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,_Missouri)_-_stained_glass,_sacristy,_pelicans_detail.jpg

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

Fr. Joel Homilies 0 Comments

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


100,000 Miles and Counting

Fr. Joel Life on Planet Earth 1 Comment

My first year in my three-parish assignment was also one of the snowiest years on record. After the third snowfall of 14+ inches, I decided it was time for a vehicle with all-wheel drive. I took delivery of my new Subaru Forester on the feast of St. Anthony in 2011. It was the year of the tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdown; not a good time to buy a Japanese vehicle. But the shortage hadn’t driven the price up, and I still got the color and options I was looking for. I resolved to drive it for 200,000 miles or 10 years, whichever came first.

I just recently passed the half-way mark. The dealership, hoping to get me to trade in my vehicle, sent me an email with its trade-in value. It has lost $10,000 of value. That means I spent 10 cents per mile for the privilege of owning the vehicle, before you even start to include insurance, licensing, gas and maintenance.Read More

Open Your Heart to the Holy Spirit, Not the Evil Spirit (#628, Pentecost)

Fr. Joel Homilies 1 Comment

Pentecost Sunday · Jesus rises from the dead and he is poised to conquer the world. Instead, he sends us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes every Christian a Christ: members of His body, children of the Father, temples of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables Christ continues His work through His Church.

At the Annunciation all Mary has to do is cooperate with the Spirit. God will do the rest. In the same way, the work of conversion and Salvation is God’s work. God will do the rest if we only cooperate with the Holy Spirit.

Our hearts are divided between the Holy Spirit and our Enemy, the evil spirit. The Bad Spirit discourages us, tears us down, and makes us feel anxious and trapped. The Good Spirit gives us peace, joy, and tells us it will be OK. Keep out the Bad Spirit; stir up the Holy Spirit!Read More

Invite the Holy Spirit and Remove the Barriers (#627, Pentecost)

Fr. Joel Homilies 1 Comment

Pentecost Sunday · Featuring Deacon Michael: God is already blessing us as much as he possibly can. To receive more of God we must send an invitation and remove the barriers from our hearts. St. Philip Neri invited the Holy Spirit into his heart. The presence of the Holy Spirit enlarged his heart so much it cracked two ribs. Are we going to have open doors, open hearts, to the Holy Spirit?

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