The Season of Hope: Homily for Monday, December 4, 2017

Readings for Today

Looking around the world can cause a loss of hope.  We can despair.  There seems to be new threats of war daily. There is crime.  There are people who are in desperate situations. There are people who do not want to help those in need. We seem so angry at each other. The state of things in Washington with politicians seems worse than ever. How is it we can keep faith in such dark times?

Today’s readings remind us that Christians must live with hope. Regardless of how dark things may seem to be, God’s promise is greater. The Light of the World is stronger than any darkness.  The first reading describes a great promise of hope.  And God keeps his promises.  The gospel demonstrates the faith of an “outsider”. But his faith brings healing.  How can our witness to hope Jesus gives bring light to a dark world?

The signs on the inside: Homily for Saturday, December 2, 2017

Readings for Today

Reading the signs of the times is not just about looking at what is all around us on the outside.  It is also about paying careful attention to the presence of God on the inside of our lives. In a world with so many distractions, it can become so easy to become lethargic about the presence of God. In a world with so many challenges, we need to be attentive and awake. We need to be ready to see the presence of God within.

What have you done to help be awake spiritually? In what ways have you looked inside yourself to see the presence of God? How do you make yourself available to see and learn from God? As we review our past year, and as we stand on the cusp of a new year, ask God to make you more and more aware of his love for you.

Deep Regret – With or Without Hope: Homily for November 25, 2017

Readings for Today

There is nothing worse than coming to the awareness of deep sin.  It can be quite challenging when we realize we have turned our backs on God.  It is sad when we discover the heartache of evil.  When that happens, we have a choice.  We can choose to give in to despair, or we can choose to have hope.  If we do not recognize the power of God’s forgiveness, or we are too proud to acknowledge his greatness, we despair. When we turn our hearts back to God, trusting in the mercy and forgiveness we do not deserve, we have hope.

What will you do in answer to God’s goodness? Will you humbly confess your sin, or will you stubbornly persist in evil? Will you be greedy generous? Prideful or humble? Seek out God’s mercy and you will live.

Despair to Hope: Homily for Tuesday, September 19, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for today

Today we encounter a woman who is understandably in the depths of despair.  Her son is dead, and to make matters worse, she is a widow.  This parent must face the death of her son alone. Can there be any greater heartache to a parent than to lose their child? I cannot think of one. I bet most parents cannot think of one, either.

And yet, in the height of her sadness and loss, she encounters Jesus.  And as Jesus always does, Jesus brings life.  Sometimes in moments like today’s gospel, he does so in an easily observable way.  At other times, it is in the challenge that might mean initial sadness before receiving life.  Regardless, today we are all reminded that Jesus is the author and source of life.  Let Jesus raise life in you.

From Bused Halo: The Road to Emmaus, a Journey toward Hope

To read the entire post, click here.

Maybe you’ve met Thomas Awiapo, an ambassador for Catholic Relief Services from the African country of Ghana. He’s visited Catholic schools and parishes in every state, some of them twice. He has a story that sticks with you.

His parents died when he was very young. After that, he and his three siblings were left to fend for themselves in their small village in Ghana.

“If we had one meal a day,” Thomas says, “we were lucky.”

Faith: Homily for Saturday, February 18, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click the links above.

Readings for Today

Faith.  Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. It’s interesting that in today’s definition of faith, we have this understanding that faith is both something that has happened with evidence that has not been seen. We have hope, and faith means we have realized this hope, this thing that was hoped for. The evidence, involves things we’ve not yet seen. In our secular world, these conceived to be completely contradictory things. Hoping for what we cannot see.

Because it is so difficult, it is for that reason I think that the author of the letter to the Hebrews makes it a point to stress this faith. And the ways in which this faith has been so readily apparent in the lives of people who have gone before us. How many times does the author of the letter to the Hebrews begin sentences with the phrase by faith? By faith Abel offered to God a sacrifice greater than canes. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death by faith Noah who we heard about just this week warned about what yet was not seen built an ark. And these are just three examples.

It is by faith that Jesus has the experience of the transfiguration. It is by faith that the apostles can set out to proclaim this good news even in the midst of the persecution that was no different than that of Jesus. And it is by faith that we too can come to know Jesus and he profound and powerful way. Do you believe?

Tuesday of the 2nd Week of Advent: You are the Lost Sheep (December 6, 2016)

I have always thought it a little strange that Jesus tells a story commending the shepherd who leaves 99% of his investment. Why is it the one sheep is so important?  Would it not be more prudent to “cut your losses”? The point is not about business.  Rather, it is about faith.  It is about relationship.  It is about love.  Love is not always practical, reasonable or logical.  But most important in this passage is that the 99 do not need to be found, because they are in a good relationship.  They are already “found” by the shepherd.  It is the one lost sheep that needs to be found.  And so the shepherd searches.

Of course, the point is that we are the lost sheep.  We are the one that is lost.  Jesus leaves those who are in relationship to find us.  We need to be saved.  We are the sinners.  We are the ones who have gone astray.  When Jesus finds us, we hear the comfort that only a relationship with Jesus can provide.  It is the comfort that Isaiah speaks in the first reading.  The great promise will be fulfilled.  And we will be found.

Readings for today

Homily for Sunday, January 24, 2016

Readings for Today

Audio Readings for Today

How is it we avoid giving into despair when we see so much death and destruction around us. We fear terrorism, we see destruction in the Middle East, the tremendous death and martyrdom of Christians in the Middle East, those who go without basic necessities and other things we so often take for granted. Just as Nehemiah and Ezra reminded the people that despite the destruction and death of their day the Lord is still with them, so too, by acknowledging that Jesus is the Messiah we can avail ourselves of the same hope, mercy and grace of God Ezra proclaimed to the people.

Novena of Saint Jude, May 23, 2015 (Vigil of Pentecost)

I am preaching the Novena of Saint Jude, days 4-9. This is an audio recording of my day five preaching, which explores the relationship between prayer and hope. How can we wait with patient endurance? For more information about the Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus in Chicago, visit their website here.