The Church gives us such amazing and powerful readings today. In our 1st reading we come to know the depth of who God is and what He wants, and also who we are and who we are meant to be. Then in our Gospel in the story of Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus, we see how this identity of God and of human beings is to be applied in our lives.READ MORE
Just to warn you- this homily will be a little longer because it is simply too important.
The Devil is a divider who will use almost any tactic to separate Christians from Christ...except for one. He doesn’t typically come right out and say, “Deny Jesus Christ!” because he knows that someone who loves Jesus would immediately reject the suggestion. So, he tends to use more subtle means and subtle words.READ MORE
Our 1st reading from Exodus tells the story of how Israel defeated the attacking Amalekites. The Early Church Fathers saw this story as a great analogy for the Church. It is this that I want to focus on in this homily.
Our 1st reading begins, Amalek came and waged war against Israel. We know from Scripture that the Amalekites are one of the tribes that stood against and wanted to conquer Israel.READ MORE
Today in our 1st reading and our Gospel, we hear 2 very similar accounts of healing of lepers. In our Gospel, there are 10 lepers who are healed by Jesus; and in our 1st reading we hear part of the powerful story of the healing of Naaman from his leprosy. What I want to do today is try to relate the characters in these readings to people today, perhaps ourselves; I think that relating the characters to people today will help us apply them to our lives; because these readings are not just about people being healed, as they are about our journey of faith, our journey to discipleship.READ MORE
Do you have faith? A question that many of you probably quickly answered, ‘Well Yes, of course’ I’m here at Church aren’t I’. If you say you have faith, what or who is it that you have faith in? And what exactly does it mean to have faith?
For many people faith is nothing more than a belief in God, a recognition that God exists. However, our readings today help us to understand more in depth what faith really is. As I try to explain more fully what faith entails, I want you to think about if you really have faith to the extent our readings encourage us to have? Faith is much more than just having a belief in God.READ MORE
Today we are given quite convicting readings. I ask each of you to take a moment to pray, and allow the Holy Spirit to touch and convict your heart during this homily and Mass.
In our Gospel Jesus gives us a story of a rich man who dressed in fine and expensive clothes, who dined sumptuously every day. A man who had everything he wanted and was enjoying his life doing whatever he wanted to do. At his doorstep was a poor man, named Lazarus, a man who was covered with sores and didn’t have anything to eat. The rich man didn’t even open his front door and give Lazarus anything, not even scraps of food. The rich man who was living for himself and only looking out for his own desires, probably stepped over Lazarus every day without a second thought.READ MORE
In today ‘s Gospel we have one of the more confusing parables, with a strange twist; and although it might be difficult to understand, it really is a pretty simple straight-forward message, but still a message that is difficult to live. So let us jump right into it to try and understand the parable and then appreciate the message Jesus is giving us and how to implement it into our lives.READ MORE
Our readings this week speak of the merciful love God has for each one of us. No matter how sinful we have been, no matter how far we have strayed from the flock, God searches for us to bring us home. Within this message is a call to each of us to be evangelizers, that is to share our love for Christ with others so that they will come to experience the living Christ and become themselves true disciples and followers of Jesus.
Before exploring this further, St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in New York has a cemetery. During the summer they borrow three sheep to feed on the grass and thus maintain the lawn. This year they named the sheep faith, hope and charity. Six parishioners have been trained as volunteer shepherds to care for the sheep. Their main responsibility is to gather the sheep into a shed at night. To help protect the sheep from intruders the shed is secured with an alarm. The cemetery grounds are under 24/7 video surveillance and the pastor and shepherds can monitor the sheep with their smart phones, tablets or computers. I am happy to say as of this time there are no reports of lost sheep. Faith, Hope and Charity are alive and well at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. If you would like to help care for the sheep you can visit the iphone app Soho sheep to make a donation.READ MORE
The readings which the Church gives us this weekend is about salvation- who is it for and how can one attain it. Unfortunately, salvation is not a topic many people think about. Some people don’t really care what happens to them after death, some don’t believe heaven exists, and even more scary is many others don’t think hell exists. Some reason that if God is a loving and merciful God they he won’t let anyone be damned in hell. Have you thought about salvation? Have you thought about the criteria needed to be saved and spend eternity with God? When some people think about the criteria to go to heaven, they think about being nice or good enough. They assume they will be saved if they are good enough, or as long as they love more people than they hate, then they will squeeze through the pearly gates. Instead of assuming we know the answers to these most important questions, let us look at what Jesus says. And to answer those questions about who salvation is for and the criteria, I have some good news, and some bad news.READ MORE
Today I want to focus on our 2nd reading from Hebrews 11, the great chapter which describes what faith is. The questions I want you to think about are: What exactly is faith? And am I really living my life by faith?
What does it mean to have faith? What would you say faith is? Probably most would say, to have faith means to believe in God. Good, that’s true. However, the new atheists would call faith a blind superstition, or an ignorant age-old idea or belief which isn’t true today. They would say it is right and good to only believe in something that can be known scientifically, that can be proven. And so in response those who do have faith, who do believe in a God would say it is just something they believe in, just something they think is true. But faith is much more than just something one thinks is true or believes in.READ MORE
Our readings today give us a very challenging message, I ask you to take a moment now and ask that the Holy Spirit will open and convict your heart as He desires.
Our Gospel begins, “Someone from the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me’”. So we have 2 people, the person asking from the crowd and the brother. If we reflect though, chances are most of us are like one of these 2 people.READ MORE
Today Jesus teaches us how to pray, let us open our hearts to learn how to relate to Our Heavenly Father. Before I begin my homily, I ask each of you to think how you would describe your earthly father, if you know who he is, and what your relationship with him was or is like.
For some of you your fathers are a generous and loving man who is always there for you and so you probably have a strong relationship with him, maybe even he’s one of your best friends. Others might say your father was busy at work providing for his family but emotionally not as present, and your relationship with your father is just OK. Maybe you would say that you know your dad loves you, but he loves you in his own way. Some dads can be authoritative and intimidating in relation to their children. Still for others, their father might have been physically or emotionally abusive, he did not show love like he should have because he did not how to love; and so their relationship with their father is distant.READ MORE
My brothers and sisters in Christ, both our 1st reading and our Gospel teaches us how to welcome Christ, how to show hospitality to our Lord. You are probably familiar with the Gospel story of Martha and Mary. Martha the server and Mary the prayer. Jesus says Mary, the prayer, has chosen the better part. Although this Gospel of Martha and Mary has confused many people, and some, especially women, have defended the actions of Martha, I want to give 3 angles, 3 points from this Gospel, so as to help each one of us learn how to truly welcome our Lord into our hearts and lives and become his disciple.READ MORE
As we think about the gospel reading today some questions to reflect on are, Who is my neighbor? And 2) What is my reaction to their needs, whether they be physical or spiritual? Do I respond as the Samaritan did with love and compassion, putting my concerns second to the needs of another? Or do I too often make the choice like the priest and Levite to pass by on the other side and not get involved, saying I am too busy to help or I do not want to be criticized by a friend or colleague? For example, in my daily life do I stand up for the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church on social issues such as marriage, homosexuality, abortion or am I content in following the ways of our secular society.READ MORE