Category Archives: HOMILIES

Homily 2018 05 02 Wish for whatever

genie

Jesus to us: “Ask for whatever you want…”

Genie to us: “Ask for whatever you want…”

But how things work out is different…

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Homily 2018 04 30 Pius V – Lepanto

pius v

The typical painting of Saint Pius V above. Below, his tomb at Saint Mary Majors. That picture was taken on one of my day pilgrimages in Rome while on the Missionary of Mercy ad limina (so to speak).

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In this, the “Sistine” chapel at Saint Mary Majors, just opposite Pius V in location though not in faith, is Pope Sixtus V (also my hero whose repentance I strive to imitate) but I digress.

Today’s homily:

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Homily 2018 04 29 – Extreme Sports

That’s not the friend I talk about in the homily, though it absolutely could be in his younger days…

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Homily 2018 04 27 – I AM the Truth

World Youth Day 2016 Pope Francis and Jesus

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Homily 2018 04 26 – Idol worshiper: “Truth can’t be made an idol: I think of truth, therefore I’m God.”

idol

O.K. I got a bit carried away. I had to edit the homily in a couple of places. You’ll hear the jumps at least in the flow of the homily when they happen. Bearing wrongs is a work of mercy, but instructing, even rubuking the ignorant is also a work of mercy and is an effective way to bear the wrongs of those who just don’t get it. I am blind and ignorant, so, please bear with me as I rant as if I know something. I should keep my mouth shut.

There’s a strange thing happening among ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists (who may be farther from Sacred Tradition than they think). If they actually think that knowing the truth, for instance, memorizing all the words of the Sacred Scriptures, of all the Ecumenical Councils, of all the ex-Cathedra pronouncements, is going to save them, so that their clever puny little intellects — which we all have in this fallen world and which can hardly grasp anything about the truth — is somehow salvific in and of itself, they are mistaken, and are idol worshipers. Satan knows the facts, is convinced of the facts, incomparably more than us. And Satan isn’t saved. If we think we can save ourselves by knowing something of the truth, anything, we make ourselves God. And that, my friends, is idol worship. Ooooooo! A brain!!!!!

Beautiful. Created by God. But not God. Not by a long shot.

But, ooooooh, we’re smart, cause we know something! No.

But, it’s not about truth. It’s about hating Pope Francis. It’s about entitlement to bitterness. I remember one new guy who said that he was to be congratulated as the first one to hate Pope Francis, and that anyone who comes later so as to agree with him and be on his side in hating Pope Francis is to be rejected as worthy of hell because where the hell were they before when he was proudly alone in his hating. Yep. It’s the ol’ ploy of “You can’t say anything right, even if it is the truth, ’cause we’ll just twist it so that we’ll say what we think you really mean so that we can be really bitter not about what you said but about what we said you said.” Yep. That will help people get to heaven.

Sorry to rant, but more than this, this is about the “Reformation” all over again. Luther reduced divinely infused faith to the assent he made to his cerebral activity about theology. The one is supernatural, the other natural. These so-called ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists make an idol of the truth by saying that knowing the truth automatically saves us, because, you know, we had brain synapses going on, making us the arbiters of equating supernatural and natural, making us God, or at least Karl Rahner redivivus, more Lutheran than Catholic. That’s how he was able to rewrite Scripture, and to throw out whole books of both old and new Testaments. To say that we can’t make an idol of the truth is to make an idol of the truth. To say that we’re so nice that we would never make an idol of the truth is to crucify the living Truth. It’s to say that we are the only ones not to be bad and evil, not needing salvation, to say that we would never stone the prophets while we build their tombs all proud of ourselves, we being the very ones with that attitude that the prophets would rightly and charitably reprimand for the good of our souls. We would kill them. Of course we would. We, on our own, are idol worshipers of ourselves.

Again: Even if someone assents with their brains to the truth doesn’t mean they are saved. Knowing the facts and accepting them (like Satan also does) doesn’t mean you understand, doesn’t mean you are one with the One who is living Truth, God alone.

The One who said “I AM” hung tortured to death on a cross betrayed by someone who thought he knew something.

“Forgive them, Father, for THEY KNOW NOT what they do.”

Goodness! Did I demonize people in this post? In this homily? Make them into idol-demons of themselves?

Such tender snowflakes… [I am too, so are we all if we do anything just on our own.]

Maybe I should have put up the unedited version. But, no. I make it easy. I use an example from another religion. But the analogy is extremely immediate.

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Homily 2018 04 25 Traditional solution to St Mark & Synoptic “Problem”

four creatures evangelists

Saint Mark is a Lion, pictured here as a winged Cherub, lower-left in the picture above. Jesus chose none of these, of course, upon which to ride into Jerusalem to His crucifixion. That creature was, instead, a __________.

If you’re reading a bit of the Gospels every day[!] it won’t be long before you know about similarities and differences (complementary) in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Purified by the ardent fire of faith, don’t be afraid of what you see as if you’re being “critical” of the Holy Spirit. Just be open to using that purified reasoning power given you by the same Holy Spirit who inspired the words of the Gospels to be of assistance in forming us into the Living Word of God. This attitude is very Traditional, if you will, as so very many of the Fathers of the Church throughout the centuries made quite the scientific studies of similarities and differences (complementary) in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. All of this helps us to stare at the Sacred Scriptures, listening with our hearts burning within us, finally taking note of the breadth of Matthew, the rabbinic academics of Mark, the incisive ironies of Luke, all of which help us to focus more clearly on Mary’s Divine Son, Jesus.

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Homily 2018 04 23 – Saint George

saint george stained glass window

Well now. That’s scary. I did a massive search for the fellow I mention in this homily and I couldn’t find one single trace of him anywhere.

Anyway, this is how Saint George was put to death by the Roman Empire:

saint george martyrdom

Anyway, Saint George lives! Saint George lives! Saint George lives!

saint george icon

SAINT GEORGE SLAYING THE DRAGON Unterlinden Museum Colmar

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Homily 2018 04 20 Mass & persecution

Saint Paul Conversion Damascus Caravaggio

It’s all about Jesus: “Why are you persecuting ME?” Because: “Unless you eat…”

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Homily 2018 04 18 – Jesus gives us as a gift to our Heavenly Father even if…

Jesus Passion of the Christ hand nail

Complete with my usual breaks in logic when I’m waaaaaay overtired. I know what I mean but saying what I mean is another thing. Nevertheless, there is encouragement to be found in the Gospel and perhaps in my mumbling commentary.

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Homily 2018 04 15 – It is Jesus who opened their minds and hearts

Saint Paul Conversion Damascus Caravaggio

If you think you’re clever with the faith, and know stuff, listen to this and let yourself get smacked down. Humility, humility, humility.

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Pope Francis’ awesome Mercy Sunday homily

We have a great Bishop in Charlotte; he very much enjoys being with his priests. And vice versa. This is rare for bishops and priests. I witnessed this same joy after Mass today out front of Saint Peter’s as in the picture I took above.

There was a phrase from his homily that was like a lightning bolt and it immediately burned itself into my memory:

Gioia più grande d’ogni dubbio. “Joy greater than any doubt.”

He explained this as an encounter with the Incarnate Lord Jesus, risen, with the wounds He would have us see.

And we can see with the eyes of faith, with the Eucharist.

“My Lord and my God!”

That’s not an arrogant possessiveness, he said, but rather speaks to the goodness and kindness of Jesus.

Great insights, really.

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Homily 2018 03 30 – Good Friday and the Silence of God. Oh my…

holy sepulcher

Too long of a homily, so, just some bullet points:

  • God’s Word, His Son, becomes Incarnate so as to forgive our sin in all mercy but by way of justice, He taking on the punishment for our sin, death, the innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.
  • We ask in our idiocy: “Where is God? Why is He silent?” But we don’t mean it. We don’t want to hear God speak to us. That’s why we killed him.

  • Jesus’ corpse answers with silence that screams out His love for us so loudly that our reaction so as not to hear Him is to distract ourselves with such noise that can’t hear His silence speaking to us from the tomb. We seal ourselves off from everything and everyone, especially Jesus in His eloquent silence, through alcohol and drugs and distractions which really cost us lots of money. When I mentioned in my homily about the distractions which really cost us lots of money, there were very many who laughed.
  • When we finally hear the silence of God, of Jesus, in the tomb, speaking His love for us, He having heard us, He coming to the rescue with a mercy founded on justice, doing it the right way, with God knowing what suffering and death means, when we are stunned finally by the goodness and kindness of Jesus right to the end, perhaps then we can say in all the unearthly silence with His blood all over us – along with the soldier who had just shoved his spear into the side, into the Heart of Jesus: “Truly this was the Son of God.” That is: Truly this is the Son of God who hears us and speaks to us so eloquently from the tomb.

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Homily 2018 03 26 Privileged death

nard jesus woman

Thinking this is a soft scene? No. It’s not. Jesus and Mary of the spikenard team up here to accuse Judas and others in the crowd of Jesus’ impending murder. To accuse someone like Judas of murder is to take one’s own life in one’s hands. But our lives are in the hands of God.

Personages in this homily include Mary of spikenard fame, Lazarus, Judas, Jesus, and, as a modern example in the homily, Arnaud Beltrame.

I’ve retranslated the bit about letting Mary keep the spikenard for some unknown future date of Jesus’ burial, which makes zero sense as this is not what the Greek says and, at any rate, she has already poured this out on Jesus. What Jesus says is that she is be left alone for she has been keeping this spikenard right along for burial of Jesus whenever that might be, and now the time has come for anointing His corpse, as it were, for He is presently to be buried. Jesus and Mary of the spikenard team up, in other words, to accuse those present and the others in the crowd who were in those seconds plotting to betray and to kill Jesus, and not only Jesus, but also Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Why translators don’t want to see the ferocity of Jesus and Mary of the spikenard when the ferocity of the others such as Judas – in all his explosively murderous ferocity is exploding from the page and right across the centuries I do not know. Fear? Cowardice? Let’s all be nice!? I don’t know.

Update: I am totally amazed at this scene in a way that I’ve never been. This is a daily experience for me. The electrifying immediacy of Jesus’ purpose to stand in our place, to lay down his life for us, is gripping my heart and soul. It’s like I’m a totally unworthy and an utterly useless bystander way back in the day, understanding what is going on, horrified at the evil possessing Judas, but knowing my own weakness at the same time, but watching from the distance of centuries, but like it’s happening all the time in our own day, like I’m not supposed to be such a bystander, like I want to be in solidarity with Jesus as He is in solidarity with us, but wondering how this is going to come about, watching, praying. Isn’t that what we’re all supposed to do? I feel like I’ve wasted my whole life since this is only coming to me with such ferocious immediacy now. Having said that, watch me fall asleep like Peter, James and John in Gethsemane. But Jesus is good and kind. He says: Arise! Let us be going! Behold! My betrayer is at hand!

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Homily 2018 03 25 – All things new

behold i make all things new

Too long for an audio. Just some bullet points.

  • The woman at the beginning of the Passion Narrative who anointed Jesus for His burial according to Jesus’ assessment, did just that. She had the purity of heart and agility of soul to see that Jesus was the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, and that anyone speaking the truth with such goodness was a dead man walking, especially in view of His close followers. Looking at them, she could easily see that such as Judas would betray Him, and, in fact, just seconds later Judas would make his way to the chief priests to plot the betrayal and get his thirty pieces of silver. She could easily see that Peter would deny Him, and that the rest of the Apostles would all run away. As Jesus says about this in this Gospel: strike the Shepherd and the sheep will scatter. To get to this point of anointing the “corpse” of Jesus for His burial while He was ever so very alive in front of her, she herself would have had to suffer a great deal while remaining faithful in her trust of the Most High, even the midst of unimaginable betrayal, a soul in whom the Most High rejoices as it is the Most High who has brought her to this. What a great woman of faith!
  • If we have a make-pretend-faith, running after a mercy not founded on justice, we immediately become cynics the moment there is adversity, like sickness, death, getting smacked down by others, betrayal, denial, running away. We ask if God knows about pain, being, we then think in our cynicism, that He is just an abstract notion of our own out is the middle of a frozen universe somewhere in outer-space.
  • If, instead, we recognize that mercy and justice are one in God and that we see this on the Cross, so that Jesus standing in our place, the innocent for the guilty, means that He has the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, well then, that mercy, instead of being an occasion of bitter cynicism and doubt, that mercy, instead, is majestic, glorious, founded as it is on justice. There He is, God Himself, in our place.
  • Then, we, having shown our worst to see if there is forgiveness for us even then, shoving the sword into the side of Jesus with the Roman Soldier, and seeing forgiveness in death, then we say, “Truly this was the Son of God,” who makes all things new, loving us just so much.

It was when I said those last words Jesus making all things new that I choked up altogether, barely getting out that Jesus loves us so very much. I love preaching, love being a priest, because it’s all about Jesus.

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Homily 2018 03 22 – Jesus: “I AM.”

JESUS I AM

Ooops!…

O.K. I forgot to erase the files from the flash card for a while. So, that was that.

Jesus: Abraham rejoiced to see my day (making Jesus really old because he continued to live – as souls do – after death, as life is changed, not ended).

Crowd: You are not yet 50 years old (trying to make Jesus the God-Man really something like a couple thousand years old, going the other direction).

Jesus: Before Abraham was, I AM (with Jesus taking them up on the reverse dating and going a step farther into the past, and not only this, but using the name, title, description, whatever, for God, I AM, of burning bush fame).

Jesus goes way, way, way out of His way to antagonize his adversaries to the point that they pick up rocks to stone Him to death. And they will kill Him, as we all did by way of original sin and our own personal rubbish.

Jesus doesn’t leave us in our dumbed down stupidity, but rather lets us know exactly where we are at so that we can instead be on our way to heaven in His grace by way of repentance and humble thanksgiving.

P.S. There are a multitude of really evil Scripture commentators who say that Jesus never anywhere in the Gospels “claims” to be God. But actually, Jesus is everywhere doing this (with the Father and the Holy Spirit). Everywhere, all the time, blatantly, explicitly. That kind of lying is to be expected by the hateful posing as “believers” who take special glee in scandalizing the faithful, some of whom, mind you, take scandal and with ethereal sophistication say, “But the experts say that Jesus isn’t divine or didn’t know He was divine.” Hey! I know! People can read the Gospels with love and see what’s actually there. It can be done in our Lord’s grace.

The key of knowledge:

  • humble thanksgiving
  • humble thanksgiving
  • humble thanksgiving

Because Jesus, God, who is I AM before Abraham, loves us so very much.

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Homily 2018 03 21 – Truly free in Jesus

jesus baptism detail

My neighbor at the hermitage, in taking a look at this painting of Jesus, said the same exact thing I said about it, that Jesus has a super snarky look on His face, enthusiastic, but with the effect of implying to the onlooker: “You are just sooooo dead! Hah!” As in: As the Master so the disciple, and isn’t that really cool?! Anyway, I am just so very happy that we are free in the Truth Incarnate, free in Jesus.

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Homily 2018 03 19 St Joseph deaf dumb

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Homily 2018 03 18 When I am lifted up

crucifix drawing john of the cross

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Homily 2018 03 16 We’re nice

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Homilies 2018 03 14 – Just who is it working to re-create us anyway?

Jesus: My Father and I are working for your re-creation so that you might live.

His killers: So, alright then; we’re going to kill you.

This is how it always is, for Jesus, for His disciples. Has it ever happened to you?

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