Homily: Why does God allow suffering?

Homily: Why does God allow suffering?
Daily Homilies

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

Readings for Today

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on March 14, 2019.

Homily: Life without the snooze button (11am)

Homily: Life without the snooze button (11am)
DePorres Pages Podcasts

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

Readings for Today

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

Homily: Life without the snooze button (9am)

Homily: Life without the snooze button (9am)
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 
00:00 / 7:40
 
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I do not usually tell people what I am doing for Lent. I really believe that it is best left between me and God, so I do not take credit for it. It is important, for me, not to see my Lent as a time where I reward my will power. Lent is not about that. Rather, it is a time for me to open myself more fully to God’s grace in order to become more like Christ. This year, though, to provide an example of how this might work, I decided to share that for Lent, I have given up the snooze button. Anyone who knows me just a little bit is aware that I am not a morning person. But I thought this was good not just to see if I could do it (I am not completely confident) but rather to see if I could use the extra time for prayer. In today’s gospel, we see that Jesus was led by the Spirit, where he encountered temptation. In doing so, Jesus foreshadows that he has won the victory over sin and death, and so too can we share in that victory.

Readings for Today

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

Homily: A Campaign for Jesus

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

Readings for Today

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on March 14, 2019.

Homily: A Campaign for Jesus

Homily: A Campaign for Jesus
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 3:05
 
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I already have a little doom that we are on the verge of another campaign season for president. So I was a little surprised yesterday when the opening prayer referred to Lent as a campaign. Why would it do so? If we think of a political campaign, the most successful are those where the image of the candidate and the message of the campaign are authentic. In other words, the candidate is what the campaign says. Lent then can be seen similarly. And the campaign of Lent is successful when we find ourselves becoming more and more like Jesus by what we do.

Readings for Today

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on March 14, 2019.

Resources for Lent – Featured Website of the Day: ChurchPOP (Five Hardcore Things to Give up for Lent)

As the season of Lent approaches, you’ve no doubt given some thought to what you want to give up. Rather than taking the path of least resistance, why not consider going all out and giving up something completely ridiculous this year?

The following fasts may not be for the faint of heart, but for those of you who are willing to try them, you may just find yourselves more disciplined, and better prepared to celebrate the joys of Easter.  Look to see what ChurchPOP suggests as hardcore things to do for Lent by clicking here.

Direction: What do you want to do with your life? Homily for Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Direction: What do you want to do with your life? Homily for Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Daily Homilies

 
 

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To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Direction.  Where are you going?  What are you doing?  What do you want to do with your life? You may not remember these lyrics from Twisted Sister’s song, “We’re not gonna take it”, but I think they provide an interesting thought at the start of Lent.  What is it that you want your life to be about?  What do you want to become?  What are you hoping for in life?

The readings today for Ash Wednesday help us to understand the path to happiness.  The path to happiness is one done first between God and oneself first.  We cannot be concerned about what others think.  Do not appear to be fasting.  Go to your room and pray in silence.  Be generous without seeking approval from others.  Why is there such emphasis in today’s gospel about silence and solitude? Because it is so easy to allow ourselves to seek happiness in a way that depends on what others think about what we do.

It is easier to ignore others if we are surrounded by people we like who do the same.  It is easier to join the “rat race” to wealth when we are in a culture that values such pursuits.  It is easier to seek illicit pleasures like pornography when we are behind the safety of a computer screen, convincing ourselves that “everyone does this” and that since I am behind a screen and not with someone else it does not harm anyone.  It is easy to cast aside other people as “other” when I do not know immigrants, or refugees, or Muslims, or Democrats or Republicans, or blacks, or whites or Hispanics.  It is easier to avoid confronting myself if I keep myself so busy I never have to embrace silence in a noisy world.

The first reading also provides us with the guidance about the purpose of Lent too.  Lent is first about an invitation.  The prophet Joel says, “return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning.”  Why should we do this? For God is “gracious and merciful . . . slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.”  Regardless of what choices we have made in life, there can be forgiveness from God for the repentant heart.  We can heal brokenness we have caused.  We can heal actions that have used others.

But do not wait.  As Saint Paul reminds us, salvation is offered today.  “Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.”

Resources for Lent – Yikes! Lent starts tomorrow! What do I do?

Over the past few weeks, The DePorres Pages website has been posting things you might consider for this Lent.  This list will continue to be updated over the course of Lent.  One addition will be the Lenten Resource of the Day, a suggestion about what you might do or where you might go for spiritual growth this Lent.

Also, all of the resources for Lent can be accessed by going to the Menu item at the very top of the page, “Resouces for Lent.

Remember that the overall goal of Lent is to become closer to God.  And we know that to be closer to God also means loving our neighbor more.  It seems like People, even me, are just so angry these days.  Remember that the life of faith is about a peace that surpasses understanding.  Hopefully, by focusing on the goals of Lent, prayer, fasting and almsgiving, you will be brought closer to this peace.  Happy Lent!

To access the complete page of Lenten resources, click here.