Queenship: Homily for Tuesday, August 22, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Last week on Tuesday we celebrated the Assumption of Mary.  Mary did not sin, and so Mary did not receive the consequences of sin.  She did not die. More than that, today we celebrate her high place in heaven.  Mary is our Queen.  She is the queen of all saints.  Her “yes” to God was total.  She did not hold back any part of her will to following God.

What this means for us is a powerful intercessor.  We know Mary can only lead us to Jesus.  It is not possible she leads us astray.  The Eastern Church, in her icons, demonstrates this.  Mary is always pictured with a hand pointing to Jesus.  He is always the center.  Today, may we ask Mary to pray for us, that we too might follow her generous response to God.

Remember: Homily for Monday, August 21, 2017

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Readings for Today

It can be easy to forget all that God has done for us.  We do not remember all of the times God has shown love or mercy.  We quickly forget those times where grace filled our hearts.  This is the state of affairs in the first reading.  People have quickly forgotten the promise made to serve the Lord and to reject evil. In fact, even the judges appointed to lead them forget too.  The people worship other Gods.  They choose not to follow the commandments.

In our own lives too, we can find ourselves rejecting God despite all God does for us.  Each day the stark choice to follow or reject God is before us. Every day we can follow God, receive grace and grow in faith.  Or, every day we can choose to reject God and go our own way.  But our faith tells us rejecting God is not without consequences.  God wants to pour out to us his love, mercy, and grace.  When we reject God, we receive those consequences of our choices where we receive death and destruction.  Ask God for an open heart.  Choose God.

Choice: Homily for Saturday, August 19, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

There comes a time in our lives, perhaps many times, where we must choose God or reject God.  It is the case that God profoundly respects our freedom.  And so God does not force us to follow him.  Rather, God seeks to give us the grace and persuasion to choose to follow him.  Today Joshua puts this choice before the people.

This is the choice: follow God or reject God.  Serve God or serve ourselves. Be open to grace or harden your heart. What will you do? What will you choose? Today, choose God, serve God, love God.  You will not be sorry.

 

Power of Faith: Homily for Saturday, August 12, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Don’t sell God short.  It can be really easy to give up on God or to think there is a situation that is too hard for God to see us through.  Somehow we can sink to thinking that it is all up to us, and that only we can save ourselves.  Think of the disciples in today’s reading.  They had seen Jesus do all kinds of miracles.  How hard could it be?

Yet they failed.  Why? Because they did not believe.  They did not have faith.  And then Jesus reminds them: if you had even a little bit of faith, you could move mountains.  If we had a little bit of faith, imagine what we could do? We could move mountains.

Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle: Jesus Christ is Lord (November 30, 2016)

Today the readings suggest we are both drawn to God and at the same time sent by God to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord.  This idea of publicly proclaiming our faith is not always very comfortable for Catholics, but we are invited to share our faith by the Lord Jesus himself.

Readings for Today

Homily for Monday, April 6, 2015

Readings for Today

Do you take the resurrection for granted? Has it become so familiar that it has little or no impact in your life? Put simply do you find yourself “fearful, yet overjoyed” by the resurrection as the two Marys felt after the encounter with the Risen Christ? Because truth be told, even a short consideration of the way in which the resurrection of Jesus changes our lives should also make us “fearful, yet overjoyed” because of what the new life given to us, not only without cost to us, but removing the debt we owed, has reversed completely the course of our lives and our destinies.

The two Marys needed time to take it all in, to begin to absorb all that the resurrection of Jesus meant for them. For without the risen Christ, the Church is not possible. Without the supreme act of mercy, the innocent Jesus going to the Cross to die for our sins, and to rise for our future, we are condemned. Without the resurrection of Christ, our faith is worthless, leading to nothing.

But because of the all this, the resurrection of Jesus means the new life of baptism is not only possible but real. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we receive him every Mass in the Eucharist. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, our sins are forgiven. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we too are sent forth, just as the two Marys were sent forth to proclaim the Good News. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, marriage is a domestic Church and priests act in the person of Christ.

The resurrection of Jesus changes everything. Nothing can be the same, because we are now a people filled with hope. We are now a people filled with the new life of the resurrection that only Jesus can give, and a fulfillment becomes possible that can only have as its source God himself.

Easter makes all this possible. Easter changes everything. So, go, tell, teach, proclaim: Jesus is risen! Alleluia!

Homily for Friday, December 7, 2012

Today’s Readings

If you’ve ever been to a desert, such as in Arizona or in another part of the world, you understand the power of water. You can see the effects of the lack of water by observing the plants and vegetation that grow there. They are not lush, and often in a desert there are not too many things that are green.

So to help understand in yet another way how God gives us life in extreme ways, we encounter yet another image. Imagine how lush an orchard seems. Imagine how precious is the fruit that is produced in a climate where it is surrounded by dryness.

While we are not describing a climate when talking about our souls, we probably know what it feels like to be dry in a spiritual sense. Great saints had periods of spiritual dryness that sometimes lasted for years. It seems the closer they got to God, the harder it became to see God as he is. When St. Teresa of Calcutta, commonly known as Mother Teresa, wrote about this dryness and her words were published, some took this to mean that she must not have believed in God.

But they missed the point. Wile certainly faith can give us good feelings, and can be a consolation, faith is not simply defined by feelings. Rather, faith is an assent of our will to do God’s will. We do not pray just to feel good, in the same way that parents do not simply care for their children only when it feels good. In the middle of the might, when they would rather sleep, they awaken to care for their children.

It is in this context the gospel can be understood. Certainly the blind men had not been able to see for some time, indeed all of Their lives. They come to Jesus, and he asks them about their faith. It is clear why they approached Jesus. They believed he could cure them. Jesus asks this question not because they needed good feelings, but he needed to know they were open to what he could do for them. Maybe he needed to remind them of what he already knew was true. But in their answer they also became powerful witnesses to the God who can make the dry land fertile.

In other words, when we experience spiritual dryness in our lives, by seeking God we enable Him to feed us, to make the dry land of our soul fertile once again. Advent provides us the time to seek the fertile ground of a deep spiritual life with God. You just need to answer the question of Jesus: “Do you believe I can do this?”