Help me to see: Homily for Friday, June 9, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Yesterday we saw the prayers of Sarah being answered.  Today, it is the prayer of Tobit.  But was the most important prayer really the regaining of his sight? Or, was it rather the realization that his son had embraced the faith so important to him?  Was it because he could see physically, or was it that he could see with pride how the grace of God was active in his own son’s life, and indeed in his own life?

Realization of the presence of God is amazing indeed.  Life in fact, seems so much clearer when we can see the events of our lives unfold not simply with our physical eyes, but also with the eyes of our soul.  It is this type of sight that often accounts for our ability to prioritize, to make important, and to determine the path of holiness which leads us to God.

Awesome: Homily for Wednesday, February 15, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click the links above.

Readings for Today

Awesome.  Think of Noah for a moment. Can you imagine the excitement of seeing dry land? Being surrounded by water for so long, and finally seeing the familiarity of dryland. Wow! The promise was true. God is faithful. God did not give up on the people who had sinned.

But what is interesting is what Noah does. When he first encounters the dry land he doesn’t run around to get all excited. He doesn’t immediately move onto whatever new life he is now going to be able to experience because there is no more flood.  He does not start to rebuild. No. Noah gives thanks to God. And this is the sign of hope. In spite of all of the wickedness and all of the evil, that has been present on the earth, there’s hope because of Noah’s faith. Noah has seen what God can do, is faithful to the promise, and God does marvelous things.

If Noah gets excited about his ability to see dryland after seeing water for so long, imagine the blind man in today’s gospel. He can see. Not just dry land where he used to see water. No, he can see light where he once saw darkness. This is not a story simply about a man who recovers physical sight. This is a man who recovers the sight of faith. He can see. In both the first reading and in the gospel people are able to see not just physical things but much more importantly there able to see God. Pray that God will open your eyes so that you may see.

Homily for Monday, November 3, 2014

Readings for Today

It should come as no surprise that today is a special day for me. It is the feast of my patron, St. Martin de Porres. In the Dominican calendar, this is indeed celebrated as a feast. I chose St. Martin de Porres as my patron because he represents what I all to often to not. His lived example is summed up in the words of today’s gospel. Hear again the advice of Jesus:

When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;  blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.

I need this constant reminder not to be selfish. I do not always want to be around the poor, the crippled, the lame or the blind, let alone invite them to my home. But I know I should. I know that I have been given much, and much is required of me. I know that when I fail to invite the poor, crippled, lame or blind, I fail to serve Jesus himself.

But my sin is two-fold. It is not just that I fail to serve Jesus in the poor, crippled, blind and lame, I also fail to recognize the beauty and dignity that they possess. I tarnish my own dignity by failing to acknowledge theirs. I am less than I can be because somehow I erroneously believe I am so much more than the poor Jesus I scorn.

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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?”