Homily: Life without the Snooze Button (9am)

I do not usually tell people what I am doing for Lent. I really believe that it is best left between me and God, so I do not take credit for it. It is important, for me, not to see my Lent as a time where I reward my will power. Lent is not about that. Rather, it is a time for me to open myself more fully to God’s grace in order to become more like Christ. This year, though, to provide an example of how this might work, I decided to share that for Lent, I have given up the snooze button. Anyone who knows me just a little bit is aware that I am not a morning person. But I thought this was good not just to see if I could do it (I am not completely confident) but rather to see if I could use the extra time for prayer. In today’s gospel, we see that Jesus was led by the Spirit, where he encountered temptation. In doing so, Jesus foreshadows that he has won the victory over sin and death, and so too can we share in that victory.

Readings for Today

Homily recorded at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, University City, Missouri on March 10, 2019.

Homily: It will be on the test

Homily: It will be on the test
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For anyone who has taught, especially high school students, there is a question that can come up quite frequently. “Will this be on the test?” While teachers hope to instill a love of learning for its own sake, it is often the case that the reality is quite different. Interestingly, we can also ask a type of question like this when it comes to God. Do I need to forgive my brother every time he sins? The challenge during the season of Lent is to move beyond the minimum to place ourselves into the powerful presence of God.

Readings for Today

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on March 26, 2019.

Homily: Curiosity saves lives (12pm)

Homily: Curiosity saves lives (12pm)
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There is an old saying, that curiosity killed the cat. I am not sure if that is really true, but I know it was not true in the case of today’s first reading. Moses becomes curious. “I must go over to look at this remarkable sight,
and see why the bush is not burned.” And because he acts on his curiosity, he encounters God. And in this encounter, Moses discovers that his prayers have been answered. Only not in the way he expected. We are about half way through Lent. Ask God to help you use the remedy for sin, to pray, to fast, and to give alms. In so doing, your curiosity might very well lead you closer to God.

Readings for Today

Homily given at Saint Clare of Assisi, Ellisville, Missouri, on March 24, 2019.

Homily: Why does God allow suffering?

Homily: Why does God allow suffering?
Daily Homilies

 
 
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Queen Esther is in an interesting spot in her life. On the one hand, her life has been one of blessing. She has become the Queen. This gives here a good life. On the other hand, her Jewish faith has put her in great danger. In some ways the source of her glory is also a great risk. Yet if Esther had done such great things, why is it that she was made to suffer? Why does she find herself in a place where she pours out her heart to God in desperate pleading? Saint Augustine says there are two reasons for our suffering. The first is that we receive punishment as a consequence of our sinfulness. The second is that suffering occurs in our life to keep us from getting too proud, which could be seen as our greatest threat. And by remaining faithful to God in the midst of our suffering, it is then that we also provide an outspoken witness to others about the power of faith.

Readings for Today

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on March 26, 2019.

Homily: The Powerful Prayer

Homily: The Powerful Prayer
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Today Jesus gives us a lesson in prayer. The prayer, one we say often, is the Our Father. But do we really think about what we are saying? Do with listen carefully with our hearts to consider what the words we say mean for our lives of faith? The Our Father is a powerful lesson on prayer. First, it indicates that prayer is about a relationship with God. We pray together in a privileged way as God allows us to call him Father. Second, we pray that God’s kingdom will come. We may not realize that when we do so, when we pray for the coming of the kingdom we are praying for the fullness of God’s kingdom to come, namely the Second Coming of Jesus and our Final Judgement. Third, the pray implies a profound trust in God that God will take care of each one of us. And lastly, it reminds us of the deep connection between our forgiveness of others and our forgiveness by God.

Readings for Today

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on March 26, 2019.

Homily: A Campaign for Jesus

I already have a little doom that we are on the verge of another campaign season for president. So I was a little surprised yesterday when the opening prayer referred to Lent as a campaign. Why would it do so? If we think of a political campaign, the most successful are those where the image of the candidate and the message of the campaign are authentic. In other words, the candidate is what the campaign says. Lent then can be seen similarly. And the campaign of Lent is successful when we find ourselves becoming more and more like Jesus by what we do.

Readings for Today

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on March 26, 2019.

Homily: A Campaign for Jesus

Homily: A Campaign for Jesus
Daily Homilies

 
 
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I already have a little doom that we are on the verge of another campaign season for president. So I was a little surprised yesterday when the opening prayer referred to Lent as a campaign. Why would it do so? If we think of a political campaign, the most successful are those where the image of the candidate and the message of the campaign are authentic. In other words, the candidate is what the campaign says. Lent then can be seen similarly. And the campaign of Lent is successful when we find ourselves becoming more and more like Jesus by what we do.

Readings for Today

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on March 26, 2019.

Homily: Giving Up for Jesus

With the first day of Lent tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, it is a time when people are thinking about what they will do for Lent. It is common practice to make some type of sacrifice during the season. But what to do? The real purpose of Lent is to become closer to Jesus, to become more like him. And so the real purpose of “what do do for Lent” is to do whatever opens us up to become more like Jesus. It is about conversion. The disciples tell Jesus they have given up everything, but not as an example of willpower. No, they have given up everything to follow Jesus. When we think of this Lent, what do we need to do in order to more closely follow Jesus.

Readings for Today

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on March 26, 2019.

Homily: Giving Up for Jesus

Homily: Giving Up for Jesus
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 2:43
 
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With the first day of Lent tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, it is a time when people are thinking about what they will do for Lent. It is common practice to make some type of sacrifice during the season. But what to do? The real purpose of Lent is to become closer to Jesus, to become more like him. And so the real purpose of “what do do for Lent” is to do whatever opens us up to become more like Jesus. It is about conversion. The disciples tell Jesus they have given up everything, but not as an example of willpower. No, they have given up everything to follow Jesus. When we think of this Lent, what do we need to do in order to more closely follow Jesus.

Readings for Today


Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on March 26, 2019.

Homily: Don’t lose sight of Jesus

When things get tough we can sometimes look for something to distract us. While this can be a good idea, it is also possible that the distraction can be worse than the tough situation. Such is the case with the disciples today. They do not know what to make of Jesus’ speaking of his death, and so they argue about greatness as a distraction. This is a point in the faith journey where it becomes all the more important to trust Jesus. It is when things get tough and stressed that we are invited to trust in Jesus for the greatest growth in faith.

Readings for Today

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on March 26, 2019.