Motivation: Homily for Monday, June 12, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Two people face the same situation, with the same challenges, the same risks, the same potential reward.  Why is it that one person chooses to embrace the challenge, whereas the other person does not?  What makes for the difference?  Even the same person can be drawn to take on a challenge in one instance, and pass on a similar challenge at another time.  While the question of free will and why humans choose what they do may seem easy, it should be understood that there are a lot of factors that go into even making a simple choice.

Today’s readings focus attention on the question of motivation.  Why do we do what we do?  In the first reading, Saint Paul describes a series of reasons for his actions.  The gospel recounts the Beatitudes, a section of Matthew’s gospel many are familiar with, having heard and read it often.  What motivation will you have for what you do?

Humility: Homily for Sunday, January 29, 2017

(Listen to today’s homily, “Humility” by clicking the links above.)

Readings for Today

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.

Homily for Saturday, November 1, 2014

Readings for Today

Sometimes there are homilies that stay with you. (Hopefully people say this about the homilies I give.) Once such homily for me was about the notion of the saints. The bishop who gave the homily was making the point that sometimes we see holiness as something that will only happen sometime way off into the future. But, he cautioned, if we always see holiness as something way off in the future, then we miss the point. Saints become saints be responding to God in their own lives while they are still alive on earth. It could be too late if we wait too long to answer the personal call to holiness that God gives to us.

Today we celebrate those saints who did not wait. They are those saints who answered the call to God’s holiness. They did not wait, but during their lifetimes responded to God’s grace in a way that led them to embrace the inviation to holiness that God gave them in creating them.

While we clearly celebrate saints that have been recognized as saints, we know there are others, many others, who are also saints but have not been officially recognized as such. Why have such a day as the one we celebrate today? Why does it matter that we celebrate these unknown saints?

The most important reason is that these unknown saints helped those people, in the time they lived, to recognize God more clearly because of their example of a holy life. Their holiness became a witness to call others to holiness. I know in my life I have experienced many examples of faith by watching the witness of others.

Continue reading

Homily for Monday, June 9, 2014

Readings for Today

What do you do when something becomes too familiar?  Today’s gospel from Matthew about the Beatitudes is one that can be missed because we might have heard it quite often.  As a result, we may not pay attention as closely as we should.  Or, even if we hear the words, we might not allow them to sink in as deeply as they should.  We might comfort ourselves that since we have heard these words often, we know what they mean and we think we live them.

Continue reading