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!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Loving from our Anointing

Audio: click here!

What does anointing mean biblically?
Saul was anointed king by the prophet Samuel.  He failed to keep his priorities straight and the Lord chose to make a new king to succeed him from another family.  That man was David, who eventually became the most popular military leader in Israel.  Saul was jealous of David and tried to have him rubbed out, but it didn't work.  God was with David.  Now Saul is hunting David.  Yet David refuses to lay his hand on Saul to protect himself, perhaps not entirely without self-interest but also with clear religious foundation.  God had anointed Saul, too.  So David has mercy on him in the interest of receiving a blessing from above - that God many remain with him.
Now an important side-note: in the church, priests and bishops are anointed, but the biblical protections we see in the first reading are not the same.  If a man betrays his ordination by one of many serious failures to keep priorities straight, justice and goodness demands a timely and fair response.  In fact, for the last few days about two hundred bishops have gathered with Pope Francis in Rome to go over exactly how this will be done across the globe.  Let us pray for the Spirit of God they have received through anointing to give them wisdom and direction.
Now back to the Gospel: Every Christian is an anointed one.  That is what the name Christian means.  And every priest is anointed for the sake of the universal priesthood (baptismal priesthood) of the faithful.  But as we see well in the Gospel, the Christian life is not easy.  Jesus makes that abundantly clear for us today.  He gives all kinds of short phrases that hit like boulders, and flesh out exactly what we see between David and Saul: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
This sounds great.  But living it is a totally different story.  It can be brutal.
Give and it will be given to you.  How does that reconcile with lend without expecting repayment?

Here we see the challenge of the Christian life.  Not to be a doormat, but to break the cycle of vengeance.  Ultimately, it is an act of faith.  Faith that love is stronger than death.  Faith that God can heal deeper than any wound.  Faith that you are never alone.  Faith that God will make things right in the end.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Homily - The Resurrection: what side of the fence am I on? Am I riding the middle?

Listen to the homily: click here!

Homily outline (notes).

Underlining the Gospels where Jesus says what we don’t expect or don’t find “nice”.
Parallels perfectly the first reading - it’s all building a house on sand. They can’t satisfy and will always let you down. Ultimately it’s harsh language because it’s a calling out of idolatry.
Not a false dichotomy but a real one. Because your body / soul is only one temple. So what do you worship there?

Another way to ask it: What are we betting on?
RTF Conference - “Am I all in?”

This is what Saint Paul speaks about in the first reading. The same dichotomy comes out in a different way. Either there is an eternity and all this is almost nothing, or there isn’t and this is all we get. One is right and the other is wrong.

He is describing how life is a gamble: since every life tells a story - at the end of your life, what story does your life tell? What have you bet on?

Gold Rush.  
It really matters!

CCC (Catechism)
991 Belief in the resurrection of the dead has been an essential element of the Christian faith from its beginnings. "The confidence of Christians is the resurrection of the dead; believing this we live."538
1003 United with Christ by Baptism, believers already truly participate in the heavenly life of the risen Christ, but this life remains "hidden with Christ in God."560 The Father has already "raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."561Nourished with his body in the Eucharist, we already belong to the Body of Christ. When we rise on the last day we "also will appear with him in glory."562

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sunday Homily - Invasion and Mission

Audio: Click Here!

WYD Panama – FIAT Festival – Conference Hall for ~9,000 people.  Adoration with homily – Bishop Robert Barron.  Gave great homily.  Should have stolen it.
God, by his free gift, invades into our life.  He makes us uncomfortable – like we reflected on last week.  How is God challenging me to make my life uncomfortable?  He “gets into our boat” and we must cooperate with it, as Simon did, to allow God to work through us.
The Encounter with God is never earned.  Always un-earned.  We can pray every day, do charity, follow the commandments, but our spiritual life is not a never ending high-point.  Sometimes, God is Something never forgotten.
God always is working, but not always as we can see.  (iceberg)
Unworthiness is the right response to the encounter with God.  When the Lord comes to us and chooses to share Himself with us in a specific way, we should naturally say: I don’t deserve this.  Just as when the light shines through the window, it is then that we see how dirty it is.
As Isaiah, Paul, and Simon Peter today encounter God, they all admit their sins, their failings, their weakness.  This is true humility.
But we can’t allow that reality to paralyze us.  God knows our sins and still loves us.  He chooses us.  He doesn’t make junk, and sin doesn’t make you junk.  And ultimately, through confession of sin, God forgives us.
We have the sacrament of Confession for ourselves to encounter God’s mercy.
But it doesn’t end there.  Finally, God has a mission for them, and he has one for each of us.  The Encounter with God always leads us to be changed, more than just being forgiven.  And change isn’t easy, isn’t comfortable.  Sometimes we dream too small.  Perhaps always we dream too small, playing in the shallow waters of the things of this world, when God really wants us to be out in the deep waters of things that last forever.  What way is God dreaming bigger than I am?  How does God want something more than me?
How is God asking you to be fisher of men?  To bring people into the life of the Church, of the Kingdom of God, is not some small thing.

Sunday, February 3, 2019


Audio: Click here

TODAY (Mission – NOW)
Jesus makes us uncomfortable one way or another;  if he doesn’t then we aren’t reading the whole Gospel and knowing the real Jesus, we are rather following some false Jesus, the anti-Christ, because the road to heaven is not easy.  Jesus didn’t come to fill us with sugar.
Christ did not promise an easy life. Those who desire comforts have dialed the wrong number. Rather, he shows us the way to great things, the good, towards an authentic human life.
The ways of the Lord are not easy, but we were not created for an easy life, but for great things, for goodness.
Ultimately we were created for Love.  and Love has demands, demands that are challenging to us.  If we think Christianity is Easter without Good Friday, we have been deceived, duped.
I experienced this in a powerful way at World Youth Day Panama.  In many ways our life was pretty easy, but we had our challenges.  Especially dressing like a priest down in that heat for hours each day.  I know that after the past week’s temperatures you aren’t going to feel sorry for me and might want to do what the crowd tried to do to Jesus in the Gospel today, but it was so hot.  Seriously, most of the group didn’t want to risk the nine miles hike with our overnight bags to go to the vigil site a week ago.  But it was worth the struggle, the ridiculous sunburn that Leo got, the horrible blisters that Emma got.  We eventually were able to join hundreds of thousands of fellow Catholics rejoicing in their faith and united around the Pope.  We were tired, hungry, smelly, dehydrated, and sorer than ever, but we were happy.  Why?  Because of our LOVE.  We did all this together, as one, in trials and pains.  This echoes what Saint Paul is talking about in Corinthians.  The body of Christ, as we heard last week, is united in all its many members, but it is through love that we are one.  Pope Francis himself said at the opening meeting:
You, dear friends, have made many sacrifices to be able to meet one another and in this way you have become true teachers and builders of the culture of encounter. By your actions and your approach, your way of looking at things, your desires and above all your sensitivity, you discredit and defuse the kind of talk that is intent on sowing division, on excluding or rejecting those who are not “like us”. It is because you have that instinct which knows intuitively that “true love does not eliminate legitimate differences, but harmonizes them in a superior unity” (BENEDICT XVI, Homily, 25 January 2006). On the other hand, we know that the father of lies prefers people who are divided and quarrelling to people who have learned to work together.
          Don’t settle for comfort.  Don’t live the Christian life from a recliner, expecting comfort.  Be a true follower of Jesus, and a true messenger of the Gospel that calls us to work hard, get messy, and discover the LOVE that satisfies.
Ask yourself: what ways am I too comfortable?  Where in my life am I choosing the easy road instead of God’s road?  Ask Mary to show you how to courageously say “yes” to God’s will in that part of your life.