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.

The Extraordinary Ordinary: Homily for Thursday, September 7, 2017

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Readings for Today

Human life is amazing.  Sometimes when we are doing something we’ve done a thousand times, it becomes all new.  There are other moments when a common experience is uncommon. Sometimes the miraculous comes at the most unexpected time. God comes barging in when we least expect him.

Such is the case for Peter.  How many times has he been fishing? How often has he come up empty? The miraculous catch of fish changes everything.  After this, nothing is the same.  An ordinary endeavor will be traded for an extraordinary one. Peter will be seeking followers of Jesus, not fish.  Keep your eyes open.  Jesus might just make an ordinary moment unbelievably extraordinary.

Alert and Sober: Homily for Tuesday, September 5, 2017

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Readings for Today

Alert and Sober.  These words are meant to help us. It can be so easy to be sluggish.  We can let life just happen to us.  We can allow distractions to be too much a part of who we are and what we are about.  Rather than alert and sober, we can become sleepy and lazy.  Rather than making life happen, we can sit back and let it happen.

Many religions believe in being awake.  For many religions, the virtue is to be alert, awake, alive.  Rather than allowing life to happen, people should reflect.  They should be awake, making life happen by their deliberate choices. Jesus wants us to be sober and alert.  So, wake up! Jesus is coming to meet you.

Sanctifying: Homily for Thursday, August 31, 2017

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Readings for Today

Jesus tells his followers to pray always.  Just how is this done? In the midst of our responsibilities, how can we follow this command? The Church, thankfully, through the saints, and through her liturgies, provides the solution.  There is the prayer known as the “Liturgy of the Hours”, with prayers designed to occur at various moments of the day.  There are websites like the bishops’ website that provide the daily readings.

And then there is the little effort to see that all we do can be seen as a way of praying and sanctifying the day.  Loving actions parents make for the children is a type of sanctification.  Making a meal, working at a job, and other aspects of our daily endeavors can be seen as ways to sanctifying our day.  Hopefully, though, it is by taking a little time in silent prayer that we find the presence of God in our lives.

Remember: Homily for Monday, August 21, 2017

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Readings for Today

It can be easy to forget all that God has done for us.  We do not remember all of the times God has shown love or mercy.  We quickly forget those times where grace filled our hearts.  This is the state of affairs in the first reading.  People have quickly forgotten the promise made to serve the Lord and to reject evil. In fact, even the judges appointed to lead them forget too.  The people worship other Gods.  They choose not to follow the commandments.

In our own lives too, we can find ourselves rejecting God despite all God does for us.  Each day the stark choice to follow or reject God is before us. Every day we can follow God, receive grace and grow in faith.  Or, every day we can choose to reject God and go our own way.  But our faith tells us rejecting God is not without consequences.  God wants to pour out to us his love, mercy, and grace.  When we reject God, we receive those consequences of our choices where we receive death and destruction.  Ask God for an open heart.  Choose God.

Presence: Homily for Thursday, August 3, 2017

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Readings for today

It is interesting that there is sometimes a little bit of wisdom in our misguided human actions.  What the people wanted in making the Golden Calf was a tangible sign of God’s presence.  What God gives them, through Moses today, is the Ark of the Covenant, the sign of the covenant God has made with the people. This is the sure sign for a frightened people that God is still present.  By the Ark of the Covenant, the people know they will not be abandoned by God.

We can feel that same anxiety at times, and seek out certainty in a way that does not show forth the holiness of God.  But just as the Ark of the Covenant was given as a sign of God’s presence, so to the Eucharist, present in so many Catholic churches is the reminder of the presence of Jesus all around us. Perhaps today God is asking you to seek him by visiting a Catholic church for adoration or a visit.

The Power of Repentance: Homily for Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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Readings for Today

Tyre and Sidon did not really have a good reputation.  In the book of the prophet Joel, they not only rejected the religion of Joel, but placed the silver and gold from the temple into their own temple.  And when mentioned by Jesus, the big problem is the lack of repentance.  There is no acknowledgement of sin.  There is no desire to change ways.  And for this failure, Jesus chastises them.

What about us?  Do we recognize our sin?  Do we bring this sin to Jesus to be forgiven? Do we seek reconciliation? In the modern day it is easy to excuse sin.  It seems that in modern culture there is simply no longer a sense that there are bad or immoral actions.  There can be a tendency to allow anything as long as it does not seem to bother anyone.  Perhaps the challenge is that we no longer believe in miracles.  We no longer can see the action and presence of God.  Make the first words of the gospel your own.  Repent.

Journey: Homily for Sunday, July 2, 2017

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Readings for Today

It has been said that life is a journey.  It is used as an analogy because we often know little of what lies ahead.  We can be surprised by wonderful happy moments or sudden tragic sadness.  Sometimes, in fact most of the time, life is ordinary.  Just like any trip.

The first reading focuses on seeing and recognizing the presence of God.  and because of our baptism, we can see the world in a way, because of God’s grace, where we never journey alone, since we are led by God. Through good and bad, thick and thin, happiness and sadness, and even the ordinary, God is always there.

Thank God!: Homily for Saturday, June 10, 2017

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Readings for Today

I am not nearly as grateful as I should be.  So much in  my life has been a gift I have not deserved.  Certainly the most important is the gift of my creation, my life, from God, which I did nothing to earn.  But there are the countless gifts I simply take for granted.  My basic needs are met.  My education has been provided by others.  The Dominican community which is so important to me has become so because of God’s mercy and the mercy of my brothers.  Again and Again, rather than seeing the overwhelming gifts I have been given, it seems more to me that I am too quick to take credit for my accomplishments, and too quick to focus on my sufferings.

Today’s first reading provides a wonderful picture of the fruit of gratitude.  With a grateful heart that seeks to be seen in a gift to a helpful stranger, Tobit encounters the living God in the Archangel Raphael.  While it certainly did not appear so to Tobit, God was always present in his life moving and acting in grace.  Show your gratitude today to see the active presence of God.

Help me to see: Homily for Friday, June 9, 2017

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Readings for Today

Yesterday we saw the prayers of Sarah being answered.  Today, it is the prayer of Tobit.  But was the most important prayer really the regaining of his sight? Or, was it rather the realization that his son had embraced the faith so important to him?  Was it because he could see physically, or was it that he could see with pride how the grace of God was active in his own son’s life, and indeed in his own life?

Realization of the presence of God is amazing indeed.  Life in fact, seems so much clearer when we can see the events of our lives unfold not simply with our physical eyes, but also with the eyes of our soul.  It is this type of sight that often accounts for our ability to prioritize, to make important, and to determine the path of holiness which leads us to God.