Faith Transforms Crises into Challenges. The readings for today are saying, "God is aware. Now have faith." It sounds so simple. Horrible things were happening at the time that Habakkuk and on our times. "Lord, are you unaware of what is happening? We are all going to be killed! And the Lord responds: "Have faith" The just one because of his faith will live.
News in Homilies
The Church’s Mission to the Poor. The Gospel of Luke, the Gospel of God’s compassion, the Gospel of the lowly being raised up, challenges us today with the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man. The parable is not meant to defame those who have worked long and hard for their financial position in life. The parable is meant to help us all recognize the responsibilities our positions in life demand.
People are not owners but administrators of God’s goods. This is an often insistently repeated affirmation of the church’s fathers. We recall one, Basil. “Aren’t you a thief when you consider your own the riches of this world; riches are given to you only to administer?”
Like, the shepherd who found his missing sheep, the woman who found her lost coin and the father who saw his son walking across the field coming back to him, God is bursting with joy when someone who has been lost is found.
The cost of following Jesus Christ. He is to be at the centre of our life and action, He is the rock on which we can build our lives. Jesus ultimately requires all, but he accepts our stumbling steps. Since returning from World Youth Day I have been giving a mini series on Youth Challenges. Before giving this fourth and final homily I would to summarize the main points
This Sunday we learn how to enter the Narrow Gate. We receive the key to the relationship with Jesus - and with other people. You probably already know what the key is. We see it in today's readings: humility. "My son, conduct your affairs with humility and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts." Humility enables us to have a relationship with others.
Message: Jesus himself is the Narrow Gate. Do not be afraid. For me World Youth Day was a wonderful experience. Even though I am an old guy, I have a lot to learn and I find one of the best ways is to be around young people and listen to them.
Our faith is not afraid to speak about both happiness and sadness. It is not afraid to speak about both virtue and vice. It tells us that if we attempt to love God without loving others, we are living a sham life, a make believe faith. Faith encourages us to base all relationships on respect, particularly within marriages. Faith tells us to understand the meaning of the word sacrifice and to realize that all that is worthwhile from learning demands sacrifice.
The answers to the most important questions, the fundamental questions of life, are not on the internet. They are not out there. They are in here. The answers to the fundamental questions of life can only be found in faith. If we are honest, we will recognize that this is hard to handle. We would like to find the answers to everything. But we can’t. Only faith can point us in the direction of the answers we need
Usually when we hear the parable of the Good Samaritan the priest will note in his homily that those who passed up the poor man, the priest and the Levite, were part of the Temple ritual and should not be confused with Catholic priests or Church workers. I'm not so sure.
I come to offer you peace. Considering the reality we live in, it really takes a great faith to imagine that it is possible to build a world where peace reigns. It’s easier to believe that God exists than to keep hope in universal peace. Yet this is the mission entrusted to the disciples.
Jesus' question "Who do the crowds say I am?" had as much relevancy down the centuries as it did when it was first asked in the northeast corner of Palestine. Many have attempted to answer that question. In fact, each Christian of every age must give an answer.
Today's Gospel reading speaks about the presence and importance of women in the Church. The woman who anointed Jesus's feet had been a sinner but became a close follower of the Lord.
Jesus did not leave us a statue, a photograph, a relic. He wanted to continue to be present among his disciples as nourishment. The food is not placed on the table to be contemplated, but to be consumed. Christians who go to Mass, but not receive Holy Communion, should be aware that they are not participating fully in the Eucharistic celebration.
The mystery of the Trinity is more than an esoteric doctrine of faith. It is a model for the Christian lifestyle. We are called to be in the world, intimate, yet not of the world, transcendent. We are called to bring Mystery amid the mayhem.
People from all over the known world heard the disciples in their own language. The apostles were really just talking, but the Spirit they had received was speaking. According to the Acts of the Apostles, three thousand people became Christian that day. They were united by their determination to spread the Gospel. They were united by the Holy Spirit.
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord into heaven. Perhaps the Ascension gets overlooked a bit, sandwiched as it is between the great solemnities of Easter and Pentecost. St. Luke obviously recognized the importance of the Ascension. He presents it in each of the books of the Bible he wrote, the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.
"Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come and make our dwelling in him." This instruction from today's Gospel builds on the statement of faith found in the Prologue of that same Gospel, the Gospel of John.
I see this Christian optimism in the care givers and servants of the sick and poor. I see this Christian optimism whenever I am confronted with a seemingly impossible situation. Somehow or other, God will work it out. He is in control. The trials and pains of our lives have meaning and purpose because they are part of the witness of the Christians of the ages that Jesus wins. Don't be negative.
The love and peace of the Good Shepherd is present to us in the many moments of compassion that bless our lives. In kind words, in the listening ear, in the generous actions of others for us, there is Jesus, doing this to me. He is also present in the blessings we extend to others. The Good Shepherd of today's gospel, God's Word of love made flesh, guides us every day in our journey.