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Nine Years of Priesthood: Serving as Jesus Served (#634, 13th Sunday)

Fr. Joel Homilies 0 Comments

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) · Nine years ago I celebrated my first Mass and preached on these same readings. I hear Jesus reminding his priests: you won’t always be welcome, you can’t count on having a home, I am more important than family, and don’t look back.

I thought priesthood would be about knowing what to do and telling people what to do. But our first reading tells us that priesthood is really about listening to God and teaching others to listen to Him. The voice of God always reminds us to serve others instead of serving ourselves. He who gives of himself receives Jesus in return. And Jesus is worth more than what was left behind.Read More


A Blood Transfusion for my Brother Omar (#633, 12th Sunday)

Fr. Joel Homilies 1 Comment

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) · My brother Omar killed my brothers and sisters in the Pulse nightclub. We need more than a change of law; we need a change of heart. Jesus offers us a blood transfusion. Jesus lives and dies on the firm foundation of His Father’s love. If you have the blood of Jesus in your veins, you too can respond to evil with the Works of Mercy.Read More


Mercy Comes to Meet Us

Fr. Joel Being Catholic 0 Comments

You probably already know that Pope Francis has declared this year the Year of Mercy. On December 8 they opened the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica. Pilgrims who walk through the Holy Door can receive a plenary indulgence. But not everyone can get to Rome, so the grace has come to us. There are extra locations for earning the indulgence, like hot-spots of grace. In the Diocese of Green Bay, Bishop has designated 3 special Doors of Mercy:

Visiting one of these spots receives the same blessing as a trip to Rome and a visit to the Holy Door. So let’s do a brief review of indulgences.Read More

Feet being "anointed" on pilgrimage

Feets of Generous Love (#632, 11th Sunday)

Fr. Joel Homilies 0 Comments

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) · We just finished the walking pilgrimage. People were very generous in hosting us, feeding us, and caring for us along the way. I even had my feet “anointed” with Gold Bond.

In today’s reading King David has forgotten how much God has given him. Instead of receiving, he starts taking things that don’t belong to him. Taking and keeping leads to using and being used.

The sinful woman has received mercy. She gives generously because she realizes that Jesus loves her generously. The Pharisee doesn’t give much because he is blind to God’s generosity. The Year of Mercy is a time to stop taking and keeping, and to start receiving and giving.Read More


The Lord and Giver of Life (#631, 10th Sunday)

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Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) feat. Deacon Michael: God wants to give us life. He creates the world, creates human life, and raises people from the dead. Yet so many times we believe that God is out to get us, to smite us, and destroy us. Not true. The Church is like a mother pelican that feeds us from the pierced side of Christ. God sacrifices himself to give us life.Read More


You Are What You Eat (#630, Corpus Christi)

Fr. Joel Homilies 0 Comments

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Year C) · Last week I spoke about how the Holy Trinity comes from the Father’s complete gift of himself to the Son. The Son then gives himself back to the Father, but also pours out His life to us creatures. This gift of Himself is spiritual but also physical. It takes the form of bread and wine in the Eucharist at Mass.

This is my body, this is my blood. The appearances stay as bread and wine but the substance changes into the very Body and Blood of Christ. This is what makes the Catholic Church unique. Other churches have the same appearances but the substance is different. They give out communion but it is only a symbol of Jesus; the substance hasn’t changed. Only with the priesthood do you have the Eucharist. The Real Presence of Christ is why we genuflect and kneel, clean up the crumbs and save the hosts in a Tabernacle for Eucharistic Adoration.

This is not meant as a criticism of other churches. If anything, it is a criticism of us Catholics. The bread is changed so we can be transformed. The Body of Christ is given to us so we can become the Body of Christ. Are you allowing yourself to be transformed?Read More


Every Life Matters in Captain America: Civil War

Fr. Joel Society Today 0 Comments

Superhero movies always have collateral damage. That’s the innocent people who run away screaming as the bad guy blows up their city. You aren’t supposed to worry about those people. The superheros saved the day. Yeah!

This movie is about those other people. They leave behind loved ones who grieve their loss. Their lives mattered, even if they came from unimportant countries like Wakanda or Sokovia. The Avengers have been saving the world for a while now and that leaves a lot of collateral damage. The countries of the world sign a treaty requiring them to accept oversight from a UN panel. Iron Man (Robert Downy, Jr.) supports oversight; Captain America (Chris Evans) refuses to compromise. As the debate escalates, the other heroes are forced to take sides.Read More


The Family is a Trinity (#629, Trinity Sunday)

Fr. Joel Homilies 2 Comments

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (Year C) · The Holy Trinity: 1+1+1=1! Three persons, one God. The Trinity is foreshadowed in the beginning when God creates humans in His image. We have intellect and free will. But we are also made male and female, and so able to give a gift of ourselves to another. The love between a husband and a wife mirrors the Trinity: he gives himself to her, she gives herself to him. The two become one and then three in one.

In a similar way, the Father gives Himself completely to the Son. The Son gives Himself back to the Father. This total gift of love between the Father and the Son is the Holy Spirit. The family reveals the Trinity, and the Trinity reveals the true nature of the family. We are called to live our lives in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.Read More