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!

Monday, September 30, 2019

Parish Feast Day - Saint Therese - 8pm

From the autobiography of St Therese of the Child Jesus, virgin
Manuscrits autobiographiques, Lisieux 1957, 227-229
In the heart of the church I will be love

Since my longing for martyrdom was powerful and unsettling, I turned to the epistles of St. Paul in the hope of finally finding an answer. By chance the 12th and 13th chapters of the 1st epistle to the Corinthians caught my attention, and in the first section I read that not everyone can be an apostle, prophet or teacher, that the Church is composed of a variety of members, and that the eye cannot be the hand. Even with such an answer revealed before me, I was not satisfied and did not find peace.

I persevered in the reading and did not let my mind wander until I found this encouraging theme: "Set your desires on the greater gifts. And I will show you the way which surpasses all others." For the Apostle insists that the greater gifts are nothing at all without love and that this same love is surely the best path leading directly to God. At length I had found peace of mind.

When I had looked upon the mystical body of the Church, I recognised myself in none of the members which St. Paul described, and what is more, I desired to distinguish myself more favourably within the whole body. Love appeared to me to be the hinge for my vocation. Indeed I knew that the Church had a body composed of various members, but in this body the necessary and more noble member was not lacking; I knew that the Church had a heart and that such a heart appeared to be aflame with love. I knew that one love drove the members of the Church to action, that if this love were extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, the martyrs would have shed their blood no more. I saw and realised that love sets off the bounds of all vocations, that love is everything, that this same love embraces every time and every place. In one word, that love is everlasting.

Then, nearly ecstatic with the supreme joy in my soul, I proclaimed: O Jesus, my love, at last I have found my calling: my call is love. Certainly I have found my place in the Church, and you gave me that very place, my God. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and thus I will be all things, as my desire finds its direction.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

9-15-19 Prodigal Son - our story

Audio: Click here!

After weeks of Jesus telling us to focus all our efforts on heaven and laying out all the sacrifices and renunciations we must make for the sake of the kingdom, it could be understandable if someone was feeling a little disheartened.  If it weren’t for the rest of what we know of the Gospel, these readings would make it seem that God wants us to do all the work while He sits back and watches us fight for first place in heaven.  But the reality is much different from these false appearances, and today’s Gospel (and the other readings) show us just how much God himself is desiring our salvation. It seems that based off these Gospels that God wants us to be saved much more than we do, and all Jesus was doing was asking for our desire to be saved to match God’s desire for our reconciliation.

God wants to find us.  This is the simple message of today’s reading, and really is the story of the Bible.  Go back to the beginning – the first thing God says in the Bible is: “where are you?”  No this isn’t a game of hide-and-seek with God, as if he didn’t know the answer to the question and really couldn’t see Adam & Eve – the one who knows our thoughts as easily as we hear the noise at the ND football stadium.  God says this for Adam’s sake.
The prodigal son has forgotten who he is.  “let me be a servant.”
The father wishes to restore that dignity: ring, sandals, robe.

Prodigal son story - Inspired masterpieces of art, music, and other stories.  It is probably the best short-story ever told.  Because it is something we all relate to.
Easy to see ourselves in this story.  We all have the chance to be the characters in that story, or to not be.  The choice is yours.
We all sin.  We can repent or not.
We all have someone to forgive and reconcile with.  We can do so or choose to avoid others.
We all have the choice between resentment or rejoicing, bitterness or mercy.

LOST SHEEP - Let God find you.

Letting Go

Audio: Click here!

A couple weeks ago: Someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few people be saved?"  He answered them,
"Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. 
Large crowds are following Jesus.  Many, perhaps, for not the best of reasons.  Some might be curious, others, suspicious, others just wanting to get away or catch the newest fad.
Jesus says: “count the cost.”
What are we holding onto that keeps us from being Jesus’ disciple?
Dying we find life. In losing ourselves, we find ourselves.  We are happy through not focusing on our happiness, but on the good of those around us.  LOVE makes us whole.
Monkey - Let go.
Give over everything.
He has done so for you.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Homily - Humility - Mother Teresa of Kolkata

Audio: click here!

In this parable today, Jesus wants us to face the fact that we really aren't big shots or VIP's.  The comparison game of getting on top and looking down on others gets us nowhere, like a game of running in circles, wearing yourselves out with no results.  The humility that Jesus calls us to is a simple awareness of the fact that what divides me from my fellow human beings is superficial stuff compared to what unites me to them.  I am much more alike them than I am different.  I need to be loved and to give love.  They need to be loved and to give love.

We encounter Jesus - and this was Mother Teresa's deepest conviction - first in the Most Blessed Sacrament and second in the poorest of the poor, indeed, in every fellow human being who is suffering.  For her, the presence of Jesus in the poorest of the poor was just as real as in the Eucharist.  Jesus teaches, 'truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'

We should not hide from abject poverty or run away from it.  For if we do, we are running away from Jesus.
That's why we are told to invite those who cannot pay us back.  Because we are inviting Jesus.

"Father, you will meet Jesus there in His distressing disguise as the poorest of the poor.  Our visit will bring joy. for the most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.  The worst disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but the feeling of being unwanted."  Her words reminded me of something else she had said: "There is more hunger in the world for love and appreciation than for bread."

So what are some ways we can put this into practice in our lives?  How can we burst the bubble of our pride and meet Jesus in others?
1. Supporting our food pantry.  This is one way we invite the poor to eat.
2. Associate with the lowly.  Don't chase after the "big shots" to talk with them and get yourselves a place among the important.
3. Give the person in front of you the attention they deserve.  Love them, and thus love Jesus in them.  He is in there if you can believe it.