Tag: sin

Repent: Homily for the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, June 24, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Yesterday we focused on the love that God has for us.  But why is it that we do not always feel loved?  Sin.  Today we celebrate the birth of Saint John the Baptist.  He became quite “popular” by what he said in the desert.  People were attracted to his message, and they came out in droves to hear it.  Why?  It was a challenging message.  It demanded that to be whole, complete, and entire in our relationship with God, that we needed to change.  To repent.  To stop sinning.  Why is it then, that this appealed to so many?

Isn’t it because people know, deep within themselves, that they need to change, to repent?  Isn’t there something that we know deep within us about our relationship with God? We do not always admit it.  We do not always act on it.  Sometimes we run from it.  But, deep down we know it.  We are not always at our best, often deliberately so.  To make a heart ready for Jesus, it needs to be tilled like soil.  And Saint John the Baptist shows us how.  Repent and believe n the Good News.

Holy Suffering: Homily for Wednesday, June 7, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

There are moments in life where we find ourselves at a desperate place.  At these times, it seems that there is simply nothing more we can do.  They can be moments of such suffering that we are not even sure if we can bear it.  At other times, it is the result of such hardships that it seems too much.  It can be illness, tragedy, death, ruin, whatever.  What is it that can make suffering something that does not destroy but rather gives life?  Is there such a thing as holy suffering?

Sin: Hating what God Hates, Homily for Monday, February 27, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Sin. God hates sin.  Do we? We do not often think, at least I don’t, of God hating.  But God does hate.  God does sometimes detest.  And what God hates, what God detests, is always the same.  God hates sin. God detests sin.  Fortunately for us, God does not, however, hate the sinner.  God does not detest the sinner.  And God offers to the sinner a way back.  God hates sin, but loves repentence.  God hates sin, but loves the sinner.

Today’s first reading is a wonderful reminder of this.  To the penitent God provides a way back, he encourages those who are losing hope and has chosen for them the lot of truth.  As we are ready to begin Lent this week, how grateful we should be that God provides to us a way back.  God wants us to return to him.  In fact, this is what we are told to do.  Return to him and give up sin, pray to the LORD and make your offenses few. Turn again to the Most High and away from your sin, hate intensely what he loathes, and know the justice and judgments of God,
Stand firm in the way set before you, in prayer to the Most High God.  This is the perfect time to do so.

This is the perfect time to do so, for today is the day of salvation.  Lent is that time where we seek to be transformed, to change, to become a new creation in Christ.  It is the time when we turn back to God.  But giving up sin, the ultimate goal of Lent and the Christian life, is just the beginning, as we learn in today’s gospel.  Keeping the commandments of God is one thing.  Filling our souls with God and God’s priorities is quite another.

This is what the young man seeking more from Jesus learns.  This man has kept the commandments of God.  This man has really been faithful.  But, that is not enough.  He is not allowing God to fill his life, but rather his many possessions.  As a result, spiritual growth is stunted.  He is not able to give all to Christ.  And neither am I.  I too hang on to too many things that take me away from God.  If you wish to be perfect, surrender to God and seek the way of holiness.  Lent is the perfect time to start.

Wickedness: Homily for Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wickedness. There are moments where you just want to give up. Things are too difficult, Life is too hard, you just can’t feel like you can go on. All in all, you just want to give up. To be sure, there are moments in our life where we just feel completely overwhelmed. And, this is somewhat normal from time to time. Life is hard. It’s difficult. And so it’s not unusual that we come to certain moments in our life, where we feel that left to our own energy and actions, we simply can’t be successful.

It could be easy, to put God in a similar place in today’s reading. He certainly seems at first glance, to be overwhelmed, fed up, ready to give up. Fortunately, God is not a human being. God is more. God is divine. God is eternal. God is constantly pouring out love to help humanity to understand what it means to follow him. And so in the midst of all of this wickedness, in the midst of all of the sin, when a mere mortal could be tempted to give up, God calls Noah.

It is no secret, nor great theological statement that sin angers God. And so it is not beyond the pale for the divine God to express anger at the sins of the people. But what is unique to the divine God is God’s constant ability to pour forth a new covenant. Today, the covenant will be extended to Noah. There’s a covenant given later to Abraham. There is a covenant that will be given to Moses. There’s a covenant that will be given through David. And when humanity does not accept fully and totally all of these covenants, God sent his only son. Human beings might be tempted to give up. But God never gives up on those who seek his new life, his forgiveness, his mercy and his love.

Halfhearted: Homily for Monday, February 13, 2017

Halfhearted. Have you ever wondered why’s loss, or laziness, is a sin? Today’s reading from the book of Genesis about Cain and Abel might give us some reason for that we might understand it. At first glance, it seems that Cain and Abel have done what God is asked of them. They both have given him a gift. But looking deeper, we see that while Abel has made a great sacrifice giving God the best, Cain has just given God, whatever. It hasn’t been the best. It hasn’t been with his full heart and his full commitment. Cain has been halfhearted.

We can be tempted to do the same thing in our spiritual lives. We can look around the world in which we live, and say we haven’t really done things that are all that bad, really. But Jesus reminds us in today’s gospel, that it’s not simply looking for the easy way. Or, it’s not faith because we’ve seen concrete things so miraculous that any reasonable person would’ve accepted them. Rather, it is about faith.

And faith means, that we have to give our all to God. We have to work as much as we can, to turn everything over to God. We can’t simply be halfhearted. We have to be all in, we have to give God our best, we have to surrender our hearts so that we might live in his.

Homily for Sunday, January 24, 2016

Readings for Today Audio Readings for Today How is it we avoid giving into despair when we see so much death and destruction around us. We fear terrorism, we see destruction in the Middle East, the tremendous death and martyrdom of Christians in the Middle East, those who go without basic necessities and other things […]

Homily for Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Lord of the Flies, the famous novel by William Golding, shows the tragic consequences when there exists deep divisions between people. His view of human nature suggests a pessimistic view that suggests that without societal controls humanity will become very destructive. And yet, in that same novel, there are those who seem to rise above the negativity of humanity even if it is the case they pay a great price for holding fast to their conscience and their dedication to the common good.

What causes the great rift between Jack and Ralph, and how is it that each attracts people to subscribe to this way of looking at the world? Why is it that some are attracted to Jack and the type of concern for self-preservation and power that does not appeal to Ralph and those who hold fast to him?

We could ask this same question when we consider the world, both today and historically. In the height of the riots in Los Angeles, it was Rodney King who posed the question, “Can’t we all just get along?” We could clearly still ask that question today? Why is it the world is such a chaotic place? Why is it that the world is filled with such gruesome and gross violence? How is it that things have come to this?

Homily for Friday, August 28, 2015

Some of the most important advice I was giving about public speaking was trying to remember that when was speaking in public, I was to remember that the people to whom I was speaking were rooting for me to succeed. It may seem obvious once we are encouraged to remember this simple fact (after all, who wants a boring speech), but it is so easy to forget when we see all of these eyes staring back at us.

The power of remembering that power of being supported is easy to lose sight of when we are so busy with all kinds of activity. Many people, though, have the powerful experience of knowing what they could become when someone really believed in them. Children become good at taking appropriate risks when they know that their parents are loving and supporting them. Students have courage to learn difficult concepts when they know their teacher believes they can accomplish these new tasks.

In the life of faith, it can become easier if we remember what is the will of God for each of us. In one way, the reading reminds us the will of God for each of us in the same. “This is the will of God, your holiness.” For each one of us what God wants is simple: God wants us to be holy.

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 the Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 17, 2015

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.” Today’s second reading tells us how important it is to love. Our relationship with God began out of love, as God first loved us. And we are reminded today of importance of the sharing of love. For when God creates, it is a sign to us of his powerful love. Love must be shared. It is against the very nature of God to be selfish, to keep love to himself. This is why he creates. Because when he does so, love is shared.

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