Homily: Is Easter simply “Not Lent”?

Homily: Is Easter simply “Not Lent”?
Daily Homilies

 
 
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Sherry Weddell, probably best known as the author of “Forming Intentional Disciples”, posed a question on her forum: Do we see Easter simply as a time known as “Not Lent”? That is to say, does Easter become reduced to that day when we can go back to having what we gave up for Lent? For those who came into the Church at the Easter Vigil, or indeed for all of us, this period of time is known as the mystagogy. This is the time when we attempt to explain to the newly baptized the meaning of the mysteries they now celebrate. The Church recognizes this, which is why the Easter Season is 50 days.

Readings for Today

Homily given on April 23, 2019, at Christian Brothers College High School in Town and Country, Missouri.

Homily: Come as you are, See who you become! (10:45am)

Homily: Come as you are, See who you become! (10:45am)
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 
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I drove past a billboard the other day that advertised Saint Louis Community College. The slogan they used was this: Come as you are, See who you become! I thought this was a perfect invitation to use for the practice of the faith. Come to Church however you are, and let the presence of the risen Christ change you — convert you. And then be amazed at the type of person you become. The risen Jesus makes all this possible. He forgives sins! He gives grace! When we witness to the power of his resurrection, making sure the resurrection is not simply so much nonsense, but is in fact, by our witness to it, the powerful event that changes everything.

Readings for Today

Homily given on April 21, 2019, at Ascension Catholic Church in Chesterfield, Missouri.

Homily: Come as you are, See who you become! (9:15am)

Homily: Come as you are, See who you become! (9:15am)
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

I drove past a billboard the other day that advertised Saint Louis Community College. The slogan they used was this: Come as you are, See who you become! I thought this was a perfect invitation to use for the practice of the faith. Come to Church however you are, and let the presence of the risen Christ change you — convert you. And then be amazed at the type of person you become. The risen Jesus makes all this possible. He forgives sins! He gives grace! When we witness to the power of his resurrection, making sure the resurrection is not simply so much nonsense, but is in fact, by our witness to it, the powerful event that changes everything.

Readings for Today

Homily given on April 21, 2019, at Ascension Catholic Church in Chesterfield, Missouri.

Homily: Do you manifest God’s holiness? (11am)

Homily: Do you manifest God’s holiness? (11am)
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 
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There are certain bible stories that at first glance can seem to be difficult. The story of how Moses is denied entry to the Promised Land is one of them for me. He tapped the rock twice, not once. But that was enough. Considering all the Israelites put him through, this seems like a minor infraction. But the reading gives us a clearer view. Moses did not manifest God’s holiness. This Holy Week gives us the ultimate picture of manifesting God’s holiness, for in every instance, that is what Jesus does. The people mentioned in our readings this week face choices. Do they manifest God’s holiness or not? It is the same choice we face during this Holy Week. Do we manifest God’s holiness?

Readings for Today

Homily given at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish on April 13, 2019, in University City, Missouri.

Homily: Do you manifest God’s holiness? (9am)

Homily: Do you manifest God’s holiness? (9am)
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

There are certain bible stories that at first glance can seem to be difficult. The story of how Moses is denied entry to the Promised Land is one of them for me. He tapped the rock twice, not once. But that was enough. Considering all the Israelites put him through, this seems like a minor infraction. But the reading gives us a clearer view. Moses did not manifest God’s holiness. This Holy Week gives us the ultimate picture of manifesting God’s holiness, for in every instance, that is what Jesus does. The people mentioned in our readings this week face choices. Do they manifest God’s holiness or not? It is the same choice we face during this Holy Week. Do we manifest God’s holiness?

Readings for Today

Homily given at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish on April 13, 2019, in University City, Missouri.

Homily: Do you manifest God’s holiness? (5pm)

Homily: Do you manifest God’s holiness? (5pm)
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

There are certain bible stories that at first glance can seem to be difficult. The story of how Moses is denied entry to the Promised Land is one of them for me. He tapped the rock twice, not once. But that was enough. Considering all the Israelites put him through, this seems like a minor infraction. But the reading gives us a clearer view. Moses did not manifest God’s holiness. This Holy Week gives us the ultimate picture of manifesting God’s holiness, for in every instance, that is what Jesus does. The people mentioned in our readings this week face choices. Do they manifest God’s holiness or not? It is the same choice we face during this Holy Week. Do we manifest God’s holiness?

Readings for Today

Homily given at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish on April 13, 2019, in University City, Missouri.

This is what I think: The predictable reactions are getting old

This is what I think: The predictable reactions are getting old
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 
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Context does not matter any more. Any type of statement or opinion about even a slightly complex topic, gives rise to immediate predictable reactions. There is no consideration to reflect on what is written. Instant reactions are more about what team someone is on, and less about the actual content. It is true in politics, and sadly, it is true in the Church as well.

Consider the latest bit of news concerning the statement written by Pope Benedict. Immediate reactions revolved around one’s “team”. The “Pro-Benedict” team believes the letter it is the best thing ever written. Church troubles are all the result of Pope Francis. For “Pro-Francis” team, it is the worst analysis of any situation ever given. It is seen as a direct attack on Pope Francis. Truth is, it is neither. Pope Emeritus Benedict raises some valid points, gives compliments to Pope Francis for his efforts at changing Church law to address the abuse crisis, but misses the mark in some ways too.

To be sure, we do not always recognize our own hypocrisy. The very people who were most vocal speaking against anyone criticizing Pope John Paul or Pope Benedict are now the ones who are criticizing openly Pope Francis. Those critical of Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict are those who are now getting defensive about any criticism about Pope Francis.

Increasingly it is not just we have short memories, we choose to deny what we remember. Reactions and things spoken are immediate. What we said in the past simply never happened. If we don’t like what is said, or what is written, we simply dismiss it as “fake news.”

Just imagine how things might be different if we took time to listen to one another, to reflect on complex ideas, and resisted the urge to say something immediately. Sadly those of us who profess belief in Jesus Christ often act too much like secular politicians. It is a modern day example of Saint Paul’s words: I am for Paul, I am for Cephas, I am for Apollos. Are we not all for Christ?

When I read the first reactions to Archbishop Wilton Gregory’s appointment to Washington, too many immediately were critical. Why not offer prayers for the Archbishop in what will undeniably be a very challenging ministry? Why not hope he will act for the good of the Church in a challenging role? No, some people’s first response was to criticize, not to pray. The reaction to Benedict’s letter is no different.

Benedict raises valid points about the world today. It has become more secular. Politicians cheer laws to enshrine abortion. The congress will not commit to caring for a baby that survives an abortion attempt. Increasingly, we see ourselves as the only moral authority. At the same time, there is the question of causation and correlation that Benedict does not address. He assumes causation.

Perhaps if we could set aside our “teams”, and pray for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in our decisions, we would all be better off. We all need to more fully and completely reflect the person of Jesus. The call to holiness is universal. We should hear this call. We must become more like Jesus. Calling for more just treatment of immigrants and refugees does not mean that we also do not stand against abortion. We welcome the stranger, we protect the unborn. We heed the command not to kill. When we become more like Jesus, we recognize the decay that comes from failing to admit God’s moral authority. When we become more holy, we see the Church, and our membership in it, in a way that leads all to a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus who saves.

Get Ready for Holy Week – Busted Halo

Why do Catholics wave palms on Palm Sunday, wash each other’s feet on Holy Thursday, or kiss the cross on Good Friday? In a BRAND NEW version of classic video by Busted Halo (with a bonus extra minute — because there’s a lot going on this week!), Busted Halo explains the significance of the final week we spend preparing for Easter.

Homily: Which snake: Death or Life?

Homily: Which snake: Death or Life?
Daily Homilies

 
 
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There is for many people a fear of snakes. Some suggest this is why the cunning tempter depicted in Genesis is a serpent. Today there are seraph serpents that bite the people and cause death. But this second story about the rebellion of the people ends differently. Rather than resulting on condemnation for all, God uses the seraph serpent as a sign that ultimately things are different. It is not the snake that condemns; it is the God who saves. There is now a new pathway to salvation made clear. The Son of Man will be lifted up. And we can be saved.

Readings for Today

Homily given on April 9, 2019 at Christian Brothers College High School in Town and Country, Missouri.

Homily: Go and sin no more (Year C)

Homily: Go and sin no more (Year C)

 
 
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We live in an age where it seems like the most important thing to do. Namely, to find dirt on someone else, especially someone we do not like. We often have already decided what we will believe about someone we do not like. But Jesus always takes us as we are. He always sees what is in our heart. And if the heart desires to turn away from sin, Jesus is always ready with forgiveness. No where is this more evident today than when we go to confession. Society is ready to condemn. Jesus stands ready to forgive.

Readings for Today

Homily given at Saint Cletus Catholic Church in Saint Charles Missouri on April 7, 2019.