Prodigal means wasteful. God throws His grace around freely hoping against hope that it will produce an abundant harvest. Click here for audio homily.
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22 July 2014
21 July 2014
20 July 2014
27 February 2013
26 February 2013
Mass of Surrender for the Men's Cursillo Team comparing the story of Queen Esther to the role of the Cursillo Team. Click here for audio homily.
Jesus says do not give the food of children to dogs. Could we say the same thing about Holy Communion. Click here for audio homily.
24 February 2013
Click here for audio homily and ad libs. The Transfiguration shows Jesus appearing with Moses, who represents the Old Law, and with Elijah, who represents the teaching of the prophets. Jesus, in talking to these two great Jewish figures about His coming crucifixion, shows that Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets not their replacement. But today, however, I would like to focus on Peter. We can more readily relate to Peter who is impetuous; Peter who is always putting his foot in his mouth; Peter who denies the Lord, but it is also Peter who shows great faith. Notice what Peter is doing during the great discussion between Jesus, Moses, and Elijah of the Lord’s coming Passion and death. “Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep.” How often have we been like Peter and missed out on the blessings of the Lord because we were not spiritually awake? Then the Gospel tells us, “Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ But he did not know what he was saying.” First, Peter was not awake and he almost missed the blessings the Lord wanted to share with him. Then, Peter, incorrectly assessed the situation and wanted to set up three tents, as if they were going to stay on the mountain for awhile. Peter just did not get it. He missed the boat. Then, finally, the Gospel tells us, “While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.” This was not any cloud. This was the cloud of God’s glory, in Hebrew, it is called the Shekinah. It is the cloud that protected and led the Israelites out of Egypt. It is the glory cloud that filled the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. It was this Glory cloud, this Shekinah, that filled the Holy of Holies and which only the high priest and only once a year, could he enter into the Holy of Holies. It was this Shekinah that had left the Israelites when the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed. Even when they returned from exile and rebuilt the temple, the Glory Cloud, did not return to the Temple. This is the cloud which now Peter, James, and John were now entering. The Shekinah, God’s glory cloud had returned. They had a reason to be frightened entering into the cloud. Though they were frightened, they entered the cloud because that was where Jesus could be found in His glory. Of course, they were frightened! They were approaching the radiance and magnificence of God. Peter’s journey to union with God came in three stages: first, he was awakened from sleep; second, he stumbled for the right thing to do; third, he entered into the holy presence of God. Peter’s journey of faith is our journey too. During Lent, the Church asks us to examine our lives, to repent of our sins, enter into the presence of God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The first step on our own journey into the cloud, is to WAKE UP. Our society has fallen into a relativistic haze, so that we tend to think that one lifestyle is as good as any other and that whatever someone wants to do with their life is their decision. We have fallen into the trap of accepting the adage, “I’m OK, You’re OK.” The only problem is I’m not OK. I’m a sinner and you’re not OK either because you’re a sinner too. If we are not sinners, then what are we doing here. We say, Jesus Christ is our savior. What is Jesus saving us from? Only sinners need a savoir. Once we wake up and realize that we are sinners, we like Peter, do not know what we are saying. It is important to do a thorough examination of conscience. However, because we have been asleep we may not know what we are saying. We may still be blinded by secular culture and the world’s morality—or even worse my own decision of what is wrong or right. It is amazing how many lists there are for an examination of conscience before confession. If you want very thorough examination of conscience you can find one at my website: romancatholichomilies.blogspot.com. I always fear looking at those lists of sins of more specific detail. I am always afraid I will find something there that will destroy my own self-image of what is right and wrong. It is only when we learn, what it is, that we are saying, that we can enter the third stage of development and enter the cloud of God’s love for us in the Sacrament of Confession. It maybe scary, because it may mean that we have to change some of our habits or the very way we live our lives, but the benefits are literally out of this world. If we follow the example of Peter, by waking up, by realizing what we are saying and doing, and by entering the holy cloud of God, then we will not miss that great transforming love that Jesus came to share with us. Remember, if you think it’s easy being a Christian, you’re doing wrong.
20 February 2013
What's all this talk bout judging and condemning? I thought Jesus was a warm fuzzy teddy bear ho loved everyone. Can't we just be tolerant of everybody? If you went to the gas station and gave the attendant $20 but only pumped $10 worth of gas and they gave you $5 in change, you would not be very tolerant. They had it 50% right. Aren't you satisfied with a partial answer? Will Jesus be tolerant if we are good 50% of the time? At the judgement, they will condemn this generation.
If we treat prayer as a way of getting things or as a way of manipulating God to get Him to do what we want, not only will we be disappointed but we have missed the whole point of prayer. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not to entertain us or make us feel included or accepted. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is to draw us deeper into the love of God so that we can pray -- Lord help me to want what you want, when you want it, and how you want it.