Ask God for Directions (11am)

Readings for Today

It was a very large mall in Ottawa, and I could not, for the life of me, find my way out. Too embarrassed to ask for directions, I thought my life might be over. Every exit sign I saw led to a place that said “Emergency Exit only. Opening door will sound alarm.” I think of that experience today in encountering today’s readings. There are a lot of ways in which we can feel lost. Advent is a time to recall that Jesus is the way.

Homily recorded at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, University City, Missouri on December 9, 2018.

Ask God for Directions

Readings for Today

It was a very large mall in Ottawa, and I could not, for the life of me, find my way out. Too embarrassed to ask for directions, I thought my life might be over. Every exit sign I saw led to a place that said “Emergency Exit only. Opening door will sound alarm.” I think of that experience today in encountering today’s readings. There are a lot of ways in which we can feel lost. Advent is a time to recall that Jesus is the way.

Homily recorded at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, University City, Missouri on December 8, 2018.

Ask God for directions (11am)

Ask God for directions (11am)
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 
00:00 / 12:08
 
1X
 

Readings for Today

It was a very large mall in Ottawa, and I could not, for the life of me, find my way out. Too embarrassed to ask for directions, I thought my life might be over. Every exit sign I saw led to a place that said “Emergency Exit only. Opening door will sound alarm.” I think of that experience today in encountering today’s readings. There are a lot of ways in which we can feel lost. Advent is a time to recall that Jesus is the way.

Homily recorded at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, University City, Missouri on March 10, 2019.

Ask God for directions

Ask God for directions
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 
00:00 / 12:08
 
1X
 

Readings for Today

It was a very large mall in Ottawa, and I could not, for the life of me, find my way out. Too embarrassed to ask for directions, I thought my life might be over. Every exit sign I saw led to a place that said “Emergency Exit only. Opening door will sound alarm.” I think of that experience today in encountering today’s readings. There are a lot of ways in which we can feel lost. Advent is a time to recall that Jesus is the way.

Homily recorded at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, University City, Missouri on March 10, 2019.

He will find you

He will find you
Daily Homilies

 
 

00:00 / 2:41
 

1X

 

Readings for Today

Today’s readings provide for us an important insight into God. God wants everyone to be saved. Everyone. In the first reading, we are reminded God uses a less than perfect Saint Paul to preach to the Gentiles. In the gospel, we see parables that remind us that God is always searching for us. God wants so much to forgive our sins. He so much wants a relationship with us. This is so true that God goes to any length to find us. God makes every opportunity to be available to us. He reminds us again and again the time in now for conversion. So do not waste another second. Open your heart to God. It will make all of the difference.

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on November 8, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

He will find you

He will find you
Daily Homilies

 
 

00:00 / 2:41
 

1X

 

Readings for Today

Today’s readings provide for us an important insight into God. God wants everyone to be saved. Everyone. In the first reading, we are reminded God uses a less than perfect Saint Paul to preach to the Gentiles. In the gospel, we see parables that remind us that God is always searching for us. God wants so much to forgive our sins. He so much wants a relationship with us. This is so true that God goes to any length to find us. God makes every opportunity to be available to us. He reminds us again and again the time in now for conversion. So do not waste another second. Open your heart to God. It will make all of the difference.

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on November 8, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Homily for the Ascension (either Sunday May 17, 2015 or Thursday, May 14, 2015)

Homily for the Ascension (either Sunday May 17, 2015 or Thursday, May 14, 2015)
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 

00:00 / 13:11
 

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Readings for the Ascension

Readings for the Seventh Sunday of EasterHomily for the Seventh Sunday of Easter

When I was little, one of the most exciting memories for me was my first trip to Fenway Park. I was young – 7 I think – and the thought of seeing my Red Sox, LIVE, and where they played, was almost too much to bear. The Boston Red Sox were playing the Washington Senators. (For those of you not old enough to remember, these Senators became the Texas Rangers. The previous Senators became the Minnesota Twins.) At that time, in Boston, getting to Fenway Park was not so easy, and as one might expect the rural Vermonters did not have such an easy time of it. We got lost.

Now driving in Boston is an adventure. I know that there are those who think they face the worst drivers, but I think Boston, or New York, easily take the cake. If you have driven in Boston, you might know that they have rules for driving that are a little bit different than other places. First, using direction signals rarely occurs, since you would not want to tip off the enemy. Stop signs are merely suggestions. I hope you get the idea.

Finally, my father did the unthinkable for a man. He stopped to ask for directions. This was a monumental event. My father was like most men, where asking for directions is seen as a tremendous sign of weakness. “I know where we are.” But, after circling Fenway for what seemed like an eternity, we stopped at a gas station. These were the days when there were station attendants who pumped the gas into your car. At this stop, there were two men outside. I watched as my father walked over to them. It did not go as I expected. My father obviously asked how to get to Fenway. But the two men immediately pointed in opposite directions, and I new we were in trouble. They argued, and I think my father tried to remember enough of the argument to get us where we needed to go.

Being lost is not a pleasant experience. It can be especially challenging when the destination is one of excitement for us, like traveling on a vacation. Perhaps in the age of the GPS, being lost is not as difficult as it used to be. A calming voice speaks the directions to get us where we need to go.  But when we are lost, either with directions to a destination or in our lives, it is not a good place to be.

Jesus did not want such to be the case for us. It may have seemed easier if Jesus simply remained in a visible form here on earth after his resurrection. Why did he ascend back to his place in heaven at the right hand of the Father? It is because being here on this earth is not our final destination. Heaven is our ultimate end and destination. The destination where we live and love with God for all eternity.

Even though we may know this to be true, the events of our daily lives can lead us astray. What are we to do in the face of the wars, violence and terrors we hear about so often? Imagine how desperate our existence would be if this was all there was? Imagine how pitiable we would be if those killed by ISIS, for example, had their entire existence ended by their killing. Such despair. Imagine the sadness of a child contracting a terminal illness. Imagine how tragic it would be if those who are starving in our world could not at all hope for anything different?  There are many instances where these sad and tragic events would be made all the worse if this earth, and this life on earth were our ultimate end.

But it is not. Jesus did not want to leave our final destination as one where we would not know the way to get there. Even the disciples needed to ask how to get to the place where Jesus is going. But he did not want us to be left to our own devices. He wanted there to be certainty about the way, and so he reminds us he is the Way. And further, we now begin our waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

The nine days between the traditional date for the celebration of the Ascension and the celebration of Pentecost is what gives rise to our notion of a novena, as the word comes from the Latin for nine. So not only do we seek to follow the Way, Jesus, but we wait because he will do even more for us. He will send the Spirit into our lives, so that we may have the help we need to live a life that leads us on the way to Christ.

What is it you should do over these nine days? How about using this time to pray. That is what the apostles and Mary did in the Upper Room. They were frightened and scared, but they new from where their strength came from. And so they placed themselves in the presence of God. So perhaps over these nine days you might seek to read the bible prayerfully. Maybe you would try to get to a daily Mass or two. Perhaps you might pray the rosary, or repeat a Scripture verse over and over. Maybe you simply find silence. You may seek in that silence to repeat prayerfully, “Come, Holy Spirit”. Whatever, take this time of waiting to come to know the Christ. Because of his example, presence and grace, you know the way.

Homily for Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Readings for Today

If you are like me, there are times where you put something in a special place so that you will know exactly where it is, and it will not become lost. But, if you are really like me you simply forget just what that special place is. Then the real adventure begins. There is the great search to find that special item that you knew you would need, and so that is why it was placed in that unforgettable location that you forgot. Usually, I do find the item, and when I do, the reason becomes clear why I placed the item in that unforgettable location. And there is the joy of finding it, of the relief that comes from knowing that whatever made keeping the item safe important in the first place has ultimately come true.

As consuming as that experience is, it pales in comparison to the desire of God to find the lost sinner. The love of God means having an unbelievable desire to save everyone, every single person, for God has made each person as an unrepeatable masterpiece made in His image. We cannot imagine the powerful love God has for each one of us. We cannot imagine just how much it is that God seeks us out to save us. We cannot imagine just how far God will seek us out to reestablish the relationship that we broke. Even when we reject God, God continues to want a relationship with us. Even though we move away from God, God does not move away from us.

The desire by God for our salvation, the seeking for us when we are lost, this is the purpose of Advent. This season reminds us just how powerful is the love of God for us. For us, we have only to want to be found. For you and me, it is simply knowing that we must return to the Lord. This season provides the best time, right now, to celebrate the sacrament of confession. It is the season of Advent that invites us to seek the forgiveness that God constantly seeks to give us. God is waiting, every day, every moment, for us to return for the seeking and searching God.

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Homily for Thursday, November 6, 2014

Readings for Today

I lost a windbreaker a while ago. I really have no idea what happened to it. I have retraced my steps, I have checked all of the places I thought it could be. I do not remember travelling anywhere between the last time I remember having it and when I realized it was lost. I simply have no clue where it is. I have resigned myself that I will probably not see this windbreaker again. I obviously left it somewhere and it is gone.

Today’s gospel describes people who have lost something. They turn things upside down until they find it. And when they do they are happy. I miss my windbreaker, but I also have to confess that I did not really look as long as the people in the gospel looked for what they lost.

And none of us looked as long for lost items as God looks for us when we are lost. God seeks us out, invites us back, longs for us to return to God. We have a God who finds great joy in the return of a sinner. More joy in fact over one repentent sinner, than over ninety-nine people who have no need of repentence.

How much effort do we put in to coming back to God when we sin? Do we seek to provide a warm welcome to those who come to Mass here in this Church when we do not know them? The person we do not know might very well be the person who has just been found by God, and brought back.

Not only should we consider be welcoming in the sense of warmly reaching out to those we do not know, but we should also show forth the witness of our Christian life. Do we express the joy of gospel life? Are we appropriately willing to share something personal about our faith so that others feel comfortable with us?

For as a Catholic, there is no such thing as an individual faith entirely. It is not to say that we do not need to engage our heart in seeking a deeper relationship with God, but at its core to be a Catholic is to be part of a community. We are called to reach out to support each other, we are called to evangelize, we are called to go forth because we have found something that is so wonderful we cannot help but share it.

Paul reinforces this in the first reading. We are the witness, we are the sign of a convicted life with God, or we show forth a lack of sincereity that can cause people to run the other way from the Gospel. You are the witness and so am I. So let’s be sure to show forth the authentic faith God desires in our hearts.