What is love Homily for Thursday of the ninth week of ordinary time

I preached this homily on Thursday, June 2, 2016 at St. Edward Parish in Nashville, Tennessee. In the Gospel for today (Mark 12:28-34), Jesus is asked which commandment is the greatest. He answers with two commandments: love God and love your neighbor. So this raises the question, what does it mean to fulfill that commandment Jesus identifies as the greatest. I reflect on that question in today’s homily.

I am the vine. You are the branches. Homily for Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter (Cycle II)

A man died.
He came before the throne of God to be judged, and he made his case.
“I served the poor; I gave from my time, talents and treasures to serve the poor and the Church!” God replied, “I am pleased with that, but it is not what I wanted from you.”
“I taught in the seminary. I prepared men to be priests for the Church!” And God sighed, “Thank you, but that wasn’t the heart of my vocation for you.”
“I served as a priest in your Church! I wore myself out in service of you and the people of God!” God shook his head, “But you missed the most important thing I wanted.”
The man was at a loss. “What, then? What more did you want from me?”
“I want you.” Continue readingI am the vine. You are the branches. Homily for Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter (Cycle II)

Wives be subordinate to your husbands Husbands love your wives

Holy-Family-e1363717547408This is the preached version of my homily for the Holy Family. I preached this at St. Philip Catholic Church in Franklin, Tennessee, on the weekend of December 26 and 27, 2015. The text for this homily is here. Just remember, what I actually said is not necessarily what I wrote. These often differ a bit. Continue readingWives be subordinate to your husbands Husbands love your wives

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”

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