Has God Rejected Us?: Homily for Saturday, November 4, 2017

Readings for Today

It can feel at times like God has rejected us.  Such is the question in today’s first reading.  The recent events of our lives, those violent acts that have made the news can cause the feeling of rejection.  But how often are the evils in our world the result of human sin?

To be sure, in some way, all evil is the result of the fall from grace.  All evil arises from sin, for God is only goodness. What humans need always to recall is the constant need for forgiveness and conversion.  Every sin we commit contributes to the proliferation of evil in our world.  So ask God for the grace of conversion.

On the spot: Homily for Friday, November 3, 2017

Readings for Today

Today the Pharisees have to defend their way of living the faith.  They have to stand before Jesus to tell him whether or not he can heal on the Sabbath.  Does the law of God prevent the miraculous, if it happens to fall on a Sabbath? What will their answer be? Is God allowed to answer prayers on the Sabbath?

They do not fare very well.  The Pharisees simply choose not to answer.  How can they? They have no response.  What they are claiming does not pass a common sense test. Despite the miracles they have seen, the words they have heard, they cannot let go of their interpretation of living a life of faith.  And this is what happens when we stop focusing on Jesus.

The Lasallian Moment: November 3, 2017

The DePorres Pages features short prayers from the tradition of Saint John Baptist de la Salle in this new series known as The Lasallian Moment. These are short pieces for meditation, and for prayer.  They feature either quotes from the saint himself, or by those inspired by him. At the end of each clip there are reflection questions to pray about and think about during the day.

Sick and Tired of Violence: Homily for November 2, 2017

Readings for Today

Violence just seems to be endless.  Again and again there are stories on the news about this mass shooting, or that violent attack.  Hardly a few days go by when it happens again.  I wonder how to make sense of it all.  Sometimes it can be hard to find the presence of God in our world.  Sometimes it feels as if sin is winning.  It feels like death has the upper hand.

And violence is only one type of challenge.  We have loved ones who die, we have diseases and illness, we have hardships of all kinds.  And if there is one thing about the Solemnity of the Commemoration of all the faithful departed, it is that God continues to give to us time and again mercy and forgiveness.  Praying for the dead is the concrete sign of that mercy.  While God hates sin, God loves us.  God gives us every single opportunity to be saved.

Signum Fidei: Homily for November 1, 2017

Readings for Today

Do you witness to sanctity? Do you show forth holiness in your life? The bishop that ordained me said this: “Don’t wait until you die to be a saint.  That’s too late.  Become a saint now.” Are you a saint? On the seal of the high school where I teach is the Latin phrase, “signum fidei.” It means sign of faith. It suggests that in all things we are to see ourselves as signs of faith.

How do we do this? We are a sign of faith when we are generous, faithful, prayerful and kind. We are a sign of faith when Jesus becomes the center of our lives.  Each time we see another human being as the image of God, we are a sign of faith.  So do not wait to become a saint.  Do so now.

Sufferings are as nothing: Homily for October 31, 2017

Readings for Today

My faith is not strong enough.  Unlike Saint Paul, I cannot consider my sufferings as nothing.  I believe it to  be so in my mind, that compared to heaven these sufferings are tiny.  But in my life, I cannot simply see them that way.  There is so much suffering in the world.  There is so much hardship.  It can be easy to give into despair.

God brings hope.  All we need to do is ask. For when we remain focused on the prize of Heaven, we rise. When we proclaim Jesus has triumphed over death, we win.  When we remember all that Jesus does, we can overcome any suffering.

An 18-year priority: Homily for October 30, 2017

Readings for Today

What is your priority? Or, in light of today’s gospel, who is your priority? It seems interesting that people of faith could make anyone other than Jesus a priority, but it happens.  Moreover, it seems almost impossible that in the midst of a miracle, the power of Jesus could be questioned.  But such is the case in today’s gospel. Eighteen years of suffering are relieved, but all some can see is the letter of Sabbath law.

What is your priority? Can you see beyond the letter of the law to the lawgiver? Can you allow Jesus to take over your heart? Can you love Jesus so that you will find him wherever he is present to you?

Don’t be a stranger: Homily for Saturday, October 28, 2017

Readings for Today

Don’t be a stranger.  How often have you heard this said? Usually, it is a good thing to hear because it often comes from a loved one or friend.  It is a sign that we are loved.  Today’s reading says something similar about our relationship with God. God says to us, “Don’t be a stranger.” God so much wants us to know how much we are loved.

To that end, we are lovingly reminded today that we are not strangers to God.  We are not foreign to the opportunity to grow in our relationship with Jesus. This is open to us because we are both called by God and supported by his church.

Mornings are evil: Homily for Friday, October 27, 2017

Readings for Today

I have never liked mornings.  I do not like to have to get up early (as my mother can attest). I can have the best of intentions and motivations about what the next morning will mean, but at the time morning actually comes, I am weak. This has been a particular challenge in religious life, because things start early.  But my feeling about mornings, and my reactions to it, help me to understand better what Saint Paul says about moral and spiritual choices.

Saint Paul tells us that he sees the good but does the bad.  Now, he wants to do the good, but there are times when the bad seems good and so he sins.  The spiritual life can expose fickleness.  Just like Saint Paul, we can see the good and do the bad.  The only help we can find is the help that comes from grace.  Only with God’s grace, and our full cooperation with it can we both see the good and do it.

Where are you going?: Homily for Thursday, October 26, 2017

Readings for Today

Where are you going? Where do your actions lead? Saint Paul, in today’s first reading makes the choice in our lives clear. We choose vice or virtue.  We choose damnation or salvation. We choose selfishness or righteousness.  But we choose.  But a careful reading of Saint Paul makes it even clearer.  We choose Jesus or we reject him.  It is that simple.

What is it that you choose? How is it that you want to live your life? The challenges of living a faithful life are many.  The temptations to move away from the hard work of righteousness, or the need to trust in God’s grace is obvious.  What is it that  you choose today?