Homilies

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

“Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”  Now that seems like a simple statement but it is actually an amazing statement. He says, “Here is the one who is going to die for your sins.” Wow, someone loves me enough to die for me. Can we imagine how much love and awe we would have if some unrelated person paid our debts for no reason except that they loved us? That someone would go further and die for us in our place when we deserved the death penalty? How can one stay uninterested in that kind of love?  Yet we do.  There is not much that excites us in the Church, which is sad. I have often felt the same way at times, for sure, about the things of God. Even though we hear many awesome things during the Mass, we hear about the love of God, the forgiveness of our sins, we sing in the presence of the angels and saints, yet we barely tolerate such things. How can we be so hardened to such beautiful life-giving words and promises?  So hardened to such life-changing grace in our lives? This is a great tragedy in our lives.

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Feast of the Epiphany 2017

To get started today, I would like to give you a bit of a quiz to see if you are up to date on the Feast of the Epiphany. Most of us know the three gifts that were given to our Lord by the wise men or three kings, however the question I would like to ask you is what do these gifts tell us about Jesus? What does the gold tell us and the frankincense and the myrrh? This is the Epiphany. The gold tells us that He is king. The frankincense tells us that He is God because incense is used to worship God.  The myrrh tells us that He is a man because myrrh is used in burial to cover up the smell of the decaying person. Myrrh is therefore used to show that He can die and therefore is mortal. Hopefully you will remember this for our next Epiphany pop quiz.

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Mary, the Mother of God 2017

I was saddened to read in the paper this Friday about the priest who was an assistant at OLPH in the mid-seventies and how he was alleged to have moral failings and perhaps an abusive relationship with a teacher from the school there. Of course it annoys me that according to our media, it seems only priests struggle with this affliction. But it saddens me even more that I, as a priest, can do serious damage with one weak moment and that it will undo any good I may have achieved. I am sad for this priest and the woman. These things hurt and sometimes it makes us think that what we believe in is a lie. We may question whether or not celibacy is a good thing if it leads to these degrading and humiliating sins.

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Christmas Mass 2016

One winter, when I was in my early twenties, Christmas was coming, yet my life felt empty. I was talking to my friend about this, how it was the Christmas season but it did not feel like Christmas. Our solution was to get a Christmas tree and decorate it, then it would feel like Christmas. Decorating a Christmas tree didn’t seem to change anything though. As a child, Christmas always seemed magical, but a slight let down because after the presents were opened, it always seemed like something was missing, something I did not get or receive. The things that I received did not fulfill the expectation that I had.  Sometimes I felt depressed around Christmas, that I was really missing something, that there was a longing that could not be fulfilled. Some people tell me that they hate Christmas because they feel all alone. I often feel alone or a longing on Christmas, even when I am with my family. I really love my family, yet I feel alone. So I have two choices- - to lower my expectations or find out what I am really looking for.

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