Friday, April 30, 2010

Homily for Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter 8:30AM School Mass

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a homework assignment for us! What do you think it is? The answer is found in our responsorial psalm, “Go out to the entire world and tell the Good News.” That’s our homework assignment. Now we heard in the Gospel Jesus said to his disciples that when they go out into the world not to take anything with them.

What is Jesus saying? Many times we like to over pack for a journey. For example we go away for a weekend we pack things up for a week. Sometimes in our journey we ourselves get the way. We try to be over prepared and overzealous. What the Lord wants for us is to be ourselves. You and I are created in the image and likeness of God and when we reach out to others we effectively tell the Good News of Jesus Christ to our friends. Every time you reach out to someone in need we show them Jesus.

So boys and girls repeat after me, “go out to all the world and tell the good news.” That’s our assignment.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Homily for Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter…the Memorial of Saint Catherine of Sienna

“Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.” The Lord has blest us abundantly with His goodness, but unfortunately we miss it. How awesome is it for us to get up each morning to listen to the word of God and receive the living God in the Most Holy Eucharist! The Lord did all this for us, how awesome!

As we heard from the Acts of the Apostles, “From this man’s descendants God, according to His promise, has brought Israel a savior, Jesus. This line reaffirms the Lord’s goodness and love for each of us and it is this that we celebrate this and every Easter. May we strive to remember always our Lord’s goodness and love! As we go forth this morning after receiving our living God and we hear those words “Go in Peace” may we go forth joyfully into the world by living our faith!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Homily for Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

We just heard our Lord say, “If anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day.” What is Jesus saying in John’s Gospel this morning? First Jesus reaffirms His purpose not to condemn anyone but to save them.

How do we continue the Lord’s saving work bringing others to Christ? The answer is by living and speaking the Lord’s truth. We are called to encourage and invite others to follow the Lord’s commandments. In our world today there is a tendency not to address sin out of fear of offending the sinner. This is never our intention. At times it is necessary to address someone that we love by clearly stating to them that what they are doing is sinful and why it sinful, but that in no way shape or form should be seen as condemning them individually. While many will respond negatively we must always remember our obligation to proclaim the truth. There are great implications for not addressing sin and sometimes we make things worse by not addressing it. We must always remember however that the one who speaks of sin knows sin. You and I are all sinners and fall often but we have Jesus in our corner to help us back up. We must hold each other accountable for our actions.

Our Lord spoke the truth so that all could experience eternal life. As we continue in prayer this morning let us ask the Lord for help in reaching out to those whom we know who might be going in a direction that is opposite of God’s plan for them. We pray also that it not be our words that come forth from our mouths but His.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Homily for Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

What wonders can be done when the word of God is proclaimed! We see this once again in the first reading in the Acts of the Apostles. For we heard “the hand of the Lord was with them and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.”

Indeed what wonders can be done when we proclaim the word of God and give witness to our faith by the way we live our lives. Etched in each of our hearts is a desire for the living God. It is there is everyone, yet sometimes it takes a little work to draw it out. May we join together to praise the Lord by living our faith joyfully! By living our faith joyfully we will add more people to the Lord.

Homily for Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter

“Athirst is my soul for the living God.” You and I are blest that have the experience of receiving the living God on a daily basis. In the first reading taken from the Acts of the Apostles we heard, “God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too.” Our Lord has the power to do all things and when we allow ourselves to gather in the presence of the Lord and receive the resurrected Christ in the Holy Eucharist, He gives us that power. While yes from time to time we may fail because of our sinfulness, He gives us the power and the strength to get back up.

Now if you and I are honest with ourselves there are times in which we like to do shortcuts or do the bare minimum. Jesus warns us about this when He says, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.” The Lord has given us a guide in the Ten Commandments. May we strive to always follow the paths the Lord has laid out for us! In doing so we will have the opportunity to experience the life the Lord has promised us.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Easter

“For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” The lamb who sits in the center of throne as we heard referenced to in the Second Reading from the Book of Revelation is Jesus Christ. He is the one whom we turn towards each day to help us through life.

As we heard our Lord in the Gospel say, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.” Indeed no one can take us out of the Lord’s hand. The Lord loves us so much that He will do whatever it takes to protect us. We are the ones however, who could choose to pull away from Him. However, for those who choose to pull away, the Lord is only one step behind them crying out to them calling out to them inviting them back to the fold! Jesus is the Good Shepherd and today He calls out to His sheep inviting them to also become good shepherds. Yes we are his people the sheep of his flock.

If we look in life there are times in which we are the shepherd and then at other times we are the sheep. As a priest I spend time in prayer and I ask the Lord for guidance. In that instance, I am a sheep turning towards my shepherd for guidance. When I celebrate Mass and preach the Gospel I become a shepherd hopefully preparing you to become shepherds in the world. Those who were called to be parents they are called to be shepherds to their children preparing them for the things to come. Sometimes it is hard for us to be sheep because in our world it’s not always easy being considered the follower. We want to be our own leader and go in our own direction. This many times is in the opposite direction the Lord wants us to go.

Sheep are not the most intelligent of animals and in fact perhaps that is why it is not easy for us to be referred to as such. Like sheep there are times you and I do things that are not intelligent. If we are honest with ourselves we probably do unintelligent things on a regular basis. That is why we need to the Lord to guide us in the direction we need to go. To be considered a sheep takes humility and by referring to Himself as the Good Shepherd the Lord demonstrates that humility to us perfectly. A shepherd was often seen as an outcast because they spent many long hours in the field and often smelled. Jesus indeed is the Good Shepherd who did lie down His life for His sheep. How blest we are to have shepherds who continue to lay down their lives! We have many parents who are good shepherds to their children. There are also many wonderful people taking leadership in proclaiming the Gospel in various ways.

As we continue with this liturgy may we continue to pray that the Lord strengthen our families who are vital in preparing future shepherds for the Church and Society! Today we also ask the Lord for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life. May we today strive to model the Good Shepherd who goes out constantly looking for the lost sheep! The Lord is our shepherd may we strive to never pull away and lose sight of Him!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Homily for Friday of the Third Week of Easter

Our first reading this morning gives witness to the transforming power of God’s love! It’s the account of Paul’s conversion. At times you and I are like Saul. Perhaps we are not persecuting others like Saul did but we are all sinners and from time to time we do things and say things that hurt others. Then there are times we are like Ananias and we write people off. Many times we experience things and hear things that cause us to form opinions. Yet if God has the power to transform us then He has the power to transform others.

This morning may we go out to the entire world to tell the Good News by showing others the love and mercy of Jesus Christ! In doing so we might allow others to come to Him more freely.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Homily for Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

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This morning I would like to focus on the Lord’s words, “I am the Bread of Life.” We have heard these past few mornings from parts of John’s Gospel from what is known as the Bread of Life discourse. How blest we are to have the opportunity to receive the Bread of Life here each day!

The Holy Eucharist is our source of strength. Each time we receive Him in this Holy Sacrament we receive in a special way His strength. Contained within this Sacrament is the power to overcome our own weaknesses. While we constantly fail because of our own sinfulness we find in this Sacrament the strength to get back up. The Holy Eucharist is indeed the Sacrament of Love! It is the vehicle in which our Lord continues to be present to us here and now. As we prepare to receive this morning the Bread of Life may we allow ourselves to be open to His transforming power!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Homily for Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter

“Let all the earth cry out to God with joy!” Good work is done with the word of God is proclaimed. The main point we get out of the first reading is that despite the little bumps in the road that we encounter on a regular basis, you and I are called to go out preaching the word.

Once again referring to the first reading form the Acts of the Apostles we hear that a severe persecution of the Church erupted and that many who were charged with proclaiming God’s word were scattered. Yet they did not stop preaching! They persevered at went forward doing what they do they had to do. Looking at Philip he went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed Christ to them. What happened in Samaria? “For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured. There was great joy in that city.” Indeed this is the power God’s word can bring. Perhaps it’s not physical healing that’s taking place, but rather a spiritual one. The word of God is that powerful and we have a responsibility to proclaim it! May we cry out to God in our need for strength to assist us proclaiming His word so we can fill the whole world with joy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Homily for Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter

The account we heard this morning from the Acts of the Apostles was of Stephen’s martyrdom. It’s quite understandable why the people, the elders, and the scribes were all upset at him. As we heard Stephen say, “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in the heart and ears, you always oppose the Holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors. Which of the prophets did your ancestors not prosecute? They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.”

Stephen was charged by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Good News of resurrected Christ and that he did. As we heard there are two groups, you have Stephen, and then you have the people, the elders, and the scribes. Let’s face it sometimes we are those stiff-necked people Stephen refers to in the Acts of the Apostles. We would rather do our own thing rather than accept the will of God. However, today we are challenged to follow the example of Stephen and live out our faith and proclaim it into the world. Will people criticize and persecute us for it? Of course they do it today! It will happen but may we echo those words spoken before Stephen breathed his last, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” May we today commend our spirits into the Lord’s hand and ask Him to guide us as we live out our faith in our daily lives.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Homily for Monday of the Third Week of Easter

We just heard in the Gospel, “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life.” This passage really should make us think, because there are times in which we all work for the food that perishes. When we go shopping for food or supplies we don’t go shopping for the generic cheaper things, which many times are good. We go for the more expensive and more recognizable brand name.

There are times in which we all do it. You and I look for the bigger and better things in life that will make us more comfortable and happier. But does it??? In some sense yes but that comfortable feeling passes away. It lasts but a short moment and then we move on. The Lord challenges us today to work for the food that endures for eternal life which means working on our relationship with God. Jesus continues to speak to us today and this is indeed the work of God, may we strive to “believe in the one He sent.”

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Homily for the Third Sunday of Easter

“We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” You and I who are gathered here are witnesses to the Resurrection and we are called to witness our faith to all we meet.

In the first reading taken from the Acts of the Apostles, “the Sanhedrin ordered the apostles to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them.” There are many forces in the world today that try to get us to stop speaking in the Lord’s name. Our call is to dismiss those forces and persevere in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ to all those we meet. Together we sang, “I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.” Yes indeed He has rescued us! By His passion, death, and resurrection He has given us the opportunity to be with Him in heaven.

You and I must model our lives after those early disciples as it says after the Sanhedrin’s order, “so they left rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.” We tend when things don’t go our way and when faced with great difficulties the first thing we do is complain. It’s something we all do; perhaps not always, but without fail we do it from time to time. Also when someone speaks ill of us the first thing we do is react to defend ourselves. There are times in life when we need to accept the crosses that are given us much like our Lord did for all of us.

This weekend the Lord Himself challenges us to model the example of the first apostles. In the midst of our trials and tribulations the Lord asks us to pick up our crosses and stay the course. Yes how easy it is at times to give up. No matter how hard things get we must stay the course. Jesus is here and He will help us to stay the course if we allow Him.

As we heard in the Gospel, “Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them.” At this time my brothers and sisters I would like to extend to you and opportunity of a lifetime, an opportunity to spend one quiet hour with our risen Lord. I am sure many of you have noticed the section in our bulletin that pertains to our adoration chapel. Here at Corpus Christi we are blessed to have a perpetual adoration chapel, where one can come and spend an hour with the Lord. This year on the feast of Corpus Christi our adoration chapel is celebrating its tenth year and we need your help to keep it growing strong. We need help especially covering our overnight hours. I know the early hours might not appeal to some but I can testify that those hours in those early hours in the morning can be very powerful. Please consider it! Perhaps someone might not be able to commit every week so why not team up with several others and commit to that hour as a group and rotate. For example if you have a team of four, one would be responsible committing one hour a month, that way it’s not up to one single individual. Once again please consider this wonderful opportunity! Jesus continues to give us the bread of the Life in the Most Holy Eucharist. He is our Survival of Life, our source of strength in difficult times. Go to Him! Jesus asks each one of us as He asked Simon Peter, “Do you love me.” May we open our hearts to always follow Him!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Text of a Reflection given at Luther Ridge Ecumenical Service

The Lord hears the cry of the poor and indeed He does! Christian communities throughout the world for the next several weeks celebrate the Easter Season in which we continue to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Our first reading this morning was taken from the Acts of the Apostles. The apostles were ordered to stop teaching in the Lord’s name, however they continued, and when confronted by the high priest they said, “We must obey God rather than men.”

How true! You and I are called to obey the will of God. It’s easy for us when things get tough to either start complaining or turn in the other direction. Now I don’t know about you I always fall into the trap of complaining. When something doesn’t the way I planned or I am asked to do something and I am tired and I am miserable sometimes I complain to myself in my head. Let’s face it we all do it. Christians everywhere today need turn to Jesus and His example. Jesus accepted His cross, embraced a difficult road that would lead ultimately to His suffering a death. During His journey the weight of His cross became so heavy that it caused Him to fall three times. Here is where we need to model Him. You and I have many crosses and at times we too can collapse at the weight of it. But Jesus did not stay down! He got right back up and moved forward! Sometimes the road we walk is not easy but that should never stop us from accepting God’s plan and move forward.

We began this reflection by saying the Lord hears the cry of the poor. You and I at times are the poor. At times we fall and when we do we naturally cry out to Him. God is always with us, in good times and in bad. In those times when we become so bogged down by the weight of our crosses and we fail to see Him, God is there. Know that He is there walking along side us carrying and lifting us up. What can we do to continue this Easter Celebration? Easter is about the Resurrection! Let’s too rise up and live the life God has called us to live. God has a plan for us! If He didn’t, you and I wouldn’t be here this morning. You and I are called to be a people of prayer. We are called to pray for one another and when we pray for one another we are supporting each other. There are a lot of people today in need of our prayers, many people who are suffering because of the job market. Also there are many people who struggle to accept the crosses that have been placed upon them at this time. Life is not easy and so we need to rely on God and each other for support.

So my brothers and sisters this morning let’s ask God our heavenly Father to support us and to help us rise up with those heavy crosses we have so we can continue to celebrate joyfully this Easter Season.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Homily for Divine Mercy Sunday

“Many signs and wonders were done among the people at the hands of the apostles.” Today not only do we celebrate the Second Sunday of Easter, today is also designated as Divine Mercy Sunday. All throughout Lent our focus was on love and mercy of Jesus Christ. You and I are called to show that love and mercy towards others.

Why did servant of God Pope John Paul II establish Divine Mercy Sunday on the Second Sunday of Easter? Haven’t we focused enough on love, mercy, and penance? This perhaps might be what is going through some minds this morning. The Webster Dictionary defines mercy as a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion. Mercy means being able to forgive, it also means being able to respond with compassion towards those who are suffering. While yes this is the Easter Season we must still focus on showing others the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.

Easter is about celebrating the Resurrection of the Lord. All of us from experience know that when we hold back forgiveness or when we fail to treat others with compassion it weighs us down. It weighs us down to a point that it makes us miserable. Now how can we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord if we are weighed down by something? The answer is we can’t! That is why Servant of God Pope John Paul II established Divine Mercy Sunday so we can properly celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord. When we experience the Lord’s mercy and demonstrate the Lord’s mercy a weight is lifted off our shoulders and we are raised up to a newness of life. It is when this happens we are truly able to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, as we commemorate this Sunday dedicated to experiencing the Divine Mercy of Jesus Christ I encourage you to remember the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to make it a part of your spiritual life. I guarantee by taking advantage of this special sacrament your faith will grow stronger. Besides encouraging your own personal spiritual growth I would like to take this opportunity to commend you the people of Corpus Christi Parish for your generosity towards our St. Vincent De Paul program. We are so blessed with a generous giving parish and because of your generosity we are to help many people who are in need. Although we are undergoing some difficult economic times your generosity has increased. Our parish is truly responding during these most difficult times. Do not lose that giving spirit. As a parish we are showing others the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. Continuing with this Easter Season may we strive to keep up the good work!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Homily for Friday in the Octave of Easter with the Corpus Christi School Children

Boys and girls I have before you a plastic Easter egg. By a show of hands how many of you think there is candy in it? Alright raise your hands if you think there is money in it. Well let’s open it up and see. Wait a minute it’s empty! Can you believe it? Well boys and girls we should because this Easter egg represents the Lord’s tomb…and guess what He is not in it!

This week is known as the Octave of Easter and it’s a way in which we can continue to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord a little while longer. Jesus is no longer in the tomb and while He now sits at the right hand of the Father, He is still here. He is right there in the tabernacle. The Lord is truly near to all who call upon Him.

In John’s Gospel our Lord’s Prayer to the Father still rings out today “I want all my followers to be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are with me.” Jesus is still saying these words to the Father and it’s His wish for all of us. While each one of you gathered here is an individual you together make up one community. Every student makes up one grade; every grade makes up one school which our school happens to be under the title of Corpus Christi, which is Latin for (and if you know it say it with me), the Body of Christ.

Boys and girls the Lord desires us to be one. There are times when we are not one with one another. We get into fights and we say words that hurt others people’s feelings. Today as Jesus prayed to the Father, “I want all my followers to be one with each other,” may we pray those same words asking for the same thing. Let’s honor the title of the school by honoring the Lords wish and build up the Body of Christ!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Homily for Thursday of the Octave of Easter

“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to these things.” Indeed we are, you and I are witnesses to the presence of the resurrected Christ.

All throughout this week our focus has been on our Lord’s resurrection from the dead and the newness of life his resurrection brought to us. God has the power to do all things. May we today place our trust in the Lord and pray for the grace to be open to that newness of life promised us!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Homily for Wednesday of the Octave of Easter

Do we recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread? This morning Jesus was walking with two of his disciples down the road to Emmaus. Of course as we heard they didn’t recognize Him until the breaking of the bread. It was at that moment their hearts were opened and they knew the Lord was in their midst. However, that was also the same moment He vanished within their midst.

Many times we take our resurrected Lord for granted. It’s unfortunate today that many people do not recognize the real presence of Christ within their midst in the Most Holy Eucharist. He is here in our midst today. Let’s reflect on the great gift given to us in this Holy Sacrament and as we approach the altar of the Lord may we pray for the grace not only to recognize Christ present among us but also pray for the grace to rise up and walk proclaiming the Good News of the Lord’s resurrection in the world!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Homily for Tuesday of the Octave of Easter

“The Earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” Look around us the Lord has blessed us with many wonderful gifts. Stop and think, what season are we in? Today I am not referring to the Liturgical Season. It’s the season of spring, the trees are blossoming, the birds are singing. We are experiencing a season of new life.

All throughout this week we continue to celebrate and proclaim our Lord’s resurrection from the dead. By his resurrection the Lord blessed us with the gift of newness of life. You and I have the opportunity to be united with Him in the heavenly kingdom. Peter in speaking to the Jewish people said to them, “Repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins.” You and I need to be reminded of the importance of conversion. We need Sacramental confession to keep us united to Christ. My brothers and sisters as we continue to celebrate the Octave of Easter may we pray for the grace of conversion so we can experience the newness of life!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Homily for Monday of the Octave of Easter

“God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses.” This morning we gather once again to testify to the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Although you and I weren’t there physically two thousand years ago we can certainly testify to the resurrection of Christ through faith, a faith that has been passed down to us generation after generation.

It is our certain faith that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again on the third day. As the two Mary’s approached the Lord, He said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” You and I are like the two Mary’s and the Lord is approaching us today. May we strive to live a life proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ by preaching His resurrection!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Homily for Easter Sunday Baptisms

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.” I began my homily this morning my quoting our responsorial psalm for this Easter Sunday and I feel it is fitting to begin my homily once again using these same words. These words are fitting as we gather this afternoon to celebrate the baptism of your children.

At the beginning of the rite of baptism we hear, “you have asked to have your children baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training them in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring them up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us by loving God and neighbor.” They are rather strong words laying out the responsibility of parents to bring their children to Christ. These are words we are all called to take to heart.

The Gospel account proclaimed for this celebration is taken from Mark’s Gospel where Jesus shows his love for children. As people were bringing their children to Jesus the disciples began to rebuke them. I cannot help to think that many times we are like those early disciples. We tend to be obstacles getting in the way of others having a relationship with the Lord. When we prevent others from encountering Christ the Lord reminds us that we are to let the children to come to Him and not prevent them. You and I are called to build bridges and not be obstacles.

Today parents you are called to take the responsibilities which are laid out in this rite seriously. As the primary educators of your children it is your duty to bring them up in the faith and to teach them to follow the commandments and how to love our neighbors. It is not our Catholic Schools and Religious Education programs responsibility to do that for you. That is solely your responsibility. However, you do not do it alone. As you look around you this afternoon you are so blessed to have others who are eager and willing to assist you. Holy Mother Church herself is eager and willing to assist you in fulfilling your responsibilities if you allow her.

One thing our Lord was clear on in the Gospel proclaimed for this special celebration is “let the children come to me and do not prevent them.” When a child is baptized in the Catholic tradition they are expected to live the precepts of the Church. Quoting again from my homily for this Easter Sunday, “This Easter the Lord challenges us to follow the precepts of His Church, to attend Mass on all Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation, to confess our sins at least once a year, to receive the Eucharist at during the Easter Season, to observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church, and to help provide the needs of the Church.” Holy Mother Church encourages us to follow and live the precepts because she knows what we need. My brothers and sisters we need to hear we need to experience firsthand the love that God has for us. In regards to attending Mass there are some today that think Sunday worship is no longer necessary because they feel that God can be worshipped anywhere. While there are some truth to this it is not correct. We need our communities of faith. You and I gather in Church to listen to God’s word, in the Catholic tradition to receive Jesus personally in the Holy Eucharist, but also to gather and support one another. We cannot do everything on our own, for we need others just like us for support. All of us are created in the image and likeness of God. This we must all remember.

This afternoon we continue to celebrate with great joy the resurrection of the Lord and the Lord joins us this afternoon to celebrate with even greater joy the celebration of the rite of baptism in which your children will be brought to the Lord in a special way. As our Lord was raised from the dead may we all rise up to fulfill our responsibilities to be faithful Christian Witnesses for these children allowing them to encounter the risen Lord in a personal way!

Homily for Easter Sunday 2010

I would like to begin by extending a warm welcome to all those visiting us this weekend who are joining their families as they celebrate this special day. “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.” It is with great joy that we celebrate this morning the Resurrection of the Lord.

Many today will go out this afternoon and look for Easter Eggs whether that be indoors or out. You and I will go out searching for something today. We today go out on a spiritual journey looking for our risen Lord. As we heard in the Gospel, Mary of Magdala, Simon Peter, and the unnamed disciple go out peering into the empty tomb. At first they think that His body had been stolen but the unnamed disciple whom our Lord loved saw and believed. His heart was filled with the spirit. Today with the same spirit we approach that empty tomb so that we may believe.

The past several days you and I had the opportunity to mediate on the Lord’s love for us by reflecting on his suffering and death on the cross. Life is not easy at times and as the Second Reading tells us to “seek what is above” and that for us my friends is Jesus Christ. By seeking Christ we find the necessary strength to handle those things that arise each and every day. There is hope and our hope is found in Jesus. Every time in the Sacred Liturgy we commemorate the Lord’s Passion and death however we also commemorate His resurrection. At every Liturgy are Lord comes down off the altar which represents His cross and meets us right here in the Holy Eucharist. He is no longer in the tomb, He is right here present with us. Do we have that same faith of the disciple whom the Lord loved to recognize the Resurrected Christ present within our midst?

Today we are filled with so much joy as we celebrate His resurrection from the dead demonstrating to us that death is not the end. By rising from the dead He shows us that we have the opportunity to fulfill what God desires for us from the moment of our birth, to be with Him in the Heavenly Kingdom. That’s of course with we allow the Lord into our hearts to transform us. The Lord provides for us the means but do we take advantage of it. We have the opportunity to encounter the resurrected Christ each weekend, but do we come to meet Him. This Easter the Lord challenges us to follow the precepts of His Church, to attend Mass on all Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation, to confess our sins at least once a year, to receive the Eucharist at during the Easter Season, to observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church, and to help provide the needs of the Church. Holy Mother Church encourages us to follow the precepts because she knows what we need. More than ever do we need to experience the love and mercy of the resurrected Christ! As we celebrate Easter may we open our hearts to experience our Lord’s love!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Homily for Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

“Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers; he was silent and opened not his mouth. Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away.” These words contained in the prophet Jeremiah are strikingly similar to what would happen to Jesus as He was being led to Calvary.

As we gather this afternoon to commemorate our Lord’s passion we worship in wonder and awe to a God who loves us so much that He would embrace and agonizing trial that would ultimately lead to His death on the cross. In a few moments all of us will have the opportunity to venerate the wood of the cross, the cross which represents our Lord’s cross. We give thanks to the Lord for everything that He has done for us. Many times we take everything the Lord did for us for granted. Yet today, this special sacred liturgy dedicated to commemorating the Lord’s Passion helps us to focus and remember the many blessing the Lord obtained for us that day over two thousand years ago.

Our Lord as he hung upon the cross said before He breathed His last, “Father into your hands I commend my spirit.” By allowing Himself to suffer and die on the cross our Lord obtained for us victory over sin. Jesus shows us the way to victory and it’s contained in those words spoken from the Lord’s mouth, “into your hands I commend my spirit.” This afternoon the Lord calls us to commend our spirits not to our own will but to the will of God. You and I come here today with many crosses of our own, the crosses in which our Lord Himself has asked us to carry. Yet today we venerate the cross which symbolizes the Cross of Christ, which stands as a reminder of our Lord’s love.

Jesus showed us the way to everlasting life. It’s a path that can be challenging for us to follow, but it’s a path that if we choose to follow it leads us to true everlasting happiness. This afternoon our Lord reminds us all that we don’t have to carry our crosses alone. He tells us if we choose to follow Him He will be with us every step of the way. So as we prepare to venerate the cross may we pray for the grace to say these words, “Thank you Lord for embracing the cross demonstrating your love and concern for us! Into your hands I commend my spirit. Help me to always to follow your example.”