It’s Coming to an End: Homily for Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Readings for Today

It should not be surprising that as we come to the end of the Church year the readings too focus more on the end of time. We will hear from the Book of Daniel this week, and the gospels for this week also focus on how we need to prepare ourselves for the final judgment. The importance seen today is our inner disposition of faith and trust in God. Yesterday we had a miraculous example of trust from the widow.  Today the invitation is to us.

When people approach the end, they search for meaning. Sometimes this meaning takes the form of a life review, such as can happen when someone dies. The end of centuries and millennia can give rise to predictions about the end of the world. This week will help us to prepare for the end of the world, and for the coming of Christ.

Total Trust in God: Homily for Monday, November 27, 2017

Readings for Today

Trust is the basis for any relationship.  We can have no friendship without trust.  There can be no true marriage without trust. But the examples of trusting God in today’s readings seem unbelievable.  Daniel trusts in God to care for him because Daniel keeps the covenant. The widow gives all she has to live on because she trusts God. But is such trust even possible?

There was an amazing story a few days ago about a homeless veteran who helped a woman buy gas with his last $20.  Little could he have known at that time what would happen to him. She raised $315,000 for him after she learned who he was. He did not help for the money. In fact, had she not gone back to find him, he might never have gotten anything. And if there is such a thing as human goodness like this, just imagine how much more God will draw us into a deep relationship when we trust him.

Deep Regret – With or Without Hope: Homily for November 25, 2017

Readings for Today

There is nothing worse than coming to the awareness of deep sin.  It can be quite challenging when we realize we have turned our backs on God.  It is sad when we discover the heartache of evil.  When that happens, we have a choice.  We can choose to give in to despair, or we can choose to have hope.  If we do not recognize the power of God’s forgiveness, or we are too proud to acknowledge his greatness, we despair. When we turn our hearts back to God, trusting in the mercy and forgiveness we do not deserve, we have hope.

What will you do in answer to God’s goodness? Will you humbly confess your sin, or will you stubbornly persist in evil? Will you be greedy generous? Prideful or humble? Seek out God’s mercy and you will live.

A building is not enough: Homily for Friday, November 24, 2017

Readings for Today

As beautiful as churches are, buildings are not enough.  As edifying as shrines can be, buildings are not enough. This is today’s lesson. The first reading points out to us just how marvelous the temple can be.  After watching people abandon their faith, and finding great victory due to faith in God, the time has come for a magnificent celebration. And how marvelous it is.  But the building was not enough.

Why? Because despite the ways in which the church lifted mind and soul to God, it was not enough for all to change their lives to reflect a life lived for God. Just a short couple of centuries later, Jesus scolds because the temple has been profaned.  Still, make a visit to a church. Stop by to pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Just remember to live the authentic life of faith, strengthened by the sacraments.

Knowing your persepective: Homily for Thanksgiving, November 23, 2017

Readings for Today

So much of our lives revolves around how we see things.  Our perspective on life makes all the difference.  Are we optimistic? Sad? Do you seek the good in others? Do you mistrust everyone? Is God loving or judgmental? Do we trust God or doubt? Questions like these, and others, have a lot to do with how it is we see life.

Today’s gospel shows how easy it is to miss what is really important.  Nine are cured of leprosy, and for whatever reason, they cannot go back to thank Jesus.  Maybe they were too excited to see family.  Maybe the wonder of life returning to normal was too distracting.  For whatever reason, it was only one who said thank-you to Jesus. Being grateful for what we have makes it more likely we see other reasons to be thankful.  Give thanks to God today. You will find more blessings than you knew you had.

Will you open your will to God: Homily for Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Readings for Today

Today we encounter a king that does not seem to be very kind. Rather, he seems harsh and demanding. This is a king that sets forth harsh conditions for his subjects.  It serves as a reminder to us that this life of faith is really about a stark choice for or against God. As we approach the end of the Church year, our focus is shifted to the end times, when the ultimate choice, and our ultimate judgment will occur.

The servant who fears the harsh master, who is not willing even to open the slightest hold to let God control his life, this servant cannot act even on what he knows to be true.  The others take the risk, and the outcome is good. Faith is like this.  We need to take the risk to trust in God’s providence that we can do what God desires, and so produce fruit for God’s kingdom.

Authentic Faith: Homily for Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Readings for Today

Will you be true? Will you be genuine and sincere? Even if you fail, will you seek the conversion that has no guile? Will you be who you say you are? There are two examples of authenticity in today’s readings.  The first is a long life of authenticity, that of Eleazar.  Even when given a shortcut, Eleazar remains true.  He makes this authentic choice not merely for his own relationship with God, but also with concern for others. What will people make of an old faithful man who appears to turn away from God?

Zaccheus, the man of conversion in the gospel, shows us how authentic a search for God can  be even from a sinful life. Zaccheus, in his own conversion, shows us how to convert. We must acknowledge honestly our sinfulness.  When we do so, we have this powerful relationship with Jesus.  Jesus comes into our hearts because we invite him to forgive our sins and to change our lives.

What do you want: Homily for Monday, November 20, 2017

Readings for Today

Jesus asks a direct question.  What do you want me to do for you? The blind man, not surprisingly, wants to see.  He knows what to ask Jesus for to get attention.  He wants pity and mercy from Jesus.  He knows he needs that.  And it is this knowledge that leads to the faith that saves him.  Jesus is clear.  The blind man’s faith has saved him.

How would you answer this question from Jesus? What do you want Jesus to do for you?

The Grit for Prayer: Homily for Saturday, November 18, 2017

Readings for Today

Grit is a concept in education that is mentioned a lot these days.  Grit is the characteristic that allows someone to stick with doing something hard.  It is the resource that allows us to overcome obstacles.  Grit means we do not give up easily.  Rather, we stay with something until we are successful.  Especially for children from difficult situations, grit is often the difference between being successful or unsuccessful.

Grit can also apply to prayer.  It can be difficult to stick with prayer when it does not seem to be helpful.  When we do not sense the presence of God, we can be tempted to give up.  And yet for the saints, the ability to remain faithful to prayer even when it was not easy made the difference.

There’s No Conflict: Homily for Friday, November 17, 2017

Readings for Today

Talk to just about anyone these days about science and religion, and you at likely to hear they are not compatible.  The argument often is reduced to something where science is about facts, where religion is about fairy tales. Science deals with what is true, religion deals with something else.  Yet, even a brief consideration of the foundations of science illustrates the primary role the quest for God has had in science.

Most do not realize the Big Bang was first proposed by a Jesuit priest, Fr. Pierre Lamaitres.  Most forget the beginning of genetic studies can be tied to the Augustinian monk, Gregor Mendel.  One of the preeminent paleontologists of the twentieth century was a priest, Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. St. Albert the Great was a very knowledgeable botanist.  Dr. Francis Collins, head of the human genome project and director of the National Institute of Health, is a Christian. And so, both science and religion are a quest for the Truth, which for us, is the person Jesus Christ.