Getting More than you bargained for: Homily for Sunday, October 29, 2017

Readings for Today

There are moments when we think we are asking about one thing, and we get an answer to the question that we did not expect.  Today’s gospel is just one such occasion. The question asked of Jesus concerns the greatest commandment.  Namely, we should love the Lord our God with everything we have.  But what the person asking the question did not expect was to be given the second commandment.  We are also to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Sometimes then we get more than we have bargained for.  We cannot say we love God if in fact, we do not love our neighbor.  We must see the connection.  And we learn this connection is both the type of love that is action, and the type of love that is forgiveness.  Be careful what you ask Jesus.  You might just get an answer you were not expecting.

Getting more than you bargained for: Homily for Sunday, October 29, 2017

Readings for Today

There are moments when we think we are asking about one thing, and we get an answer to the question that we did not expect.  Today’s gospel is just one such occasion. The question asked of Jesus concerns the greatest commandment.  Namely, we should love the Lord our God with everything we have.  But what the person asking the question did not expect was to be given the second commandment.  We are also to love our neighbors as ourselves.

When Jesus identifies the second commandment, he makes the first commandment clearer.  If we are to love God with all we have, we must love our neighbors as ourselves. Loving God means loving neighbor. We cannot say we love God if we do not love our neighbor.  So when you ask Jesus a question, be careful.  You too might get more in the answer than you bargained for.

 

Jesus meant EVERYBODY: Homily for Monday, October 9, 2017

Readings for Today

I want a loophole.  I want to exclude some people from being my neighbor.  Some people might hurt me.  Some people might take advantage of me.  Why must I love them? Why must I include them in my list of neighbors? These are not easy questions.  But this gospel today is radical.  It is tough.  When Jesus tells us to love our neighbor, and then tells this story, he means everybody is our neighbor.  We have to love everybody.

And this is not easy.  Because I do not want to love everybody.  I want to love those people who are easy to love.  I do not want to love the stranger.  I do not want to love the prisoner.  And if I can suggest they are unworthy of love, then all the better.  If I can say they are lazy, or mean, or evil, then I can feel better not loving them.  But that misses the answer given by Jesus.  Loving our neighbor means loving everyone.

Greatest: Homily for Friday, August 25, 2017

To hear the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Teachers, at least good teachers, get asked a lot of questions.  Some they like.  Questions that challenge, or demonstrate insight, or seek clarity or understanding.  Others are not so pleasant.  “Will this be on the test?” probably ranks among the least favorite, although the student who comes back after missing a day of school to ask, “Did we do anything yesterday?” is pretty annoying too.

Why did the man ask Jesus about which commandment was greatest? Why wouldn’t a scholar of the law already know the answer? Perhaps because the question was not really a question at all.  It was an attempt to trip Jesus up by giving an answer that could get Jesus into trouble. But the result was an answer that makes it quite easy to develop a guide for Christian life.  Love God.  Love neighbor.

Daily Prayer for Thursday, June 29, 2017

Act of Charity

O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because you are all-good and worthy of all my love.  I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you.  I forgive all who have injured me and ask pardon of all of whom I have injured.  Amen.

Homily for Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Readings for Today

As if we did not get it yesterday, today again we are reminded about love. But we are given today a very, very important qualifier to love. What is primary is not that we love, but rather that God loves. We can love because God loves. It was the love of God that created. It was God who first loved us, even before we were born. Everything is about God’s love.

There can be a temptation to think that everything depends upon us. We can see that we are the ones who make God real. We can easily get things backwards. We can think that we, as intelligent human beings, are the source of all love. We can think that our faith is not about believing in God, but only about doing things. We can reduce our faith only to action. This can keep us from growing in faith.

See, faith is first and foremost about placing ourselves in the presence of God. It is in seeking out silence so that we can first hear the voice of God. It is only when we realize that all we have is because God created it in His love, that we are able to enter into the relationship God wants with us even more deeply. God initiates the call to relationship; we respond to the call.

Continue reading

Homily for Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Readings for Today

I do not know many parents who get excited when their children indicate they would like to be servants. There is not a long list of people who wish to be at the beck and call of others.

When discussing our relationship with him, Jesus speaks of commandments, while at the same time saying that we are not going to be called slaves. This is because they commandment we follow is not about duties, or tasks, the type of dirty work we try to avoid. No, it is about nothing less than to be a partner with God in loving.

Continue reading