Category Archives: HOMILIES

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

img_20180319_192322845~31114635947..jpg

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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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HOMILY 2018 03 11 Jesus: I’m a maggot not a man – Moses & the saraph serpent

saraph serpent-

This was the homily at Prince of Peace up in Robbinsville this Sunday. Perhaps I got carried away. But I like it when that happens. And… and.. shorter than my usual.

Don’t be afraid!

O.K. Time for Confessions and Mass at Holy Redeemer and Andrews. Then Communion Calls all over both counties. Have a great Sunday of Lent.

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Homily 2018 03 09 – 1st commandment is this: Listen, O Israel! Listen!

I love the singing of this guy in the above video belting out the first words of the Shema. Wow! That’s a bit aggressive. But, hey! Error has no rights, and this guy is right. Good for him! Great evangelization! I love it. Hah! He’s looking over not to the Temple Mount or the Dome of the Rock, but over to the synagogue inside Hebrew University on Mount Scopus (do you see the tower?) where yours truly went to school. Unlike all the rest of priests and sisters at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem, I would walk across this valley and back again every day. Everyone knew me by my first name.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I put up any homilies. I better just put one up just to do it. This one is from yesterday. It’s about listening. I should listen to what I myself preach. Yikes! Jesus cites this commandment of listening as the First Commandment. Yikes!

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Homily 2018 02 25 – A Transfigured Examination of Conscience for Lent

transfiguration

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Homily 2018 02 23 Hell and Purgatory Saint Polycarp to heaven. Fiery love.

The movie is by Ignatius Press. Came out a few years ago.

I wish there was a common calendar for the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Mass. Polycarp falls on different days. Of course, that also means you could celebrate him twice, or, unfortunately, not at all, depending.

There have been a couple of boys over the years that I knew who took the name Polycarp for a Confirmation name, one in my own Confirmation group when I was a kid back in Minnesota, and another in one of my parishes in the outback of Australia. Good for them.

Saint Polycarp was a bishop and a martyr – imagine that: a bishop and martyr – burned at the stake. Today’s Mass was offered for the Bishop of this diocese.

Polycarp is also the name of a character in Jackass for the Hour, though he has the nickname of Carpe Diem.

Here’s the homily:

Here’s the prayer of Bishop Polycarp just before he was put to death:

O Lord God Almighty, the Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of You, the God of angels and powers, and of every creature, and of the whole race of the righteous who live before you, I give You thanks that You have counted me, worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Your martyrs, in the cup of your Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption [imparted] by the Holy Ghost. Among whom may I be accepted this day before You as a fat and acceptable sacrifice, according as You, the ever-truthful God, have foreordained, have revealed beforehand to me, and now have fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise You for all things, I bless You, I glorify You, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, with whom, to You, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen.

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Homily 2018 02 22 – Peter is infallible

Holy Spirit Saint Peter Window

Detail of baldacchino from the hermitage

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Homily 2018 02 21 Not seeing the love

No recording. Sorry. Just a quick point about this being an evil generation that seeks a sign. Seeking a sign is evil.

Look. God’s love is all around us for all to see. Do we see it? If we do, why do we seek a sign? Isn’t Jesus’ love a sign? Jesus healed people, exorcised demons, raised people from the dead, preached the good news in all truth and justice with no political correctness. Do we see the love? The love is the sign. Those who seek a sign see no love. They condemn themselves.

Jesus’ parable in Luke about the Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham and Dives in hell is similar to this. Abraham says to the deceitful ploy of Dives in hell: “No, if they do not accept Moses and the Prophets they will not accept the faith even if someone should rise from the dead. Now THAT is a description of self-absorbed and hate. Yep.

See the love. Look for it in the right place. Look on the instrument of torture and death, the Cross. Look for it in the arms of Mary. Do you see it yet? Love. The sign.

pieta

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Homily 2018 02 19 – All for Jesus or not: omissions commissions witting or not

oliver twist

Sorry, no recording. I guess I was a bit clutzy in trying to press the recorder button.

  • If we carry out the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, helping our least brother in need just to do it, not congratulating ourselves, not even doing it because Jesus would want us to do it, but just doing it just because (and we’re pretty much unwitting pretty much all the time aren’t we?), Jesus will reward us as having done this personally for Him.
  • There are lots of people who do all the spiritual and corporal works of mercy just to congratulate themselves for having done stuff. But even these good things that were actually done – and they are good things mind you – will be rejected as not having been done at all if done for self-congratulation. It’s all one big omission.

An example of the last one can already be seen in this world from time to time. For instance, a condescending soup-ladle guy at the soup kitchen ladling out soup ever so condescendingly might count his work as a good work for which he can congratulate himself before God and man, but the guy to whom he is giving the soup might well just throw it in his face, disgusted to be treated not even as a least brother, but simply as a tool by which the ladling guy congratulates himself. Don’t. Want. That.

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