Anointing of the Sick

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the Gospel today, Jesus’ apostles “anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.”  This is one of the roots of our practice of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.  When should someone get anointed?  When do you call in the priest?  Is it supposed to be during one’s final hours on this earth?  Or could it be sooner?  Listen to find out more.

Some of My Story

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week I moved from Medford to Superior, Wisconsin to begin my new assignment at the 5 parish cluster in and around Superior.  This homily is “some” of my story of re-conversion to our amazing Catholic faith and how I began hearing God’s call to the priesthood (I say “some” because there is so much more to the story, just not enough time in one homily to cover it all!).

The Envy of the Devil and Our Destiny

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Our God is a God of life: He creates life and He upholds life.  “God did not make death,” our first reading says…and yet death is all around us.  The reading continues, “but by the envy of the devil, death entered the world.”  We believe in the supernatural – we believe in angels.  Angels are amazing immaterial creations of God!  They are smarter, stronger and more powerful than humans, and they aren’t limited by bodies like we are.  Yet, God chose to make us in His image and likeness, not them.  Out of pride and jealousy, some angels chose to turn away from God, becoming envious of the destiny that God has laid out for humanity.  Through their envy and temptation of our first parents, death entered the world.  Yet, God still calls us to an amazing destiny: made in His image and likeness, becoming a member of His family in baptism, God’s plan is to raise humanity above all the choirs of angels and all other creation, to be seated at the right hand of the Father!  We have an amazing destiny, and not even death can stop God from fulfilling it!

Preparing To Hit The Mark

Nativity of John the Baptist

This weekend we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist.  John was a crucial figure, bridging the gap between the Old and New Testaments and preparing people for the coming of the Lord.  He spent most of his life in quiet preparation in the desert, and even though his role was crucial when he stepped out of the desert and into the spotlight, his time “on stage” was very short.  Maybe in your life you don’t feel like you’re on the front lines; maybe parts of your life seem un-amazing and un-eventful; maybe you don’t feel like God is using you often for a special purpose.  Perhaps, like John, this is your time in the desert, when God is preparing you for the time when He wants you to step on stage and play a crucial role in the life of someone else.

From Small to Big

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

God has a way of taking something small and making it big.  We see it in the parable of the shoot from a great cedar in our first reading, in the parable of the mustard seed from our Gospel, in the Church that Jesus established which has grown across the world over 2,000 years, and even in our own growth: from a one-celled organism in your Mama’s belly to the 49 trillion-celled person you are today. God has a way of taking something small and making it big.  He wants to do this with your faith as well!  No matter how small you think your faith might be, give it to the Lord this day/this summer, place it on that altar at Mass, and He will make it bigger – it’s just what He does!

Two Creation Stories

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The first book in our Bible, the book of Genesis, begins with two different creation stories…two DIFFERENT creation stories!  What does it mean?  What do they mean?  Could they have something to say about who we are, what our relationship to God is, and why there is evil, pain and suffering in the world as we know it?  Listen to hear more!

Explaining The Trinity?

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Some things we experience in life are beyond description – words can’t reach as deep or as high as the reality.  Love is a good example.  We can use all different kinds of images and words and phrases to try and describe it, but in the end it’s something indescribable with words – the experience and reality of love is deeper and truer than any words can express.  In the Trinity, we bump up against another reality (or is it actually the same reality?) that words will always fail to describe.  Words might fail, but we can live in and experience the reality of the Trinity in our lives if we are willing.

Remember To Breathe

Pentecost

The coming of the Holy Spirit CHANGED the first followers of Jesus.  We received the Holy Spirit in baptism, we were sealed by the Holy Spirit in Confirmation, we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus at every Mass…but how much are we CHANGED by these experiences?  Do you ever feel like you’re in a spiritual rut?  Do you ever long for more in your faith but just not know why you aren’t getting it?  If that’s ever been you, listen to this homily, and most importantly – remember to breathe (spiritually)!

Ascend

Ascension Sunday

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers!  This weekend we celebrate Jesus’ Ascension into heaven – that after rising from the dead and appearing to His disciples for a number of days, Jesus ascends to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.  The ascension is not a one-and-done event, though.  We are the Body of Christ still present on this earth, so His ascension is still happening in us.  As we follow Jesus, as we run faster and jump higher, as we overcome the obstacles of life and refuse to give up in our pursuit of a more meaningful relationship with God, we also ascend!