Open Your Heart. Hear God Speak. Do What God Wants. Homily for Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Readings for Today

There is such a contrast to the first reading and the gospel.  Ahaz seems to be taking the high road by not wanting to tempt God, but he is not.  He does not want a sign from God, because he wants to do something different.  Mary does not seek a sign from God, but when God asks, she says yes.  Ahaz does not cultivate a relationship with God. Mary orders her entire life around her faith in God. Do you want a sign from God, or not?

Advent is about seeking.  Do we want to find God, to get a sign, or do we wish to turn away from God? Do we use the guise of faith, of goodness, to turn away from God? Is your heart open to God? Are you ready to hear God’s voice? Will you do what God wants? Make this a holy Advent.  Say yes to God.

Spiritual Gardening: Homily for Sunday, July 23, 2017

Readings for Today

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One of the first jobs I ruled out was to become a farmer.  It was too hard.  There was so much hard work that needed to be done.  Likewise, one of the first hobbies I ruled out was that of gardening.  While my recollection might be a bit skewed, I felt like I was dragged out by my father to weed the garden constantly.

And yet, the image in today’s gospel is a good one.  Do we engage in spiritual gardening, spiritual weeding? It is not difficult to see the areas of our lives where we need to remove the weeds that keep us from encountering a deep relationship with God.  And whether it is through the sacraments, the bible, silent time with God, adoration, or some other way, we are called to be sure that we make the soil of our soul fertile.  All God needs is our openness to him.  God will take care of the rest.

Homily for Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Readings for Today

It is not at all uncommon for us to be like the Pharisees, neglecting the weightier things of the Law.  Consider the recent controversy surrounding the name of the Washington Redskins.  There are those who wish the name would be changed.  But is changing the name one of those easy things to do, while neglecting the weightier matters of the law, which is to provide just opportunities for native Americans and all peoples? Is making a donation that does not take much from us neglecting the weightier matter of the law which might be to visit someone with a disease, accompany someone as a hospice volunteer, or to volunteer the gift of time to an organization?

And what are the weightier matters of the law?  Jesus tells us.  Justice.  Mercy.  Fidelity.  Our country and world are wrestling with questions of justice.  What are we to do about ISIS, or Ukraine, Syria, Iraq?  What are we to do about the events of Ferguson, and so many others like them.  What are we to do when so much of the world is starving simply because we have not yet learned to share?  Just what does it mean to give people those things they deserve simply because they exist?  In so many ways, it is easier to focus on something not quite so demanding.  It is not easy to see how we are to be agents of God’s justice, cooperating with the grace God gives us. Doing justice is hard work.  There is no easy way to discern the just thing to do, there is no short cut to an easy solution.  What we know and have learned is that it requires the cleansing of the inside of our hearts, to clean out that sin that keeps us from living as God wants us to live.

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