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 […]

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.

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