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, October 29, 2016

homily

Audio: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx8IQkJZZ39KV3piM1FCLW45NVU

Saint Augustine was one of the most famous christian writers of all time, and there are even more books written about this man than there are about Abraham Lincoln.  Of all the great things written by this Bishop and Doctor of the Church (by the way, our patroness is one of 4 women Doctors of the Church), St. Augustine is most commonly cited for this one phrase that summarizes his own life in a single phrase: "You have made us for yourself, O, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church mentions this at the beginning of the Catechism, in #30, as it introduces man's search for God.  Although man can forget God or reject him, He never ceases to call every man to seek him, so as to find life and happiness. But this search for God demands of man every effort of intellect, a sound will, "an upright heart", as well as the witness of others who teach him to seek God.  Then it quotes Augustine's famous passage, ending with what we heard, "You have made us for yourself..."
Zaccheaus embodies this passage so perfectly in his very life.  Zaccheaus lives a plush life, enjoying the good things of earth but clearly not finding them satisfying.  It seems what he longs for is communion with others, especially with God, but he almost feels trapped.  How can he change?  He would need to do a total U-turn on his life.  Feeling a bit lost himself, he searches for Christ.  And as Pope Saint John Paul II was so ready to remind us (quoting Vatican II): Jesus Christ is the one who reveals man to himself and makes manifest his supreme vocation.  Zaccheaus searches for Christ, and finds himself.
Isn't it interesting to think that a sinner can search for God and find him so readily?  In some ways, the sinner, after suffering the disillusionment of is mistakes, and "coming to his senses," might be able to seek God even more clearly.
If you recall last week, the focus was on humility.  The Lord hears the cry of the poor: whether materially poor, or spiritually poor (humble).  Today we see this tax collector living what humble prayer looks like: it is a man putting his pride aside to get close to God no matter the cost;  it is someone sincerely looking for something he has been unable to find no matter where it leads him;  it is a person willing to admit boldly when his life needs to make a U-turn.
And in order for him to cling to that pearl of great price that Jesus has offered him, he knows what he must do: it means getting out of the dog-eat-dog race that his life has been.
Have you ever heard of the simple way to trap a monkey?  You just

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Homily outline



This is not my full homily but only an outline.  You'll have to listen to the audio from the parish website (here)



I mentioned last week about Our Lady of Chestochowa having the walls covered with "ex voto" offerings of thanksgiving for prayers answered, miracles obtained.  This is still a good image for today, with the focus still clearly on prayer.

Today's readings stress that prayer works. God hears. "But when the Son of Man comes, do you think He will find faith on earth?"

Pope Francis said this about forgiveness, but the same can be said about us and our lack of resolve in prayer: "God doesn't get tired... we get tired."

I've prayed for years for members of my family to grow in faith. Why does it take so long? I have not prayed consistently. I stray. I lose hope or I lose focus.

Sometimes we pray for the wrong thing, and we might not even understand why it is wrong.  Nevertheless, God isn't ever going to answer those prayers, at least not with the "yes, here you go" that we are hoping for. If a five year old son asks you to let him drive the car, your answer is no, too, and not because you don't love him, but precisely because you do love him.

Other times God answers our prayers in ways that we never would have wanted, but actually are better for us. You ever heard the saying "be careful what you pray for, you just might get it!"? God knows what we need even when we don't want it. Like a kid saying "I'm hungry" (while eyeing the cookies) and their parent giving them a carrot. Why? The parent knows better what the child needs.

Sometimes God's answer is "okay but not yet." 

Friday, October 7, 2016