Fully Divine and Fully Human: Homily for Thursday, December 7, 2017

Readings for Today

Today is the feast of Saint Ambrose.  We might not know much about Saint Ambrose, but he is a very important saint for us.  He was one of the first four doctors of the Church. Saint Ambrose was a politician, who unlike today, was so well-loved he was named bishop by pubic acclaim. Perhaps most importantly, Saint Ambrose fought ceaselessly against a heresy that denied the divinity of Christ in a way which made Christ equal with the Father and the Spirit.

During Advent this matters, because it is not just because Jesus was a nice person worthy to imitate that we celebrate. Rather, we celebrate the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity who takes on flesh to become fully human.  Three persons in one God. So that the incarnation is not just one birth among many, it is THE birth that is connected to our salvation. We seek the promises of God because God has become one of us, and has become savior to a people that do not deserve or earn salvation.

Jesus Christ, Son of God: Homily for Monday, January 16, 2017

Readings for Today

All too often we can be tempted to reduce Jesus to simply the nice person who is just a little better than we are.  Truth is, Jesus is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the fully divine Son of God, who died for our sins to save us.  He paid the price of our sinfulness so that we could live for ever in heaven.  He showed us the authentic way of life, because as Son of God, he became fully human to witness to the most authentic human life.  For this reason, the disciples of Jesus do not fast.  For this reason, Jesus is the High Priest who needs no replacement.  It is Jesus, as Son of God, who has existed without beginning or end from all eternity.  And yet, as loving Son of God, Jesus still invites each of us to that powerful eternal life that is without end.

Homily for Sunday, May 31, 2015

Readings for Today

In a way, to think about Trinity Sunday is to simply acknowledge that God is love. To try to do even more than that can cause us to run the risk of getting it wrong about God. Three persons, one God. On the surface it seems easy enough, but in reality, it is a mystery beyond our ability to comprehend. God is love. But if we are to really understand even a little what it means to say God is love, we have to consider what love is. That is probably more true today when the word is used for so many things.

In the English language, love is such an imprecise word. We use it to describe the way we feel about objects, even those that are not terribly important. We can say we “love it” when someone says something funny or interesting. Even when we speak the words to another person, we can be saying something that we really do not mean. We might say “I love you” as a way to get what we want. Sadly, the way which we use the word can be far from what it meant when love is used in its truest sense, to describe God.

Consider first some examples of human love that give us a glimpse of divine love. Think of the case of a parent and child. When we see that in action, when we sense the deep love of a child for father or mother, or a parent with love for a son or daughter, there is something really beautiful about that. When two people fall in love and get married, we get a glimpse of something holy and divine. When we see the passion of someone really following a dream to make the world a better place, such as a doctor or nurse committed to serve the most vulnerable, it is not difficult at all to see goodness.

Unfortunately I need to look no farther than my own life to see that I do not really love as often as I might think I do. I want to do heroic things. And even with those persons I love, such as my mother or my brother, I do not always seem to be able to love in a consistent and truthful way. Sometimes I allow unimportant things to take over my desire to seek always the good, namely God, and the good for the creatures he has made.

But at the same time, sometimes I do love. I can consider the good and the dignity of another and meet them in helping them in their needs. Sometimes I can set aside my selfishness and give something of importance to another. Sometimes I can even make a sacrifice for the good of another.

Continue reading

Homily for Thursday, January 22, 2015

Readings for Today

Christology is that part of Theology that seeks to discover what it means for Jesus to be fully human and fully divine. Traditionally, this notion of Christology has been divided into a “high” Christology which emphasized more the divinity of Jesus, and a “low” Christology, which emphasized the humanity of Jesus. Not too long ago we discussed something similar when we spoke of the “Christ of Faith” and the “Jesus of history.”

Continue reading