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June 25, 2017 - Heroes or Villians

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Historically, you and I know how the action of one person can cause either immense harm or bring about immense good. Hitler single handedly could have prevented War War ll. He did the opposite. Over sixty million people died in that war. On the contrary, there are also people who single handedly brought much good in the world. St. Francis of Assisi, for example, single handedly reformed the Church. For more modern examples, I think of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela. Their actions were redeeming actions. Perhaps in our families too there are people who either cause destruction or bring peace.

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June 18, 2017 - Of God and Fathers

Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

On Mothers Day, when I preached a homily about mothers, a few fathers nudged their spouses and said, "Let's see what he says on Fathers Day." Of course, fathers, I do have a homily for you as well. After all without our fathers we wouldn't exist. There is a complication though. Today also happens to be the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. Perhaps, the connection between the two feasts can be found in God the father who loves, provides for us, nurtures us, and redeems us in and  through the body and blood of Jesus.

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June 11, 2017 - Our God is an Awesome God

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Scripture Readings

The television show that entertains me during my workouts is The Little Big Shots. Hosted by Steve Harvey, the show is about kids who have unique or extraordinary abilities, and kids who Facebook or Youtube posts have gone viral. Some of these posts have a million or more views. The other day, Steve Harvey asked a three year old if she knew how how many views her post has received. She said, “a hundred.” She had in fact received five million views. When Mr. Harvey told the little girl the real numbers, she was expressionless. She simply could not comprehend the magnitude of that number. She knew it was a lot more than hundred, but she simply could not warp her mind around five million. Let me give you an adult example. There are times when we stand before something marvelous - the Grand Canyon, Mt. Everest, the Niagara Falls - and the sheer awesomeness consumes us. It is as if we get it, but we don’t get it. This is what God is like. When we stand before God, we are like that three-year-old who knew she was dealing with something big, but could not comprehend the magnitude. We get it, but we don’t get it. There is a word for it. It is called mystery! This is what we mean when we say that the Trinity is a mystery. 

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June 4, 2017 - Dear God...

Pentecost Sunday 

Scripture Readings

I read the scripture readings for Pentecost for the first time on Wednesday. As I read each of the readings I could feel my eyes tear up. Somewhere in the deepest part of my being, I feel very tormented. Nothing troubles me more than the inability of human beings to come together and work for the common good. Global conflicts, racial divides, economic inequalities, political and religious intolerance affect me deeply. When I was a kid and later as a teenager, I used to be much more optimistic. I believed then, that one day we will work through our problems. I believed that one day there will be fewer poor people in the world. I believed that one day, nations will spend less on weapons and more on education and development. At fifty-one, I have become less optimistic. I have not lost hope, by my hope is fading that in my life-time I will see a more equitable, peaceful, and united world. The scene on that first Pentecost was the beginning of a revolution, a recreation of a wounded world. The tears filling my eyes was an expression of two things: first, my regret at the world continuing to be a wounded world; second, a pining for a new Pentecost. “Dear God,” I prayed, “please let your Spirit work wonders in our midst again.” As I prayed, I continued to write my prayer. I invite you to pray with me. 

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May 28, 2017 - Intangible Yet Real

The Ascension of the Lord

Scripture Readings

I have a letter with me written by my mother on August 10, 1992. Earlier that month, I had written home about the difficulty I was having in the seminary. I was trying to get my parents opinion on taking a leave of absence. Here is what she wrote back: “If you cannot continue, I am telling you as I have said always, “Our door is always open.” I have no intention to make you a priest. If you find it difficult, get out early. I am only waiting for your ordination to retire. Find a good job in Bangalore and settle the matter. Nothing to worry. I am with you.” With the assurance that my mother gave me, anybody would think that I quit. However, that is not how it worked out. I said to my self, if my mother is with me, I can weather any storm. I decided to take my difficulty in the seminary head on, knowing that, no matter what, my mother was with me.

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