Tag: spirit

Breathe: Homily for Saturday, February 4, 2017

To listen to today’s homily, click above.

When I was studying Saint Thomas Aquinas and his thought and life, there was an image that was used that has stayed with me. It was to represent that we were, as people, going to God, and going out from God. It was breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. This is what happens all of the time in the relationship of spiritual growth with God. God draws us in, God sends us out.

These two dynamics are present in today’s readings. In the first reading from the letter to the Hebrews, we are very much reminded about those external actions of our lives. What gives glory to God? Is the external action by itself? Or, is there more than that? Too often, the temptation can be to use the external as the goal of our spiritual life. That if we just do these actions, then we will be close to God. That is not the point. The letter to the Hebrews reminds us that external actions should always lead to internal spiritual growth.

This same notion is echoed in today’s gospel. The Apostles are simply quite excited about all they have done and accomplished. You can almost sense their enthusiasm as they return to tell Jesus all they have done. It does not seem like much that they are eager to keep going. If a little bit of effort has accomplished so much, just imagine what could be done when we go out to do more.

But Jesus personifies the breath of God. He is active, healing, preaching and giving. But so too he goes away to receive. What the apostles accomplish comes from their cooperation with the hand of God. Without recognizing that it is God that gives them strength, without recognizing the source of all they can do, they will fail. They will burn out. To be active in the spiritual life means recognizing the breath of God. We need to breathe spiritually. We need to be drawn to God and to be sent by God.

Novena of Saint Jude, May 23, 2015 (Vigil of Pentecost)

I am preaching the Novena of Saint Jude, days 4-9. This is an audio recording of my day five preaching, which explores the relationship between prayer and hope. How can we wait with patient endurance? For more information about the Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus in Chicago, visit their website here.

Homily for Monday, May 18, 2015

Readings for Today

In the early Church there was a problem with distinguishing the place and relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist, especially when considering the question of baptism. John moved into a baptism that was a sign and symbol of repentance. Yet he baptized Jesus, who was in no need of repentance. There were those who heard John preach and thought he might be the Messiah, the anointed sent be God for the Jewish people. And even today’s first reading shows the confusion between the baptism received by John, and the baptism celebrated by the early Church after the resurrection of Jesus. So just what is the difference?

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Homily for Monday, May 11, 2015

If there is a main theme in the Acts of the Apostles, it could be summed up this way: There is just no resisting the Spirit.Starting with this week’s readings there will be a special emphasis on the Advocate, as we move toward the celebration of Pentecost in a couple of weeks. This period of preparation allows us to give special attention in our prayer life to the role of the Holy Spirit in our own lives.

Homily for Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I do not know if you have ever thought of yourself as “set apart”, but today’s first reading made me think of the ways in which God describes the people of God. We are described as a people “set apart”. So while today it is the fact that Barnabas and Mark are set apart for a mission, the real truth is that each one of us, because of our baptism, has been set apart for some higher purpose. Our vocation, whatever it is, is the reality that each of us has been “set apart” for some particular purpose that God will use for the best.

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 Friday, May 2, 2014

Readings for Today

Wisdom is a powerful gift of the Holy Spirit.  Wisdom is not just that a few facts are known.  It is not just cramming our head with facts.  Wisdom is more than common sense.  It is not just knowing what to do.  In fact, wisdom is a multifaceted thing that incorporates all of these things and more.  The World English dictionary defines wisdom this way: “the ability or result of an ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight.”

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