Audio Available!

Audio Available!
Be sure to check out in each blog post the links to the audio recordings of my homilies. They are at the beginning of each post! Also, look to the right for links to Audio from other good resources!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Holy Trinity Homily

Central Mystery of our Faith
Mysterion – perpetually go deeper.  Depths of the ocean.
Two deacons today.  Bishop spoke of how their choice is very countercultural, of how he was told he was foolish to go to seminary.  Why would you spend the rest of your life celibate, obedient, and on a meager salary?  When considered from the perspective of a secular non-believer, it seems crazy and foolish.
Marriage today is also very countercultural.  Why would you want to spend the rest of your life with someone?  Many people in my generation aren't getting married.  They are afraid – of what?  They cannot say or articulate that, but I think it's afraid of the unknown, the commitment, and of the potential pain that may arise from imperfection (and potential failure).  If you look at marriage, it seems brash and foolish, too.
Even just truly living your Catholic faith today is very countercultural.  It means disagreeing with so much of what our society holds to be valuable and important.  It means at times being outcast, shut down, mocked and possibly rejected – like Jesus was.  So why would you do that?
However, I think we can understand that there is something deeply good about marriage that even the world recognizes, and we can all understand why people get married because we see the key that unlocks the craziness and foolishness of getting married:  LOVE.
We all want to love and be loved, as Blessed (almost Saint) Mother Teresa said.  People get married because they have found a relationship of true and abiding love, where they can love and be loved.
Catholics live their faith deeply when they have a relationship like that with Jesus.  When they don't just know about Him, or about the Father and the Holy Spirit, but they have relationships with all three persons of the Blessed Trinity.
Young men become Deacons on their way to priesthood because their relationship with the Lord is more important than anything the world can offer, even though it offers much.  Because this world has all that you could want, but nothing that you need.  It has everything and it has nothing.
So fall in love, and it all makes sense.  Get drawn into God, who is Love, and your life will roll out in front of you.  Your faith will grow, and so will your prayer, and thus your joy.  Amen.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Pentecost - The Holy Spirit is the source of our vocations (all types!)

Five years ago in 2011, the feast of Pentecost was celebrated on June 12. The day before, which would be the vigil of Pentecost, was the day my brother and I were ordained priests. It was a very joyous time - a time I will always regarded as one of the most important points of my life. The only other day, as far as sacraments are concerned, was the day of my baptism. Through baptism, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and are united to Christ Jesus forever! Nothing beats that. Ordination, however, as defined how I am going to live my life in Christ Jesus for the rest of my life. These past five years have been just the beginning of this phenomenal journey. As a priest, I have had the opportunity to share in the joys and sorrows of so many people. Growing up in a big family has prepared me for all of the experiences of family life, sharing some times joy and sorrow almost hand-in-hand at once.
Although I have had the blessing of family life, seminary was absolutely essential to my preparation as a priest. I thank God for my six years in seminary and I am sure, if you knew how I was before I started seminary, you would be thanking him too!
The importance of formation of seminarians cannot be understated. For this reason, I would like to read info the one page letter that Bishop Road says addressed to our diocese. He states:

... Read letter…

The Holy Spirit bless is the church in so many ways. He prepares all of us for whatever location we have. He gives us daily the graces we need to live a vocation well. He helps us to love our families. He helps us to work well with others. He strengthens us to forgive and to receive forgiveness when we need mercy.  The church would be nothing without the Holy Spirit.
In fact, the church did not exist without the Holy Spirit. It is this day we celebrate our birthday. So, thanks be to God for his generosity in sharing his very life with us. And may that divine life strengthen us in our vocations.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Ascension: Time to get to work...almost!

As Jesus goes to heaven, we know that He is not abandoning us. And even though we still do not want Our Lord to depart from us, this is simply another way that Jesus is showing us that the Father's plans are not our own, that “my ways are not your ways.” Much like when Peter wanted to build three tents at the Transfiguration, it is natural for us as humans to want the good times to stay forever, and to never have to suffer or remember the trial that are still to be endured. Much like the old joke goes, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” This is as true for us as it was for the 12 Apostles. We need to detach from our own plans and let God's providential hand lead us to the way forward.
Today as we remember the Ascension, Jesus departs, and our mission begins. But it starts without fanfare, without a trumpet blast, and without even an opening project. The first thing that we have to do is the same as the Apostles: wait, watch, and pray. When the time is right, God will act, and the Holy Spirit will push you, but that is for next week (Pentecost). Let us spend this week in prayer, truly and sincerely asking the question: WHERE IS THE LORD'S MISSION FOR ME AT THIS STAGE IN MY LIFE? What does God want of me, here, now, this month, this summer, this year? WHERE does He want me? TO WHOM is He sending me?

As we ask these questions throughout this week, I invite you to listen to Sr. Gaudiosa's message and support her mission, a mission which Bishop Rhoades has chosen for us to be a part of. Thank you Sr. Gaudiosa.