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
Last week’s Gospel presented the all-important question that every must person must answer: “Who do you say Jesus is?”. And remember also Jesus’ response to Peter’s declaration of faith- If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross daily and follow me”.
My brothers and sisters, at the heart of the gospel, at the heart of our faith, is the claim that Jesus is the Son of God. And if Jesus is God become man, then Jesus is everything, the be all and end all. Jesus is the one to whom a totalizing decision has to be made. After all, Jesus himself polarizingly declares- “you are either with me or against me”. We cannot be indifferent to Jesus, either you give your whole life to Him or you should reject him. There is no middle ground, there is no halfway when it comes to following Jesus.READ MORE
Today’s Gospel is Luke’s version of the famous conversation Jesus has with his Disciples about his identity, and the 1st prediction of His Passion.
While Jesus was praying, though with his disciples, Jesus asked, Who do the crowds say that I am? They answered, some say John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the ancient prophets.
Let’s look more in depth at that answer by recalling who a prophet was.READ MORE
Trinity Sunday- Who God is. Little Theology to appreciate what it means for us. Unity of Trinity- 3 is 1. Some think existence- Father, then Jesus, then Holy Spirit. No, Eternal existence. Never a time the 3 did not exist. Nicene Creed- Jesus is begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father. Through Him all things were made.
John- God is Love. What does it mean that God is love? Who He is, not what he does. We choose to love or not, God is love. Complete gift of self. Father gives Himself completely. Fathers is a giver, his nature is to give- love. Son so thankful- given Himself to me. Gospel says “Everything that the Father has is mine”. Son fully receives, chooses to fully give Himself in return.READ MORE
Today we celebrate the sending of the Holy Spirit, the 2nd person of God, upon the Apostles and Church. However, in today’s Church, few people really have a relationship with or live in the freedom of the Holy Spirit.
So what, or better said, who is the Holy Spirit?
The Father through Jesus will send the other person of Trinity. LOVE between Fr and Son. We have received the love of God.
Pope Francis quote: “We shouldn’t try to tame the Holy Spirit. Yet, that is what we do. We want the Holy Spirit to do what we want. It should be the other way around. We should do what the Holy Spirit wants of us”.READ MORE