A glimpse of heaven and a call to change

A glimpse of heaven and a call to change
Daily Homilies

 
 
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Readings for today

HAPPY NEW YEAR! It may seem odd to be greeted with these words in August. But for teachers, now and for the next few weeks, we will be starting a new school year. We will be imagining all that can be, and trying to make it real. Today’s reading from Ezekiel is similar. Ezekiel is given a glimpse of heaven, of the glory to come. He sees a small glimpse, probably all he could handle, of the immense majesty of God. This small experience of God is enough to give Ezekiel strength to challenge the status quo. He challenges leaders to care for the people themselves, and not to see them as a means to their own profit. When we get a glimpse of God, a small foretaste of heaven, we are reminded to remove all that keeps us from God. This can be painful. This can be hard. But it is necessary if we are to really live in God’s presence.

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri on August 13, 2018.
Photo by Pixabay.

A glimpse of heaven and a call to change

A glimpse of heaven and a call to change
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 3:00
 
1X
 

Readings for today

HAPPY NEW YEAR! It may seem odd to be greeted with these words in August. But for teachers, now and for the next few weeks, we will be starting a new school year. We will be imagining all that can be, and trying to make it real. Today’s reading from Ezekiel is similar. Ezekiel is given a glimpse of heaven, of the glory to come. He sees a small glimpse, probably all he could handle, of the immense majesty of God. This small experience of God is enough to give Ezekiel strength to challenge the status quo. He challenges leaders to care for the people themselves, and not to see them as a means to their own profit. When we get a glimpse of God, a small foretaste of heaven, we are reminded to remove all that keeps us from God. This can be painful. This can be hard. But it is necessary if we are to really live in God’s presence.

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri on August 13, 2018.
Photo by Pixabay.

Do you believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness?

Today the Church starts readings from the book of Hosea, a wonderful testimony to God’s forgiveness and mercy. You may have heard the phrase, “God is rich in mercy.” But have you considered what that means for you personally? Do you allow yourself to experience that mercy and forgiveness? Do you take the time to find that mercy and forgiveness when God is ready to offer it to you? Can you allow God to change your heart to turn away from sin and to experience the love of God?

Homily given at Saint Dominic Priory, Saint Louis, Missouri on July 9, 2018
Image courtesy Pixabay

Do you believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness?

Do you believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness?
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 2:55
 
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Readings for Today

Today the Church starts readings from the book of Hosea, a wonderful testimony to God’s forgiveness and mercy. You may have heard the phrase, “God is rich in mercy.” But have you considered what that means for you personally? Do you allow yourself to experience that mercy and forgiveness? Do you take the time to find that mercy and forgiveness when God is ready to offer it to you? Can you allow God to change your heart to turn away from sin and to experience the love of God?

Homily given at Saint Dominic Priory, Saint Louis, Missouri on July 9, 2018
Image courtesy Pixabay

Changed: Homily for Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Changed: Homily for Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Daily Homilies

 
 
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To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Change is the first word of the spiritual life.  We must change from sin to life.  We must allow God to change us.  Even a quick look around our world today can show us there are many evil actions by men and women.  There is violence.  There is greed.  There is selfishness.  And yet, when we encounter God, we are changed.

Moses was changed by encountering God.  We are changed too.  The change in Moses was obvious.  His face became radiant.  He was not the same.  While we may not experiening the physical changes that Moses did, when we pray, we too are changed.  The presence of God, which is all around us, changes us when we acknowledge God’s precense.  Open your hearts to the power of God to change us back to what we were meant to be.

Conversion: Homily for Wednesday, February 8, 2017

To listen to today’s homily, click the links above.

Readings for Today

God wants me to change.  God wants me to repent.  God wants me to change my ways.  I need conversion.  I need to change.  When I come to the realization that there is something that needs to change in my life, I face a choice.  I can change the superficial, or I can really work deep within myself to change the evil that is in my heart.

That is the focus in today’s readings.  We can focus, as the Pharisees did, on the external actions of little consequence.  Or, we can seek to really change ourselves into really better people.  This is the change that really is difficult.  It is not easy to change our hearts.  It is not easy to change our attitudes, those attitudes that keep us away from Christ.

But today we are challenged to seek the change that comes deep in our hearts.  We are called to cast away very difficult things. The gospel list covers just about every way in which we can be away from God.  It covers just about every way we can abuse others, treating them in a way like objects.  We can see people only as a means to get what I want, as objects, slaves, that exist for my pleasure, or we can see them as people made in the image and likeness of God.

The purpose of a life of faith is to live in a real way this relationship with Jesus in an authentic way.  We are called to imitate Jesus and his attitude toward people because he is the Son of God.  We are called to get to know him better so that we are able to grow in faith. Today, remember the first word of the gospel.  Repent.

Homily for Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Readings for Today

“What are we to do, my brothers?” In this question to Peter and John, we encounter the ultimate question of our faith. “What are we to do, my brothers?” And as we hear this question, what is interesting is not simply the answer given by Peter, but as much what it is that Peter did not say in answering this question. The answer they do give is both general enough to apply to all, but specific enough to satisfy those who were “cut to the heart” by the words spoken by Peter.

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” How simple is the formula given by Peter by those desiring the salvation of Jesus. Isn’t it lovely? How simple an answer. Notice that the answer is not to do something that seems so difficult as to be impossible. Notice that the emphasis is upon the gift given by God. Baptism for the forgiveness of sins. The gift of the Holy Spirit.

What they are told to do, the action demanded, is not about doing something; rather, it is about acknowledging there is something greater than ourselves at work in the world. It is acknowledging that I need a Savior. There is evil that I have committed, and there is the need for me to be forgiven. The beginning of a truly new life is when I can turn away from my evil and sinfulness, and turn toward the love of God.

This is possible because of the life, suffering and death of Jesus, that leads to the unbelievable gift of new life that is so powerful even the closest followers of Jesus need to adjust to the beauty of the risen Christ. When we repent, when we receive the forgiveness of sins only Jesus can provide, it is then we find ourselves immersed in the love and gift of the Holy Spirit that enables us to reach fulfillment, the fulfillment we were meant to receive from the moment we were created.

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Homily for Monday, April 6, 2015

Readings for Today

Do you take the resurrection for granted? Has it become so familiar that it has little or no impact in your life? Put simply do you find yourself “fearful, yet overjoyed” by the resurrection as the two Marys felt after the encounter with the Risen Christ? Because truth be told, even a short consideration of the way in which the resurrection of Jesus changes our lives should also make us “fearful, yet overjoyed” because of what the new life given to us, not only without cost to us, but removing the debt we owed, has reversed completely the course of our lives and our destinies.

The two Marys needed time to take it all in, to begin to absorb all that the resurrection of Jesus meant for them. For without the risen Christ, the Church is not possible. Without the supreme act of mercy, the innocent Jesus going to the Cross to die for our sins, and to rise for our future, we are condemned. Without the resurrection of Christ, our faith is worthless, leading to nothing.

But because of the all this, the resurrection of Jesus means the new life of baptism is not only possible but real. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we receive him every Mass in the Eucharist. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, our sins are forgiven. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we too are sent forth, just as the two Marys were sent forth to proclaim the Good News. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, marriage is a domestic Church and priests act in the person of Christ.

The resurrection of Jesus changes everything. Nothing can be the same, because we are now a people filled with hope. We are now a people filled with the new life of the resurrection that only Jesus can give, and a fulfillment becomes possible that can only have as its source God himself.

Easter makes all this possible. Easter changes everything. So, go, tell, teach, proclaim: Jesus is risen! Alleluia!

Homily for Saturday, October 25, 2014

Readings for Today

It seems to me that it has become appropriate among some politicians and person to blame the poor for being poor. There is an underlying belief among some, it seems to me, that the reason the poor are poor is simply because they are lazy and enjoy being poor, mooching off of the kindness of others.

It seems that today we are as likely as Cain was to ask God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” We do not seem to have an attitude that holds us responsible for the way we treat others. Those who cheat and set up the system only or primarily for their own gain are lauded as industrious, as those persons who have such drive and determiniation that their wealth comes only because of their own effort. For Christians, this can be an attitude even though we have the example of the life of Lazurus, the poor beggar and Matthew’s gospel where at the final judgement we will learn that the way we treated others is the way we treated Jesus.

There are even those Christians who look at natural disasters and make the claim that they claim is the result of people’s sins. Obviously they have not read very carefully the words of today’s gospel. “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?” Jesus answer is emphatic: “By no means!

Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them–do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?” Again, Jesus makes his point: “By no means!” Were the people in New Orleans more guilty than the rest of us because they felt the ravages of Hurricane Katrina? Are the people in West Africa more guilty because they are suffering from Ebola?

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Homily for Thursday, July 17, 2014

Readings for Today

It is not unusual to find people whose image of God is as a harsh and mean God. Perhaps it is the hurt that has happened in their lives, the experiences of deep and tragic losses,were the type of abuse and experiences that lead to deep shame. Such persons can also find those who profess to believe who only serve to deepen this difficult image of God.

What is our image of God? In answering this question, there are a few assumptions we can make. Since we are made in God’s image and likeness, then there has to be something in us, we are at our best, that teaches us something about God. But what does it mean for us to be at our best? Is it when we are harsh, rigid, seeing the world only in black and white ways, an image of God who is a judge? Is it when we believe that “anything goes”, that there are simply no reasons for God to get mad at us, the image of God as a teddy bear?

Both extremes would be unfortunate and wrong. We believe that God has deep and abiding love for his people. More than anything else, God desires us to be at our best, reflecting the love that calls us to greatness. At the same time, the mention of sin and forgiveness in today’s readings reminds us that not everything goes. There is right and wrong.

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