Tag: persecution

Gifts: What do you bring to the Lord? Homily for Tuesday, February 28, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click the link above.

Readings for Today

Gifts.  By focusing on gifts, one might think I have the seasons confused.  Are we preparing for Christmas? Is this Advent we are on the verge of entering? No.  Today’s first reading is really about what we can give to God.  Again these readings are so wonderful as we approach Lent.  How is it we can do more of what God wants us to give Him?

Listen to all these good things.  Works of charity.  Giving alms.  Refraining from evil.  Avoiding injustice.  A generous spirit.  These are wonderful acts.  These are great gifts to God for all He has done for us.  And most wonderful for us, God gives us far more than we can ever give Him.  God is never outdone in generosity.

This is what the Apostles learn in the gospel.  Just as the book of Sirach says a gift to God is returned seven-fold, so too will the apostles be so rewarded.  For the sacrifices they have made, the rewards will be great.  But these gifts will not be without hardship.  These gifts will not be without persecution.  These gifts will require the willingness of the apostles to suffer in the name of Jesus.

What is it you will give to God? What is it God wants you to do? What riches do you have to share with God, and the people of God?  And in what ways have you not given the gifts, or used them, or done something about them? Now is the time.  This is the acceptable hour.  Your salvation is near at hand.

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.

From the Order: A Grand Imam and a Dominican Unite Against Christian Persecution in Pakistan

With persecution against Christians rife as the result of radicals and militants, the Grand Imam of Pakistan’s second largest mosque, Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Imam Syed Muhammad Abdul Khabir Azad, and a Dominican priest, Father James Channan OP, are working together to protect the country’s embattled Christian minority. Father Channan is the Director of Peace Center, Lahore, whereas, Imam Abdul Khabir Azad serves as a board member and close collaborator of Peace Center.

Homily for Monday, June 1, 2015

There have been a few times in my life where I felt like the object of persecution. Certainly not the type of persecution in the first reading or especially in the parable told in today’s gospel, but a persecution nonetheless. It can be hard to be mocked, or ridiculed or worse for doing the right thing. To be able to do the right thing in the face of harm is courage. And it is courage we observe in those from the gospel seeking out a rightful share of grapes, or in Tobit burying the dead.

Homily for Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Have you ever heard the expression, with friends like that who needs enemies? Maybe you’ve even had a time where someone who was a friend of yours, challenged you with something that was very difficult to hear. Today is gospel is a little bit like that. There is no greater gift received from the Lord Jesus than the gift of his Word and his presence. But sometimes believing the Word and acknowledging his presence, trying to be attentive to his will and the work that he calls us to do, can lead to very negative consequences at least in this world.

Homily for Saturday, May 9, 2015

Do you think you are greater than Jesus? This seems like a question that has an obvious answer, and of course, it does. Of course we are not greater than Jesus. It is easy to see this when we consider the magnificent works of Jesus. Healings, raising from the dead, miracles are obvious signs of the divinity of Jesus. But today’s gospel puts forth another type of comparison. Namely, those who follow Jesus will face persecution precisely because Jesus did. If we seek to imitate Jesus, we simply cannot expect to be treated differently.

Homily for Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It can be easy to become discouraged. Every day it seems we hear of bad news occurring in our area and around the world. Each day it seems people we love, or even ourselves, can discover we have some really awful disease. Sometimes we are treated badly by others. Also, there are times when our own actions, our own sinfulness can cause discouragement as well.

Homily for Wednesday, April 22, 2015

It may not seem this way, but we live in an age of martyrs. People all over the world, but especially in the Middle East and in Africa are being killed simply because they are Christians. Speaking to the Shalom Community who sponsored a relay to raise awareness of the terrible persecution of Christians, the pope said this:

“Your itinerary on the streets is over, but what must continue on the part of all is the spiritual journey of prayer, intense prayer; the concrete participation and tangible help in the defense and protection of our brothers and sisters, who are persecuted, exiled, killed, beheaded, for the only reason of being a Christian.”

Homily for Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Readings for Today

Christianity is not for wimps. When I taught high school students I often introduced the year with this phrase. What I was trying to impress upon the students was that while God loved them, it was not to mean that nothing is required of us. Too often I found that while they believed in God, they never had thought much about what this belief in God may mean. What I mean to say is, I was not sure how they were really living differently as those who believe in God, from those who had no faith at all. The point was that to live as a Christian was hard.

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