Homily for the Third Sunday of Advent, Year C Gaudate Sunday

I posted this homily text last week here. I delivered it last night at St. Joseph Church in Lakeland, FL, the parish in which I grew up. It was a beautiful moment to stand behind the ambo I first approached 30 years ago when I was in the school, there. Last night, I stood behind as a deacon preaching to the people of God instead of a first-grader reading a poem in the school Mass (we did that sort of thing back then).

Shout for joy! Sing joyfully! Rejoice in the Lord! Homily for 3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C

I prepared this homily for Saint Joseph Church in Lakeland, Florida. I will be preaching it there on December 13, 2015. This one is a big deal because I will be preaching it in the parish where I spent most of my years growing up – really all of them worth anything since my family attended that parish from when I was about 7 until well after I moved out on my own. Continue readingShout for joy! Sing joyfully! Rejoice in the Lord! Homily for 3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C

Love’s raw materials The need for sensuality and sentimentality in marriage

The following is a homily I prepared for a joint assignment between my Homiletics and my Theology of Marriage class. It is based on a section of Pope Saint John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility, a text written before he was pope that could be described as the philosophical companion to his Theology of the Body. Continue readingLove’s raw materials The need for sensuality and sentimentality in marriage

Drop that boulder: a homily for a reconciliation service “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

Doing good, not sinning, following Christ is simple, right? All you have to do is love God with your whole heart, soul, and mind. Oh, and love your neighbor as yourself. See? Simple! Unfortunately, it’s not easy. I know that. You know that. Anyone who says it is easy is just plain lying (or maybe fooling themselves); of course it’s difficult to live so that our actions always follow from our love of God. There are so many things in life that we just plain want more than to live in love of God – at least for the moment. And the enemy is smart; he knows how to trick us down that road. He never tempts us with something that we would immediately reject. He starts small – like the tiniest grain of sand. Now, I’m from Florida, beach country, and I can tell you that, if you’re sensitive to it, a single grain of sand can be pretty uncomfortable. But let’s be honest, we are not all that sensitive – to sand or sin. Continue readingDrop that boulder: a homily for a reconciliation service “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

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

The God of the Unexpected A homily for baptism of an infant

The Baptism of Christ by the Circle of Francesco Albani
The Baptism of Christ by the Circle of Francesco Albani

This homily was delivered in class at Notre Dame Seminary on Friday, September 4, 2015. This one is shorter than most because we were asked to prepare a 3 minute homily to use for a baptism liturgy. Aubree is actually the daughter of a friend I used since I wanted to have a name to include in the homily. Continue readingThe God of the Unexpected A homily for baptism of an infant

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