Things are not always what they seem

Readings for Today

How can the poor be blessed? How can enemies be loved? How can persecutors be forgiven? The challenge with hearing the gospel is often that the gospel seems to turn everything upside down. Saint Luke the Evangelist is remembered, I think, for two significant reasons. First, there is his ability to bring the gospel to bear on everyday life. Second, it is his attention to those who have so little. And yet, they have a lot. How is it that God calls you today?

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on October 18, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Prayer: Don’t know where to start?

I recently stumbled upon a website called “trypraying”, which is a site designed to help those who really are not active in faith or active in church to try to find a fulfilling prayer life. I created this short one minute video to introduce the site. The content is used with permission from trypraying.

What must I do to inherit eternal life? (7:30 am)

Readings for Today

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” What prompted the man to ask this question? What was he hoping Jesus would say? Did his “going away sad” last for the rest of his life, or did he seek to discover the meaning behind the command of Jesus to sell all he had? Have you thought about what Jesus might answer you when you ask the question? It might involve giving what you have to the poor, but it also might mean removing some other barrier to God from your life. The answer to this question is couched in wisdom. Do you plead and pray for wisdom? Do you seek to allow the Word of God to be living and effective in your life? Remove whatever keeps you from knowing the will of God from your life. Follow Jesus.

Homily given at Our Lady of Lourdes, University City, Missouri, on October 14, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

What must I do to inherit eternal life? (6:00 pm)

Readings for Today

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” What prompted the man to ask this question? What was he hoping Jesus would say? Did his “going away sad” last for the rest of his life, or did he seek to discover the meaning behind the command of Jesus to sell all he had? Have you thought about what Jesus might answer you when you ask the question? It might involve giving what you have to the poor, but it also might mean removing some other barrier to God from your life. The answer to this question is couched in wisdom. Do you plead and pray for wisdom? Do you seek to allow the Word of God to be living and effective in your life? Remove whatever keeps you from knowing the will of God from your life. Follow Jesus.

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on October 13, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Condemnation or Forgiveness: Don’t be stupid

Readings for Today

While he could be, Saint Paul was not always known for gentleness. He concurred in the act of killing. He was bold in his speech. When he was sent off to Tarsus early after his conversion, the whole Church was at peace. And so, it should not come as a surprise that he calls the Galatians stupid. And, not just once, he does so twice. What is the cause of this outburst from Saint Paul? The Galatians wanted to go back to following the letter of the law, which leads to condemnation, rather than following Jesus, whose forgiveness and love can lead to eternal life. Do you follow Jesus and make yourself available for his love and mercy? Or, do you focus only on the letter of the law rules, and see only how you break them? Follow Jesus.

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on October 11, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Contemplation and Action – Choosing the better part

Readings for Today

“It is the Mass that matters most.” In an article about the great “labor priest”, Msgr. George Higgins, this was the quote pulled for the title of the article. Perhaps no Catholic figure of the 20th Century did more for the rights of workers than Msgr. George Higgins. That said, as important as his actions were, it is safe to say his contemplation in the presence of the Lord. He insisted on giving a benediction at Labor meetings. He spent hours in prayer each day. He clearly understood why Jesus said Mary had chosen the better part. Jesus was not suggesting actions did not matter. He was not providing a convenient excuse to do nothing. Rather, he stressed an important truth easily forgotten: action without prayer and contemplation is not better. Martha’s sin was to presume that what she was doing was more important than Mary. We too can fall into this trap. We can believe that even Catholic social activism can be “prayer.” We may meet Christ in others, but we come to know Christ in contemplation.

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on October 9, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Let’s talk about vocations: Yours! (11am)

Readings for Today

For some people, hearing a priest introduce a homily by mentioning the topic of vocations, means a homily on becoming a priest, sister or brother. And yet, while these are worthwhile vocations, most of the time there is a “checking out.” Why? Because for many, they are married, already having answered their call from God. For others, they are too old. For still others, they are too young. It seems important for all Catholics to recall that we all have a vocation. And for many, today’s readings stress the importance of marriage, the hurt of divorce, and the pain of mourning the loss of a long time spouse.

Homily given at Our Lady of Lourdes, University City, Missouri, on October 9, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Let’s talk about vocations: Yours! (9am)

Readings for Today

For some people, hearing a priest introduce a homily by mentioning the topic of vocations, means a homily on becoming a priest, sister or brother. And yet, while these are worthwhile vocations, most of the time there is a “checking out.” Why? Because for many, they are married, already having answered their call from God. For others, they are too old. For still others, they are too young. It seems important for all Catholics to recall that we all have a vocation. And for many, today’s readings stress the importance of marriage, the hurt of divorce, and the pain of mourning the loss of a long time spouse.

Homily given at Our Lady of Lourdes, University City, Missouri, on October 9, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Let’s talk about vocations: Yours! (5pm)

Readings for Today

For some people, hearing a priest introduce a homily by mentioning the topic of vocations, means a homily on becoming a priest, sister or brother. And yet, while these are worthwhile vocations, most of the time there is a “checking out.” Why? Because for many, they are married, already having answered their call from God. For others, they are too old. For still others, they are too young. It seems important for all Catholics to recall that we all have a vocation. And for many, today’s readings stress the importance of marriage, the hurt of divorce, and the pain of mourning the loss of a long time spouse.

Homily given at Our Lady of Lourdes, University City, Missouri, on October 6, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Want what God wants

Readings for Today

Mother Theresa is known to have said that sin is wanting for ourselves something that God does not want for us. This quote does not simply refer to wanting something sinful. In fact, it can also refer to wanting a spiritual gift that God does not give us. It can frustrate us. It can make us jealous of others who have this gift. But any gift that God wants us to have is only good to the degree it leads us into deeper relationship with God.

Homily given at Saint Dominic Priory, Saint Louis, Missouri, on October 6, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.