Homily – January 24th, 2021 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

This is the only time, in the Church’s three-year cycle of readings, that we hear from the Book of the Prophet Jonah. The Book of Jonah is also one of the shortest books in the entire Bible, yet, even at that, we only get the Coles Notes version of the story today. I encourage you to read the entire book–all two pages of it– and you will discover so many truths about yourself and your faith journey.

Like last Sundays readings ...

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Reflection – Sitting in the Belly of the Whale

Jonah was a reluctant prophet to put it mildly.  In that short book of the bible, a mere four chapters, we read his story.  In the proclaimed excerpt, we do not hear of his initial reluctance to take on the task which God calls him to.  Jonah was the guy who ended up in the belly of the big fish, traditionally a whale, when he is thrown overboard by the sailors of the ship he has taken to elude God, ...

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Homily – January 17th, 2021 – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Once again, the first reading and the gospel passage share a common theme; they are both stories of God calling someone. In that first reading from the Book of Samuel, the child, Samuel, with the help of Eli, the high priest, discovers that God is actually speaking to him. Similarly, in the gospel of John, we have Jesus calling his first disciples. While these are stories of “calling,” they are, more importantly, stories of “discernment” on behalf of the one ...

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Reflection – Come and See

In Christus vivit, Pope Francis’ response to the 2018 Youth Synod, he writes “All the faithful, whatever their condition or state, are called by the Lord, each in his or her own way, to that perfect holiness by which God is perfect.”

There have been times when I have willfully ignored the place to where I was called because it seemed too far out of sync with what I wanted or where I was situated at that moment; but more often ...

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Homily – January 10th, 2021 – The Baptism of Our Lord

“This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.”

There are few occasions that this line has been repeated in the gospels. Among the many lessons hidden in those few words, is the one that teaches us what pleases God.  Jesus’ baptism happened before his public ministry.  Up to this point in his earthly life, while he was being baptized, Jesus had done nothing extraordinary yet: no miracles, no great speeches, no massive conversions. He had spent thirty years ...

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Reflection – The Baptism of Our Lord

As we come to an end in our church’s Christmas celebration, let’s all take a moment to reflect on the greatness of all that has just occurred.  Before Jesus’ birth, angels descended upon Mary and Joseph and told them who their son would be.  At his birth, the shepherds and the Magi recognized and accepted Jesus as the Messiah.  And here we are at his baptism, where Jesus fully accepts that he is God’s son, this being a pivotal moment ...

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Homily – January 3rd, 2021 – The Feast of the Epiphany

One of the very first miniseries to appear on television was Roots back in 1977. Do you remember that? It was based on Alex Hailey’s book by the same name and traced his ancestry from Africa to America by way of the horrible slave trade. (Just as an aside, it was that very same week, back in 1977, that my father finally ditched our black and white T.V. for a colored T.V. Our exuberance was short lived, though, as the ...

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Homily – January 1st, 2021 – Mary, Mother of God

Do you remember being in high school and being introduced to English literature, to Shakespeare and others classic writers and poets? Do you remember that? And do you remember being bored out of you mind and saying to yourself, “I don’t know how any of this is supposed to help me in life?” Most of us got through it to get a passing grade. It was more like a hoop we were expected to jump through. In grade 10, we ...

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Reflection – Epiphany: Season of Revelation

From a liturgical point of view, each year the Christmas Season begins at sunset on Christmas Eve and ends at sundown on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord which is Sunday, January 10th this year. (Don’t throw out your Christmas tree before then, or I’ll haunt you worse than the ghost of Jacob Marley haunted his old business partner, Scrooge!). Getting back to liturgy, we could subdivide the Christmas Season into two seasons.

The first division is Christmas, the ...

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Homily – December 27th, 2020 – The Holy Family

By next Sunday you will have figured out that our scripture readings are not chronological. This gospel passage is about Mary and Joseph presenting the baby Jesus in the Temple 40 days after his birth. Next Sunday, we are back to the Wise Men who saw the star above Bethlehem and are trying to find the new-born King. These wisemen are exactly that, wise men, and nowhere in Scripture are they called kings even though we still like to sing ...

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