Invested: Full, Conscious, Active

4th Sunday of Advent

In our 3rd and final installment of this homily series “Invested” (I know it was supposed to be 4, but I wasn’t able to preach last weekend – I apologize), I encourage you to consider this question: do you come to Mass as a spectator or as a player?  The Second Vatican Council encourages us to “full, conscious and active participation” in the Mass.  The interaction in Mass that we have as Catholics is a great gift meant to keep us fully engaged as we worship God together.  So what do you consider your role to be in Mass – spectator or player?

Invested: The Return

2nd Sunday of Advent

Investing means we’re putting something down in hopes that the return will be worth the investment.  So what’s the return of investing your time, attention and energy in Mass?  That God wants to speak a word to you that will empower you to engage all of next week with strength, confidence and faith (instead of being tired out and worn down come Tuesday evening).  The Mass is heaven come down to earth and God has something special to say just to you.  The more you invest, the louder His voice will sound.

Invested: Where Are You At?

1st Week of Advent

This is the first of a 4-part Advent homily series on the Mass.  The title of this series is “Invested”.  Nothing in our lives can grow unless we are invested in it.  Investing in what is important to us takes many different forms: time, energy, effort, attention, money, care, thoughtfulness (to name a few).  The more we invest, the more we see results.  Our participation in and experience of the Mass is no different: the more we invest, the more we see results.  As we begin this Advent journey, I invite you to take an honest look at how invested you are in the Mass on a typical weekend.  Mark it down as a starting point, so that come Christmas you will be able to look back and count some ways you’ve grown in your investment in the Mass.

Exterior to Interior

4th Sunday in Advent

The sacrifices and offerings God asks for in the Old Testament are meant to show forth the interior reality that God’s people desire to do His will before their own.  Jesus came physically into the world on Christmas day so that He could live not just next to us, but, ultimately, IN us – in the Eucharist and through the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Amidst the busy-ness of Christmas preparation this year, take time to remember why we do all these external things: to invite and celebrate Jesus’ coming into us again this Christmas!

My Homily from this weekend.

The Gift of the Holy Spirit

3rd Sunday of Advent

We celebrate Gaudete Sunday – “Rejoice” Sunday – this weekend.  What are we joyful about?  That Jesus came and gave us something we could never get on our own, a gift of supernatural power that brings us beyond even the strongest human ability, the gift of the Holy Spirit.  It is only in the Holy Spirit that we find a joy, a peace, a thankfulness that surpasses anything this world can offer.  That’s why we rejoice this Sunday, that we already have this gift.  Have you unwrapped it yet?  Come, Holy Spirit!

My Homily from this weekend.


A Highway for Our God

2nd Sunday of Advent

John the Baptist challenges us in this second week of Advent to be prepared for Christ’s coming, to make straight a highway for our God.  God came to this earth because He wanted our hearts, and He’ll keep coming until He gets them.  When Jesus comes, will He find the road to your heart smooth-sailing for His holiday travel…or is it going to be a bumpy and windy ride?  What needs to be cleared away?  What needs to be added?  “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths” this Advent season!

My Homily from this weekend.


The Holy Door

1st Sunday of Advent

Happy New Year!  Today we begin, in the Church, a new liturgical year with Advent – the season of waiting, watching, and praying for the coming of the Lord at Christmas.  Pope Francis has also proclaimed this coming year a Jubilee Year of Mercy, wherein the Holy Door of St. Peter’s basilica will be opened.  We are all invited, in spirit, to step through that door  from a life of sin into a life of grace, to recommit ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ, and, in a special way, to both receive God’s mercy in our own lives and to be agents of that mercy in the lives of those around us.

My Homily from this weekend.