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.

Opposites don’t always attract: Homily for Monday, December 11, 2017

Readings for Today

The first reading contrasts the desert with blooming flowers. The gospel contrasts the absolute trust that those carrying the paralyzed man and the legalistic Pharisees. This season of Advent is indeed a season of contrasts.  Just when we think Jesus could not startle us any more, he does.  Jesus not only heals, he forgives sins. God makes deserts bloom. At every turn, we see the gift of new life.

As we finish the first week of Advent and begin the second, where is your journey this Advent? How have you made room for the Spirit of God? Where do you see yourself filled with expectation at what God will do?

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.

A building is not enough: Homily for Friday, November 24, 2017

Readings for Today

As beautiful as churches are, buildings are not enough.  As edifying as shrines can be, buildings are not enough. This is today’s lesson. The first reading points out to us just how marvelous the temple can be.  After watching people abandon their faith, and finding great victory due to faith in God, the time has come for a magnificent celebration. And how marvelous it is.  But the building was not enough.

Why? Because despite the ways in which the church lifted mind and soul to God, it was not enough for all to change their lives to reflect a life lived for God. Just a short couple of centuries later, Jesus scolds because the temple has been profaned.  Still, make a visit to a church. Stop by to pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Just remember to live the authentic life of faith, strengthened by the sacraments.

Knowing your persepective: Homily for Thanksgiving, November 23, 2017

Readings for Today

So much of our lives revolves around how we see things.  Our perspective on life makes all the difference.  Are we optimistic? Sad? Do you seek the good in others? Do you mistrust everyone? Is God loving or judgmental? Do we trust God or doubt? Questions like these, and others, have a lot to do with how it is we see life.

Today’s gospel shows how easy it is to miss what is really important.  Nine are cured of leprosy, and for whatever reason, they cannot go back to thank Jesus.  Maybe they were too excited to see family.  Maybe the wonder of life returning to normal was too distracting.  For whatever reason, it was only one who said thank-you to Jesus. Being grateful for what we have makes it more likely we see other reasons to be thankful.  Give thanks to God today. You will find more blessings than you knew you had.

What do you want: Homily for Monday, November 20, 2017

Readings for Today

Jesus asks a direct question.  What do you want me to do for you? The blind man, not surprisingly, wants to see.  He knows what to ask Jesus for to get attention.  He wants pity and mercy from Jesus.  He knows he needs that.  And it is this knowledge that leads to the faith that saves him.  Jesus is clear.  The blind man’s faith has saved him.

How would you answer this question from Jesus? What do you want Jesus to do for you?

Signum Fidei: Homily for November 1, 2017

Readings for Today

Do you witness to sanctity? Do you show forth holiness in your life? The bishop that ordained me said this: “Don’t wait until you die to be a saint.  That’s too late.  Become a saint now.” Are you a saint? On the seal of the high school where I teach is the Latin phrase, “signum fidei.” It means sign of faith. It suggests that in all things we are to see ourselves as signs of faith.

How do we do this? We are a sign of faith when we are generous, faithful, prayerful and kind. We are a sign of faith when Jesus becomes the center of our lives.  Each time we see another human being as the image of God, we are a sign of faith.  So do not wait to become a saint.  Do so now.

Sufferings are as nothing: Homily for October 31, 2017

Readings for Today

My faith is not strong enough.  Unlike Saint Paul, I cannot consider my sufferings as nothing.  I believe it to  be so in my mind, that compared to heaven these sufferings are tiny.  But in my life, I cannot simply see them that way.  There is so much suffering in the world.  There is so much hardship.  It can be easy to give into despair.

God brings hope.  All we need to do is ask. For when we remain focused on the prize of Heaven, we rise. When we proclaim Jesus has triumphed over death, we win.  When we remember all that Jesus does, we can overcome any suffering.

An 18-year priority: Homily for October 30, 2017

Readings for Today

What is your priority? Or, in light of today’s gospel, who is your priority? It seems interesting that people of faith could make anyone other than Jesus a priority, but it happens.  Moreover, it seems almost impossible that in the midst of a miracle, the power of Jesus could be questioned.  But such is the case in today’s gospel. Eighteen years of suffering are relieved, but all some can see is the letter of Sabbath law.

What is your priority? Can you see beyond the letter of the law to the lawgiver? Can you allow Jesus to take over your heart? Can you love Jesus so that you will find him wherever he is present to you?