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.

Confronting the Regret: Homily for Friday, October 13, 2017

Readings for Today

It is common that someone who is dying will review their life.  They will consider things for which they are proud, and they will seek forgiveness for what they regret.  Sometimes that will mean a conversation with someone they have harmed during their life. That is what might be happening in the first reading today. There may be that regret for the sins committed.  The current situation is the result of past actions.

But God is stronger than past sin. God wants what is best for us. And despite our sinfulness, God forgives whenever we seek mercy from God. These past few weeks have seemed like the end time.  Hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, violence, wildfires. Not a bad time to consider a life review.  Not a bad time to think about confession. While sin can be strong, God is stronger.  Always.

Urgency of the Kingdom: Homily for Thursday, October 5, 2017

Readings for Today

There is no time to waste.  Such is the tone of what happens in today’s gospel.  There is a disciple who will follow Jesus wherever he leads, but not yet.  He needs to take care of a few things first. But Jesus makes the urgency of the Kingdom of God clear. So many blessings await those who accept the kingdom.  There is so much suffering, not a moment can be lost.

Do you put off answering the call of God? Is there some excuse that keeps you from saying “yes” right now? It is easy to procrastinate.  It is easy to put off the miraculous message of the Kingdom of God. But the time is now. The place is here. Say “yes” to God.

The Action of the Holy Spirit: Homily for Wednesday, September 13, 2017

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Readings for Today

Saint John Chrysostom.  The Golden Tongue.  But not such an easy person to live with.  For preachers, today reminds us that it is rarely, if ever, about us.  It is about the Holy Spirit.  And the temptation is to think, as preachers, that if we can just be a little more clever, a little more clear, we too will have great success with the people of God.

But the ultimate goal of any preaching is to foster a deeper connection between us and Jesus.  And this is the role of the Holy Spirit.  We can never forget that.  As preachers, a homily is about the action of the Holy Spirit.

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

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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.

Joining Suffering with Christ: Homily for Monday, September 11, 2017

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Readings for Today

It is rough to suffer.  We usually try to avoid it at all cost.  We seek to move away from the uncomfortable.  We seek to avoid what is hard.  Yet often, when we are in the midst of suffering, it can help us to discover something profound.  When we can find meaning in suffering, it can become easier to endure.

That is why the words of joining our sufferings to Christ can be reassuring.  It is not suffering for its own sake.  We do not go looking for suffering.  But it is really about redemption.  That by “offering up” our suffering, we can find meaning and purpose.

Confrontation 2: Homily for Sunday, September 10, 2017

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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.

Be prepared: Homily for Friday, September 1, 2017

To listen to the homily, click here.

Readings for Today

I was only a boy scout for one day.  The meeting time conflicted with religious education classes, and so I was not able to be a boy scout.  I did learn enough that first day, however, to know that being prepared is an important motto.  Boy scouts always make sure they have what they need.  In rain or snow, sun or cold, boy scouts had what they needed.

Being prepared is a good motto for the spiritual life too.  We must always be ready to have whatever it is that Jesus wants to give us. We must be ready for whatever moments he is present.  How do we do this? We do this by being ready in prayer, in the sacraments, at Mass, and in all other ways our prayer life can be strengthened.  And when we do this, it is at those times that we find ourselves prepared.

Changed: Homily for Wednesday, August 2, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Change is the first word of the spiritual life.  We must change from sin to life.  We must allow God to change us.  Even a quick look around our world today can show us there are many evil actions by men and women.  There is violence.  There is greed.  There is selfishness.  And yet, when we encounter God, we are changed.

Moses was changed by encountering God.  We are changed too.  The change in Moses was obvious.  His face became radiant.  He was not the same.  While we may not experiening the physical changes that Moses did, when we pray, we too are changed.  The presence of God, which is all around us, changes us when we acknowledge God’s precense.  Open your hearts to the power of God to change us back to what we were meant to be.

The Power of Rest: Homily for Thursday, July 20, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Today the focus is on rest.  It can be easy to overlook just how important it is to rest.  We live in a culture where rest is not always valued.  We are expected to be productive.  Rest can seem like a waste of time.  We are expected to be available for work.  Rest can take us away from work.

But Jesus was the primary example of rest.  He often went away, sometimes at the height of his popularity.  He called the disciples to go away with him.  Rest.  Pray.  Get in touch again with the God who called them.  Get to know again what really is important about themselves and others.  For some, summer can be that time to re-create.  We can take a vacation.  Maybe we go on a retreat.  But in all the busy activity of our lives, we can never become so busy that we lose sight of God and his place in our lives.