Tag: Paul

Grace: Homily for Thursday, January 26, 2017

Grace. I remember the old definition of a sacrament. Especially that every sacrament gives grace. And so I was reminded today of my ordination. Saint Paul tells Timothy that he should be attentive to the flame that is burning in him because Paul has imposed hands upon him. And as a result of this, Timothy is filled with courage. Timothy can proclaim the gospel. The grace given is powerful and has changed his life.

I thought of my own ordination because like Timothy, I too have received grace from the imposition of hands. And so have you. At our baptism, and again at Confirmation, we received grace from these sacraments. At ordination, again, I received grace. If you were married, you received grace. And this grace is given, and hopefully received.

It can bring us the amazing courage to witness to the gospel. It can help us to be those deeds God does through us that we are all called to receive. This grace is given to us so that we can be the light to the world. This grace allows us to show others in our words and deeds the power of Jesus.

Who are you with? Homily for Sunday, January 22, 2017

Who is it that you cast your lot in with? Is it God? Or is it some person, or group or cause, that relies on your own efforts? That is the question that is before us today. Over the past few weeks, we have seen a lot of division. We have seen people really get mean to each other with terrible words and phrases. We have just finished a brutal election season, which, even though it seems impossible, seems to get worse and worse. So, who are you with?

The temptation can be to rely more on our own efforts than to trust in God. Paul encounters this in the second reading for today. Some side with him, some side with Apollos, some side with Cephas, or Saint Peter. But when this happens, there is too much trust in the messenger and not in the message. We forget that the disciple of Christ is not more important than Christ. So, who are you with?

The first reading is similar. In the sections that come before what we heard today, it is King Ahaz who forsakes God and trusts in human political alliances to save his country. It fails miserably. The country is taken over, the people are exiled, and it feels like darkness covers the earth. Rather than listening to God’s message that came through the prophet, Ahaz got scared. He simply could not trust God. While he was in a precarious position, he could not place his trust in God. But God delivered anyway. Even though Ahaz did not see the great power of God, the people eventually did. This is what we read about today.

The gospel reminds us that it is in our call by Jesus that we ultimately experience fulfilment. A very important reminder is needed. Jesus was Lord before the election, Jesus is Lord now, and Jesus will be Lord. it is not about what we can do by ourselves. It is what God does for us. Open your hearts to be ready for God. Pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament, find silence in your home, read the Word of God. In so doing, you become the vehicle of God’s grace and action in the world.

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 Sunday, February 7, 2016

It is easy to forget that so much of our relationship with God is not dependent upon us. All we need to do is to place ourselves in the presence of God. By doing so, we both lose those sins and shortcomings that keep us from being the person God has created us to be, and we are able to be sent forth for the mission that God gives to only us. As we move into the season of Lent this Wednesday, let us place ourselves in God’s presence to receive the powerful and life-changing love of God.

Homily for Sunday, January 31, 2016

In the Broadway musical Oliver! based on the novel Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens, a musical question is posed that is important to all of us: “Where is love?” The prophet Jeremiah reminds us of the deep eternal love God has for each one of us, and the apostle Paul writes about the qualities of love. In a world filled with such evil and sin, such moments of uncertainty, it is the love of God for us that can provide the firm foundation to see us through.

Homily for Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I think it was Martin Luther King, Jr., in his reflections that had a lot to say about the type of freedom that comes from deep within the soul. “Psychological freedom, a firm sense of self-esteem, is the most powerful weapon against the long night of physical slavery.” In the recent past, we spent a little time discussing freedom. Today we get a picture of what it means to be really free as we hear the first reading. Ironically, we encounter a concrete example of true freedom.

Homily for Monday, May 4, 2015

Do you believe? So often in the gospels, a miracle or other divine action by Jesus is done because of the faith of the person to be healed. In fact, when he goes back home, he is not able to work miracles because the people do not have faith. We are reminded that our God is not invasive. The way in which God chooses to act in our lives is by respecting our freedom. It is not simply a case of barging into our soul, but rather being allowed in when we allow God to do so. The respect of our freedom is one of the most powerful signs of God’s love for us, for in being free agents we share an important quality of God, who is perfectly free.

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