Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect Homily for Tuesday of the eleventh week in Ordinary Time

I preached this homily on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, at St. Edward Church in Nashville, Tennessee. The Gospel of the day was Matthew 5:43-48. For this homily, I focused in on what it means to follow Jesus’ command to “Be perfect.”

* Sorry this one is a little out of order. I was not able to get around to preparing the audio files before the next Mass for which I had the homily.

 

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 Some of the specifics are now a little outdated, but I think the content as a whole remains as important now as ever.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 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

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)

Doomed to fail and I'm happy about that

IMG_6588As a rule, when someone picks a career path, they have a reasonable expectation – or at least a hope of success. On top of that, the systems to train and prepare people for some of the more difficult careers are designed in such a way that those who would be unable to successfully practice those professions are either weeded out during the preparation or denied entry in the first place. Continue readingDoomed to fail and I’m happy about that