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May 13, 2018 - Ascension: God's Enduring Trust in Humanity

he Ascension of the Lord

Scripture Readings

Today is the Feast of the Ascension. On the one hand, this feast is the culmination of Christ’s life. Jesus came from the Father and now he returns to the Father. However, I would like to approach the feast from the perspective of the disciples.  As I see it, this feast is also a celebration of God’s enduring trust in humanity. Let me explain. Think about one time in your life when you were in total awe of something that happened to you. Perhaps it was walking down the aisle with your just-married spouse, or holding your first-born for the first time, or holding the diploma after graduation, or receiving the appointment letter to a job you really wanted. I am thinking of my ordination my ordination. I remember having just been anointed by the bishop. A very strange feeling overcame me. It was the feeling of an awesome sense of privilege, unworthiness, and immense responsibility all the same time. I saw my Ordination both as God anointing me and God putting God’s trust in me. I wonder if this is how the disciples felt at Ascension. 

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May 6, 2018 - Because God is Love

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Scripture Readings

My homily today is very simple, because the readings for today's Mass are very simple. John says, “Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love" (1 Jn 4:8).”  

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April 29 2018 - Not All Christians are Disciples but All Disciples are Christians

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Scripture Readings

There is a story my second-grade teacher told us in religion class that I strangely still remember. One day, Michelangelo walking through a garden in Florence, saw a block of marble in a corner protruding from the earth. It was half covered by grass and mud. He stopped suddenly as if he had seen someone. He exclaimed: "An angel is imprisoned in that marble; I must set him free." Armed with a chisel, he began to work on that block until the figure of a beautiful angel emerged. The teacher continued, “Each of us is an angel in the making. God is the artist. The chisel is the Word of God. God uses his word to bring out the best in us.” Later when I got older, I verified the truth of Michelangelo’s story. It turns out, that my teacher was correct. The angel is now in the Basilica of St Dominic in Bologna, Italy.  

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April 22, 2018 - Lessons from the Good Shepherd

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Scripture Readings 

As you can imagine, Holy Week is one of the most demanding weeks in a priest’s sacramental life. Not only was I ill this Holy Week, but Fr. Dave’s illness and hospitalization made the week even more demanding than it generally is. Nevertheless, to say, by the Easter Sunday 6pm mass was over, I was overworked, exhausted, and hungry. I said to the congregation, “Jesus is risen, but I am dead!” I was looking forward to kicking my shoes off, having a glass or wine or three, some dinner and crawl into bed. I also said this to the congregation: “I don’t care what you are doing tonight, but I know what I am going to do.” I Left the sacristy, entered the kitchen and had barely poured my glass of wine, and my phone rang. There was a call on our emergency line that somebody was actively dying at hospice. This person was not a parishioner at any of our local parishes. Hospice had been trying to reach priests at many of our neighboring parishes, but they were not available. Most probably they probably were visiting family. I looked at my wine glass and then I looked up… and said to Jesus, “You are really not funny!” I also said to myself, “You think you know what you are going to do next. You don’t!” 

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April 15, 2018 - "That You May Not Commit Sin... For Real?"

Third Sunday of Easter

Scripture Readings

In preparation for a weekend homily, I read the scriptures the prior Monday. I let a few themes revolve around my small brains for a couple of days, and finally by Wednesday, I have a more defined theme. This week things worked very differently. I chuckled when I read this statement in the second reading from the 1stletter of John “My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin.” My instinctive reaction was, “Yeah, right!” Over the next couple of days, the thought just would not leave my head. And even though, the gospel reading is a much more attractive passage and perhaps easier, I decided that I would reflect on John’s letter.   

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