Mornings are evil: Homily for Friday, October 27, 2017

Readings for Today

I have never liked mornings.  I do not like to have to get up early (as my mother can attest). I can have the best of intentions and motivations about what the next morning will mean, but at the time morning actually comes, I am weak. This has been a particular challenge in religious life, because things start early.  But my feeling about mornings, and my reactions to it, help me to understand better what Saint Paul says about moral and spiritual choices.

Saint Paul tells us that he sees the good but does the bad.  Now, he wants to do the good, but there are times when the bad seems good and so he sins.  The spiritual life can expose fickleness.  Just like Saint Paul, we can see the good and do the bad.  The only help we can find is the help that comes from grace.  Only with God’s grace, and our full cooperation with it can we both see the good and do it.

Where are you going?: Homily for Thursday, October 26, 2017

Readings for Today

Where are you going? Where do your actions lead? Saint Paul, in today’s first reading makes the choice in our lives clear. We choose vice or virtue.  We choose damnation or salvation. We choose selfishness or righteousness.  But we choose.  But a careful reading of Saint Paul makes it even clearer.  We choose Jesus or we reject him.  It is that simple.

What is it that you choose? How is it that you want to live your life? The challenges of living a faithful life are many.  The temptations to move away from the hard work of righteousness, or the need to trust in God’s grace is obvious.  What is it that  you choose today?

Don’t Miss the Lord: Homily for Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Readings for Today

Today’s gospel refers to the need to be ready and awake for whenever the Lord will come, since his the exact time of his coming at the end of time is unknown to us. But this also refers to our day to day life, too.  If we are not watchful, we can miss the arrival of God into our lives.  We can miss those moments when God is present. We can have difficulty seeing how God is going to offer us eternal life, mercy or forgiveness.

It is for these reasons we seek out ways we know God is present.  We go to Mass.  We make sure that we go to confession on a regular basis. We pray. For in each of these ways, we deepen our friendship with Jesus. We become closer to him. And whenever he comes, we know we will be ready.

The Power of One Man: Homily for Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Readings for today

The first reading today compares two men.  The power of one of the men led to sin and death.  The power of the other man led to salvation.  How is it possible that two men could impact us so differently? Simple.  The one powerful action by the fully human and fully divine man was enough to save.  It overcame the detriment of the sinful action.  We can be saved.

This happens when we open our hearts to the gift from the man of life.  When we trust in Jesus, we open our souls to the forgiveness and mercy which saves.  We are able to receive the grace of God.  We become more and more alive because of Jesus.  So, you can trust in the actions of the one man of sin, or place your lives into the divine and human person of Jesus.

What matters to God: Homily for Monday, October 23, 2017

Readings for today

Do you ever imagine winning a mega lottery, where hundreds of millions of dollars comes your way? That is probably not an unusual dream.  Just imagine what could be done with such amounts of money. You might even make lists in your head about what you would do.  And while some of it might involve charity, the temptation would be to see just how much we could keep for ourselves.

Don’t believe it? Consider those stories where people go in on buying tickets together, only to fight when they win.  Families do this too.  Or consider the fights over an inheritance. There was even a movie made about Wall Street Greed, where the mantra was, “Greed is good.” And yet, there is a much more valuable asset, and that is to strive to be rich in what matters to God.

Loyal to Whom: Homily for Sunday, October 22, 2017

Readings for Today

It would be interesting to see what example Jesus might give to the question about what the state deserves and what God deserves. What exactly is the appropriate relationship between being a good citizen of a country, and a good Catholic? How do we balance the obligations of both? To whom are we called to be most loyal? What do we do when it appears the laws of our country clash with the laws of our faith? How do we sort it all out?

Jesus is asked, in an attempt to trick him, what the relationship is between what is due Caesar, and what is due God. Jesus gives a clear answer that on the surface may be viewed one way, but with the eyes of faith, a completely different. Can you repay God for anything? Is not being a good citizen required?

It’s all about faith: Homily for Saturday, October 21, 2017

Readings for Today

I am like a three-year-old.  I want to do things myself.  I do not want to be helped, even when that help could make things easier. Even though I know faith is easier when accepting God’s grace, God’s help, I like the control of doing things on my own.  And it is in this that I fail.  It is when I give in and believe it is not about faith in God, but rather about faith in my own works, it is then I turn my back on God and deny him.  And this is true in my faith life.

Yet Saint Paul makes it clear.  It is all about faith.  It is all about believing in what God can do. It is in recognizing the grace that God freely gives so that I can acknowledge him and what he is about. It is about trusting God.  God keeps His covenants.  God keeps promises. And God is ever so generous in helping us to believe.

Divine Accounting: Homily for Friday, October 20, 2017

Readings for Today

Remember those wonderful moments when you take out a jacket you have not worn for a while and you find a $20 bill? It makes for a nice surprise because it is a free gift.  We did not expect it, but we have it nonetheless. From an accounting perspective, we did not earn the $20 a second time when we found it. It was a gift.  While it is not exactly the same, Saint Paul writes about the gift of salvation in a similar way.  Let’s be clear.  We do not earn our salvation.  It is a free gift, given to us by God, even though we do not deserve it.

Does that mean it does not matter what we do? Of course not.  Our actions remain important.  But our actions never get us to the point where we deserve to be saved.  Rather, our actions serve as proof that we are striving to witness to what God, in his mercy, has done for us.

The Dominican Moment: October 24, 2017

The DePorres Pages features short prayers from the tradition of Saint Dominic in this new series known as The Dominican Moment. These are short pieces for meditation and prayer. They are either quotes from Dominican saints, (Saint Dominic actually wrote little), or by those inspired by him. At the end of each clip, there are reflection questions to pray about and reflect on during the day.

No Hypocritical Memorials: Homily for Thursday, October 19, 2017

Readings for Today

There has been a lot of controversy around Confederate War Memorials.  Whenever a memorial is put up, the reason for the memorial is important. Hence, the controversy.  The gospel today mentions those who put up memorials during Jesus’ day.  Memorials to the prophets, whose message was not heard or believed.  Prophets were killed. To erect memorials to them now is seen as hypocritical.

When we rely only on human effort, we run the risk of hypocritical memorials.  All have sinned Saint Paul writes. All have fallen short of the glory of God. How can we ever put our trust in human effort alone? Truth is, we do not.  We put our trust in the way, the truth and the life, the Lord Jesus Christ himself.