Homily for the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Year C

I am going to go out on a limb, here. I am going to preach today on Paul’s rule for Christian households. “Wives, be subordinate to your husbands.” (Col 3:18) With that line, the husbands are smiling and nodding – a few probably are elbowing their wives to say, “See?” Believe it or not, There are a lot of wives who aren’t particularly fond of this verse. Continue reading “Homily for the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Year C”

Lives matter. So does forgiveness. Reflections on the United States in 2015 and a response to Roxane Gay in the New York Times

Note: I began writing this shortly after the attack at Emmanuel Methodist Church in Charleston, SC on June 17, 2015. Some of the specifics are now a little outdated, but I think the content as a whole remains as important now as ever. Continue readingLives matter. So does forgiveness. Reflections on the United States in 2015 and a response to Roxane Gay in the New York Times

The sacramentality of the USPS A Lament on the demise of old fashioned mail

snail-mail-email-explainedCatholics are all about sacraments. Perhaps this is a surprise to you, but it’s true. Theologically, we believe that the sacraments are the ordinary way that God dispenses his grace to mankind. With that in mind, take a moment to reflect on the fact that every sacrament we celebrate as Catholics has a material component. Water is used in baptism, oil in confirmation and anointing of the sick, bread and wine in communion; the physical world expresses things – it’s just part of human nature that we see symbols in the world around us. Also, each of the material elements we use in these sacraments points to the sacramental reality being created. Take baptism, for example. We use water to clean ourselves; in baptism, we are washed of our sins. On top of that, water is a (I’m told rather messy) part of childbirth; in the sacrament, we are reborn (of water and spirit) as adopted children of God. It’s an important part of sacramentality that the normal material usage of something is raised so that the normal usage can point to the reality being conveyed. Continue readingThe sacramentality of the USPS A Lament on the demise of old fashioned mail

A funeral homily for a tragedy A homily for a fictitious young lady - who exists in many people's lives

This homily requires a quick explanation. I never delivered this homily in a church, and I sincerely pray I will never have to preach one like it. This was an assignment for my homiletics class to preach a funeral homily for a seventeen year old girl who was a victim in a campus shooting. I realize that events like this actually happen in our world. Continue readingA funeral homily for a tragedy A homily for a fictitious young lady – who exists in many people’s lives

The meaning of the Eucharist in everyday life Homily for the 20th week in Ordinary Time

This homily was delivered at the Church of the Assumption in Nashville, TN on Sunday, August 16, 2015, the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, cycle B. Continue readingThe meaning of the Eucharist in everyday life Homily for the 20th week in Ordinary Time

Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary? Homily for July 5, 2015 - Now with video!

Homily20150705I delivered this homily on Sunday, July 5, 2015, at the Church of the Assumption in Nashville, Tennessee. This was the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Here are the readings. Continue readingIs he not the carpenter, the son of Mary? Homily for July 5, 2015 – Now with video!

Jesus left us a project – It is not yet over My first homily as a deacon, Ascension Sunday

IMG_0043-24Now, I have never in my life willingly picked up a snake, much less a poisonous one; I’m petrified of them. To the best of my knowledge, I have never tested whether I can drink poison without getting sick (or dying). I don’t speak in tongues; I find languages a terribly tedious task to learn – it’s just not a gift God has given me. I actually fail at every sign that Jesus announced to the apostles in this passage. So why did I have the audacity to present myself for ordination, now as a deacon and, in a few years, a priest? I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that most of you have not gone out of your way to pick up deadly snakes or drink gallons of poison. I suspect most of you don’t often speak in tongues. Continue readingJesus left us a project – It is not yet over My first homily as a deacon, Ascension Sunday

Homily for the Assumption of Mary “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…He has looked with favor on his lowly servant…All generations shall call me blessed.” (Luke 2:46-48)

Tizian_041Some accuse the Catholic Church of deifying Mary, of setting her equal to God. Let’s face it, if we fail to understand what we say of her, we run that risk. We see Mary, explicitly or not, in four different passages from Scripture today. Continue readingHomily for the Assumption of Mary “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…He has looked with favor on his lowly servant…All generations shall call me blessed.” (Luke 2:46-48)