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.

What’s in your jar?

What’s in your jar?
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 3:11
 
1X
 

Readings for Today

It is easy to identify with the two characters in today’s gospel. I find that all too often I am like Simon, who cannot see past the woman’s sinfulness. I think too often it can be the case that I have already made up a judgement about another person, and then find all the evidence I need to see in their behavior what I have already decided, whether it is there or not. But I know I need to be more like the woman, paying attention to the jar I bring, filled with my own sinfulness, and make it, as she did, a sign of God’s abundant mercy. What do you bring to the Lord? And what do you want God to do with it?

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on September 20, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

What’s in your jar?

What’s in your jar?
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 3:11
 
1X
 

Readings for Today

It is easy to identify with the two characters in today’s gospel. I find that all too often I am like Simon, who cannot see past the woman’s sinfulness. I think too often it can be the case that I have already made up a judgement about another person, and then find all the evidence I need to see in their behavior what I have already decided, whether it is there or not. But I know I need to be more like the woman, paying attention to the jar I bring, filled with my own sinfulness, and make it, as she did, a sign of God’s abundant mercy. What do you bring to the Lord? And what do you want God to do with it?

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on September 20, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Time to bring back Ember Days?

The bishop of Pittsburgh, David Zubik, announced a week ago that he was proclaiming a year of repentance in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, calling on all clergy to observe the Ember Days. Huh? What exactly are the Ember Days? And how is it they are connected to repentance?

While called Ember Days, the word ember is probably a mistaken use. The word was first tempora, the word for time.  There were four times in the course of a year that the days were celebrated. The original connection was likely the harvest, and the idea was probably taken from the Romans. The idea was to acknowledge the importance of the harvest to the life of the community.

Without an attempt to specifically acknowledge dependence, we can begin to take things for granted. We celebrate birthdays, days for our parents (Mother’s Day and Father’s Day) and anniversaries. Usually such days are accompanied by some sacrifice on the part of the ones doing the celebrations. We buy gifts for a birthday. We might make our mothers breakfast in bed. Spouses sacrifice time looking for a gift, and maybe the money to buy it because of their love.

This was the reason that the Church developed Ember days. They were designed as four sets of three days, in order to help all people remember ultimate dependence upon God. They are, like Fridays in Lent, days of fasting and abstinence. They are times to recall God’s boundless love in forgiving not only our own personal sins, but the sins of the entire Church.

Individuals performing penance for sins other than their own has a long history in the Church. It is also mentioned today in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. For example, priests are to do penance for the people who confess their sins to them in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. [The priest] must pray and do penance for his penitent, entrusting him to the Lord’s mercy. (CCC, 1466)

Earlier, in the same section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it says this:

The interior penance of the Christian can be expressed in many and various ways. Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others. Alongside the radical purification brought about by Baptism or martyrdom they cite as means of obtaining forgiveness of sins: effort at reconciliation with one’s neighbor, tears of repentance, concern for the salvation of one’s neighbor, the intercession of the saints, and the practice of charity “which covers a multitude of sins.”

Perhaps restoring the practices of Ember Days would help the Church to see that the primary trust must always be in the Lord Jesus. That for each of us, the leaders of the Church have authority only to the degree they follow the will of God in their lives. And it also reminds me of the importance of my own feeble attempt at personal witness to the power of the Gospel to change my heart. To recognize that any holiness I may achieve is only because of the grace of God. To remind me that my heart is always in need of conversion. So I have decided to observe the Ember days this year, as a sign of my public penance and a desire to become more like Jesus.

When are the Ember Days this year?

The Ember Days are the Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays following the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, after the celebration of Saint Lucy (December 13), after Ash Wednesday, and after Pentecost. Specifically, the next four are: September 19, 21, 22; December 19, 21, 22; March 13, 15, 16; June 12, 14, 15. 

What does someone do to observe the Ember Days?

These are days were a person abstains from meat (like Fridays during Lent), fasts (like Ash Wednesday and Good Friday), and makes a holy hour in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament on each of the Ember Days.

To be a good shepherd do penance

To be a good shepherd do penance
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 3:45
 
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Readings for Today

There is a tremendous responsibility given to any leader. Leadership is not simply the case of giving orders. It is far more important than that. It is about providing the example that inspire others to follow. And, when a leader fails, it is about having the courage to admit wrongdoing, and doing something so that words do not ring hollow, but represent a desire to make up for sin. Fridays are traditionally days when penance is done, so today is a good day to do what it takes to repent.

Homily given at Saint Dominic’s Priory, Saint Louis, Missouri, on July 27, 2018
Photo courtesy Pixabay.

Do you believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness?

Today the Church starts readings from the book of Hosea, a wonderful testimony to God’s forgiveness and mercy. You may have heard the phrase, “God is rich in mercy.” But have you considered what that means for you personally? Do you allow yourself to experience that mercy and forgiveness? Do you take the time to find that mercy and forgiveness when God is ready to offer it to you? Can you allow God to change your heart to turn away from sin and to experience the love of God?

Homily given at Saint Dominic Priory, Saint Louis, Missouri on July 9, 2018
Image courtesy Pixabay

Do you believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness?

Do you believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness?
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 2:55
 
1X
 

Readings for Today

Today the Church starts readings from the book of Hosea, a wonderful testimony to God’s forgiveness and mercy. You may have heard the phrase, “God is rich in mercy.” But have you considered what that means for you personally? Do you allow yourself to experience that mercy and forgiveness? Do you take the time to find that mercy and forgiveness when God is ready to offer it to you? Can you allow God to change your heart to turn away from sin and to experience the love of God?

Homily given at Saint Dominic Priory, Saint Louis, Missouri on July 9, 2018
Image courtesy Pixabay

Evil can be strong, but God’s love and mercy is stronger

Readings for Today

(Homilies given at Our Lady of Lourdes, University City, MO, on June 30 and July 1, 2018.)

It is no secret we live in a broken world. We are surrounded by violence. People are suffering unjustly. Children are separated from the parents. There is family brokenness. And we sin. But despite all of this, the love and mercy and forgiveness of Jesus is stronger. It can heal. It can raise people from the dead. And if we accept this in faith, we can live forever.