For our own good (11:00am)

For our own good (11:00am)
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 
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Readings for Today

Today’s first reading is almost like a graduation speech. Moses, talking to the people on the verge of entering the promised land, reminds them about the love and care of God. He reminds them that God is close to them. And while hearing that something is “for our own good” might bring back some bad memories from childhood, the moral code that is given to the people is indeed designed to make them more happy and fulfilled. It is also designed to help them to learn about priorities. By following God’s law, the people learn about the import of human dignity, prayer to God, and a grace filled life. Today, ask God to help you to discover those things that are really important.

Homily given at Our Lady of Lourdes, University City, Missouri, on September 2, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

For our own good (11:00 AM)

For our own good (11:00 AM)

 
 
00:00 / 11:03
 
1X
 

Readings for Today

Today’s first reading is almost like a graduation speech. Moses, talking to the people on the verge of entering the promised land, reminds them about the love and care of God. He reminds them that God is close to them. And while hearing that something is “for our own good” might bring back some bad memories from childhood, the moral code that is given to the people is indeed designed to make them more happy and fulfilled. It is also designed to help them to learn about priorities. By following God’s law, the people learn about the import of human dignity, prayer to God, and a grace filled life. Today, ask God to help you to discover those things that are really important.

Homily given at Our Lady of Lourdes, University City, Missouri, on September 2, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

For our own good (5:15)

For our own good (5:15)
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 
00:00 / 9:04
 
1X
 

Readings for Today

Today’s first reading is almost like a graduation speech. Moses, talking to the people on the verge of entering the promised land, reminds them about the love and care of God. He reminds them that God is close to them. And while hearing that something is “for our own good” might bring back some bad memories from childhood, the moral code that is given to the people is indeed designed to make them more happy and fulfilled. It is also designed to help them to learn about priorities. By following God’s law, the people learn about the import of human dignity, prayer to God, and a grace filled life. Today, ask God to help you to discover those things that are really important.

Homily given at Our Lady of Lourdes, University City, Missouri, on September 1, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

For your own good (5:15pm)

For your own good (5:15pm)
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 
00:00 / 9:04
 
1X
 

Readings for Today

Today’s first reading is almost like a graduation speech. Moses, talking to the people on the verge of entering the promised land, reminds them about the love and care of God. He reminds them that God is close to them. And while hearing that something is “for our own good” might bring back some bad memories from childhood, the moral code that is given to the people is indeed designed to make them more happy and fulfilled. It is also designed to help them to learn about priorities. By following God’s law, the people learn about the import of human dignity, prayer to God, and a grace filled life. Today, ask God to help you to discover those things that are really important.

Homily given at Our Lady of Lourdes, University City, Missouri, on September 1, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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

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

 
 
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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.

Courage: Homily for Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Courage: Homily for Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Daily Homilies

 
 
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To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

The last few days have called for courage.  There has been tremendous devastation from Hurricane Harvey.  There were the protests in Charlottesville by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and racists.  There remain instances where standing up for what is right does not come easy.  The sharp moral divisions that exist are not easily overcome.  Rather, we must confront the fear we might face to stand up and speak out.

And today’s memorial of the beheading of John the Baptist remind us that often courage has a high cost.  To challenge the immoral behavior of another does not always lead us to something good or better.  Rather, there can be pain for us.  And as Saint John the Baptist’s life shows, there can be death.  We live in a time where all over the world those who are Christians are being persecuted and killed for their faith.  Yet they still stand up for what is right and true.  Will you?

The Divisive Jesus: Homily for Monday, July 17, 2017

The Divisive Jesus: Homily for Monday, July 17, 2017
Daily Homilies

 
 
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To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Divisive.  It is not common these days to think of Jesus as a divisive person.  It seems the popular notion is that Jesus is a warm fuzzy teddy bear.  He loves us.  He does not challenge us.  He never scolds us or thinks we do anything wrong or sinful.  Jesus reaffirms what we already believe.  But today is different.  Today we read in the gospel about a Jesus that comes to bring division, not peace.

It is important to remember that being a Christian is not always easy.  That is why we need grace.  We need the help that God gives us to be faithful to our relationship with Jesus.  Being a Christian means standing up for what is good and right.  And there is a cost to us when we do so.  Sometimes the cost is standing up for what is right and losing friends.  Sometimes the cost is not giving in to fear and welcoming the stranger.  Sometimes the cost is not accepting the priorities of the workplace and to make other aspects of life more important.  And always the cost is recognizing that as important as family relationships and friendships are, there is no relationship more important than the one we have with Jesus.

Reputation: Homily for Feast of St Thomas, July 3, 2017

Reputation: Homily for Feast of St Thomas, July 3, 2017
Daily Homilies

 
 
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To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

What are you known for? Virtue? Vice? Whatever we do results in a reputation.  Our reputation can be accurate, but also not.  We can be known for good or evil.  We can be trustworthy, or untrustworthy.  But once we have a reputation, it can be hard to shake.

Such can be the way we think of Saint Thomas.  In the gospel, he seems to doubt.  But his life is one of belief.  Belief until death. Rather than a person of doubt, Thomas is like all who respond to God’s grace.  Grace changes us.  We are never stuck in our sin because God’s love is greater than all.

Homily for Sunday, January 4, 2015

Readings for Today

I love the nighttime. I am most awake at night. Just as some people like the morning because there are few interruptions, I like the nighttime for the same reason. There is a quietness for me to night. There is a feeling that nighttime causes a cocoon of comfort. At the same time, I like a lot of light. When things shine clearly, all is right with the night.

Isn’t that the way life is too? The night of our lives, those events that are sad, or evil, or challenging, are clearly seen for what they are with light. That is also the central message of the Feast of the Ephiphany, which  we celebrate today. When it comes to God, His presence is seen clearly. The radiance is overwhelming when we gaze into the things that God can do. What types of things describe what God does?

One traditional way we use to describe the things of God is the word transcendental. Traditionally these are seen as the One, the Good, and the True. Sometimes Beauty is added. Each of these realities is clear. Think of a family that is united. There is clearly something wonderful about a family that is close, loving and kind. There is something to true unity, as occurs in the vocation of marriage. When things are one, there is a reality the we know instinctively is good.

Similarly, things that are good, are those things that are good not only for a moment, or in a small way, but are eternal and large. I think of couples I know whose marriage reflects something really good. They are an obvious example of how marriage can lead to holiness. How about those friends we know we can always count on? How about when we encounter a real act of generosity? How about those times when someone appears to go above and beyond the call of duty? These things are really and obviously good. No one needs to tell us something is good. It is obvious.

Increasingly it seems to me that the true is becoming a scarce value. We know there are those politicians that will say anything to get elected. We all have experiences of being lied to by another. We know the pain of a lie. We know the pain of being taken, when we are promised something that we do not receive. But when we experience deeply the True, is is clearly wonderful.

These transcendentals are of God. God is One, True, Good. And when we see God, when we experience God, we have no doubt it is God. And that is what we celebrate today. God is clearly manifest for the world to see. And it is unbelievably wonderful. Like those who came from afar to see Jesus, we cannot help but be moved to be generous. Just as they did, we are moved to bring gifts. In the presence of God we cannot help but be loving.

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Homily for Thursday, August 2, 2012

Readings for Today

I was recently in Rome for a class in education.  It is not possible to be in Rome and to walk even a few steps without coming across something ancient, old, something dating back hundreds or even thousands of years.

The purpose of the class was to help the educators who were taking it come to realize that there is a tremendous connection between the new and the old.  It can be quite the temptation, particularly in a young country like the United States, to believe that we have made such tremendous progress in everything.  A visit to a place like Rome can remind us that we have much to learn.

For, as is often the case, what we consider to be new, is often times something that is really old.  As the Old Testament says, “There is nothing new under the sun.”  Today’s readings remind us that the old and the new are often a mix of the same things.

I have tried my hand at pottery, though never on a spinning wheel.  It is not easy, and I admire those who can make it look easy.  But Jeremiah reminds us that often those things that look so awesome when they are finished are often the result of a lot of hard work.  They are often the result of trying something new over and over again.

In our modern age, it is not really simple to get the mix of old and new right.  As we look at the modern age in which we live, we can both be amazed and repulsed at what we can do.  As we look back at the ancient world, be can both be amazed and repulsed by what they did.

So how do we find the wisdom mentioned in the gospel?  We know our storehouse has both good and bad.  How do we keep the good and throw away the bad?  This is not easy.  As I was in Rome I read a suggestion that if the Church simply sold all of the stuff it had, it could end world hunger.  But as I experienced my own emotions in these settings, and saw the tremendous impact such buildings, art work and monuments had on so many who visit them every year, I came to appreciate more fully the foolishness of this suggestion.

Our faith reflects this same struggle.  There are those who want to “turn back the clock”, believing that by embracing a Church they believed existed before the Second Vatican Council, we will be able to turn back the complexities of our age to a more simple time.  There are others who believe the Church must move forward to “adapt with the times.”  Indeed, both have had there time and place in the history of the Church.

But the Church is not a political party, where we align with a set of political ideals.  Rather, it is the Kingdom of God, whereby we evaluate the new and the old, the good and the bad, through the best and only standard: God himself.