During Advent we can renew and deepen our friendship with Christ. Under the headings of Pray, Study, Give and Share your Faith, we are asked to choose four things to do in our preparation for the celebration of the coming of Jesus at Christmas.
News in Homilies
Our King dresses poorly. Uses carpentry as cover. Has visionary ideas. Associates with working people, unemployed, and winos. Has variety of aliases: Prince of Peace, Son of Man, Light of the world, etc. Full beard and scars on hands and feet the results of injuries inflicted by angry mob led by respectable citizens and local authorities."
We share in His Glory only to the extent that we have allowed Him to be seen in our efforts. Nothing that we do should be about us. All our gifts should be seen as just that, gifts from God. This is a message we need to convey to our children and Teens. The Lord tells us in the parable that the Master will come for an accounting of how we used the particular talents He has given each of us.
Are you not aware that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?....The temple of God is holy, and you are that temple. (1 Cor 3:16-17) Today’s celebration is not really about a place, after all. It is about us. We are the Church.
Why do we pray for our deceased loved ones? Why do we have this celebration today, the Commemoration of All Souls? Why do we dedicate the month of November to praying for the dead? Why do we have funeral Masses? We do all these things because we believe in the power of prayer.
The Heart of the Law. In 1927 my grandfather, my father's father died. My dad was just 10 years old. his older brother was 13. His four sisters were 11, 8, 5, and 2. My grandmother was in her mid 30's. There was no welfare, no child support, no social security.
Who was more powerful? On earth, politically and militarily, that would be Caesar as represented by Pilate. In the realm that really matter, God's Kingdom, there was no comparison. Jesus was and is the King of Kings. Even Rome's earthly power could be, and would be taken away from it.
This is not a good Sunday for you if you are on a diet. The first reading talks about the banquet of the Lord, where there will be juicy, rich food. Heaven will be pastry without cholesterol. The gospel talks about the wedding banquet that a king prepares for his son, only to have the invited refuse to come and even mistreat his servants.
Today's Gospel repeats God's complaint, only the parable becomes more specific. What was it that the people had done and were still doing? They rejected God's emissaries, the prophets. Later on in the twenty-third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew Jesus would weep over Jerusalem because the city kills the prophets and stones God's messengers.
We have to be like the One who humbled Himself. This is difficult. It is difficult because pride is so deeply rooted in each of us. But through the Grace of God we can conquer pride. And then we can be the people that God needs us to be for His Kingdom.
It Is Never Too Late It certainly seemed like the workers who spent the entire day in the vineyard had a point. It didn't seem just for them to receive the same pay as those who worked a few hours. After all, they were out in the sun all day, while those other guys only worked in the late afternoon.
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. This feast goes back to the seventh century when the Cross was recovered from the Persians and exposed for veneration in Jerusalem. The Triumph of the Cross is the Triumph of Jesus Christ whose love for us and obedience to his Father climaxed with his death on the cross.
This might seem harsh until we recognize that the Church is the Community of the Saved. Those who do not wish to be part of this community, but who want to continue in evil, are in effect separating themselves from the community.
Conform or Be Transformed? "Times have changed, Father. I am doing what is perfectly accpetable ty our society" And with these words, the elderly lady explained away her present living condition. And with the same words, the young man justified his "wild"lifestyle, and with the same words the substance abuser justified his action.
Faith is a raging fire. It spreads from person to person. When we are exposed to a person of faith, our faith grows. As our faith grows, we ignite others with the fire of God's love. As others grow in faith, our faith increases. The Fire is the Fire of the Holy Spirit. Nothing can stop the flame.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, with all our heart let us too unite ourselves to this song of patience and victory, of struggle and joy, that unites the triumphant Church with the pilgrim one, earth with heaven, and that joins our lives to the eternity towards which we journey.
God speaks to us in silence. If we are going to find our place in God's world, we need silence, a time of prayer each day. Can you give God 20 minutes every day, in the morning or in the evening? Take at least 20 minutes to slowly read a Gospel passage - maybe like we heard today.
The poor are hungry, but the sated also find themselves sad, frustrated and alone; the gratification of possession lasts a few days, if not hours, then anxiety resurfaces and the inner emptiness forces one to start desperately searching for other goods. To have more, rather than be satiated, increases hunger and makes one enter into a no-exit vortex of death.
It takes wisdom to combat the challenges of life. It takes wisdom to be a good parent, a good husband, a good wife, a good priest, a good person. It takes wisdom to discern what needs to be brought into the present and what needs to be left in the past. Where do we get this wisdom? The same place that Solomon received his.
"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also."