The Star that Leads to Jesus: Homily for Ephiphany Sunday, January 7, 2018

Readings for Today

Today we are reminded of the importance of following Jesus.  As we encounter the example of the Magi who followed the star, without knowing exactly where it led, we are reminded that our lives of faith are about following someone.  The challenge is that we can choose to follow stars that do not lead to Jesus.  We can be tempted by the allure of the popularity of social media, or the tug of consumerism, or the need to be constantly distracted so that we do not ever confront ourselves about areas where we need to convert.

And Herod in today’s gospel reminds us that we can also follow the false star of power.  It is not just absolute power like that of Herod, but the power of people who believe they can do it all themselves.  The belief that they do not need others.  They can go it alone.  People can believe they do not need God, and so they do not surrender to God. Then there are the Magi, who follow the star that leads to Jesus.  What star will you follow?

Cross: Homily for Friday, February 17, 2017

To hear the entire homily, click the links above.

Readings for Today

Cross.  I don’t like the cross. In my heart of hearts, I’m a coward. I’m afraid. I find it hard sometimes to separate gaining the whole world, from gaining eternal life. I find it much too easy to be shortsighted. Seeing the immediate, the now, the things that seem so close and right in front of me, the things that bring immediate reward. I’m expecting a package from Amazon today. I’m really excited. But it’s not really something amazing, or tremendous. I doubt it will change my life. But I’m really excited.

But about the cross? I’m not so excited. I’m afraid. I don’t trust. I don’t trust Jesus, and I don’t trust God. Far too often, my focus is on myself, over what I can control, and over what I can do. And yet, during those breakthrough moments when I have been able to trust God the benefit has been far greater than anything I could’ve imagined. In those moments where I think back in my life and ask myself when has God never been there for me, I can say never. I can say that God has always been there for me. Despite my selfishness, God has always been generous.

So why do I have such a hard time embracing the cross? The cross of Jesus, change the entire world. When Jesus embraced the cross, and suffered death for you and me, salvation was open for all of us. Despite our sinfulness, holiness was possible. New life was given to us. Dear God, with whatever cross you give me today, help me to embrace it like your son. Give me the grace to say yes, to take up my cross, and follow you.

Proclaim: Tell your family: Homily for Monday, January 30, 2017

(Listen to today’s homily, by clicking the links above.)

Today’s Readings

What a powerful line in today’s gospel.  “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”  When we consider this man’s situation, how long he had been separated by this possession from his family, how kind Jesus is.  He has freed this man.  He has made him whole again.  Understandably, this man now wants to follow Jesus wherever he leads.  Who wouldn’t?  But as always, Jesus sees the bigger picture.  This man who has been made whole is now a disciple of Jesus.  Proclaim to your family what God has done! Help them to be made whole!

How often do we make clear to our families all that God has done for us?  How often do we ourselves even know what God has done for us? Proclaim! Tell the Good News that Jesus is in our midst.  There is nothing more wonderful than that!  Proclaim that Jesus is alive and the kingdom is in our midst!

Homily for Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Readings for Today

Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.” The glory of God is our gift of eternal life. There is a powerful connection between the divinity of God, the power of the Trinity, and our ultimate destiny. Why were we made? Ultimately the answer to that question is tied up with the the mysterious and glorious relationship we are called to have with God.

In these days leading up to the celebration of Pentecost, it might seem surprising that the gospels have kind of a dark tone to them. We will hear this week about Paul’s persecution, and the challenging destiny which awaits the followers of Jesus. One might think the preparation of the coming of the Holy Spirit might fill us with joy. And indeed it should. But the purpose of the coming of the Holy Spirit is also so that we might have the strength and goodness that we might be able to endure those very challenging moments that test us, and tempt us.

As was shared during the celebration of the Ascension, Jesus went to glory before us so that we would know where to go ourselves. The disciples told Jesus they could not follow him because they did not know the way. But the truth is that we do know the way, because we simply need to follow Jesus.

Such is the promise that Jesus shares with us in today’s gospel. We are invited into the glory of God, because where Jesus goes, we hope to follow. Wow. Such a powerful and profound gift awaits us. Can you believe it? We know that our lives are a mix of glory and challenge, of ups and downs, which can cause us to wonder what our lives are all about. What we are reminded of this week is all that Jesus has done for us. And in that, we are called to something more powerful, more wonderful, and more glorious than anything we could ever imagine.