Sunday

The most recent daily homilies posted can be found here.  We're working on making sure this is as up to date as possible. Generally speaking, the homily for each day is posted the night before.

Will you be the one to introduce this culture to Jesus?

Will you be the one to introduce this culture to Jesus?

Readings for Today

Have you ever seen yourself as a person who is called to introduce others to the person of Jesus? Most Catholics do not. They do not envision that they are the ones to go door to door to talk about Jesus. This is often seen as something "the Protestants do", or the Mormons. But as Catholics, we are not so likely to view ourselves as those door to door evangelists. But if not us, how is it that people are to get to know Jesus? How is it that others will be brought to our Church? How is it that Jesus can get more disciples? Today's readings issue a profound challenge to each of us to see ourselves as missionaries.

Homilies given at St. Pius V Parish, Saint Louis, Missouri, on Saturday, July 7, 2018 and Sunday, July 8, 2018.
Image courtesy Pixabay.
Evil can be strong, but God’s love and mercy is stronger

Evil can be strong, but God’s love and mercy is stronger

Readings for Today

It is no secret we live in a broken world. We are surrounded by violence. People are suffering unjustly. Children are separated from the parents. There is family brokenness. And we sin. But despite all of this, the love and mercy and forgiveness of Jesus is stronger. It can heal. It can raise people from the dead. And if we accept this in faith, we can live forever.

What do you trust? A question of where to place our faith

What do you trust? A question of where to place our faith

Readings for Today

This weekend's homilies were given at Our Lady of Lourdes, Saint Louis, MO, at the 5pm Mass on June 9, 2016, and at the 9 and 11am Masses on June 10, 2016.

In what do you trust? Science? Wealth? Politics? Only yourself? Or is it that you do the will of God and seek primary relationship with Jesus? This weekend's readings challenge us to seek to do the will of God, to place primary trust in Jesus, and to live as he wishes. It it not to suggest that science is bad, for I want my doctor to know good science.  It is not that wonderful things cannot be done with someone who is generous with their wealth. It is not that people should not work to make political change.  But if we are seeking peace and fulfillment, happiness and salvation, it is first found when we follow Jesus. Only then do we find the peace that surpasses understanding.

Jesus: The Source and the Way to Unity

Jesus: The Source and the Way to Unity

Homily for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

Readings for Today

Homilies were at Our Lady of Lourdes, in Saint Louis, Missouri, and at Saints Joachim and Ann, in Saint Charles, Missouri.

We are more divided than ever.  We are angry. We are isolated. And we are more lonely than ever. So how is it that we fix this? Jesus, of course. Jesus gives us the gift of himself, and seeks to bring us together through his grace.

Trinity Sunday Homily, St. Mary Magdelen, St. Louis, May 27, 2018

Trinity Sunday Homily, St. Mary Magdelen, St. Louis, May 27, 2018

Readings for Today

In order to understand the Trinity, we first need to think about love.  In a very small way, we experience love with each other.  Think of Charlie Brown and the little red haired girl, or Calvin and Susie, or Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley.  Think about the first time you realized that the boy or girl in your class at school was looking a little different to you this year.  For many, there was probably that moment when you realized that you loved the person you were to marry. Think of your friends, or your relatives, and what it is like to love them.  As wonderful as it all is to have these human loves, each pales in comparison to the love of the Trinity.  Can you enter into this loving relationship so that your life might be changed for the better, for ever?

Trinity Sunday Homily, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Louis, May 26, 2018

Trinity Sunday Homily, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Louis, May 26, 2018

Readings for Today

In order to understand the Trinity, we first need to think about love.  In a very small way, we experience love with each other.  Think of Charlie Brown and the little red haired girl, or Calvin and Susie, or Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley.  Think about the first time you realized that the boy or girl in your class at school was looking a little different to you this year.  For many, there was probably that moment when you realized that you loved the person you were to marry. Think of your friends, or your relatives, and what it is like to love them.  As wonderful as it all is to have these human loves, each pales in comparison to the love of the Trinity.  Can you enter into this loving relationship so that your life might be changed for the better, for ever?

The Star that Leads to Jesus: Homily for Ephiphany Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Star that Leads to Jesus: Homily for Ephiphany Sunday, January 7, 2018

Readings for Today

Today we are reminded of the importance of following Jesus.  As we encounter the example of the Magi who followed the star, without knowing exactly where it led, we are reminded that our lives of faith are about following someone.  The challenge is that we can choose to follow stars that do not lead to Jesus.  We can be tempted by the allure of the popularity of social media, or the tug of consumerism, or the need to be constantly distracted so that we do not ever confront ourselves about areas where we need to convert.

Rejoice Always. Pray without ceasing. Know who you are. Homily for Sunday, December 17, 2017

Rejoice Always. Pray without ceasing. Know who you are. Homily for Sunday, December 17, 2017

Readings for Today

Do you really know who you are? Or do you try to pretend you are someone other than you are? Do you try to convince others, and worse yet, yourself, that you are someone you are not? Probably all of us fall prey to this at some time in our life.  Maybe too many times. Worse yet is when we try to convince God we are someone other than the person God has created us to be.  At these times, we are really lost.

The New Road: Homily for Sunday, December 10, 2017

The New Road: Homily for Sunday, December 10, 2017

Readings for Today

I grew up in rural America, and it did not take much for something to get me excited. Life is kind of average and ordinary.  But when I was little, visiting relatives, there was the day I rode on "The New Road." I had heard relatives talking about it, and there was a great deal of build up to the day it would actually be open for people to use. It was a four lane divided road that was an upgrade from the small, cracked road that served as the US route before. The level of excitement as we awaited its opening was amazing.

God or balloons – what do you see?: Homily for Sunday, December 3, 2017

God or balloons – what do you see?: Homily for Sunday, December 3, 2017

Readings for Today

I recently saw a video online from one of my former students.  She has two little girls.  She and her husband were filming the girls as they ran out of the house to see what was different about a small house built in the back yard. Obviously, the parents were hoping the girls would get excited for the arrival of their elves on the shelf, which they had from last year. Now the girls were excited.  About the balloons on the top of the house.  Not about the elves, or the presents on the ledge of the small backyard house. Now I am sure they did eventually, and will continue to get excited about their elves.  But they started so distracted.  They loved the balloons, but missed the elves.

Have you seen Christ?: Homily for Sunday, November 26, 2017

Have you seen Christ?: Homily for Sunday, November 26, 2017

Truth be told, today's gospel makes me nervous. Have I seen Christ without knowing him? And if I have, did I treat him like the Christ? Did I treat him or her well? Was my attitude toward another person one that would have been the attitude I would have if I knew it was Christ? Did I see Christ and act with malice, or greed or selfishness? Or, did I meet Christ with kindness, generosity and sincerity?

Treating all with respect: Homily for Sunday, November 19, 2017

Treating all with respect: Homily for Sunday, November 19, 2017

Readings for today

It appears that every day there are new revelations about some sexual harassment that has occurred.  While some of it may be news to men, at least to the women I have spoken with, the prevalence of this sexual harassment is not a surprise.  Why is it we cannot treat each other respectfully? Why is it that we cannot see in everyone the image and likeness of God?

Ready or Not Here I Come: Homily for Sunday, November 12, 2017

Ready or Not Here I Come: Homily for Sunday, November 12, 2017

Readings for Today

Remember when you used to play Hide and Seek as a kid? The real fun of the game began after the one who was "it" had finished counting, and warned the other players, "Ready or not, here I come!" Today's gospel reminds us that the same is true for each of us Christians.  Jesus is coming, and he will come, ready or not! Just how is it that we get ready for the return of Jesus?

Getting More than you bargained for: Homily for Sunday, October 29, 2017

Getting More than you bargained for: Homily for Sunday, October 29, 2017

Readings for Today

There are moments when we think we are asking about one thing, and we get an answer to the question that we did not expect.  Today's gospel is just one such occasion. The question asked of Jesus concerns the greatest commandment.  Namely, we should love the Lord our God with everything we have.  But what the person asking the question did not expect was to be given the second commandment.  We are also to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Getting more than you bargained for: Homily for Sunday, October 29, 2017

Getting more than you bargained for: Homily for Sunday, October 29, 2017

Readings for Today

There are moments when we think we are asking about one thing, and we get an answer to the question that we did not expect.  Today's gospel is just one such occasion. The question asked of Jesus concerns the greatest commandment.  Namely, we should love the Lord our God with everything we have.  But what the person asking the question did not expect was to be given the second commandment.  We are also to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Loyal to Whom: Homily for Sunday, October 22, 2017

Loyal to Whom: Homily for Sunday, October 22, 2017

Readings for Today

It would be interesting to see what example Jesus might give to the question about what the state deserves and what God deserves. What exactly is the appropriate relationship between being a good citizen of a country, and a good Catholic? How do we balance the obligations of both? To whom are we called to be most loyal? What do we do when it appears the laws of our country clash with the laws of our faith? How do we sort it all out?

Come as you are; Sort of: Homily for Sunday, October 15, 2017

Come as you are; Sort of: Homily for Sunday, October 15, 2017

Readings for Today

Do you love celebrations? Do you get excited when an invitation arrives in the mail? Today's readings are all about invitations and celebrations.  The first reading uses rich imagery to describe the invitation to the ultimate feast.  Rich food and choice wines are on the menu.  Yum! God has everything prepared. Get ready, because the feast is going to be something really special.

Becoming Beautiful Grapes: Homily for Sunday, October 8, 2017

Becoming Beautiful Grapes: Homily for Sunday, October 8, 2017

Readings for Today

My aunt and uncle had a vineyard behind their house.  It was not very big, but it produced tasty grapes.  I really liked them.  And while my childhood memory may not be great, I do not remember sour grapes. To be clear, there was care for the grapes that I did not see.  They required care.  They needed to be tended to in order to be tasty.

Who is saved before me?: Homily for Sunday, October 1, 2017

Who is saved before me?: Homily for Sunday, October 1, 2017

Readings for Today

Sometimes I get a little smug in my faith.  I think that I am pretty good.  I feel proud of myself. And as I read today's gospel, it is just at those moments that I should worry.  Because I might very well find Jesus saying to me that the less likely in my eyes are going to be saved before I am. The very people I look down upon, they might be the ones who have really heard the word of God.  They might be the ones who have accepted Jesus.

Sharing: Homily for Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sharing: Homily for Sunday, September 24, 2017

Readings for Today

Do you want everyone to be saved? And if so, what does it mean? When we are saved by Jesus, are we then obligated to be sharing this gift with others? Today's gospel is not primarily about economic theory or cost-benefit analysis. While I readily admit I am one who wishes that the first workers got more, we miss the point of the story when we reduce it to wages and work.

Let Go: Homily for Sunday, September 17, 2017

Let Go: Homily for Sunday, September 17, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for today

One of the most interesting books I have read is a book entitled, Why Forgive? It is a collection of amazing stories, all true, of people who experienced very difficult things and yet found it in them to forgive. These were not small things.  Children murdered. People left with profound handicaps. And yet, each of them comes to a point where often for their own good, they forgive.

Confrontation 2: Homily for Sunday, September 10, 2017

Confrontation 2: Homily for Sunday, September 10, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Last Sunday we focused on Jeremiah, who struggled in proclaiming the word.  This Sunday is our focus on how we ourselves might correct another. No one likes to do this. And yet, we know people must.  Parents must correct their children. We might need to speak with a co-worker.

Confrontation 2: Homily for Sunday, September 10, 2017

Confrontation 2: Homily for Sunday, September 10, 2017

To listen to the homily, click here. Readings for Today For the second week in a row we find confrontation to be a theme.  Sometimes the loving action is to help someone to see the error of their ways.  And this is not usually easy.  People do not like to be corrected.  People do not […]
You Tricked Me: Homily for Sunday, September 3, 2017

You Tricked Me: Homily for Sunday, September 3, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

He was eager.  Young.  Maybe a little naive.  But Jeremiah willingly followed God.  He became the mouthpiece for God.  Even when the words were hard, and not well received, Jeremiah was faithful.  He tried to avoid saying bad words.  But the love of God and the power of his Word were too much.  His love for God spilled out.  He spoke for God because of love.

True Power: Homily for Sunday, August 27, 2017

True Power: Homily for Sunday, August 27, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Ah, political power. Staff shakeups are not unknown.  They usually occur in times of trouble or crisis.  Sometimes leaders seek to get out of a crisis with "new blood" and a new way of proceeding.  Whether it is in fact really new or not, it provides a fresh start.

Today's first reading is such a moment.  The city was under siege, and despite warnings from God, the king (and those around him) did not trust in God.  They sought security in military power and political alliance.  The ultimate outcome was the anger of Israel, the neighbor of Judah to the north, and the loss of political power, and ultimately, exile in Babylon.

Today's gospel poses just such a choice to the apostles.  Will they follow Jesus, by declaring him Lord and Son of God, or will they trust in their own efforts.  Who do you say that I am?  We have the same choice today.  Do we follow Jesus, Son of God, and proclaim his name, or do we trust in something lower and not as powerful?  Who do you say Jesus is?

Jesus the Teacher: Homily for Sunday, August 20, 2017

Jesus the Teacher: Homily for Sunday, August 20, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Today can be one of those Sundays when the readings are not easy to figure out.  Jesus says some things in today's gospel that seem to display prejudice.  But let's be clear.  That cannot be true.  Prejudice is sinful.  Jesus cannot sin.  While he is fully human, he is also fully divine.  It cannot be the case that Jesus can sin.  Period. So what is going on here in the gospel?

Keep in mind that we cannot see facial expressions.  We cannot sense tone.  It is not clear what the setting is.  But what is clear is that Jesus is a teacher.  And rather than Jesus learning, it is Jesus teaching.  He is in a non-Jewish area of Israel.  He knows the mission is to everyone.  But it is not clear the disciples do.  And it is not clear the disciples understand the connection between miracles and faith.  It is faith that heals the woman's daughter. And by the way Jesus handles this woman, and his disciples, we come to know his mission is universal.

Seeing: Homily for the Transfiguration, August 6, 2017

Seeing: Homily for the Transfiguration, August 6, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

There is a need to see the presence of God today.  Even a quick glance shows the face of evil around us.  Life is hard.  It is not only about evil actions of others.  There are illnesses, natural disasters, and other events that often are not connected to others.  Children get terminal illnesses and die.  People we love and care about suffer.  Sometimes we just want to scream, "Where are you God?"

Today we celebrate God's answer.  I am right here.  My presence is everywhere.  My promise is sure.  Yet how is it we see this presence?  How is it that we know that God is near? Today's reading tells about one of those experiences that are reserved for Peter, James and John.  Does Jesus call you away for a special experience of his presence? Do you put yourselves in places where the opportunity to see God is near?  Open your heart to God in your life, so you may see his glorious presence.

Value: Homily for Sunday, July 30, 2017

Value: Homily for Sunday, July 30, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Good investors are those who know the value of things.  They spend money knowing what something is worth.  They buy low and sell high.  The can see where things are headed, and so make money on their investments. They know how to seek out value.

In a way, the spiritual life is not much different.  It too is about knowing the value of things.  What makes it hard is that spiritual value is not always as easy to see, and certainly not always as easy to live as the more observable types of values in economics.  But if we find something that is valuable, at least to us, we will do what is necessary to get it. This is why parents sacrifice for their children.  And this is why people leave all behind and follow Jesus.

Spiritual Gardening: Homily for Sunday, July 23, 2017

Spiritual Gardening: Homily for Sunday, July 23, 2017

Readings for Today

To listen to this homily, click here.

One of the first jobs I ruled out was to become a farmer.  It was too hard.  There was so much hard work that needed to be done.  Likewise, one of the first hobbies I ruled out was that of gardening.  While my recollection might be a bit skewed, I felt like I was dragged out by my father to weed the garden constantly.

And yet, the image in today's gospel is a good one.  Do we engage in spiritual gardening, spiritual weeding? It is not difficult to see the areas of our lives where we need to remove the weeds that keep us from encountering a deep relationship with God.  And whether it is through the sacraments, the bible, silent time with God, adoration, or some other way, we are called to be sure that we make the soil of our soul fertile.  All God needs is our openness to him.  God will take care of the rest.

Sanctify your whole life: Homily for Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sanctify your whole life: Homily for Sunday, July 16, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

One of the first occupations I ruled out for myself was being a farmer.  It was not for a lack of appreciation for farmers.  Rather, many of my uncles and cousins were farmers, or had a hand in helping.  Stopping at farm stands where fresh produce was served was a regular part of the summer.  I remember jumping from hay bales as a kid.  It was great fun.  And I admired the care for the earth and the tangible results of that work very much.  I just did not want to be a farmer.

Prayer: Homily for Sunday, July 9, 2017

Prayer: Homily for Sunday, July 9, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

It would seem that if we consider the power of God's love, prayer would come easily.  And while sometimes it does, that is not always the case.  Sometimes, like when we are on a retreat, for example, it can seem easy to pray.  At other times, it can interrupt our lives or can be hard.

Perhaps this is because there are different types of prayer.  I know I can focus too much on petition or intercession types of prayers.  Yet, do I think God? Do I praise him? Do I just sit in his presence? Jesus gives us the example.  Pray often and always.

Journey: Homily for Sunday, July 2, 2017

Journey: Homily for Sunday, July 2, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

It has been said that life is a journey.  It is used as an analogy because we often know little of what lies ahead.  We can be surprised by wonderful happy moments or sudden tragic sadness.  Sometimes, in fact most of the time, life is ordinary.  Just like any trip.

The first reading focuses on seeing and recognizing the presence of God.  and because of our baptism, we can see the world in a way, because of God's grace, where we never journey alone, since we are led by God. Through good and bad, thick and thin, happiness and sadness, and even the ordinary, God is always there.

Fear: Homily for 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 25, 2017

Fear: Homily for 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 25, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

It is very easy to feel afraid these days.  There are so many violent events in our world. London. Paris. Brussels. Moreover, we read about so much crime.  People getting shot.  Even Congressmen.  If you live in a big city, especially like Chicago or New York, it is not hard to read about crime.  It is always in front of our eyes.  We can be afraid economically.  Will I have a job? Will I be able to afford health insurance? Will my family be ok?

There is also a moral challenge. How hard it is to speak the truth when people do not want to hear it? How hard can it be to stand up for what is right? This is the problem faced by Jeremiah in today's first reading.  He is being persecuted, even threatened with death, for simply speaking the message God gave him.

And yet, Jeremiah helps us in our fear.  He trusted in God.  So too should we.  While there are certainly many powerful things that cause us to fear, God is more powerful.  God is stronger.  God is indeed more than anything that can be thrown into our way.  Often, it can be that when we give into this fear, and act from it, that we make our worst decisions.  We need to remember the words of Saint Paul, who assures us that the love of God is more powerful than anything we can imagine.

Reality: Homily for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, June 18, 2017

Reality: Homily for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, June 18, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

The readings today take great pains to reinforce a particularly important type of reality.  When we think of real, we often think, or many people think, of the scientific world, based upon observation and fact.  And while this is a good and noble way to learn about truth, the way things are, it is not the only way.  There is another type of reality, a way of seeing that equally seeks the truth.  And often these truths are the higher level truths, because they are the truths that do not rest on human reason (though they are reasonable) but upon the spiritual revelation of God which is always real and true, and will always be real and true.

What we celebrate today is just such a truth.  There is with the Eucharist what we see -- the host and the wine -- and what is really and truly present, the Body and Blood of Christ.  To drive home this point, the gospel of John uses really down to earth terms.  Real terms.  Which causes the listeners to be quite perplexed as to what Jesus means.  John uses the word flesh, not just a symbol of the flesh, or a sign, or a recreation, but rather something real and true.  So today, receive Jesus, body and blood, soul and divinity, at Mass.

Trusting the Promises – Homily for Sunday, June 4, 2017

Trusting the Promises – Homily for Sunday, June 4, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

I remember a special hospital room visit that changed my life.  There are moments when the presence of holiness becomes clear.  I lived with a priest who had not been feeling well for some time.  Eventually, he went to the hospital for tests, and learned that he had a very serious and aggressive type of cancer.  After the doctor gave the explanation, I asked him how he was doing.  It was not about his physical health.  I will never forget what he said to me. "I'm glad it's inoperable."

That was really hard for me to believe.  How could he be glad?  And yet, he was.  His sister had a similar diagnosis, and had recently died, and her cancer was operable.  But the operation really provided little.  "Besides," he said to me, "I trust the promises."

Today's celebration of Pentecost is really about trusting the promises because of the Holy Spirit.

Priorities: Homily for Sunday, February 26, 2017

Priorities: Homily for Sunday, February 26, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Priorities.  Living a good life means choosing the right priorities.  What is important to you? What activities matter to you? What people matter to you? What choices do you make about how you live your life? What choices do you make about which people get your time, your care, your concern?  Today's gospel especially focusses on priorities and making those choices that matter for ultimate and eternal happiness.

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.  This line of the gospel makes it clear.  If your vocation is married life, then you seek the Kingdom of God in a way that makes you the best father, the best husband, the best mother, the best wife.  You make decisions based upon bringing yourself and those around you to Jesus.  You recognize that nothing is more important than living your life for Christ.

This is really what life is all about.  Yet, how often do we seek other things? How often do we seek Netflix, or social media, or games? How often do we first seek job and career success, money, success and wealth? How often do we seek to satisfy sexual desires, not as intended by God, but in pornography?  How often do we seek security for our family by working so hard we never see them?  How often is our quest first our smart phone, and not the people we find ourselves with?

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.  As we stand on the cusp of Lent, this is a good time to think about priorities.  This is a good time to consider exactly what is important.  This is the time when we ask ourselves if we are seeking God and his kingdom first, which causes us to value all of the right people and goals, or whether we allow ourselves to seek something far less.

Law: Homily for Sunday, February 19, 2017

Law: Homily for Sunday, February 19, 2017

Law. If I were going to make a recommendation for someone who wanted to read the Bible, I don’t know that my first choice is a book to look at would be the book of Leviticus. That is because, most of the book of Leviticus is a book of laws. And while there may be some lawyers who really love reading the annotated laws of their particular state, most of us do not find such legal reading as being terribly engaging. But then there are sections, like the one we see today in Leviticus, that are particularly interesting to examine.

Law is an important topic for us to explore as human beings. That is because it has so many applications. There are different kinds of laws, and we use these different kinds of laws often times in a sloppy or messy way. States have laws. The church has laws. God has laws. We talk about laying down the law. We explore in families this question of law. Some people even refer to the fact that they make the law. But I think today’s readings help us on this particular Sunday, to explore a little bit more completely this question of law and how it relates to our spiritual life.

In the book of Leviticus we read, Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy. That is a very good summary of the purpose of all law, regardless of who proposes it. You see the purpose of law, is to be holy. This is not to say that all law is divine. In some ways quite the opposite. Following the speed limit makes for good law. Because when we don’t harm others, we are more likely to be holy. The ultimate law, is that law which articulates a way of life that brings us closer to God and manifests the holiness of God. So now you know what you need to do.

Both: Homily for Sunday, February 5, 2017

Both: Homily for Sunday, February 5, 2017

To listen to today's homily, click the links above.

It is interesting to me that when there is a debate about helping other people, especially from other countries, there is always mentioned that we should be helping those who live in our own country. All of a sudden, the homeless in the United States are on everyone's mind. How can we help other countries, when we have so many poor people here?

It is interesting because we have always had the poor. It is not as if suddenly homeless have been appearing on our streets. It is also interesting because those poor who do receive assistance are often insulted by the very same people not wanting to help foreigners. Why can't these people get a job? Why do they spend their money on this or that? We don't help foreigners because of the people who need help here. And we insult the people who need help here so that we do not have to give them anything either.

Today's readings do not mean that we have to choose. It is not just about helping our own. It is not just about helping the stranger and the foreigner. It is about that generous spirit that helps both. "Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own." It is not an either-or; it is a both-and. If we must choose, we choose both.

This part of Isaiah happens at the return from exile. As can happen over a few hundred years, people who were exiled and people who stayed were no longer known by one another. And so the reminder about the foreigners, and the natives, was quite important. Giving to the poor, to the oppressed, the homeless, was indeed needed. And the hearts of all needed to be changed to make this happen.

We live in an age right now where we seem more divided than ever. It is as if people must be placed into categories. It proved interesting to me during the election and since. When I criticized a policy I believed to be wrong, people assumed they knew what team I was on, what team I was rooting to win. You see, it has become all about winning and losing, and not as much about right and wrong.

There is an urgent need for another way. We need to stop viewing people as a threat -- but rather as persons made in the image and likeness of God. We need to stop blaming the poor for being poor. Rather, we need to see the poor Christ in them. We need to stop insulting one another. We need to stop yelling at one another. We need to stop second guessing all of the motives of the people with whom we live.

Because these readings remind us to care for those we know and those we don't. We need to care for all people who are in need. There are not conditions on which homeless, which hungry, which oppressed and which naked are to be helped. All must be helped to receive what they deserve as human beings. And when it comes to a choice, we should not choose native or foreigner, we should choose Christ.

Humility: Homily for Sunday, January 29, 2017

Humility: Homily for Sunday, January 29, 2017

(Listen to today's homily, "Humility" by clicking the links above.)
Humility. Knowing who you are and who you are not. Knowing yourself honestly. Knowing that you need others. Knowing that you need the help and love of others. Today's readings present to us a different way of seeing the world, and of seeing life. Today's readings focus on knowing the right relationship to which God calls us. Too often we hold to the notion that we always know what is best for ourselves. We know what we should do in every situation. It is simply what we think best. We are the final arbiter. We are the only one who knows what it is that we should do.

Today's readings destroy this notion because today's readings remind us that humility is the basic stance before God. We are challenged to wisdom. We are challenged to goodness. And we are challenged to a way of living that demands absolute trust in the Lord Jesus.

To be sure, to trust the Lord absolutely is difficult. It does not come naturally to a culture with a can-do attitude. It does not come naturally to a culture built on rugged individualism. We do not like to depend on others. And we do not always like the way in which God wants us to live.

God’s Call: Homily for Sunday, January 15, 2017

God’s Call: Homily for Sunday, January 15, 2017

Do you really know that God is calling you specifically? That you are bound for something great? Do you really understand that God wants you to fulfill your part in witnessing to God that only is for you, the beloved creation of God? Often we fail to see that we can be called to great things, and we certainly do not always realize that it is God's grace that gets us there. What is it that God is calling you to do? How is it that God is calling you to be great? In reading the stories of Isaiah, Saint Paul, and Saint John the Baptist, we can find ourselves inspired by the same God and the same grace that lead them to holiness.
2nd Sunday of Advent: Time to Get to the Spiritual Gym (December 4, 2016)

2nd Sunday of Advent: Time to Get to the Spiritual Gym (December 4, 2016)

Anyone who belongs to a gym and exercises regularly knows that gyms will get crowded soon.  People give gym memberships, or others make New Year's resolutions.  Either way, shortly after the first of the year, the gym is crowded.  But soon, people begin to fade away, the initial resolutions become weak, and the commitment to get in shape is gone.  Our spiritual lives can become like that too.  We have some initial enthusiasm, but without commitment and discipline, we find that we do not remain engaged in growing spiritually. 
And so with the start of the second week of Advent, time to get into spiritual shape.  Read the bible.  Pray the rosary.  Seek out adoration.  Find the sacrament of confession.  Read a good spiritual book.  Talk to others.  Share your faith.  C'mon!  It is time for all of us to get into spiritual shape!
Homily for Sunday, February 7, 2016

Homily for Sunday, February 7, 2016

It is easy to forget that so much of our relationship with God is not dependent upon us. All we need to do is to place ourselves in the presence of God. By doing so, we both lose those sins and shortcomings that keep us from being the person God has created us to be, and we are able to be sent forth for the mission that God gives to only us. As we move into the season of Lent this Wednesday, let us place ourselves in God's presence to receive the powerful and life-changing love of God.
Homily for Sunday, January 31, 2016

Homily for Sunday, January 31, 2016

In the Broadway musical Oliver! based on the novel Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens, a musical question is posed that is important to all of us: "Where is love?" The prophet Jeremiah reminds us of the deep eternal love God has for each one of us, and the apostle Paul writes about the qualities of love. In a world filled with such evil and sin, such moments of uncertainty, it is the love of God for us that can provide the firm foundation to see us through.
Homily for Sunday, January 24, 2016

Homily for Sunday, January 24, 2016

Readings for Today Audio Readings for Today How is it we avoid giving into despair when we see so much death and destruction around us. We fear terrorism, we see destruction in the Middle East, the tremendous death and martyrdom of Christians in the Middle East, those who go without basic necessities and other things […]
Homily for 32nd Sunday November 8, 2015

Homily for 32nd Sunday November 8, 2015

Do I really trust in God? Or am I more interested in the external? Do I want to grow in faith or in prestige? How the widows in the first reading and the gospels can help us to learn about trust.
Homily for Sunday, September 13, 2015

Homily for Sunday, September 13, 2015

The word identity is one that gets tossed around a lot. We hear all kinds of people reference it in terms of needing to find or discover it. While at one time, it may have only answered the question, "Who am I?", today it seems to have taken on a much wider and more often applied meaning. Today it seems to be applied to a whole host of descriptions that includes, but is not limited to our job, our sexual preference, our gender, our faith preference, labels others give us, heck, even our credit needs to be guarded for the sake of our identity, so that it does not become stolen.

Jesus might have started today's conversation with the disciples rather innocently, "Who do people say that I am?”, but before long the question becomes much more direct. When he firsts asks the question in reference to others, it is easy to hide behind pretty non-personal revelations. It is what others think. They do not need to lay any cards on the table. But before long, it becomes this personal question: “But who do you say that I am?” There is now no hiding. They must speak boldly about how they have come to experience Jesus.

As is often the case, it is Peter who first speaks boldly. He always seems to want to be noticed. Impulsive, but obviously a big heart. Did the other apostles agree with Peter? Did Peter say what he did because he fully believed it, or because he thought it was what Jesus wanted to hear? And if these answers were indicative of all of them, or some of them, how was it the apostles understood themselves, and what the answer to Jesus question implied for each of them?

Homily for Sunday, September 6, 2015

Homily for Sunday, September 6, 2015

The American spirit seems to like things that are made strong and tough. Trucks are advertised this way, a popular vehicle in our country. People are often encouraged to be strong in the face of adversity. Little boys are wrongly told not to cry, to "toughen up", in the face of difficulty. We are told there is "no crying" in any number of things.

But what is it that makes someone truly strong? Is it the false elements I just mentioned? Is it the house built on rock that Jesus uses as an example in the gospels? And how is it we reconcile this idea of strength with Saint Paul who says that when he is weak, it is then he is strong? When we hear the words in today's first reading, "Be Strong, Fear Not!" what exactly does that mean, and how and in what ways is such a phrase intended for you and me?

As is often the case, as we explore this idea of strength, the world gets turned upside down a little bit. Bold words are expressed to those in the time of Isaiah, to be strong, because they feel anything but strong at the moment. The words are meant as an encouragement, because when they consider their current situation, they do not feel very strong. Weak knees, feeble hands are the way the people are described.

Homily for Sunday, August 30, 2015

Homily for Sunday, August 30, 2015

There is an expression, it is what is on the inside that counts. There are times when we say that a book cannot be judged by its cover. There is a thought that for it to be possible to get to what is important, we need to get to the heart of the matter. Or, we need to look deep inside to reflect upon the most significant aspects of life. These expressions point out to us that we need to look past appearances on the outside to see what is real on the inside.

This is the message Moses delivers in the first reading today. He stresses to the people the closeness of God, and the importance of the heart in understanding the way of life to which God calls us. For it is there where God dwells. "For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him?"

But for me, and perhaps for you, the question becomes, how aware am I of this closeness of God? Do I take the time to look deep within, or am I too busy with tasks and actions to seek to discover the presence of God in my life, or to see how God is trying to move my heart closer to the life giving relationship that fulfills?

I do not know about you, but I find it difficult sometimes to slow down from the busy tasks that seem to be important. In fact, sometimes they are important. But sometimes I become surprised when I realize how quickly time has passed, and how much I have missed when I stop to think of all of the things I miss as a result. Even though I think I am about doing good things, too often I am tempted to be so busy that I lose sight of the priorities of the things I should really pay attention to in my own life. I work and work and work only to learn that I have missed out on the very things that are really important.

Homily for Sunday, August 16, 2015

Homily for Sunday, August 16, 2015

I suspect all of us have had the occasion to have our eyes tested for vision and other things. It is important, because being able to see clearly is important. Since I have, on both sides of my family, a history of Glaucoma in the family, I get a battery of such tests each year. While they are not difficult or painful tests, they do serve as a reminder of how precious the gift of sight is, and how many threats there can be to seeing well. Having had to use reading glasses for the past couple of years, I am reminded even more often of the importance of being able to see clearly.

Today's readings show the importance of seeing clearly in another way. That is, just as we may need glasses to see clearly, at the same time, to gain understanding it matters how we see something. Things may not be what they appear if we do not see something clearly. Just as a person may need glasses or contacts to make things visible, so too we learn today that a person needs wisdom to see things clearly.

The "glasses" of faith are used when we engage Wisdom. The definition I have always found helpful for wisdom is this: wisdom is seeing as God sees. The reason I like this definition is that so much of what we do and know in life only really makes sense when we consider how God views things. If we do not consider that human beings are made in God's image and likeness, it becomes easy to throw them away.

Homily for Sunday, May 31, 2015

Homily for Sunday, May 31, 2015

In a way, to think about Trinity Sunday is to simply acknowledge that God is love. To try to do even more than that can cause us to run the risk of getting it wrong about God. Three persons, one God. On the surface it seems easy enough, but in reality, it is a mystery beyond our ability to comprehend. God is love. But if we are to really understand even a little what it means to say God is love, we have to consider what love is. That is probably more true today when the word is used for so many things.
Novena of Saint Jude, May 23, 2015 (Vigil of Pentecost)

Novena of Saint Jude, May 23, 2015 (Vigil of Pentecost)

I am preaching the Novena of Saint Jude, days 4-9. This is an audio recording of my day five preaching, which explores the relationship between prayer and hope. How can we wait with patient endurance? For more information about the Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus in Chicago, visit their website here.
Homily for Sunday, May 10, 2015

Homily for Sunday, May 10, 2015

Just who do you think you are? Usually when we are asked such a question it is not a good thing, at least in my experience. I find that too often I am being "put in my place" (usually rightly so). In these instances, when I hear such a question it is because I am thinking too much of myself, or I am not being kind, or I am not loving. Such a question is not usually seen as a compliment.
Homily for Sunday, May 3, 2015

Homily for Sunday, May 3, 2015

I have had a lot of relatives die lately. Four since December. They have all been advanced in years, and none of their deaths could be called unexpected. As can be the case when a loved one dies, each death has occasioned a lot of remembering for me. I have remembered funny things, like my father getting out of his car at the George Washington Bridge asking for change, since he had driven into the exact change lane without exact change, or a house where there were always good things to eat, or instances where a love of the Red Sox was fostered. In fact, it is not unusual. Many of us are filled with stories, using the amazing faculty of memory to make past experiences present again, to make them real once more.
Homily for Sunday, April 26, 2015

Homily for Sunday, April 26, 2015

I like sheep. They are cute. They seem pretty docile to me, and they look soft and huggable. It does not seem that they could be mean. It is not usually the case that we think of "killer sheep". I suppose they have their moments, sheep, but I prefer not to think about that. I would rather keep before me the gentle image of the "counting sheep" that are popular in the Serta Commercials.

And I have seen sheep up close. I have a friend who used to be a shepherd. They do know the voice of the shepherd. They are "herd animals" ready to travel together, sometimes following the sheep who does not always know where it is going. It gets lost. It does not like to be alone. It needs a shepherd. And the dedication of the shepherd makes all of the difference. Does the shepherd care about the sheep, or are they just drawing a paycheck?

Homily for Sunday, April 19, 2015

Homily for Sunday, April 19, 2015

Have you ever had the experience of knowing what you want to say, but not really being able to express the words in a way that makes it clear to another what you mean to say? If you have, you know that this experience is most frustrating and even maddening when what we have to say is really quite important. With a little thought, perhaps more than a few instances come to mind. There are times when children cannot seem to express what they want to say to their parents. It can work the other way too, when parents become frustrated when their children do not seem to understand what is being said. Teachers and students and parents can be limited by the inability to understand what was said or what it means.
Homily for Sunday, April 12, 2015

Homily for Sunday, April 12, 2015

Readings for Today There are few things that bring as much joy as when we think about the perfect place. It might be a vacation spot that is a particular favorite of ours. It may be a camp where we can get away from it all. It might even be an imaginary world where we […]
Homily for Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015

Homily for Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015

Readings for Today We have a very important story to tell. The world, weary from too much evil, sin, violence, a lack of sharing even the most basic things, selfishness and greed, is tired. The world is weary, and it needs so desperately a word to rouse it. The stories of the world are all […]
Homily for the Easter Vigil, April 4, 2015

Homily for the Easter Vigil, April 4, 2015

Readings for Today We live in an age where technology has made so many things instant. The news comes to us immediately, we can text one another at the moment, and in many ways the world is just a click or two away. But this immediacy comes with a cost. Maybe it is not true […]
Homily for Sunday, January 25, 2015

Homily for Sunday, January 25, 2015

I do not like to do what I do not want to do. And usually, for better or worse, I find a good reason to avoid doing what I do not want to do. Are you like that? Sometimes I waste more time trying to get out and avoid doing what I do not want to do that I am occupied by it more and for longer than if I just did it in the first place. Why is it that despite this repeated experience of wasting time avoiding what I do not want to do that I cannot change my behavior?
Homily for Sunday, January 18, 2015

Homily for Sunday, January 18, 2015

Readings for Today My father, who recently passed away, had one ear that did not work well, thanks to Scarlet Fever as a kid. And so from the earliest memories of my childhood, the importance of speaking clearly and loudly was emphasized. I learned sitting on my dad’s left was better than his right. I […]
Homily for Sunday, January 11, 2015

Homily for Sunday, January 11, 2015

Readings for Today Christmas. Epiphany. Baptism of the Lord.  There can be a temptation to focus only on our own baptisms on this Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. While not trying to minimize the great day that was our own baptism, today is really another day that is about knowing who Jesus is. […]
Homily for Sunday, January 4, 2015

Homily for Sunday, January 4, 2015

Readings for Today I love the nighttime. I am most awake at night. Just as some people like the morning because there are few interruptions, I like the nighttime for the same reason. There is a quietness for me to night. There is a feeling that nighttime causes a cocoon of comfort. At the same […]
Homily for Sunday, December 28, 2014

Homily for Sunday, December 28, 2014

Readings for Today The recent Synod on the Family gathered a lot of attention for only a couple of issues, that of the reception of communion for those who are divorced and remarried, and the question about ministry to gays. But in many ways, the challenges facing the family all over the world are much […]
Homily for Sunday, December 21, 2014

Homily for Sunday, December 21, 2014

Readings for Today Even a prophet gets it wrong at least some of the time. “Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the LORD is with you.” Despite the goodness of Nathan, he learns he needs to listen carefully to the voice of God. It is Nathan who was able to challenge David when […]
Homily for Sunday, December 14, 2014

Homily for Sunday, December 14, 2014

Readings for Today How do you see the world? Sometimes there can be the temptation to believe that only certain types of academic study really deals with the truth. Others might make judgements about certain aspects of life because of preconceived ideas. We certainly see this in our politics. We can make decisions about what […]
Homily for Sunday, December 7, 2014

Homily for Sunday, December 7, 2014

Readings for Today I do not know of anyone who likes being sick. I know I do not. But not only is it bad to be sick, when I am sick, I feel like a scared little kid. I want my mom. There was something reassuring about having my mom around when I was sick. […]
Homily for Sunday, November 30, 2014

Homily for Sunday, November 30, 2014

Readings for Today Sssssh! Watch out! Wake up! Get with it! Shape up! Listen! How many of these warning phrases that call for your attention have you used or heard? I suspect most, if not all of us, have heard or used these phrases or ones that are similar. Sometimes we just need to get […]
Homily for Sunday, November 23, 2014 (Christ the King)

Homily for Sunday, November 23, 2014 (Christ the King)

Readings for Today How do you see God? I think of this question every time we come to the feast of Christ the King. The first reason, is that the notion of kings, in this day and age, are often, when we think about them today, something that could be considered largely ceremonial. There are […]
Homily for Sunday, November 16, 2014

Homily for Sunday, November 16, 2014

Readings for Today Has there been a time in human history where time has been discussed more? We seem to be obsessed with time. On the one hand, time is probably, for all of us, always on our mind. There are many of us who find time on our minds, because we do not believe […]
Homily for Sunday, November 9, 2014

Homily for Sunday, November 9, 2014

Readings for Today Every time this feast takes the place of a Sunday Mass I find myself wondering why the dedication of a basilica, which up until recently I had never visited, should be so important. Because when it falls on a Sunday, the Dedication of Saint John Lateran Basilica is celebrated. I understand that […]
Homily for Sunday, November 2, 2014

Homily for Sunday, November 2, 2014

Readings for Today I have always found funerals to be tremendous opportunities for pastoral ministry.  At a time when someone’s life is upended because of the death of someone, there can be an openness to God that was not present before. It is at these moments that we often ask ultimate questions.  “What is my […]
Homily for Sunday, October 26, 2014

Homily for Sunday, October 26, 2014

Readings for Today Dominicans are to be poor in spirit and in fact. Think of the ways we describe the poor. I googled the phrase “welfare people are lazy”. What did I find? Phrases like this. “I want to sign my dog up for welfare. They said he’s not eligible. I said he’s lazy, unemployed, […]
Homily for Sunday, October 19, 2014

Homily for Sunday, October 19, 2014

Readings for Today As we get closer to Election Day, it becomes more and more clear that parsing words and giving answers that really are not answers are an art form. How many times do we hear a politician get asked a question, only to say after an answer is given that they really did […]
Homily for Sunday, October 12, 2014

Homily for Sunday, October 12, 2014

Readings for Today This is always struck me as a strange gospel, perhaps it has You, too. Guests refuse invitations, and then there is the search for anybody and everybody to come to the wedding feast. At the end of the story, a person invited at the last minute who is not properly dressed, and […]
Homily for Sunday, October 5, 2014

Homily for Sunday, October 5, 2014

Readings for Today “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your known your requests known to God.” Paul makes it sound so easy, doesn’t he? I do not know about you, but it seems, at least in my life, that the times when I am most likely […]
Homily for Sunday, September 21, 2014

Homily for Sunday, September 21, 2014

Readings for Today For the record, I hate this gospel. Ok, that is probably a little strong. I do not hate it, but I do not like it either. That is because on first glance it seems to completely disregard any concept that hard work results in greater success. Does it not seem fair and […]
Homily  for Sunday, September 14, 2014

Homily for Sunday, September 14, 2014

Readings for Today The Roman practice of crucifixion was particularly brutal. It was designed not only to execute a criminal or political dissident, it was also designed to be as painful for as long as possible.It was also designed to be public. It was important that those persons being crucified be witnessed by his many people […]
Homily for Sunday, September 7, 2014

Homily for Sunday, September 7, 2014

Readings for Today Fraternal Correction. Chapter of Faults. For religious communities, these were attempts to put today’s readings into practice. In theory, these were designed to be moments where members of the community, concerned with the spiritual health of others pointed out areas of fault and sin in another person. Fraternal correction was a one […]
Homily for Sunday, August 31, 2014

Homily for Sunday, August 31, 2014

Readings for Today I do not know of anyone who likes to be taken. Sometimes we are on guard, and we can avoid the situation where we might be taken. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we are taken anyway. Jeremiah finds himself taken by God. It is hard to imagine he had any chance. But […]
Homily for Sunday, August 24, 2014

Homily for Sunday, August 24, 2014

Readings for Today In theological studies, the issue of the person of Jesus has gathered a lot of attention.  The name of studying what it means to be the Christ is called Christology.  From the earliest days of the Church, the question of what it means to be the Christ, and who the person of […]
Homily for Sunday, August 17, 2014

Homily for Sunday, August 17, 2014

Readings for Today How do you feel about the foreigner or the stranger?  When you hear about immigrants, illegal or otherwise, coming across the border, what is your first reaction?  Do you welcome them?  Do you try to learn more about the situation from which they come?  Do you lump them all together as if […]
Homily for Sunday, August 10, 2014

Homily for Sunday, August 10, 2014

Readings for Today Today we hear one of my favorite readings from Scripture. Perhaps it is my favorite because in my own life  I am so skeptical of silence.  I mean, I know it’s value, I know how essential it is in a solid prayer life, but in the hustle and bustle of daily activity […]
Homily for Sunday, August 3, 2014

Homily for Sunday, August 3, 2014

Readings for Today It can be quite difficult when we spend even a little bit of time considering the news. There simply is so much bad news going on in our world right now. In fact it can seem almost overwhelming. Will things ever get better? Will we ever make progress against those problems that […]
Homily for Sunday, July 27, 2014

Homily for Sunday, July 27, 2014

Readings for Today In the world poker, there is a gambling phrase that signifies that nothing is being held back. When one is completely convinced they’re going to one hand the that all of their money, they are in fact, “all in”. Today, when we hear this phrase we hear it for more than just […]
Homily for Sunday, July 20, 2014

Homily for Sunday, July 20, 2014

Readings for Today Just yesterday I was standing outside with a couple of individuals, when one of them looked down, ground quickly grabbed what was apparently a weed.  What was so interesting to me, was how effortlessly they noticed that something did not belong. To me, and to the other person standing there, nothing seemed […]

Homily for Sunday, July 13, 2014

Readings for Today One of the first career decisions that I made, even as a young boy, was that I was not interested in becoming a farmer. This is not because I did not respect farmers, or that I did not admire the hard work that they put in to running a successful farm. In […]

Homily for Sunday, July 6, 2014

Readings for Today Don’t worry, be happy.  Do you remember that song? There was a period of time where it felt like that was the only song the radio stations were allowed to play. It’s presence was ubiquitous.  The basic message was that regardless of what happened in our lives, we should not worry about […]

Homily for Saturday, June 28, 2014 (Vigil of Saints Peter and Paul)

Vigil Readings for today Actions speak louder than words.  We understand how easy it is to say something, but how much harder it is to do what we say. There are so many examples in life that remind us of this great truth. There are the promises made by politicians in the midst of a […]

Homily for Sunday, June 22, 2014

Readings For Today Every early student of philosophy has probably used the line from St. Thomas Aquinas, “all I have written is so much straw.”  I know I did. the intent was to suggest that even Thomas Aquinas, did not think his work is too valuable. The problem of course, was that those of us […]

Homily for Sunday, June 15, 2014

Readings for Today Today is a different type of Sunday, because our focus is upon a doctrine, and not so much the actions of Jesus.  We are invited today to think about what we believe about God. And so what is it that the Church sets before us today to help us in our reflections? […]

Homily for Sunday, June 8, 2014 (Pentecost)

Vigil Mass Readings for Today Mass Readings During the Day Perhaps during the civil war we were as polarized as today, but there does not seem to be another time where the country was so divided by political party.  It absolutely seems we are in a time where if the Democrats say one thing, the […]

Homily for Sunday, June 1, 2014 (Ascension)

Readings for Today Have there been times where you have wondered why the resurrection Christ did not simply stay here on earth?  Or why at key moments why God does not act in a tremendously dramatic way?  I have.  And I am not alone.  Consider those taunting Jesus at his crucifixion.  “If you are the […]

Homily for Sunday, June 1, 2014 (Seventh Sunday of Easter)

Readings for Today If there is an interesting time, it is the period right after having graduating high school, but before college. It is really a time when you are not quite sure what to do with yourself. On the one hand, you have just finished a great period of time in your life. High […]

Homily for Sunday, May 25, 2014

Readings for Today Are you a joyful Christian? Today’s response to the psalm we said, “Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.”  So, the question is, do we all cry out to God with joy? Or are we gloomy, or angry, focusing on the negative in our world, forgetting the powerful presence of […]

Homily for Sunday, May 18, 2014

Readings for Today Have you ever wondered why God did not just do everything himself? Like why did he not simply come down off of the cross as some wanted him to do? Why did he choose apostles who would not be dependable at the moment Jesus needed them? Perhaps thinking about a three year […]

Homily for Sunday, May 11, 2014

Readings for Today Ever find yourself lost? I think I have told this story before, but when I was little, my parents and I made a trip to Fenway Park in Boston. On our way there, especially before the area was reworked to make it easier to find, it was not always so simple to […]

Homily for Sunday, May 4, 2014

Readings for Today There are different ways to be a witness.  Usually we understand this word to refer to a person who sees an event, and is able to recount what happened, as in a witness at a trial.  We can also understand that a witness as someone who give an example to some belief, […]

Homily for Sunday, April 27, 2014

Readings for Today One moment and Thomas is branded for eternity. Doubting Thomas is a common expression. Why is he not known as Believing Thomas? It seems that he ultimately became a martyr for the faith, and is credited with bringing the faith to India. Why is he remembered for this instance where he was […]
Homily for Easter 2014

Homily for Easter 2014

Reading for the Easter Vigil Readings for Easter Sunday I have been getting yearly eye exams for years.  That is because my mother and my father both have Glaucoma, a disease that is highly treatable but does not show any real symptoms one can feel until it is too late.  And while I have been […]

Homily for Sunday, April 13, 2014

Readings for Today Pope Francis asked the question, “Who are we?”  when considering the events of this week, especially the long reading of the passion.  Today I strike a similar theme.   But not just “Who are we?”, but more than that, “When do we exhibit the characteristics of those people in the gospel that […]

Homily for Sunday, April 6, 2014

Readings for Today A few months ago I went to the assembly for our province which was in Saint Louis.  A couple of days before I drove down, Saint Louis had gotten a lot of snow.  Eighteen inches in fact.  As I drove into our house of studies looking for a place to park, there […]

Homily for Sunday, March 30, 2014

Readings for Today Fox News.  The New York Times.  MSNBC.  Republican.  Democrat.  Words like these, and others, can bring an immediate reaction to us.  We perhaps have all kinds of feelings that surface in our minds.  And often, our feelings arise out of long held beliefs and principles.  And while it is good to be […]

Homily for Sunday, March 23, 2014

Readings for Today The unlikely prophet.  That is how I think of the Samaritan woman.  Someone who has an unexpected encounter with Jesus that moves her so much she is able to convince a whole village to accept him as the Messiah, the savior of the world.  She is an unlikely prophet for a whole […]

Homily for Sunday, March 16, 2014

Readings for Today Have you seen the face of Christ?  Today’s gospel is one of three versions of the Transfiguration we hear on the Second Sunday of Lent.  Why is this encounter deemed so important that we get it regardless of what cycle we are in? What is the point that is being made? First, […]

Homily for Sunday, March 9, 2014

Readings for Today There are certain events in yyour life, of course, that you never forget.  For example, the birth of a child or your wedding day.  My Ordination Day, when I became a priest was such a day for me. One event that stands out in my mind that day was a conversation with […]

Thoughts for Sunday, December 8, 2013

Readings for Today One thing I remember about high school was the opportunity to debate essential and important life questions.  This usually happened in study hall (which for my high school almost always put us in the cafeteria), when we were tired of playing “paper football”.  I am referring to really important questions, like, “If […]

Thoughts for Sunday, December 1, 2013

Readings for Today Probably everyone has had the experience of going to the eye doctor.  When we go, we look at charts, get checked for Glaucoma, and undergo a variety of tests to make sure our vision is clear.  For years, in my eye exams, I heard the eye doctor say, “Well, next year we […]

Epiphany Sunday, January 6, 2013

Reading for Today We all have them. Most people for whom it is difficult to shop, because either we can’t think of something that they would actually need or use, or they simply don’t need anything. I certainly have a long list of failed attempts and trying to find gifts for my parents. And I […]

Holy Family, December 30, 2012

Today’s Readings Anyone who has a twelve year old has probably had an experience like the gospel describes today.  Parents find themselves frustrated, or scared by one or another event in the life of their twelve year old son or daughter.  And, the twelve year old son or daughter simply cannot see why their parents […]

Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 23, 2012

Today’s Readings One nice thing about being a priest, and not being too close to your parents geographically, is that you get to talk about them in the homily. While my parents know I talk about them sometimes in my homilies, it is easier to do so when you’re thousands of miles from where they […]

Third Sunday of Advent, December 16, 2012

Today’s Readings Any teacher will tell you that among their least favorite questions from students is this: “Will this be on the test?” It certainly ranks as one of my least favorite. By the way, another one is like it.  It is quite common for a student who is been absent for a day to […]

Homily for Second Sunday of Advent, December 9, 2012

Today’s Readings John the Baptizer is a rather odd duck. Rather than living in town, he lived in the desert. He wore strange clothes and ate weird food. He was hardly a warm fuzzy preacher. His words were harsh, and his call conversion to God, displayed an immediate urgency. He did not simply tell people […]

First Sunday of Advent December 2, 2012

Today’s Readings It is not unusual that every age believes it is facing the worst of times. When we think back to the days of Socrates, he complained about the youth of his day, how they didn’t show respect, and seem to be directionless. Picking up the newspaper, or watching television, we too seek challenging […]

Homily for Sunday, August 12, 2012

Readings for Today Life is suffering.  This is the first great truth of Buddhism.  Other translations say that “to live is to suffer.”  Suffering is ingrained deeply into human existence.  We get sick, we die, we are evil to one another at times, we have accidents, and we make serious mistakes.  This does not count […]

Homily for Sunday, August 5, 2012 (18th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Readings for Today When I was in high school, I remember being shown a painting of an old man rowing a boat.  But the point and focus of the paining concerned a very little girl, her tiny hands on the oar, looking serious, believing she was doing the rowing.  The gentle old man behind her, […]

Homily for Sunday, July 29, 2012 (17th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

The Readings for Today A few weeks ago, I was in Rome. I was taking a class, at Loyola University, at their Rome Center in Monte Mario. During the orientation, we were advised that being in Italy was really a time where we would experience an assault on the senses. The phrase was meant to […]
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