We have got to make the best use of every day that we are granted. We are each the fig tree in the parable. The Father owns the vineyard, the Son is the gardener giving us the ability to grow. The Spirit is the gifts that we have which will attract others. But we have free will. It is up to us to chose to bear fruit for the Lord.
News in Homilies
If you get to the end of the day and can honestly say, “I had no temptations of any kind today,” you should take your pulse. You are probably dead. Jesus himself was tempted to accept the pleasures of the world rather than remain united to the Father.
We are called, we are sent, to lead people to meaning, to lead people to God. Whatever it is that we do in life, from something as major as marriage and parenting, to something as minor as finishing a school worksheet, we do it in service to God. Every action of our lives has purpose not just for ourselves but as beacons of hope for those who are seeking the Lord.
Jesus is in his home town synagogue, or what would be the equivalent of a synagogue in the first half of the first century. He reads from Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me....” and then concludes that “these words are fulfilled in your hearing.”
The readings for this Sunday lead us to a discussion about laws and codes of behavior. Many people in our times have demanded a freedom from all codes of moral conduct. How happy are these people? Can a person be a member of a family he or she loves and receive love from that family if that person flaunts the basic code for living in the family?
The husband must put his wife before himself. The wife must put her husband before herself. The needs of their children must come before the needs of the parents. This is sacrificial love, expressed countless times in the daily routine of the Catholic family.
When Jesus was baptized He accepted the Mission that was the whole reason why He became a man. He began His public ministry which would end in the destruction of sin and hate with obedience to the Father and love for His people. And John pointed to Jesus and said, “Look, there is the Lamb of God.”
We are all on the journey of life. Like the magi, we have a sense of where we need to go, but we cannot see the destination. Like the hikers, we know the peak is up there somewhere, but we cannot see it. We have a guide. It is not a star.Our guide is Jesus who leads us in the direction our lives need to travel.
On the Sunday after the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, Christmas, we consider the family. Now when we hear the title of the celebration, the Feast of the Holy Family, we are inclined to just dismiss the possibility that our families can be like the Holy Family.
Is there anything more exciting in our world than children waiting for Santa? Sure there is: a pregnant woman waiting for her little love to be born. Today’s Gospel presents two such women. Mary and Elizabeth are bursting with anticipation, with expectation.
On this Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday, we reflect on the Peace of the Lord. Jesus said in John 14:27: “Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
We are in the heart of the gift purchasing season, Christmas shopping, probably most of us still have a long way to go. It is quite clear to me, that if we want to give someone a really great gift, what we should give them what Paul gave the Philippians, the love of Christ.
We don’t sing Christmas carols yet. In fact, the beginning of Advent presents the exact opposite of the sweet and syrupy Christmas sentiments. Advent begins not with cribs and shepherds and Silent Night, but with the prophecy that God will make a powerful intervention in human history.
Christ the King: Born to Testify to the Truth.Today’s Gospel is from the Gospel of John. This Gospel loves showing contrasting opinions and situations. To testify to the truth. That is what true royalty is about. This feast of Christ the King is about testifying to the truth. It is about integrity.
God is in control. We do our best to give ourselves to Him. He gave Himself to us for that very reason, so that we, in turn, can give ourselves to Him. As people united to the One who brings life through death, united to Jesus Christ, we trust our loving Savior to care for us.
As good stewards we give from our needs, our need for more time to do the necessities of life, and our need to use our monetary blessings to care for ourselves and our families. But there is a Greater Need in our lives. That is the Need for Jesus Christ.
A graphic statement in the First Letter of John forcefully reminds us that we must never forget the meaning of Jesus' words to the scribe of today's gospel and to us: "If anyone says, 'I love God,' but hates his brother, he is a liar..." (4:20).
The blind and deaf Helen Keller said, "The most beautiful things in the world can't be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." Clever Bartimaeus saw Christ clearly with the eyes of his soul. So must you and I.