Where are you going?: Homily for Thursday, October 26, 2017

Readings for Today

Where are you going? Where do your actions lead? Saint Paul, in today’s first reading makes the choice in our lives clear. We choose vice or virtue.  We choose damnation or salvation. We choose selfishness or righteousness.  But we choose.  But a careful reading of Saint Paul makes it even clearer.  We choose Jesus or we reject him.  It is that simple.

What is it that you choose? How is it that you want to live your life? The challenges of living a faithful life are many.  The temptations to move away from the hard work of righteousness, or the need to trust in God’s grace is obvious.  What is it that  you choose today?

Don’t Miss the Lord: Homily for Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Readings for Today

Today’s gospel refers to the need to be ready and awake for whenever the Lord will come, since his the exact time of his coming at the end of time is unknown to us. But this also refers to our day to day life, too.  If we are not watchful, we can miss the arrival of God into our lives.  We can miss those moments when God is present. We can have difficulty seeing how God is going to offer us eternal life, mercy or forgiveness.

It is for these reasons we seek out ways we know God is present.  We go to Mass.  We make sure that we go to confession on a regular basis. We pray. For in each of these ways, we deepen our friendship with Jesus. We become closer to him. And whenever he comes, we know we will be ready.

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.

Divine Accounting: Homily for Friday, October 20, 2017

Readings for Today

Remember those wonderful moments when you take out a jacket you have not worn for a while and you find a $20 bill? It makes for a nice surprise because it is a free gift.  We did not expect it, but we have it nonetheless. From an accounting perspective, we did not earn the $20 a second time when we found it. It was a gift.  While it is not exactly the same, Saint Paul writes about the gift of salvation in a similar way.  Let’s be clear.  We do not earn our salvation.  It is a free gift, given to us by God, even though we do not deserve it.

Does that mean it does not matter what we do? Of course not.  Our actions remain important.  But our actions never get us to the point where we deserve to be saved.  Rather, our actions serve as proof that we are striving to witness to what God, in his mercy, has done for us.

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.

Success, Failure, Everything in between: Homily for Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Readings for Today

Today we learn that there are all different kinds of preachers.  We read about Saint Paul, whose efforts are well-documented, and whose success is known.  There are those who have left the preaching.  And there are those who are downright destructive to the preaching.  Today we celebrate Saint Luke.  He was an evangelist, and also the author of the Acts of the Apostles.  His efforts are noted by Saint Paul as quite helpful.

It serves as a reminder there are zealous and effective preachers, there are those who are holy, but perhaps not as effective. And, there are those who leave altogether, while still others are harmful to the mission. Where do you find yourself? Are you an effective disciple, making other disciples? Are you still trying to figure out what you believe? Or are you a big skeptic? Make time to get to know Jesus better, who can make all things better.

The Great Gift of Revelation: Homily for Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Readings for today

Have you ever thought about God’s great gift? Because of God’s grace, we can know things we have no ability to know otherwise. Because of God’s revelation, the path we should travel is before us. We can know Jesus.  We can understand what it means to follow him. We can understand how much we are loved by God.

And yet, sometimes we look the other way. Sometimes we rely on our feeble strength in exchange for God’s magnificent love.  As Saint Paul says, we exchange “the truth of God for a lie.” And yet God wants so very much for us. God loves us. God wants us to be saved.  God wants us to live with him forever.

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.

Come as you are; Sort of: Homily for Sunday, October 15, 2017

Readings for Today

Do you love celebrations? Do you get excited when an invitation arrives in the mail? Today’s readings are all about invitations and celebrations.  The first reading uses rich imagery to describe the invitation to the ultimate feast.  Rich food and choice wines are on the menu.  Yum! God has everything prepared. Get ready, because the feast is going to be something really special.

The gospel too is about an invitation. The king invites guests to an amazing feast. Only they do not want to come. Despite his best efforts, the king cannot convince those invited to come to the feast. So he turns to invite others, who do come. God invites us all of the time to deeper life. But do we arrive ready to say yes to God? Or, do we come ill-prepared by thinking we do not need to change? The invitation to faith by God is an invitation to change.  When we really say yes to God, we allow God to change us. That means being open to repenting from our sins. And when we do that, we come properly dressed for the feast.

Discipleship is Most Important: Homily for Saturday, October 14, 2017

Readings for Today

There are times when I look at images of the saints and cannot imagine they are real people.  They look plastic.  They do not always seem to be real.  It is hard for me to imagine they ever encountered the types of difficulties real people face.  And to that end, I do not see that they can be emulated.  Fortunately, reading about the lives of the saints helps us to gain a picture they were real persons with real struggles.

Such is the case for Mary.  When we think about the Blessed Mother, we must remember that she had a very hard life.  Yet in spite of this, she was faithful. It is for this reason that Mary is the Queen of All Saints. Her holiness is her fidelity to God. And that is what makes us holy too when we follow God faithfully.