Tag: mercy

With God, Only Love and Mercy is Overwhelming

It is no secret that we can experience times and places where we are overwhelmed. We can feel there is too much to do in too little a time. There are times when we are asked to do something at work that we feel is simply too difficult. We can experience the death of someone we love dearly, and feel overwhelmed and unsure about what it is we can do to live our lives in the face of this tremendous loss.

We celebrate Lent so that we can remove from our lives the aspects of spiritual life that is overwhelming by our own making. We seek to bring our sin and mercy to God. We seek to “offer sacrifice” to make us more aware of what blessings we have in our lives, and how to remove from our lives those things we do not wish to continue. We take on extra spiritual practices so that we can come to experience God more and more in our lives.

when our sin, our faults and failings cause us to feel overwhelmed, it is seasons like Lent that remind us that we only need the overwhelming love and mercy of our God, who is always seeking a stronger relationship with us.

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 Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I am no gardener. I kill plants, I hate weeding, I forget to water. In so many ways I simply do not have the dedication necessary to grow great plants. I simply do not pay attention to the needs a plant has in order to thrive. In a way, the real challenge for me is that growing plants is simply not an activity that is important enough for me to care about it. While I can appreciate the final product when plants are grown, I would much rather have the final results, such as the fruit, vegetable or beautiful flower instead of putting in the hard work.

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.

Homily for Sunday, April 12, 2015

Readings for Today

There are few things that bring as much joy as when we think about the perfect place. It might be a vacation spot that is a particular favorite of ours. It may be a camp where we can get away from it all. It might even be an imaginary world where we can envision having special powers. Imagining other places may be the reason we see movies, tv shows or read books.We might play games for the same reason.

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Homily for Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Readings for Today

“What are we to do, my brothers?” In this question to Peter and John, we encounter the ultimate question of our faith. “What are we to do, my brothers?” And as we hear this question, what is interesting is not simply the answer given by Peter, but as much what it is that Peter did not say in answering this question. The answer they do give is both general enough to apply to all, but specific enough to satisfy those who were “cut to the heart” by the words spoken by Peter.

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Homily for Sunday, November 2, 2014

Readings for Today

I have always found funerals to be tremendous opportunities for pastoral ministry.  At a time when someone’s life is upended because of the death of someone, there can be an openness to God that was not present before. It is at these moments that we often ask ultimate questions.  “What is my life about?”  “Where do I find purpose? ” “Why did God put me here on this earth?”  We may even be led to ask questions of anger at God.  “Why didn’t you prevent this?” Why did she have to die so young?” Often when we ask these questions, we are not expecting other human beings to answer them. We are often looking for God in the midst of all of this, and to determine what our lives mean now.

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Homily for Friday, October 31, 2014

Readings for Today

In hearing the gospel today I got to thinking about the recent Synod on the family. I always seek to avoid the extremes that such events in the Church might bring. Much was made of cardinals and bishops arguing with one another. It can be easy to get caught up on a context that these arguments are really no different than the political arguments we are subjected to, especially during these days just before the election.

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Homily for Monday, October 20, 2014

Readings for Today

In this age of protecting self-esteem, it can be the case we avoid thinking bad things about ourselves spiritually.  While it is true that there were days when we could think of nothing else perhaps, my experience both in myself and in my work with others is that  maybe the concept of self needs a little “correction”.  Perhaps the current state of affairs is the result of a correction when the emphasis on certain devotionals or sins might have been out of proportion, it seems to me today that it is now the case that too often we are more concerned with not bruising fragile egos.  At least I think that is the case with me sometimes.

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