Success, Failure, Everything in between: Homily for Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Readings for Today

Today we learn that there are all different kinds of preachers.  We read about Saint Paul, whose efforts are well-documented, and whose success is known.  There are those who have left the preaching.  And there are those who are downright destructive to the preaching.  Today we celebrate Saint Luke.  He was an evangelist, and also the author of the Acts of the Apostles.  His efforts are noted by Saint Paul as quite helpful.

It serves as a reminder there are zealous and effective preachers, there are those who are holy, but perhaps not as effective. And, there are those who leave altogether, while still others are harmful to the mission. Where do you find yourself? Are you an effective disciple, making other disciples? Are you still trying to figure out what you believe? Or are you a big skeptic? Make time to get to know Jesus better, who can make all things better.

Vengeance: Homily for Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Readings for Today

Isn’t it ironic that today’s reading features vengeance? The day after the Las Vegas shootings and we are face to face with the understandable human emotion. Vengeance. “Do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Today is a day where it might just be a little easier to understand such an emotion.

But the response of Jesus tells us everything we need to know about vengeance. No.  Jesus rebuked the disciples for their desire for vengeance.  Despite how good vengeance might seem to feel at the time, it fails to satisfy.  Why? Because it does not bring peace.  Quite the opposite.  We fall prey to the very thing we abhor. Lord, please send your peace into our hearts.

Who is saved before me?: Homily for Sunday, October 1, 2017

Readings for Today

Sometimes I get a little smug in my faith.  I think that I am pretty good.  I feel proud of myself. And as I read today’s gospel, it is just at those moments that I should worry.  Because I might very well find Jesus saying to me that the less likely in my eyes are going to be saved before I am. The very people I look down upon, they might be the ones who have really heard the word of God.  They might be the ones who have accepted Jesus.

It is so easy to put others down.  It is so easy to dismiss those who do not seem to be much in the eyes of the world.  Sinners.  It is easy to dismiss sinners by convincing myself that I am not a sinner. I am not like one of ‘those people’. But Jesus has a stark message for me when that happens.  ‘Those people” might be the very ones who truly hear what he has to say.  And if I do not humble myself before Jesus, I might be like those locked out of the wedding feast.

A Ghost: Homily for Memorial of Saint Dominic, August 8, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

How often do you chase the shadow God?  How often do you limit God? Aaron and Miriam refuse to let God act in a way God chooses.  The disciples do not recognize Jesus. They think he is a ghost. All miss the presence of God because of their expectations.  Since God is not who they think he is, God must be wrong.  Aaron and Miriam do not get it.  The disciples finally do.

We have to let God be God. It is not up to us to tell God what to do.  On this feast of Saint Dominic, it seems similar to his time with the Albegensians.  People are going their own way.  The spiritual life does not guide people to happiness. People want God to do what they want.  People do not want to do anymore the will of God.  And yet, God is not stopped.  Moses continues to do the work God gives him.  The disciples learn more and more from Jesus.  If we are to be true to Saint Dominic’s mission, we too need to go forth to preach in a way that lets God be God.

The Fruits of Prayer: Preaching. Homily for Saturday, July 22, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Contemplare aliis tradere.  To contemplate in order to give the fruits of contemplation to others. That is the connection between prayer and action.  For Dominicans, it is the connection between prayer and preaching.  Remember the Baltimore Catechism question about why God made us.  “To know, love and serve Him in this life and to live forever with Him in the next.” All prayer should lead to God.  God should be the focus of our prayer.  This week we have looked, with the help of the readings, at prayer as praising, resting and thanking.  Besides our own sanctification, what is all of this for?

On this feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, by looking at her example, we get an answer.  It is this service of others.  And if we examine the life of Saint Dominic, and the driving question he asked God (What is to become of sinners?) we understand he founded the Dominican Order for preaching and the salvation of souls.  While we know Saint Mary Magdalene as one who was transformed by God’s grace, we may not always think of Mary Magdalene as the first preacher.  She was the first to proclaim to the others the resurrection of Jesus.

Do you bring new life to those around you? Are you concerned with the salvation of others?  Do you take the time to contemplate the love of God so as to share the power of that love to others who may not know Jesus? The purpose of prayer is to get to know God more.  In prayer, we come to love God more. Authentic, true love must be shared.  So, share, what God in His mercy, has done for you.

Fr Miguel Ángel del Río is the New Vicar of the Master of the Order

The Master of the Order, fr Bruno Cadoré had appointed fr Miguel Ángel del Río as his new vicar. He succeeds fr Vivian Boland who has been the vicar since November 2012. Fr Miguel is of the Province of Hispania and he is currently the Socius of the Master of the Order for Italy, Malta and the Iberian Peninsula

Fr Miguel was born in Barillos of Arrimadas (León) in 1970. He entered the Order in 1989 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1995. After his ordination, he studied Liturgy at the Pontificio Ateneo San Anselmo in Rome and obtained his doctorate in 1998.

He was prior of the Convent of Ntra. Sra. del Camino (León) for six years. Before his appointment, he was assigned to the Convent of San Esteban (Salamanca) and was a professor and secretary of the Faculty and School of Theology of San Esteban.

Open: Homily for the Memorial of Saint Scholastica, February 10, 2017

To listen to the homily, click the links above.

Readings for Today

Open.  This word has so many applications.  One use refers to a business when customers can purchase something.  Another use refers to a road that is clear, free from obstructions.  Another use concerns an athletic competition, as in the US Open.  The word open can refer to what we can see, either good things or not so good things.  And in today’s first reading, and the gospel, the notion of open plays an important role.

In the first reading, Adam and Eve’s eyes are opened.  But instead of being opened to good things, Adam and Eve are now able to see evil.  They use their power of choice to reject God.  When they reject God, it is not the case their lives become better.  In becoming open to evil, they become closed to God.

When the deaf man encounters Jesus, his ears are opened.  Through the healing action of Jesus, the man can now hear God.  He can now proclaim the Good News.  Which he does.  Despite being told not to, the man cannot help but do so.  He tells anyone and everyone what Jesus has done for him.  Everyone hears the Good News.  Everyone proclaims the marvelous deeds of Jesus.

It is for this reason, listening and proclaiming, that this phrase is used at Baptism.  Just as Jesus opened the ears and loosened the tongue of the man, so too he does in baptism.  When we are baptised, we are just like the deaf man.  And the odd paradox is, that when we are opened to God, we become more closed to evil. God says to you and me today, speaking to our hearts: Be opened!

Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle: Jesus Christ is Lord (November 30, 2016)

Today the readings suggest we are both drawn to God and at the same time sent by God to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord.  This idea of publicly proclaiming our faith is not always very comfortable for Catholics, but we are invited to share our faith by the Lord Jesus himself.

Readings for Today

Homily for Saturday, April 11, 2015

Readings for Today

How do we look upon others? Peter and John are seen by the leaders of the Sanhedrin as ordinary, uneducated men. How could they be vehicles of the power of God? Do we entertain the belief that God can work and speak through anyone? Do we eliminate others because of the way we perceive them? Who are the ordinary and uneducated we exclude?

When we perceive what happens in our world it is not that difficult to see many ordinary and uneducated. Perhaps we exclude those who do menial, service jobs. Do we value janitors, fast food workers, cashiers at a variety of stores? What about garbage collectors, auto workers, auto repair men and women? Do we overlook those who speak poorly?

Even though those in the Sanhedrin cannot deny the powerful signs and works accomplished through Peter and John, do they really open themselves to the miraculous that is occurring through them, because they can dismiss them as ordinary and uneducated?

I recall a man in a parish I was in who taught me much about God. When I first moved into this parish, I was taken aback when envelopes appeared in my mailbox, with the names of every candidate for office written all over them. It was not simply the well-known candidates, but was literally every candidate running, some I had to look up to even know who they were. The man who wrote on these envelopes, and the many I was to receive during my time there was schizophrenic. There were times he left very old coins, some decades old, and a few dating back almost two centuries. When I asked the group home where he lived if they realized he was leaving these coins, they said he did. He recognized this was the only thing of value he really had and he wanted them to be given to God.

When this man attended Mass, he often raised his arms high in the air, and there were times he laughed loudly or made loud unintelligible noises. I was proud of our little congregation that they always welcomed him warmly. He was a phenomenally good organ player. I would even have encouraged him to play for Mass if there was any certainty of what he would play. But we were as likely to hear Christmas music in July and patriotic hymns at Christmas.

But what I will remember most about him is that in the midst of all of this, he taught me much about God. He could be profound. Sometimes what he wrote forced me to examine my life. And while he did not perform an obvious miracle, he did teach me much about Jesus. Is there someone in your life that would teach you about Jesus if you allowed it to happen?

Today’s Preaching: September 12, 2014

Readings for Today

Do you think you’re better than everyone else? Sometimes when we strive to live a good Christian life, this question can be posed to us. For some, the statement about how to live life, or what types of actions are moral or immoral, can be the cause of others to interpretative that somehow this way of life, this way of living means that we see ourselves in some type of superior position.

Indeed, when we look in previous ages, there was a temptation to see the priests were somehow superior because they preach the word of God. There were instances where perhaps being a bishop, was cause for a different type of lifestyle than the average person. Pope Francis has identified these types of things as being incompatible with the preacher of the Gospel.

I remember once watching an interview the Evangelical Pastor James Baker when he had been sent to prison for fraud. One of the more interesting parts of the interview was that James Baker suggested that perhaps having lots of money was not compatible with a gospel way of living. He had come to this realization Ueli a time to think and reflect on his life in prison. How do we see ourselves as ones who strive to live the gospel way of life?

Continue reading