Seeking the presence of God: Homily for Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Readings for Today

Yesterday we discussed a world that seems filled with darkness.  We thought about despair, and how easy it is to lose hope. But ultimately we tried to remember that God keeps his promises. Today’s readings remind us of the need to be attentive.  God is active and alive. This activity is not only in the world,  but also in our soul. God is active in our hearts, in our souls, in our lives. And the images from Isaiah remind us that God’s presence is miraculous indeed.

Do you seek to find how God has been present in your life? Do you search your heart and soul to discover the spirit-filled presence of God? The list of wonderful, unbelievable things that God does in Isaiah, the promise of God’s greatness is impressive.  But so too is the list of things God longs to do in your life. Advent is a time of seeking to find the God that longs to do this for you. And when you discover that, and when God keeps his promise, be sure to give God thanks and praise.

Homily for Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Readings for Today

I do not know if you have noticed on Facebook, but there is an increasing number of people who are being challenged to be grateful. I have seen three day challenges, seven day challenges and even thirty day challenges. The idea is that for three, seven or thirty consecutive days a person who accepts the challenge is supposed to publicly post on Facebook what they are grateful for, so that these things are not taken for granted.

I have heard that people who are grateful for things are healthier, and I know that when things are not going so well I do try to identify those things for which I am very grateful. It tends to turn my attention away from my troubles toward blessings I have in my life.

Taking the time to reflect upon those things for which we are grateful is a profitable exercise. It keeps us from taking things for granted. It keeps us from wallowing too much in the negative in life, to focus on what we have, rather than upon what we do not have.

It is interesting that not having what we want or wanting what we do not have is a tremendous cause of suffering in Buddhism. and is something we should strive to overcome. I have even tried to idenitfy how negative things in my life can be things for which I am grateful. A setback at work can be turned into something positive when we express gratitude for having a job. Negative experiences can become positive simply in the way they can help us realize that even in our darkest hour we can find the positive light that gives us hope.

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Homily for Sunday, August 3, 2014

Readings for Today

It can be quite difficult when we spend even a little bit of time considering the news. There simply is so much bad news going on in our world right now. In fact it can seem almost overwhelming. Will things ever get better? Will we ever make progress against those problems that have been with us since the beginning of time? Will we be able to change behaviors that cause people to go without even the basic necessities of life? Will we be able to change those attitudes that are responsible for the deep violence we see in so many parts of our world?

The current circumstances in our world can make us feel quite helpless. These questions have not even considered those difficult circumstances that many of us face our own personal lives. We can rightly wonder where God is in the midst of all of this.  The temptation in the Western world is to sit down and work out those types of actions that we can take, programs that we can create to tackle these difficult problems.

In fact, even a cursory look at recent history suggests that such an approach will, and, also leads almost always, to our inability to solve the long-standing problems. And so perhaps today’s readings are challenging us to look at the situation that we face in our world in different ways. Because perhaps the problem lies in the very reality that we try to do everything ourselves.

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