Sunday, July 31, 2016

Homily Topic: Keeping our Eyes on the Goal in a Materialistic Consumer World

From the Catholic Liturgy for Sunday, July 31, 2016. Gospel of Luke 12:13-21. When we want to reach a goal we turn to someone who has proven his success at the same goal and can coach us to attain it ourselves. Jesus, God-in-the-Flesh, has come to teach us by word and example how to live so as to reach the Goal: union with God in eternal happiness. One of the things he cautions us about most are wealth, riches, possessions, greed, accumulating things. These are not bad in themselves but can easily become idols in our lives, distractions from our goal.  Jesus points them out as a major obstacle to joyful entering the Kingdom of Heaven. So...what are we to do?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Homily Topic: Prayer is the Key to Our Relationship with God

From the Catholic Liturgy for Sunday, July 24, 2016. Gospel of Luke 11:1-13.  Jesus teaches us how to pray by giving us the "Lord's Prayer" (a.k.a., the "Our Father") which is both THE perfect prayer (since it comes from Jesus Himself) and a model of how to pray, how to speak heart-to-heart with God in praise, worship, thanksgiving and petition. Prayer as a human activity it is something we have to be taught, but most of us never have this experience of learning how to pray. We learn and memorize "prayers" but as we grow up no one ever shows us HOW to pray...and so many of us get stumped even before we begin. Try using the word ALTAR to help you form your own prayer of the heart.  Each letter of this word reminds us of what to pray as Jesus taught us: A (adore God)l. L (express your love for God), T (thank God for the blessings in our life), A( ask God for what you need in mind, body and spirit), R (resolve to live out your relationship with God every day).

Friday, July 8, 2016

Homily Topic: We Must be Radicalized for Christ, for the Kingdom of God

From the Catholic Liturgy for Sunday, July 2, 2016.  We hear quite a lot today about people being "radicalized" into terrible movements dedicated to violence and death. To be "radicalized" means to be totally changed, utterly converted, to a way of life that is daringly different from the usual. It is NOT a bad thing...what makes it bad (or good) is what we are "radicalized" into!  The world inherited from Adam and Eve is a world made good by God but infected by their original sin and its consequences: personal sins, selfishness, using and abusing others, violence, sickness, death. We Christians call this 'Bad News" but we do not give up or give in because Jesus has brought us the Gospel!  The word Gospel is from the Greek and means "Good News" and the good news is this: that by a genuine, converted (radicalized) relationship with Jesus Christ we receive power from the Holy Spirit and can live in a radicalized Christian way!  This new way of thinking, new way of living, is known as having the Kingdom of God within us and equipped with this Kingdom we can indeed start to change the world by affecting out little part of it!

Homily Topic: The Qualities of True Christian Discipleship

From the Catholic Liturgy for Sunday June 26, 2016. To be a disciple means to be a student. As Christians we are students of the Master Teacher, Jesus of Nazareth. We learn His Way, We ponder and accept His Truth. We strive to live His Life. This requires discipline (notice the similarity of this word to 'disciple') and Jesus speaks about this to us in the Gospel reading. A Christian who is a good student developed a heart like Jesus: merciful, forgiving, detached from consumerism, nurturing relationships that are life-giving, and not hanging on to the past...ours or someone else's. In Christ everyone is made new again! In Christ we can ind a new way of living, a new way of thinking!

Homily Topic: Fellowship of Sinners Anonymous

From the Catholic Liturgy for Sunday, June 12, 2016. Like King David in the first reading from the Old Testament, and like the Repentant Woman in the Gospel, we all are powerless over the effects of that ancient  original  human sin, first set into motion by Adam and Eve.  It finds a home in all of us in one form or another: greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, pride or sloth (along with their spin-offs). The remedy? An up close and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord and Savior, our Brother in the human family. Daily we turn our lives and our wills over to Him and trust in His care, in the power of His grace. The Holy Eucharist, His glorious and risen Body and Blood, which we receive in Holy Communion, is our strength and hope. In Christ we have strength for everything!