Treasuring things in your heart: Homily for Monday, Janaury 1, 2018

Readings for Today

This might not be the time of year you feel like slowing down.  It may not be the time of year you can slow down.  But today’s gospel is an invitation to contemplation. As we consider the role and person of Mary, Mother of God, we are given the model of someone with a contemplative heart.  And this contemplative heart allows Mary to overcome some very difficult things.

In our lives, too, things can be hard.  We can find that so much activity is part of life. It can seem there is no time to think. But is this really true? What if we imitated Mary and treasured what happens in our hearts? What if we made time for prayer and contemplation in our lives? Try to do so during this year.

The power of holiness: Homily for Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Readings for Today

There have been a few times where I have encountered people I believe are really holy.  It is as if I encounter Jesus himself. There is a calm and a peace about these people.  There is a wonderful sense of purpose and direction. And I think it is for this reason we encounter the Blessed Mother twice during Advent in special celebrations. During this hectic and chaotic time that is December, we need a calm example of holiness.  And Mary gives that to us.

And this celebration of Mary, under the title of Guadalupe, reminds us that Mary is not concerned only with powerful people, or rich people, or bishops and popes, but Mary is also concerned with each one of us. And Mary has one purpose in reaching out to each of us.  She leads us to her son, Jesus. Every time.  Every day.  So on this day, open your heart to the prayers of Mary, so that you may become closer to Jesus.

Ordinary Guy, Extraordinary Grace: Homily for Saturday, December 9, 2017

Readings for Today

There is something really interesting to me about people who appear to be quite ordinary, but wind up with extraordinary lives. We celebrate such a person today.  Saint Juan Diego is just such a person.  He became an extraordinary saint who was the vehicle used by the Blessed Virgin to extend salvation.  Just imagine how much the world was impacted by his sharing of the vision. He was a convert to Catholicism. Even after having an appearance of the Blessed Virgin, he goes another way to avoid her, for he is in a hurry to get to Mass. He was not a person of great influence, or power, or money.  But he was a man of faith.

It causes me to think about the degree to which I would allow God to use me.  For me, it is not a question of whether the Virgin Mary would appear to me, but rather one where I ask, would I listen, especially if the task required more than a little courage. Would I have the faith to believe, or would I doubt? Saint Juan Diego is an example of what happens when one has faith in God.

What do you carry in life?: Homily for December 8, 2017

Readings for Today

I remember a dramatic scene in the movie, The Mission, where a war mercenary decided there needed to be a change in his life.  He converted and turned his life around. As a sign of his desire to change, he put the implements of his sin, his armor and weapons, in a bag and lugged it up a mountain.  It made the journey difficult and slow.  So slow in fact, that another person climbing the mountain became frustrated and cut the rope to the  bag, and it tumbled all the way back to the bottom of the mountain.  He did not go on.  He went back down and started over.  When he finally reached the top, the natives, members from the village,  members he had killed and sold into slavery, finally cut the bag as a sign of reconciliation.

Our Blessed Mother, Mary, is sometimes referred to the Ark of the Covenant, because she carried Jesus in her womb.  It makes for a question.  What do we carry? Do we cling to our sinfulness, carrying it with us because we will not turn our lives toward God, or do we carry our witness to the Gospel in the way that leads us and others to a deeper relationship with Jesus?

Advent and Christmas Resources to help celebrate the season

With Advent Beginning on the evening of December 2, there can be the feeling that we want to do something to grow spiritually, but we just do not know what. We think of giving things up for Lent, or doing something extra, but the hectic time of year can cause us to pass Advent by for other things.

But Advent is a time of spiritual growth too. We are preparing to celebrate that God became human.  The second person of the Blessed Trinity, has become on of us.  And, Jesus did this so that we could be saved! What are you going to do to open yourself to new spiritual growth? How are you going to meet Jesus this Advent season? Below are some suggestions to help out.

From the US Bishops

Beginning the Church’s liturgical year, Advent (from, “ad-venire” in Latin or “to come to”) is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas.

The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas).

Advent devotions including the Advent wreath, remind us of the meaning of the season. Our Advent calendar above can help you fully enter in to the season with daily activity and prayer suggestions to prepare you spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ.  More Advent resources are listed below.

About Advent Wreaths

Busted Halo

 

Franciscan Media

Dynamic Catholic

Word On Fire

 

 

Rosary as Contemplation: Homily for Saturday, October 7, 2017

Readings for Today

This feast has its roots in a battle.  As the story goes, the praying of the rosary led to victory.  That is why the original name of this day was Our Lady of Victory.  But as wonderful as the title is, I prefer the name the celebration has today: Our Lady of the Rosary.  Why?

The biggest reason is the way in which the rosary itself gets highlighted.  The rosary is such a powerful prayer of contemplation.  While it is true the victory of God is constant in the contemplation of the rosary, the connection to the events of our salvation, and to Jesus, seems clearer when compared to the rosary.

The rosary is the pathway to contemplation.  In its truest form, the rosary leads us to Jesus.  We reflect on his life, death and resurrection. The rosary also leads to discipleship. Just as the disciples responded to Jesus, Mary’s responded perfectly to God.  She too was sent.  She too was a devout follower of God.  Her constant yes is worthy of our imitation.

The Comfort of the Rosary: Homily for Friday, September 15, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Whenever I am in distress, I find the rosary a particularly helpful devotion. And today’s memorial tells us why.  Mary suffered.  She understands it.  And in her suffering, she provides a model: stay close to God and do what he says. So it only stands to reason that Mary would understand our suffering too.  And she would pray that her son would ease our suffering.

Every major religion in the world has some type of repetitive prayer. By praying the rosary, we are reminded of the events of salvation. We can meditate on what Jesus does for us.  And we can have the prayer from the woman who truly understands us.

Without Sin: Homily for Assumption of Mary, August 15, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today (Vigil Mass)

Readings for Today (Mass during the day)

There are moments when we might wish to have lived in a different time.  How many have longed to be alive in the time of Jesus? How many seek to live during the time of our favorite saint? When we think this way, we forget that regardless of when we live, the mission is always to follow Jesus.  We must see how Jesus is alive.  We must seek God in all things. It does not matter when we live, but what we do.

Where is God in your life? How does God call you to holiness? What is it that gives life? We live during the present age because God wants us to.  And because God wants us to, God also gives us all the grace we need.  Becuase Mary knew this and remained close to God, she was rewarded by God with the immediate presence.  She did not have to wait for death but rather went right to God.

 

Daily prayer for July 9, 2017

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Amen.