Just a little bit of God’s grace can clean a mess

Just a little bit of God’s grace can clean a mess
Daily Homilies

 
 
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Readings for Today

It is common for a teacher to try to use an familiar example to help students grasp and understand a complex topic. The prophet Jeremiah uses such images quite often when trying to get the people to convert. Today’s image is quite strange, but the point is clear. If we allow ourselves to be away from God, when God has done so many things for us, we will rot. The good news is indeed the gospel. Just a little bit of God’s grace is enough to help us to experience grace and life.

Grace for parents: Ask Sts. Joachim and Ann to pray for you

Grace for parents: Ask Sts. Joachim and Ann to pray for you
Daily Homilies

 
 
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Readings for Today

While I do not know what it is like to be a parent, I was graced to have parents I always knew loved me. The passed on their faith to me, they gave me all I needed, and a lot of what I wanted. And Saints Joachim and Ann, the saints we celebrate today, certainly knew what it meant to create a home of faith. As parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, they instilled in their daughter the belief in God that would takes such root she would not sin and would become the mother of Jesus. So if you are a parent, seek the prayers of Saints Joachim and Ann. And if your relationship with your parents needs healing, then ask them to pray that God send healing into your life.

Homily given at Mercy Hospital, Creve Coeur, Missouri, on July 26, 2018.

Grace for parents: Ask Sts. Joachim and Ann to pray for you

Readings for Today

While I do not know what it is like to be a parent, I was graced to have parents I always knew loved me. The passed on their faith to me, they gave me all I needed, and a lot of what I wanted. And Saints Joachim and Ann, the saints we celebrate today, certainly knew what it meant to create a home of faith. As parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, they instilled in their daughter the belief in God that would takes such root she would not sin and would become the mother of Jesus. So if you are a parent, seek the prayers of Saints Joachim and Ann. And if your relationship with your parents needs healing, then ask them to pray that God send healing into your life.

Homily given at Mercy Hospital, Creve Coeur, Missouri, on July 26, 2018.

Ordinary person, Extraordinary Grace: Homily for Thursday, January 4, 2018

Ordinary person, Extraordinary Grace: Homily for Thursday, January 4, 2018
Daily Homilies

 
 
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Readings for Today

I have to confess that I am not a big fan of shrines for saints. The reason is that when I am at a shrine, it always seems like the saint is someone so “plastic” they could not possibly have been a real person.  The shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is not like that.  Rather, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is presented as an ordinary person, who quest for God was a response to extraordinary grace.

This means that we cannot let ourselves off the hook.  We too are called to holiness, and even though we might feel ordinary, we have available to us God’s extraordinary grace.  And if we respond to this grace, we too can become a saint.

The New Road: Homily for Sunday, December 10, 2017

The New Road: Homily for Sunday, December 10, 2017
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Readings for Today

I grew up in rural America, and it did not take much for something to get me excited. Life is kind of average and ordinary.  But when I was little, visiting relatives, there was the day I rode on “The New Road.” I had heard relatives talking about it, and there was a great deal of build up to the day it would actually be open for people to use. It was a four lane divided road that was an upgrade from the small, cracked road that served as the US route before. The level of excitement as we awaited its opening was amazing.

And when it did open, it was amazing.  It was smooth.  And big.  Because of the road’s width, there was a better view of the landscape. Because of the road, a driver could go faster. It did not matter that what the “New Road” was for a while was really a divided highway that only went a few miles. In fact, the original length of the road is only one exit to the next today, as the road has been expanded. But the smoothness of the road, the beauty of the view, and the speed of the vehicle made it all worthwhile. So when the image of rough ways becoming smooth comes up in the Advent readings, I think of the “New Road” because it is a suitable image of the excitement of saying yes to God.

It ain’t all candy and roses: Homily for Wednesday, November 29, 2017

It ain’t all candy and roses: Homily for Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Daily Homilies

 
 
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Readings for Today

Sometimes the Christian life is presented in such a way as to make it seem easy. Jesus is the kind teddy bear, and not only does he never demand anything of us, he makes all things feel good. While this type of feel good religion is tempting, Jesus never embraced such a religion. Persecution. Division. Not Peace. Conflict. Even Death. The life of one who follows the gospel is not automatically good. In fact, some would call the age we live in today the age of the martyrs, as Christians are being persecuted and killed all over the world.

The good news is that for people who have total trust in Jesus, like the widow a couple of days ago, the grace and love of God can see them through anything. Jesus mentions the difficulties so that we do not go into intentional discipleship blindly. Rather, he wants us to know that while it will not always be easy, we will also face whatever comes in the power of this relationship with Jesus.

Has God Rejected Us?: Homily for Saturday, November 4, 2017

Has God Rejected Us?: Homily for Saturday, November 4, 2017
Daily Homilies

 
 
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Readings for Today

It can feel at times like God has rejected us.  Such is the question in today’s first reading.  The recent events of our lives, those violent acts that have made the news can cause the feeling of rejection.  But how often are the evils in our world the result of human sin?

To be sure, in some way, all evil is the result of the fall from grace.  All evil arises from sin, for God is only goodness. What humans need always to recall is the constant need for forgiveness and conversion.  Every sin we commit contributes to the proliferation of evil in our world.  So ask God for the grace of conversion.

Sick and Tired of Violence: Homily for November 2, 2017

Sick and Tired of Violence: Homily for November 2, 2017
Daily Homilies

 
 
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Readings for Today

Violence just seems to be endless.  Again and again there are stories on the news about this mass shooting, or that violent attack.  Hardly a few days go by when it happens again.  I wonder how to make sense of it all.  Sometimes it can be hard to find the presence of God in our world.  Sometimes it feels as if sin is winning.  It feels like death has the upper hand.

And violence is only one type of challenge.  We have loved ones who die, we have diseases and illness, we have hardships of all kinds.  And if there is one thing about the Solemnity of the Commemoration of all the faithful departed, it is that God continues to give to us time and again mercy and forgiveness.  Praying for the dead is the concrete sign of that mercy.  While God hates sin, God loves us.  God gives us every single opportunity to be saved.

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.

The Power of One Man: Homily for Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Power of One Man: Homily for Tuesday, October 24, 2017
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Readings for today

The first reading today compares two men.  The power of one of the men led to sin and death.  The power of the other man led to salvation.  How is it possible that two men could impact us so differently? Simple.  The one powerful action by the fully human and fully divine man was enough to save.  It overcame the detriment of the sinful action.  We can be saved.

This happens when we open our hearts to the gift from the man of life.  When we trust in Jesus, we open our souls to the forgiveness and mercy which saves.  We are able to receive the grace of God.  We become more and more alive because of Jesus.  So, you can trust in the actions of the one man of sin, or place your lives into the divine and human person of Jesus.