It’s all about faith: Homily for Saturday, October 21, 2017

Readings for Today

I am like a three-year-old.  I want to do things myself.  I do not want to be helped, even when that help could make things easier. Even though I know faith is easier when accepting God’s grace, God’s help, I like the control of doing things on my own.  And it is in this that I fail.  It is when I give in and believe it is not about faith in God, but rather about faith in my own works, it is then I turn my back on God and deny him.  And this is true in my faith life.

Yet Saint Paul makes it clear.  It is all about faith.  It is all about believing in what God can do. It is in recognizing the grace that God freely gives so that I can acknowledge him and what he is about. It is about trusting God.  God keeps His covenants.  God keeps promises. And God is ever so generous in helping us to believe.

No Hypocritical Memorials: Homily for Thursday, October 19, 2017

Readings for Today

There has been a lot of controversy around Confederate War Memorials.  Whenever a memorial is put up, the reason for the memorial is important. Hence, the controversy.  The gospel today mentions those who put up memorials during Jesus’ day.  Memorials to the prophets, whose message was not heard or believed.  Prophets were killed. To erect memorials to them now is seen as hypocritical.

When we rely only on human effort, we run the risk of hypocritical memorials.  All have sinned Saint Paul writes. All have fallen short of the glory of God. How can we ever put our trust in human effort alone? Truth is, we do not.  We put our trust in the way, the truth and the life, the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

You’ve seen what you need: Homily for Monday, October 16, 2017

Readings For Today

This eleventh chapter of Luke’s gospel is an interesting one.  It appears to be centered, for the most part, around the idea of prayer.  We hear Luke’s version of the Our Father.  Then there is a parable about the need for persistence in prayer. There is the questioning of the source of Jesus’ power, which reminds us of the ways in which we can doubt the good deeds of others. Today the focus is on the power of a sign.  Jonah and Solomon are mentioned as examples of signs given already. And to those who doubt, no sign will be given. It is not unlike when Jesus went to his hometown.  No miracle was performed because of a lack of faith.

This is a stark reminder that when we go looking for signs we must be careful.  We cannot look for signs in place of Jesus.  Rather, Jesus is the sign.  Jesus is the person longing to give life, love and grace to a new relationship.  We do not need the signs of others, for Jesus is already here.

Let Go: Homily for Sunday, September 17, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for today

One of the most interesting books I have read is a book entitled, Why Forgive?. It is a collection of amazing stories, all true, of people who experienced very difficult things and yet found it in them to forgive. These were not small things.  Children murdered. People left with profound handicaps. And yet, each of them comes to a point where often for their own good, they forgive.

This is the message in the book of Sirach.  When we forgive, we are able then to be forgiven.  Our heart expands.  Anger dissipates.  Our lives are often about this choice.  Hang on to anger and wrath, or let go. Allow anger to consume us, or allow God to give us the grace to forgive.

U.S. Bishops Conference President Announces Emergency Collection For Those Impacted By Hurricane Irma For Week Of September 23-24

September 14, 2017

WASHINGTON—The President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited his brother bishops to take up an emergency collection the weekend of September 23-24 on behalf of those devastated in parts of the Caribbean and southeastern United States by Hurricane Irma. In the letter sent to bishops today, Cardinal DiNardo says the emergency collection is greatly needed to help victims of Hurricane Irma rebuild their lives and also help support reconstruction needs of churches destroyed or severely damaged in the U.S. and Caribbean.

Cardinal DiNardo’s letter to the bishops follows:

“In the past few days Hurricane Irma devastated significant parts of the Caribbean and the southeastern United States. While emergency outreach was immediate, we know that the road to recovery and the rebuilding of communities will be long and additional support will be needed.

“I write to you today and ask that you take up an emergency collection for those impacted by Hurricane Irma. These funds will be used in the affected areas to support humanitarian aid, assistance with long-term efforts to restore communities after widespread destruction, and for the pastoral and reconstruction needs of the Church in US and the Caribbean.

“I am aware that this call comes on the heels of the emergency collection for Hurricane Harvey. That storm, which hit Texas and Louisiana and held on for days before moving inland, caused catastrophic damage and compelled us to respond. Likewise, Hurricane Irma has been devastating and our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean, especially the Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, and the southern US need our help.

“The Church is a channel for grace and solidarity in the wake of natural disasters as it offers solace and support in their aftermath. However, as is so often the case, the Church itself in these regions is both a long-standing provider of aid and now is in need of tremendous assistance itself. So many of the Church’s structures have been damaged and their resources depleted which makes it even more challenging to provide assistance and pastoral outreach to those in need.”

Persistence: Homily for Wednesday, August 30, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

It can be difficult to stick with something when it gets hard. We can feel like we want to give up.  The real test of value and importance is when we find a really hard challenge that seems impossible.  And yet, to confront evil, to provide justice, and to stand up for what is right does not come easy.  And what if things do not go well? It gets even harder.

When we think of Christian faith, it can feel like we are all alone in our beliefs.  The world has become secular. People do not value the things they used to value. There seems to be more and more a “live for the moment” mentality.  But as Saint Paul teaches us in their first reading today, hard work pays off.  Persistence is a value.  Staying with something means showing we are committed.  The greatest persistence comes from God’s love for each one of us.  And we can continue because God never gives up on us.

Remember: Homily for Monday, August 21, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

It can be easy to forget all that God has done for us.  We do not remember all of the times God has shown love or mercy.  We quickly forget those times where grace filled our hearts.  This is the state of affairs in the first reading.  People have quickly forgotten the promise made to serve the Lord and to reject evil. In fact, even the judges appointed to lead them forget too.  The people worship other Gods.  They choose not to follow the commandments.

In our own lives too, we can find ourselves rejecting God despite all God does for us.  Each day the stark choice to follow or reject God is before us. Every day we can follow God, receive grace and grow in faith.  Or, every day we can choose to reject God and go our own way.  But our faith tells us rejecting God is not without consequences.  God wants to pour out to us his love, mercy, and grace.  When we reject God, we receive those consequences of our choices where we receive death and destruction.  Ask God for an open heart.  Choose God.

Choice: Homily for Saturday, August 19, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

There comes a time in our lives, perhaps many times, where we must choose God or reject God.  It is the case that God profoundly respects our freedom.  And so God does not force us to follow him.  Rather, God seeks to give us the grace and persuasion to choose to follow him.  Today Joshua puts this choice before the people.

This is the choice: follow God or reject God.  Serve God or serve ourselves. Be open to grace or harden your heart. What will you do? What will you choose? Today, choose God, serve God, love God.  You will not be sorry.

 

Revenge: Homily for Saturday, July 15, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

It can be difficult to avoid revenge. When someone harms us we want to get back.  If someone hurts us, we want to hurt them.  Being a Christian means rising above this.  Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek.  Jesus tells us to pray for persecutors.  Jesus tells us to love enemies.

But this is not possible completely on our own.  It is only possible with God’s grace.  God gives us the means to do this.  Joseph could have taken revenge on his brothers.  But God’s grace enabled him to see a greater plan of God.  Since we can in no way be greater than Jesus, let us hear his words.

Hard: Homily for Friday, July 14, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Buddhism starts with a statement.  “Life is hard.” Seems so obvious.  But it is not just Buddhism that recognizes that life is hard.  So too does Jesus.  Consider the call in today’s gospel.  “Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.”  Not too hard, right? And yet, in human life is not illness, death, and evil among the things that keep us from God?

And so the message that God is with us means removing these things.  God removes what separates us from his love.  God gives life. So when God calls you to do something hard, God also gives grace.