love the stranger.  I do not want to love the prisoner.  And if I can suggest they are unworthy of love, then all the better.  If I can say they are lazy, or mean, or evil, then I can feel better not loving them.  But that misses the answer given by Jesus.  Loving our neighbor means loving everyone.

Longing for God or Something Else: Homily for Friday, October 6, 2017

Readings for Today

Have you ever longed to be alive when Jesus was alive in the flesh on earth? I think at one time or another people might have felt that way.  But why is this? What do we hope to gain by longing to see Jesus in the flesh? Do we somehow expect an easier life? Do we think we will be better able to believe? Do we think we are better than those who lived in Jesus’ day?

Truth is we might not have been much different then than now.  We might have found faith as difficult then as we do now? Jesus is still present today. Every time we go to Mass.  Every time we go to confession.  He has not vanished.  He is in our midst just as much as he was when he was hear on this earth.  So believe.  Believe in Jesus today for this is the time God has given you.

Vengeance: Homily for Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Readings for Today

Isn’t it ironic that today’s reading features vengeance? The day after the Las Vegas shootings and we are face to face with the understandable human emotion. Vengeance. “Do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Today is a day where it might just be a little easier to understand such an emotion.

But the response of Jesus tells us everything we need to know about vengeance. No.  Jesus rebuked the disciples for their desire for vengeance.  Despite how good vengeance might seem to feel at the time, it fails to satisfy.  Why? Because it does not bring peace.  Quite the opposite.  We fall prey to the very thing we abhor. Lord, please send your peace into our hearts.

Access: Homily for Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Readings for Today

Who has access to Jesus? That is the question in today’s gospel. A first, quick read might lead a person to conclude that Jesus cares little for his mother or his relatives. But that is wrong. Luke emphasizes discipleship throughout the gospel. This gospel is a statement about access.  Who has access to Jesus?

The point Jesus makes is that access to him does not come from biology. It does not come from power, or position, or wealth, or any other way. It comes from hearing the word of God and acting upon it.

Unlikely Choice: Homily for Thursday, September 21, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

The choice must have raised eyebrows.  There was clearly grumbling.  People talked about it. There was grumbling.  After all, he was a tax collector.  He hung out with the wrong crowd.  He was beyond hope, wasn’t he? This becomes clear when we read today’s gospel.  Matthew was an unlikely choice to be an apostle.  But Jesus called him.  And Matthew followed.

Who is it we write off as beyond salvation? Who do we grumble against? In what way do we believe there are people who are too evil to be saved by Jesus? How is it we limit the power of Jesus?  Because when we believe that there are people who cannot follow Jesus, who cannot be saved, then we believe that Jesus is not powerful enough to change hearts.  And in doing that, we deny Jesus the chance to change our hearts.

Despair to Hope: Homily for Tuesday, September 19, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for today

Today we encounter a woman who is understandably in the depths of despair.  Her son is dead, and to make matters worse, she is a widow.  This parent must face the death of her son alone. Can there be any greater heartache to a parent than to lose their child? I cannot think of one. I bet most parents cannot think of one, either.

And yet, in the height of her sadness and loss, she encounters Jesus.  And as Jesus always does, Jesus brings life.  Sometimes in moments like today’s gospel, he does so in an easily observable way.  At other times, it is in the challenge that might mean initial sadness before receiving life.  Regardless, today we are all reminded that Jesus is the author and source of life.  Let Jesus raise life in you.

Introducing Jesus: Homily for Monday, September 18, 2017

To listen to the homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Today’s gospel is interesting.  A Roman centurion, who appears not to have ever met Jesus, places great trust in him simply because others have told him about Jesus.  Wow.  Do you wonder who it was that first told him about Jesus? Who was the person who told him in such a tremendous way that he could believe in Jesus? Who created such great trust and faith that the centurion only needed Jesus to speak the word?

It does seem that we could do so much more in helping others come to know Jesus.  Do we talk about Jesus to others? Do we share what Jesus has done in our lives? Do we want others to get to know Jesus? Catholics do not often think of themselves as needing to evangelize, but in fact, it was one specific thing that Jesus told us to do.  Who in your life needs to know Jesus?

The Comfort of the Rosary: Homily for Friday, September 15, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Whenever I am in distress, I find the rosary a particularly helpful devotion. And today’s memorial tells us why.  Mary suffered.  She understands it.  And in her suffering, she provides a model: stay close to God and do what he says. So it only stands to reason that Mary would understand our suffering too.  And she would pray that her son would ease our suffering.

Every major religion in the world has some type of repetitive prayer. By praying the rosary, we are reminded of the events of salvation. We can meditate on what Jesus does for us.  And we can have the prayer from the woman who truly understands us.

Confrontation 2: Homily for Sunday, September 10, 2017

To listen to the homily, click here.

Readings for Today

For the second week in a row we find confrontation to be a theme.  Sometimes the loving action is to help someone to see the error of their ways.  And this is not usually easy.  People do not like to be corrected.  People do not like to have errors or sin pointed out. Which is why most of us avoid it.  It is easier to pretend the evil does not exist than it is to do the loving, yet difficult thing which is to help someone grow closer to Christ.

Fortunately the gospel provides an outline for success.  It helps us to see the steps we can take to confront in Christ.  The gospel helps us to use our personal relationship, the wisdom of the Church, and the love of Christ.