Homily for Holy Thursday, April 2, 2015

Readings for Today

The Body of Christ. Tonight provides us the powerful celebration that helps us to focus upon the beauty of the Body of Christ as presented to us in the Scriptures. The Body of Christ. It is the Eucharist. It is the people of God. Tonight’s readings put before us both profound truths. At the center of Catholic worship is the Eucharist. This is because it is true that the center of Catholic worship is Christ. It can be no other way.

The gospel reminds us though, that there is an essential relationship between the Eucharist, body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ, the the indwelling Christ in each person. When a person hungers, Christ hungers. When a person thirsts, Christ thirsts. When someone is in prison or in hospital, then Christ is there too. It matters that we make the connection between what we do here, or more specifically, what Christ does here, and what we do in worshiping Christ both here and in the world. Our lives become the constant attempt to take what Jesus does for us here and to live it out there.

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Homily for Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Readings for Today

Yet again we have grief and suffering.  On Sunday, it was the life giving suffering Jesus.  Yesterday we focused on the suffering of Mary.  Today perhaps we are confronted with suffering yet again, today in the case of the widow whose sun has died.  In the death of her son, she is left totally alone.

And yet she is not.  In this case, she encoutners the new life Jesus gives to her in the raising of her son.  If we examine the first reading in greater detail, we might see an invitation to live the new life of God’s kingdom by recognizing that no one is outside of it.

The meaning of the name of the village, Nain, is “green pastures”, which can cause us to call to mind Psalm 23, indicating the care God has for us.  If we then consider again the first reading, the reminder might very well be that we are called to imitate that very care of God in the care we have for each other.  This care is not merely limited to those we know, but indeed is necessary for everyone, since all are made in the image and likeness of God.

This is most especially true of those people who have no one else.  This widow, in losing her son, now had no one to care for her.  While the obligation would have fallen to her son, in the absence of her son the community had responsibility to see she had the basic necessities for survival.

Today there is a common cry by some, even Christians, that seems to suggest items like food, shelter, or health care for instance, are not the right of all, but only to the “deserving”. In fact there seems to be among some an anger at the poor for the very fact they are poor.  Today’s readings remind us that as Christians we are called to a much higher level of service, recognizing in each person the image and likeness of God.

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 who were new to studying St. Thomas Aquinas, did not know the context in which this quote was made.  it seems the brother Reginald, in writing the words of St. Thomas Aquinas dictated, heard the following sentence. “The end of my labors has come. All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.”  St. Thomas Aquinas compares what is written is so much straw in the context of the things that have been revealed to him.  This is no small distinction.

Today’s feast of the solemnity of the body and blood of Christ, uses lots of texts based upon the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. It was not that St. Thomas Aquinas’s disparaging his own work, but rather that he was suggesting that any attempt to describe the mystery of God, was bound to fall short, compared on an experience of the mystery of God.  and so as we attempt today to understand the power and the gift of the Eucharist and the lives of Catholics we must keep in mind that such a powerful ministry does not easily available self to being explained.

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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 old would help here. I wonder if those of you who are parents can relate to this circumstance. There is that moment, with your three year old son or daughter, who is doing something where it quickly becomes apparent that there is an easier way for the task to be completed.

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