God’s Promise is stronger than our sin

Readings for Today

The words we hear today are particularly harsh. We are described as maggots. Worms. The geography is the desert a place of tremendous extremes. And a look around at our world suggests that maybe life is pretty harsh sometimes. But in the midst of all of this, God does not give up on His people. Even with the harsh description, God still loves this people. He still loves us. And he promises us something really magnificent. He promises salvation. And he gives us the help to accept it.

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on March 14, 2019.

God’s Promise is stronger than our sin

God’s Promise is stronger than our sin
Daily Homilies

 
 
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Readings for Today

The words we hear today are particularly harsh. We are described as maggots. Worms. The geography is the desert a place of tremendous extremes. And a look around at our world suggests that maybe life is pretty harsh sometimes. But in the midst of all of this, God does not give up on His people. Even with the harsh description, God still loves this people. He still loves us. And he promises us something really magnificent. He promises salvation. And he gives us the help to accept it.

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on March 14, 2019.

Authentic Faith: Homily for Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Readings for Today

Will you be true? Will you be genuine and sincere? Even if you fail, will you seek the conversion that has no guile? Will you be who you say you are? There are two examples of authenticity in today’s readings.  The first is a long life of authenticity, that of Eleazar.  Even when given a shortcut, Eleazar remains true.  He makes this authentic choice not merely for his own relationship with God, but also with concern for others. What will people make of an old faithful man who appears to turn away from God?

Zaccheus, the man of conversion in the gospel, shows us how authentic a search for God can  be even from a sinful life. Zaccheus, in his own conversion, shows us how to convert. We must acknowledge honestly our sinfulness.  When we do so, we have this powerful relationship with Jesus.  Jesus comes into our hearts because we invite him to forgive our sins and to change our lives.

Love Justice: Homily for Monday, November 13, 2017

Love Justice: Homily for Monday, November 13, 2017
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Readings for Today

Do you love justice? Do you seek God’s way? Are you willing to sacrifice for what is right? Can you live according to the wisdom of God? Today’s readings remind us of the stark choice between God’s love, God’s justice, and the shortcuts we sometimes wish to take. Following God can be hard. We can be tempted to turn away from God.

But if we can discover even a little of how much God loves us, we could see that whatever appearance of struggle is worth it. All this week we shall see just how much it is God wants us to share in his love and his life.  God gives us the grace; God shows us the beauty.  Seek the grace to say yes to God.

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

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

Daily Prayer for Thursday, June 29, 2017

Daily Prayer for Thursday, June 29, 2017

 
 

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Act of Charity

O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because you are all-good and worthy of all my love.  I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you.  I forgive all who have injured me and ask pardon of all of whom I have injured.  Amen.

Hospitality: Homily for Friday, February 3, 2017

Hospitality: Homily for Friday, February 3, 2017

 
 

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To listen to this homily, click the links above.

Readings for Today

Hospitality.  I was struck today with this line in the letter to the Hebrews: “Do not neglect hospitality,
for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.” Have I ever entertained angels?  Or, is it the case I missed an angel because I was not hospitable? Did I miss an angel because I was not ready for God?  Did I miss an angel because I missed out on a key encounter because I was not watchful in prayer?

The letter to the Hebrews stresses the importance of right relationships.  Right relationships are not, and cannot be simply about those people we like.  God wants us to be hospitable.  God wants us to care for prisoners.  God wants marriages to reflect that holiness intended from the beginning.  God wants me to be generous.

These are interesting challenges.  It can be quite difficult to be hospitable.  People in need of hospitality come at inconvenient times.  We may not always know those people who desire hospitality.  We may not always be aware of God in them.  We may be afraid of them.  We may be concerned that if I am hospitable to them, I may be taken away from my family, and the cares of those with whom I live.

How is it even possible to follow these ideas? It is important to remember the first part of this letter.  It is possible because of God through whom all things are possible.  If the Lord is my helper, how can anyone harm me? How can I ever be in need?  How is it I will be alone?  Jesus has won the victory, and in His name I can do all because he strengthens me.  So trust.  Love.  Be generous.  For the Lord Jesus expects this of you.

Homily for Sunday, May 31, 2015

Homily for Sunday, May 31, 2015
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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.

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Homily for Monday, July 21, 2014

Readings for Today

Today we hear one of my favorite readings from the Old Testament, from the book of Micah. I like it because it is so simple in its explanation of leading a life of faith. Do the right. Love goodness. Walk humbly. If the type of simplicity that Jesus presents when he tells us that all the law and the commandments can be summed up in loving God and neighbor. Focusing on these words we simply cannot provide the excuse for not living a life of faith that concerns not understanding what is expected of us.

For in today’s reading, the task presented is clear. Of course, the real challenge is putting into practice this very simple command of Micah, and likewise the very clear command of Jesus. St. Paul says in one of his readings that he sees the good that he wishes to do it prefers evil instead, we know that it is not always easy to do the right. Obviously, this is because doing the right is not always easy. Sometimes doing the right is understanding the difference between short-term and long-term consequences. It can seem that doing the right when it leads to short-term gain, might be okay.

This notion of short-term gain is exactly what is going on in today’s gospel. Give us a sign. Show us something that represents quite clearly short-term gain. Don’t make us wait. Perform some magic, do something amazing, and then we will believe. We simply do not experience in any human relationship, such dazzling ability to form an authentic relationship that can be built on razzle-dazzle.

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