Homily – Fifth Sunday of Easter

I suppose it is safe to say, or cliché to say, that the message of Jesus, the message of the prophets before him, and the message of the entire Bible, comes down to love.  If it had to come down to one thing, love would be it.  St. Paul tells us that when everything else falls apart, fades, and is no more, only three things will remain: faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.  Jesus himself says that we ...

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Reflection – Celebrating Diversity

I struggled with the readings from today’s liturgy, so I checked out Antioch in my Atlas of the Bible.  As told in Acts (11-15) and the Epistle to the Galatians, Antioch was the earliest great centre of Gentile Christianity and was, in fact, the first place where the name “Christian” was used.  It was here that Paul clarified his position that non-Jews need not convert to Judaism before becoming Christian.  Men do not need to follow the ritual of Abraham, ...

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Homily – Fourth Sunday of Easter

You’ve all heard the expression that good things often come in small packages. Well, this gospel passage is short, but it packs a punch. The first line of today’s gospel has Jesus saying, “My sheep know my voice.” You would think the next line should be, “They know me and they follow me.” But, it doesn’t say that. Instead, it says, “I know them, and they follow me.” Gospel writer John is saying that even if we don’t know the Shepherd very well—which is the ...

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Reflection – Who Taught You To Pray?

On Mother’s Day, 2003, I attended mass at the Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer, a church, but not a parish, strategically located amid casinos and hotels on The Strip in Las Vegas.  19 years later, I can still remember the homily from the presiding priest, who shared the story of the very first Liturgy he had ever presided on Mother’s Day in his home parish, parents and siblings proudly sitting in the front pew.  “Now,” he said, “I knew ...

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Homily – Third Sunday of Easter – May 1st, 2022

All three Scripture readings deal with something Catholics in particular, and Christians in general, have struggled with—this whole idea of worthiness versus unworthiness. And much of it has implications for the way of come to Lord’s Table. If you’re like me, you feel good about working hard and saying to yourself, “I deserve this thing, because I’ve worked hard for it.” The flip side of the coin is, “I don’t deserve this thing, because I don’t feel I’ve done enough to earn it.” ...

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Reflection – Chasing Butterflies

In her book of essays, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now, author and poet Maya Angelou wrote, “I’m always amazed when people walk up to me and say, ‘I’m a Christian.’  I think, ‘Already? You already got it?’ I’m working at it…”

Possibly the most important conversion experience I have encountered personally involved coming to the realization that becoming Christian is a life-long process and while I may experience times of growth, I will never fully “have it.”  I might ...

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Homily – Divine Mercy Sunday – April 24th, 2022

This familiar Easter story, of what we traditionally call the story of Doubting Thomas, is unique to John’s gospel; you don’t find it in the other three gospels. It’s a story of both Jesus’ appearance to the apostles as well as the coming of the Holy Spirit – the Pentecost experience. John does not place Pentecost 50 days after Easter. For him, both the Resurrection and Pentecost happen on Easter Sunday, one before dawn and the other, in the evening.

John begins ...

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Reflection – Peace Be With You

“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you”

I take part in a book study every Sunday night.  I love this group because we study Christian books and stretch our brains as well as deepen our faith. This past Sunday was particularly interesting. Right before we started the conversation about the book, a close friend posed the question, “What’s the difference between disciples and apostles?”  It’s funny, because somewhere in my brain I knew ...

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Homily – Easter Vigil – April 16th, 2022

The four versions of the resurrection story—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John’s version—all have these three things in common: the tomb is empty, the resurrection took place in the early hours of Sunday morning, and Mary Magdalene was the one who made the greatest discovery of all time! 

We could add a fourth thing that all four gospel writers report on—angels. Some versions have one angel, others—like Luke’s version which we just heard–have two. One way or another, the role of the ...

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Homily – Good Friday – April 15th, 2022

Every year, and I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember, I force myself to read a book about the Holocaust. It’s a force, like I said, but a necessary force. I need to be reminded that that shameful and cruel event really did happen. I need to be reminded how cruelty and violence are always an inch below the surface in brutal dictators and in myself. Beyond the depressing parts of these Holocaust stories, my soul ...

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