The Power of One Man: Homily for Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Readings for today

The first reading today compares two men.  The power of one of the men led to sin and death.  The power of the other man led to salvation.  How is it possible that two men could impact us so differently? Simple.  The one powerful action by the fully human and fully divine man was enough to save.  It overcame the detriment of the sinful action.  We can be saved.

This happens when we open our hearts to the gift from the man of life.  When we trust in Jesus, we open our souls to the forgiveness and mercy which saves.  We are able to receive the grace of God.  We become more and more alive because of Jesus.  So, you can trust in the actions of the one man of sin, or place your lives into the divine and human person of Jesus.

What matters to God: Homily for Monday, October 23, 2017

Readings for today

Do you ever imagine winning a mega lottery, where hundreds of millions of dollars comes your way? That is probably not an unusual dream.  Just imagine what could be done with such amounts of money. You might even make lists in your head about what you would do.  And while some of it might involve charity, the temptation would be to see just how much we could keep for ourselves.

Don’t believe it? Consider those stories where people go in on buying tickets together, only to fight when they win.  Families do this too.  Or consider the fights over an inheritance. There was even a movie made about Wall Street Greed, where the mantra was, “Greed is good.” And yet, there is a much more valuable asset, and that is to strive to be rich in what matters to God.

It’s all about faith: Homily for Saturday, October 21, 2017

Readings for Today

I am like a three-year-old.  I want to do things myself.  I do not want to be helped, even when that help could make things easier. Even though I know faith is easier when accepting God’s grace, God’s help, I like the control of doing things on my own.  And it is in this that I fail.  It is when I give in and believe it is not about faith in God, but rather about faith in my own works, it is then I turn my back on God and deny him.  And this is true in my faith life.

Yet Saint Paul makes it clear.  It is all about faith.  It is all about believing in what God can do. It is in recognizing the grace that God freely gives so that I can acknowledge him and what he is about. It is about trusting God.  God keeps His covenants.  God keeps promises. And God is ever so generous in helping us to believe.

Divine Accounting: Homily for Friday, October 20, 2017

Readings for Today

Remember those wonderful moments when you take out a jacket you have not worn for a while and you find a $20 bill? It makes for a nice surprise because it is a free gift.  We did not expect it, but we have it nonetheless. From an accounting perspective, we did not earn the $20 a second time when we found it. It was a gift.  While it is not exactly the same, Saint Paul writes about the gift of salvation in a similar way.  Let’s be clear.  We do not earn our salvation.  It is a free gift, given to us by God, even though we do not deserve it.

Does that mean it does not matter what we do? Of course not.  Our actions remain important.  But our actions never get us to the point where we deserve to be saved.  Rather, our actions serve as proof that we are striving to witness to what God, in his mercy, has done for us.

No Hypocritical Memorials: Homily for Thursday, October 19, 2017

Readings for Today

There has been a lot of controversy around Confederate War Memorials.  Whenever a memorial is put up, the reason for the memorial is important. Hence, the controversy.  The gospel today mentions those who put up memorials during Jesus’ day.  Memorials to the prophets, whose message was not heard or believed.  Prophets were killed. To erect memorials to them now is seen as hypocritical.

When we rely only on human effort, we run the risk of hypocritical memorials.  All have sinned Saint Paul writes. All have fallen short of the glory of God. How can we ever put our trust in human effort alone? Truth is, we do not.  We put our trust in the way, the truth and the life, the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

Success, Failure, Everything in between: Homily for Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Readings for Today

Today we learn that there are all different kinds of preachers.  We read about Saint Paul, whose efforts are well-documented, and whose success is known.  There are those who have left the preaching.  And there are those who are downright destructive to the preaching.  Today we celebrate Saint Luke.  He was an evangelist, and also the author of the Acts of the Apostles.  His efforts are noted by Saint Paul as quite helpful.

It serves as a reminder there are zealous and effective preachers, there are those who are holy, but perhaps not as effective. And, there are those who leave altogether, while still others are harmful to the mission. Where do you find yourself? Are you an effective disciple, making other disciples? Are you still trying to figure out what you believe? Or are you a big skeptic? Make time to get to know Jesus better, who can make all things better.

The Great Gift of Revelation: Homily for Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Readings for today

Have you ever thought about God’s great gift? Because of God’s grace, we can know things we have no ability to know otherwise. Because of God’s revelation, the path we should travel is before us. We can know Jesus.  We can understand what it means to follow him. We can understand how much we are loved by God.

And yet, sometimes we look the other way. Sometimes we rely on our feeble strength in exchange for God’s magnificent love.  As Saint Paul says, we exchange “the truth of God for a lie.” And yet God wants so very much for us. God loves us. God wants us to be saved.  God wants us to live with him forever.

You’ve seen what you need: Homily for Monday, October 16, 2017

Readings For Today

This eleventh chapter of Luke’s gospel is an interesting one.  It appears to be centered, for the most part, around the idea of prayer.  We hear Luke’s version of the Our Father.  Then there is a parable about the need for persistence in prayer. There is the questioning of the source of Jesus’ power, which reminds us of the ways in which we can doubt the good deeds of others. Today the focus is on the power of a sign.  Jonah and Solomon are mentioned as examples of signs given already. And to those who doubt, no sign will be given. It is not unlike when Jesus went to his hometown.  No miracle was performed because of a lack of faith.

This is a stark reminder that when we go looking for signs we must be careful.  We cannot look for signs in place of Jesus.  Rather, Jesus is the sign.  Jesus is the person longing to give life, love and grace to a new relationship.  We do not need the signs of others, for Jesus is already here.

Discipleship is Most Important: Homily for Saturday, October 14, 2017

Readings for Today

There are times when I look at images of the saints and cannot imagine they are real people.  They look plastic.  They do not always seem to be real.  It is hard for me to imagine they ever encountered the types of difficulties real people face.  And to that end, I do not see that they can be emulated.  Fortunately, reading about the lives of the saints helps us to gain a picture they were real persons with real struggles.

Such is the case for Mary.  When we think about the Blessed Mother, we must remember that she had a very hard life.  Yet in spite of this, she was faithful. It is for this reason that Mary is the Queen of All Saints. Her holiness is her fidelity to God. And that is what makes us holy too when we follow God faithfully.

Confronting the Regret: Homily for Friday, October 13, 2017

Readings for Today

It is common that someone who is dying will review their life.  They will consider things for which they are proud, and they will seek forgiveness for what they regret.  Sometimes that will mean a conversation with someone they have harmed during their life. That is what might be happening in the first reading today. There may be that regret for the sins committed.  The current situation is the result of past actions.

But God is stronger than past sin. God wants what is best for us. And despite our sinfulness, God forgives whenever we seek mercy from God. These past few weeks have seemed like the end time.  Hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, violence, wildfires. Not a bad time to consider a life review.  Not a bad time to think about confession. While sin can be strong, God is stronger.  Always.