Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. Jesus wants only to be a faithful Son to his Father. He will ride into Jerusalem faithfully, suffer faithfully, die faithfully, and rise again faithfully. Jesus shows us what it means to be children of God: let the Father choose our life for us, and we live it faithfully. The Passion is the ultimate test of Jesus’ faithfulness. The passion also shows us others who have learned how to be faithful sons of God: Simon of Cyrene, Joseph of Arimathea, the woman with the spikenard, and the women at the tomb. You too must listen to the Son of God and learn from the Son of God how to be a son of God.

(29 Mar 2015)

[Two Gospels are read at Palm Sunday. This homily was delivered at the beginning of Mass after the first Gospel.]

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Lent, 5th Sunday. The day of your Baptism you became a member of the Body of Christ and the family of God. The community brought you to Christ. Just like at your Baptism, so also at your funeral: the community brings you to Christ. The symbols are the same. The little death and resurrection of Baptism prepares you for the big death and resurrection into Eternal life. All the struggles and sufferings in between have the same purpose: little deaths and resurrections that help us say, “Father, glorify your name” and prepare us for the big Resurrection. As members of Christ let’s bring others to Jesus. Let’s bring others to Eternal Life.

(22 Mar 2015)

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Lent, 4th Sunday

Receive the Light of Christ. Parents and godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ. She is to walk always as a child of the Light. May she keep the flame of faith alive in her heart. When the Lord comes may she go out to meet Him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.

Your baptism was the day the Light of the World came into your heart. When you walk in His light, you can avoid stumbling over the world’s latest fads like drugs, sex, and self-indulgence. This light is nothing other than the Merciful Love of God shining upon us. It teaches us our true identity and purpose: loving God and neighbor. It also teaches us that no matter how far we have wandered, God’s mercy can always find us. May you keep the flame of faith alive in your heart.

(15 Mar 2015)

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Lent, 3rd Sunday. Jesus lives a pure and simple relationship with God His Father. The Temple should be simple, just like Jesus. God loves being in the Tabernacle, but His favorite place to be is your heart. At Baptism you were made a temple of the Holy Spirit. Is your temple clean and pure like Jesus, or cluttered and distracted?

Fr. Ron Rolheiser reminds us that God works in quite, subtle ways, almost imperceptibly. He respects our freedom and will not force Himself upon us. But if we draw from His presence, He will fill our lives with His love and power. The 10 Commandments are, frankly, just common sense. But we need to be reminded of the obvious. Listen to the Spirit as he reminds you: stop making My house a marketplace.

(8 Mar 2015)

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Lent, 2nd Sunday. Children suffer when they are separated from their parents by gay marriage or anonymous donation. We all have a yearning to both know our parents and be loved by them. God understands this yearning because He put it there. God knows that Jesus needs to hear his Father say, “I love you.” He said it once at Jesus’ baptism and now again at the Transfiguration. Jesus is clothed in his white Baptismal garment and radiating His true identity: “You are my beloved Son.” Jesus has to hold on to this truth as he walks the road to the cross, trusting beyond hope that His Father still loves Him.

Why would God sacrifice His Beloved Son for us? God sacrifices His Son so Abraham doesn’t have to. He gives Jesus for Isaac and for all of us. God provides the Lamb, and it’s the Lamb of God.

Baptism makes us God’s beloved Sons and Daughters. We receive the same garment and we are anointed with the same oil. God loves each Son like an only Son. Just like Jesus going to the cross, so it can be hard for us to believe in God’s love in the midst of suffering. “Father,” we need to say, “help me believe in your love for me. Help me live your love for me.” This is why we gather every Sunday morning to renew the truth of our Sonship – believe more fully in our Heavenly Father, let the truth of our Sonship penetrate our hearts. Then we are sent out as the Beloved Sons and Daughters to bring the good news to all the rest of God’s children. We tell them We know who you truly are: Beloved Children on the Road to Resurrection.

(1 Mar 2015)

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In a recent episode of the podcast BackStory,  host Ed Ayers presents his co-hosts with a puzzle. He gives them three different visions of the future and asks: What do they all have in common?

  1. Two guys, Mike Donovan and Gregory Powell, have been tasked with investigating an abandoned mining operation on Mercury. The conditions are so harsh that the men cannot even go outside. So they turn to the only one amongst them that can handle the intense heat of the sun: a robot called Speedy.
  2. There’s a helicopter pilot named Adam Gibson. He lives in a  place where animal cloning is practiced widely. Human cloning is still illegal but there’s a thriving black market in human clones anyway. Gibson gets embroiled in the shady world of human cloning and discovers that he himself has been cloned and the second Gibson has assumed his identity.
  3. A teenager named Marty walks into the middle of town and is surprised to find enormous advertisements being projected on the sides of buildings. “Jaws 19″ is on the movie marquee and cars whizz by through the air. Marty is absolutely floored by all this because up to this point he has lived in a  very different world.

Any guesses?

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Lent, 1st Sunday. In the time of Noah God washed the world clean of sin. Only Noah was in a relationship with God. He was willing to listen and so God was able to prepare and save him. Baptism washes the Christian clean and gives each one a new name and a new identity: the white garment of holiness, purity, and glory. God gives His life to us as a free gift. We spoil our garments when we grasp and take instead of receiving. Lent is a time to become fresh again. Sonia Singh rescues abandoned and abused dolls. She gives them a new face and a fresh garment. They are loved, and they know it. You are loved. Do you know it?

(22 Feb 2015)

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“If I Were the Devil” by Paul Harvey

If I were the prince of darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness.

I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — thee.

So, I would set about however necessary to take over the United States.

I’d subvert the churches first, and I would begin with a campaign of whispers.

With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.”

To the young, I would whisper that the Bible is a myth. I would convince the children that man created God instead of the other way around. I’d confide that what’s bad is good and what’s good is square.

And the old, I would teach to pray after me, “Our Father, which are in Washington …”

Then, I’d get organized, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting.

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Ash Wednesday. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years because they doubted God’s love for them. Jesus is baptized and then wanders in the desert for 40 days while the Devil tries to make him doubt his Father: IF you are the Son of God… God won’t provide for you. God won’t protect you. God won’t be enough for you. Jesus rejects Satan’s lies and stands firm in the truth that He is the Beloved Son.

God is your Father and He will provide for you, He will protect you, and He is enough for you. Lent is an opportunity for us to accept God’s truth and reject the Devil’s lies. Lent is for growing in Love. We grow in love first by spending quality time with the God who loves us, talking and listening to Him say “I love you.” Once we have received God’s love, we share it: Almsgiving. Then we give up whatever we cling to because we doubt our Father. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.

(18 Feb 2015)

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