A great Christmas present, an experience of God. You and I need to do this, because we have the blessing of being called into the Kingdom of God. Not by appearances does the Lord judge, but by justice, and kindness, and the determination to let the presence of God prepare others to enter His Kingdom. This is justice. And this justice will transform the world. That is our Advent Hope.
News in Homilies
Stay Awake and Hope. This week we begin the Church year with a call to stay awake. Paul tells us in Romans 13, our second reading, that we must wake from our sleep because our salvation is nearer now then when we first believed.
Starting as a small seed, the kingdom is destined to grow and become a tree (Mt 1:31-32). It is gifted with an irresistible force and will provoke a radical transformation of the world and of the people. The kingship of Jesus is difficult to understand. It has sent Pilate’s head in a tilt (Jn 18:33-38). It’s too different from those of this world. It has been misunderstood many times over the centuries!
By Patient Endurance You Will Live. That phrase, "patient endurance" is the New Testament catch word for martyrdom. By patient endurance we will be saved. By becoming martyrs we will be saved. We Christians are called to martyrdom. That is the challenging part of today's Gospel. We must become witnesses to Jesus Christ, martyrs, to be saved.
The Lord said to Moses, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. It is evident, Jesus says, that the Lord is "not God of the dead, but of the living; for to him all are alive. Life Implications In Luke's gospel, Jesus seems quite reticent in talking at length about the specifics of life after death.
The saints—Mary too—are rightly regarded as sisters and brothers who, with their lives indicate a path to follow Christ and invite us to pray all the time, along with them, to the one Father. The word saint indicates the presence in certain people of a divine and beneficial force that allows one to stand out, to distance oneself from what is imperfect, weak, ephemeral.
They were there to greet this Jesus, this Messiah. Zacchaeus was initially nothing more than curious. He climbed a tree to get a glimpse of the great man. But then Jesus stopped under the tree and called him. The Good Shepherd found the lost sheep.
The parable in today's Gospel strikes home with each of us. There are certain feelings that we have every time we walk into a Church. Few of us are like the Pharisee, self-assured in what he we are convinced is our innate goodness, sort of just checking in with God to remind Him how wonderful we are
Jesus is teaching us today about prayer in this famous story. The judge taking bribes is browbeaten by a widow into giving justice without benefit of his usual baksheesh. So, Jesus is asking, will not the indulgent Father, who has no need of bribes, give us all the tender loving care we need?
To thank God we have to treat others as He treated us, with compassion, mercy and love. Were not all ten made clean? Where are the other nine? Where do we go when we realize that we have experienced Divine Love? Do we stay where we are?
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.
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.