Monday, November 29, 2021

Homily for the First Sunday of Advent, November 27th and 28th, 2021


Homily for the First Sunday of Advent, November 27th/28th 2021


I have a young nephew who has been really getting into the solar system.  Last week he asked my Dad “Grandpa, how hot is the core of the sun?” and was surprised that my Dad knew the answer – 27 million degrees!


Jesus says in today’s Gospel “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”


Sometimes and maybe, indeed, most of the time, we think we can hide from God – what Adam and Eve tried to do in the Garden when they had committed their first sin.  Mostly we believe we can hide from God because when we pray, we usually only experience darkness.


But St. John of the Cross described that darkness as being not a lack of God, but an inability on the part of humanity to comprehend the overwhelming nature of God’s presence – in a sense God is so bright that because the eyes of our souls are so weak, we are not able to perceive His presence – so most of the time prayer is akin to our groping in a dark cave for God.


But nonetheless, what we perceive as darkness and blindness is actually a reminder that God is everywhere and that God is existence itself, and we so often need to be content in the blindness and darkness of our prayers because prayer, although so often ineffectual from our vantage point in the moment, when we look back on our prayer, we realize that God was working beneath the surface, drawing us closer to himself, and we realize that although we perceived it as darkness, we were and are actually standing in the metaphorical center of the sun – like Gold tested in fire as Saint Peter and some of the old testament prophets put it so eloquently.

As our Nicene Creed puts the relationship of Father and Son, “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.  God from God, Light from Light”  So an all-consuming fire and a blinding light are two of the best ways for our human intellect to understand the Father and the Son’s relationship both to each other and to each of us.

Advent is a special season of preparation and prayer.  Let us trust that our prayer is never without effect, may we in fact “Be vigilant at all times and pray that we have the strength to stand, at our particular judgment, before the Son of Man.”

Monday, November 22, 2021

Homily for Christ the King 2021


Christ the King Homily, 2021

Jesus says “I came into the world to testify to the truth”


I typically have taken the approach in my preaching to try to list all the ways that Jesus and His Church are the Truth.  And a lot of times it seems, at least with young people, that I am trying to push a 1,000 boulder up hill.  I can typically see a lot of the young adults youth and so forth roll their eyes.


Instead, today I would like to take it from the other direction.  Instead of trying to point and say “There is the Truth!”  I would like to ask a question: “are there any lies anymore?”


Sure, I know that you can lie about your homework being done, but I am talking, as a society, are there any lies anymore?


I think it is an important question to ponder.  Because as I look around, I see lies everywhere.  Do you see them?  From my perspective, I see a culture that is soaked in lies – and I am more and more convinced that the only way to salvage the Truth is for us as small communities to announce the Kingship of Jesus Christ.  We have to do it boldly and with conviction. 


Again in today’s Gospel Jesus says he came into the world to testify to the Truth.  Are you trying to hear the voice of Jesus point you to the Truth, or are you too busy and too distracted to be concerned about what is true?


May our communities, our states, our country and our world miraculously forsake all the lies that we have been spreading, and return on bended knee to the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Homily for the 33rd Sunday in ordinary time, November 13/14th 2021


Homily for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, November 13/14 2021


“Those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever." 


we hear about the end of the world in both our first reading and our Gospel.  And we hear that eternal punishment is an option – we always have the option to ignore God’s proscriptions and teachings and rules about how we should live our lives,

We can ignore the operating instructions from the God who made us and knows how we best operate

we always have the option to rebel and become, as the Prophet Daniel describes it, an everlasting horror and disgrace.


But Eternal bliss is awaiting all who enter Heaven, and that, to me, having had just one real glimpse of that, inspires me to move forward and to continue to press on.  As I have shared many times, in the year after college, I had an experience that changed me forever where I received just a momentary glimpse of the bliss that awaits us in Heaven.

Also, a lot of times, not in the moment but looking back, I can see how the efforts I have made to cooperate with God’s Amazing Grace have affected my life for better right now, here on earth.


And so I am striving for Heaven.  And the quote from Daniel encourages us not just to focus on ourselves getting to Heaven but also, at the same time, trying to lead others to Heaven as well.  Again, it says “those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.”


May we first of all set our heart, mind, body and soul, everything we are and have on getting into the Heaven, and then begin the work of also trying to lead and help others get there with us.