A Deeper Understanding of Jesus’ Baptism (Homily for the Baptism of the Lord, Year C)

poolIf Jesus was free from sin, why did he receive John’s baptism?

Download the homily (right click here), listen to it below, access it with any podcast app (copy link), or on the iTunes store hereIf you have found this post interesting or helpful please feel free to share it on social media (share buttons provided below) and/or post a comment and become part of the greater dialogue).

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Christ is the Answer to the Ultimate Questions (Homily for the Epiphany)

QuestionsWhere do I find a standard to live by? On whom can I rely? To whom or what should I trust myself? Where is the one who can offer me the response capable of satisfying my heart’s deepest desires?

Download the homily (right click here), listen to it below, access it with any podcast app (copy link), or on the iTunes store hereIf you have found this post interesting or helpful please feel free to share it on social media (share buttons provided below) and/or post a comment and become part of the greater dialogue).

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What Are Your Expectations? (Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C)

childlookingatrainAdvent is a time to examine our expectations and ask the question, “Do the things I am anticipating really end up fulfilling me, or is there something more to life?”

Download the homily (right click here), listen to it below, access it with any podcast app (copy link), or on the iTunes store hereIf you have found this post interesting or helpful please feel free to share it on social media (share buttons provided below) and/or post a comment and become part of the greater dialogue).

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Advent Reflection eBook

Advent WreathA few years ago around this time I posted a series of reflections on the appearances of the Archangel Gabriel announcing the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus.  I later formatted the reflections into a single eBook which is available for 99¢ on both the Kindle store and the iBookstore.  Follow these links to download the book and enrich your Advent.

Kindle or iBook

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What Would You Ask Jesus to do for You? (Homily for the 30th Sunday of OT, Year B)

panhandlerWe are not very different from the blind beggar; we just have not realized that we are blind.

Download the homily (right click here), listen to it below, access it with any podcast app (copy link), or on the iTunes store hereIf you have found this post interesting or helpful please feel free to share it on social media (share buttons provided below) and/or post a comment and become part of the greater dialogue).

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How Do You Exercise Authority? (Homily for the 29th Sunday of OT, Year B)

mean-boss1To serve like Jesus we need to stop seeking ways to dominate others and start serving them.

Download the homily (right click here), listen to it below, access it with any podcast app (copy link), or on the iTunes store hereIf you have found this post interesting or helpful please feel free to share it on social media (share buttons provided below) and/or post a comment and become part of the greater dialogue).

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Is Your Morality Without Purpose? (Homily for the 28th Sunday of OT, Year B)

rich manThe rich young man is following 5 of the 10 commandments. He is a “good” person, but ultimately his morality is without purpose? What does he lack? Love of God and love of neighbor.

Download the homily (right click here), listen to it below, access it with any podcast app (copy link), or on the iTunes store hereIf you have found this post interesting or helpful please feel free to share it on social media (share buttons provided below) and/or post a comment and become part of the greater dialogue).

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Remember the Thunder!

thunder_185950-1440x900When you are in the presence of a substantial clap of thunder, you do more than just hear something that is loud. You experience something that stops you in place. The awesome magnitude demands your awe. You are forced to acknowledge the contrast between the world without the thunder and the world with the thunder.

The Greek verb ekplēssō captures well the experience we have in the presence of thunder. This verb means: to cause to be filled with amazement to the point of being overwhelmed. I came across this verb in a reading from the Gospel of Luke at Mass last week. After Jesus escaped the crowd who tried to kill him in Nazareth, he went to Capernaum. Luke tell us that Jesus, “taught them on the Sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority” Luke 4:31-32.

Words like awesome, amazing, and astounding have become a normal part of our vocabulary. We are guilty of using these words even when things are not really very impressive. Thus, to read that the people were “astonished” is not something that would usually catch my attention, but this time it did. The questions that came to me were: What verb did Luke use there? Where else did he use this verb? What exactly did Jesus do that produced such an effect?

The word that Luke used was ekplēssō. He is telling us that Jesus’ actions filled the people with amazement to the point of

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“…but there was a distance they did not pass.” 6 Truths About Chaste Intimacy from Les Misérables

p-588069-psatgv8e8v-11Do you remember when holding hands was sensational and amazingly intimate?
Nowadays, I am saddened by the loss of innocence that I see in the world. The protracted and beautiful progression of intimacy proper to relationships has been accelerated to an ugly and selfish expression of lust which lacks temperance. Chastity has an appropriate expression at every level of a relationship. The modern expression of relationship intimacy has no apparent boundaries. The ultimate expression of intimacy between a man and woman is cheaply experienced in the first moments of a relationship.  The unfortunate reality that I have encountered in working with youth is that they have gone way past holding hands. The sheer lack of chastity has robbed so many of authentic intimacy.
In the midst of lamenting this reality I was profoundly impacted when I came across a particular paragraph in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. At this point in the epic novel, two young lovers, Cosette and Marius, have finally found each other. The universe has aligned and granted them a month together when they can clandestinely meet each night. In our present age, a story about two young lovers meeting in secret at night would most certainly include sexual intercourse using contraception. In Hugo’s novel, the reader encounters a real treasure, i.e., a wholesome expression of an appropriate chaste intimacy that makes the lust of our time seem tired and boring.
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Working Smarter Not Harder

trees-cuttingAbraham LIncoln once said, “Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the axe.”

I was reminded of the following story during one of my recent interviews. I think it is a good reflection on maintaining life balance:

Once there was a wood-chopping contest between two men. Whoever cut down the most trees by the end of the day would be declared the winner. Thirty minutes into the contest the first man took a break. Thirty minutes later he took another break, and so on for the rest of the day. At noon he even took an extended break for lunch. The second man diligently worked

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