Tag: Jesus

Daily Prayer for Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Act of Faith

O my God, I firmly believe that you are on God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that he shall come to judge the living and the dead.  I believe these and all the truths the holy Catholic Church teaches, because you have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

It begins with love: Homily for Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, June 23, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Do you feel unlovable?  Do you ever wonder if God loves you only because of what you can do?  Do you ever think that maybe if you worked harder, had more accomplishments, became more important, if you did these things you would really earn God’s love? It is interesting how easy it is to fall into the trap of this way of thinking.

Truth is, that we can do nothing to earn God’s love.  We are not loved because we are important, or rich, or famous.  Moses reminds the people of Israel of this in the first reading.  It was not because you are the largest of all nations that the LORD set his heart on you and chose you, for you are really the smallest of all nations. It was because the LORD loved you. God loves us because God loves us.  As we celebrate the Sacred Heart of Jesus today, think about how much God loves you.

Reality: Homily for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, June 18, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

The readings today take great pains to reinforce a particularly important type of reality.  When we think of real, we often think, or many people think, of the scientific world, based upon observation and fact.  And while this is a good and noble way to learn about truth, the way things are, it is not the only way.  There is another type of reality, a way of seeing that equally seeks the truth.  And often these truths are the higher level truths, because they are the truths that do not rest on human reason (though they are reasonable) but upon the spiritual revelation of God which is always real and true, and will always be real and true.

What we celebrate today is just such a truth.  There is with the Eucharist what we see — the host and the wine — and what is really and truly present, the Body and Blood of Christ.  To drive home this point, the gospel of John uses really down to earth terms.  Real terms.  Which causes the listeners to be quite perplexed as to what Jesus means.  John uses the word flesh, not just a symbol of the flesh, or a sign, or a recreation, but rather something real and true.  So today, receive Jesus, body and blood, soul and divinity, at Mass.

Understand: Homily for Thursday, June 15, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

When I first started teaching religion, what quickly became clear is that simply memorizing information does not automatically lead to discipleship.  Just because a student knows a bunch of truths of the faith does not mean the same student will make changes to live a life in union with Jesus.  I soon discovered students in the classroom who knew all of the right information but did not believe it to be true. I realized that I need to help foster what to do with the information.  I needed to begin to provide opportunities for prayer, for practice.

The readings today emphasize deep understanding. Too often there can be a temptation to stop at the surface.  I do not kill.  That should be enough.  No, I need to avoid the ways in which anger can kill.  I must not only meet the letter of the law, but must go deeper to meet the spirit of the law.  How do I know I am deeper than the surface of the Word of God? By getting to know the Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Unity: Homily for Trinity Sunday, June 11, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

There seems to be an awful lot of anger.  It appears there is not an issue that does not cause two people to get angry with each other.  It becomes difficult to bring up any issue in certain settings, because it is likely emotions will get out of control.  As a result of this anger, people might decide only to seek out those with whom they agree.  They might choose only to read, watch or listen to those news sources that share or confirm their own bias.  As a result, it can be even more difficult to find areas where a person can encounter a differing point of view.

Does anyone have a desire for greater unity?  More civility?  And in the midst of this anger, what’s a Catholic to do? How can Catholics both commit to the truth on the one hand, while on the other hand choosing the method of conversation and dialogue that leads another to listen? Perhaps the answer lies in the unity of three persons in one God.

USCCB Lectio Divina for Second Sunday of Lent

Lectio Divina is a form of meditation rooted in liturgical celebration that dates back to early monastic communities. It involves focused reading of Scripture (lectio), meditation on the Word of God (meditatio), contemplation of the Word and its meaning in one’s life (contemplatio) and ends with prayer (oratio). For this Lent, we will have a Lectio Divina resource for the readings for Ash Wednesday and the Sundays of Lent that can be used by individuals or in group settings.

Second Sunday of Lent Lectio Divina

Segundo Domingo de Cuaresma

Priorities: Homily for Sunday, February 26, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Priorities.  Living a good life means choosing the right priorities.  What is important to you? What activities matter to you? What people matter to you? What choices do you make about how you live your life? What choices do you make about which people get your time, your care, your concern?  Today’s gospel especially focusses on priorities and making those choices that matter for ultimate and eternal happiness.

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.  This line of the gospel makes it clear.  If your vocation is married life, then you seek the Kingdom of God in a way that makes you the best father, the best husband, the best mother, the best wife.  You make decisions based upon bringing yourself and those around you to Jesus.  You recognize that nothing is more important than living your life for Christ.

This is really what life is all about.  Yet, how often do we seek other things? How often do we seek Netflix, or social media, or games? How often do we first seek job and career success, money, success and wealth? How often do we seek to satisfy sexual desires, not as intended by God, but in pornography?  How often do we seek security for our family by working so hard we never see them?  How often is our quest first our smart phone, and not the people we find ourselves with?

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.  As we stand on the cusp of Lent, this is a good time to think about priorities.  This is a good time to consider exactly what is important.  This is the time when we ask ourselves if we are seeking God and his kingdom first, which causes us to value all of the right people and goals, or whether we allow ourselves to seek something far less.

Unbelief: Homily for Monday, February 20, 2017

Unbelief. In the midst of everything that happens in today’s world, it can be difficult to believe. First, there are the things that have always been difficult for people of faith. Such things as an innocent child who gets sick and dies. Or an inexplicable car accident or other type of accident which takes someone’s life to early. Perhaps there are those instances where a relationship fails, and we seek answers. Maybe the difficulty is simply that we cannot seem to believe in what we cannot see, or experience, or touch. There can be many challenges to belief.
That is true even for people who do believe. Such is what we witnessed in today’s gospel. A man brings his son in faith for a cure. But the disciples are incapable. The disciples simply cannot bring about a cure for this man’s son. And the scene seems more than a little chaotic. Not only is there the inability of the disciples for a cure, we hear that there are scribes arguing with a large crowd and the disciples. One can only imagine the depth of this argument in confronting something that is evil.
For anyone who has been involved in pastoral ministry, in trying to console those who grieve, it becomes clear that there is nothing more difficult, or at least few things more difficult, the parent who has a sick child, or a child who dies. It is in this vein that Jesus reminds us in the gospel that faith makes anything possible. But here’s the interesting line: I do believe, help my unbelief! In the midst of a difficult life even for people of faith, there is the recognition of the need for a closer relationship to God. Let us pray that God strengthens our faith as well.

Hospitality: Homily for Friday, February 3, 2017

To listen to the homily, click the links above.
Hospitality. I was struck today with this line in the letter to the Hebrews: “Do not neglect hospitality,
for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.” Have I ever entertained angels? Or, is it the case I missed an angel because I was not hospitable? Did I miss an angel because I was not ready for God? Did I miss an angel because I missed out on a key encounter because I was not watchful in prayer?

The letter to the Hebrews stresses the importance of right relationships. Right relationships are not, and cannot be simply about those people we like. God wants us to be hospitable. God wants us to care for prisoners. God wants marriages to reflect that holiness intended from the beginning. God wants me to be generous.

These are interesting challenges. It can be quite difficult to be hospitable. People in need of hospitality come at inconvenient times. We may not always know those people who desire hospitality. We may not always be aware of God in them. We may be afraid of them. We may be concerned that if I am hospitable to them, I may be taken away from my family, and the cares of those with whom I live.

How is it even possible to follow these ideas? It is important to remember the first part of this letter. It is possible because of God through whom all things are possible. If the Lord is my helper, how can anyone harm me? How can I ever be in need? How is it I will be alone? Jesus has won the victory, and in His name I can do all because he strengthens me. So trust. Love. Be generous. For the Lord Jesus expects this of you.

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