Tag: John the Baptist

God’s Call: Homily for Sunday, January 15, 2017

Do you really know that God is calling you specifically? That you are bound for something great? Do you really understand that God wants you to fulfill your part in witnessing to God that only is for you, the beloved creation of God? Often we fail to see that we can be called to great things, and we certainly do not always realize that it is God’s grace that gets us there. What is it that God is calling you to do? How is it that God is calling you to be great? In reading the stories of Isaiah, Saint Paul, and Saint John the Baptist, we can find ourselves inspired by the same God and the same grace that lead them to holiness.

Homily for Saturday, August 29, 2015

It might seem strange that the first reading today discusses remaining tranquil and to mind one’s own affairs on the day that we celebrate the beheading of Saint John the Baptist. First, tranquil is not the first word that comes to mind when thinking about him. Second, it also does not appear to be the case that Saint John the Baptist was one who could mind his own affairs, since it was his challenge to Herod that caused his ultimate death. He was able to take on Pharisees, Herodians, and others to make sure that the knew clearly that to follow Jesus required an absolute choice to live in a particular way. In describing Saint John the Baptist, it is easy to remember there is simply nothing halfway about living the life of faith.

On one level, this is coincidental since the first reading is the reading for today is the continuation of the Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians we have been reading over the past few days. But since they are together, it does raise the question about whether there is a way that Saint John the Baptist could be seen as one who is tranquil. I think there is.

To be sure, first, it must be considered that there is evidence the preaching of Saint John the Baptist had appeal to a wide number of people. Leaving the comfort of the the known to follow this odd preacher out into the desert and to be challenged to reform their lives does, on the one hand, seem to be a challenge. Yet, it happened. What is it that appealed to those who went out into the desert?

This is precisely a version of the question Jesus asks about John. What did you go out to see? Why is it the challenging message of John made such a difference in people’s lives, when it could be seen at the same time as very unsettling? Perhaps what was most appealing to the people was the authenticity that was readily apparent to those who came to hear John speak. Could they have witnessed in John’s life and message the authentic witness that does bring tranquility? Was that the case?

Homily for Monday, May 18, 2015

Readings for Today

In the early Church there was a problem with distinguishing the place and relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist, especially when considering the question of baptism. John moved into a baptism that was a sign and symbol of repentance. Yet he baptized Jesus, who was in no need of repentance. There were those who heard John preach and thought he might be the Messiah, the anointed sent be God for the Jewish people. And even today’s first reading shows the confusion between the baptism received by John, and the baptism celebrated by the early Church after the resurrection of Jesus. So just what is the difference?

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Homily for Saturday, December 13, 2014

Readings for Today

Elijah had a rather interesting prophetic career. He had successes  and failures, he felt strongly the presence of God and found him to be distant, and had a life filled with ups and downs. His life was filled with the miraculous, whether it was defeating the numerous prophets of Baal or being taken up into heaven. He wanted to die, and he kept a widow and her son from dying from famine. Over time, his return was associated with the coming of the Messiah. Just as it was a magnificent whirlwind of fire that took up Elijah, so too  his return would be a sign of the whirlwind of God’s Messiah, His Son, would arrive soon.

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Homily for Thursday, September 25, 2014

Readings for Today

Just who are you, Jesus? This is Herod’s question today. Is he interested in faith? Is he impressed with the popularity of Jesus? Does he feel threatened by Jesus? What exactly causes Herod to wish to see Jesus?

A careful reading of Luke could suggest that it was little more than curiousity. He hears that Jesus is performing miracles, and Herod becomes curious. But it becomes clear that the curiosity of Herod never becomes anything more.

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Homily for Saturday, July 5, 2014

Readings for Today

One of the real dangers that some persons of faith can experience in terms of growth in the spiritual life, is to compare those spiritual things that we do against those spiritual things done by others. Sometimes this takes the form of reassuring ourselves that were not that bad because we are not committing such actions as stealing or murder or adultery. At other times it is because we can see great benefit in a particular spiritual discipline in our own life, and we wish to universalize that experience for everyone else. Sometimes we can use this in a condescending way. In other words, we look down upon others when they do not seem to be a serious about their faith as we are.

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Homily for Vigil Mass of Saint John the Baptist, June 23, 2014

Readings for Today

Just how well does God know us?  This evening’s first reading reminds us that God’s knowledge and love of us is long and deep.  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”  While these words are addressed to Jeremiah specifically, we can also see them as an important reality in our own lives.  For just as Jeremiah was loved by God from all eternity, so too are we.

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Homily for Saturday, May 31, 2014

Readings for Today

Do you ever talk about your faith with someone else?  Have you ever had faith experiences that are so powerful you need to discuss them with another to make sense of them?  Some may have these types of conversations with their spouse, while others may seek out a spiritual director.  But, there are those events, either powerfully sad or powerfully joyful that just must be shared with with someone else.

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