Conversion: Homily for Saturday, September 30, 2017

Readings for Today

I read a post from Sherry Weddell about Saint Jerome that underscored how conversion is a process.  Saint Jerome was quite a complex person.  He lived a wild life as a youth, became a Catholic, but did not really convert, according to Weddell’s post, until later. In fact, it was the bible that played an important part.  “Ignorance of scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”

It causes me to think about how well I know Jesus.  And it causes me to ask if I have really allowed Jesus to change my heart.  Or, is it the case that all too often I simply go through the motions.  Perhaps I need to pay more attention to the story of Saint Jerome.  Becuase it is clearly the case I can know Jesus better each day.

Homily for Monday, August 24, 2015

Readings for Today

Sometimes we can feel that simply “being a good person” is enough. And certainly, it is a good start. But our faith really calls us to be something more than simply “a good person” because there is something so much greater in store for us when we open our hearts to a relationship with Jesus.

Too often I think we settle for too less when we think of Jesus. We can be people that hope we squeeze into heaven, or we can limit heaven simply to a large family reunion, or we can think that every body goes to heaven regardless of what they do.

But today’s readings remind us that not only can our lives be better today if we seek a deep relationship with Jesus, the promise held out to us is magnificent indeed. I am learning that more and more too many Catholics are not thinking about the possibility that we can have a real, life-giving, authentic, personal relationship with Jesus. But such is the promise of the readings today. Don’t sell God short.

The first reading describes the beauty of the next life. Using familiar terms of opulence and excess, we are reminded that nothing can possibly compare to the tremendous reality of heaven. The reality is, that heaven is far more than we can possibly imagine. Saint Paul tells this to the Corinthians. It has not even dawned in their hearts (and ours) what God has prepared for us if we love God and enter authentically into a relationship with him.

Authenticity, or having no guile, is what Jesus observes about Bartholomew (sometimes call Nathaniel). There is no guile. But just as we today are too small with our hope of what God can do, so too is Bartholomew. Simply being observed by Jesus under the tree is enough for him to trust the testimony and witness of Philip about Jesus. But there is so much more!

So, today, think big! Consider that God has more fulfillment and love for you than you can possibly imagine or dream about! Know that God is much bigger than most of us think he is.

Homily for Sunday, April 19, 2015

Readings for Today

Have you ever had the experience of knowing what you want to say, but not really being able to express the words in a way that makes it clear to another what you mean to say? If you have, you know that this experience is most frustrating and even maddening when what we have to say is really quite important. With a little thought, perhaps more than a few instances come to mind. There are times when children cannot seem to express what they want to say to their parents. It can work the other way too, when parents become frustrated when their children do not seem to understand what is being said. Teachers and students and parents can be limited by the inability to understand what was said or what it means.

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Homily for Thursday, January 8, 2015

Readings for Today

The checklist of the Messiah. Bring glad tidings to the poor. Proclaim liberty to captives. Recover sight for the blind. Let oppressed go free. Proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. These were the very things Jesus told the disciples of John when they came asking if Jesus was the Messiah. And during this Christmas season, it is important for us to focus on the fact that we believe Jesus is the Messiah. He does these things. And more.

So let us take some time to think about how we conceive of Jesus. First, as Catholics, what are some things we believe about Jesus. Well, we believe Jesus is both human and divine, we believe Jesus is the second person of the Blessed Trinity. We believe that Jesus loves us. We believe that Jesus suffered and died for our sins, and then rose again. But perhaps most of all, we believe that a personal relationship with Jesus, not simply with the human Jesus when he was on earth two thousand years ago, but with the divine Jesus too that is alive and active today. We can have a personal relationship with Jesus.

This is possible because of love. It is not because our love is primary, but that God’s love is primary. We heard that yesterday. But because God loves us, God desires for us to be in the loving relationship we are invited to have with God. This means first coming to the profound realization and acceptance that we are lovable because God loves us. It is also important for us to recognize that because we are loved by God, not only is this personal relationship with Jesus possible, it can change the way we interact with the world.

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