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Get into the ring! How this works...

This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!



Saturday, April 22, 2017

April 23 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 4 PM on Saturday, 8 AM,  11 AM, and 6:00 pm on Sunday

 God or mercy with skin on it

 On this Mercy Sunday we will really not be preaching with words but rather with a gesture of mercy-the anointing of the sick. At all the masses this weekend we will be anointing all those who present themselves as chronically, critically, pre-surgically ill.  For the celebration of the sacrament is what I call Mercy or God with skin on incarnate.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Easter Homily April 16, 2017

-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at the 8:45pm Saturday Easter Vigil, 9:30am Mass in Church and the 11am Mass in the Hall on Easter Sunday.

Baptism, New creation, and the Sign of the Cross.

What do those three things have in common?  The Blessed Trinity. My hope is to transform the prayer and practice of the Catholic community in one simple Homily. That prayer is "the sign of the cross" and the practice of using the gesture/prayer as a connection to baptismal water.  In this prayer we are reminded of our being created as a new creature made in the divine image which is a communion of persons in love.  Could this connection change the way you live, pray, and have your being?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

April 9 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 8:00 and 11:00am on Sunday

Come out

 This Palm Sunday of the Lord's passion invites us to "participate". Throughout this Lenten season I have been reminding us of the call to "go to God together" which is challenging the religious attitude of many Catholics. Too many of us have a private  spiritual well-being plan as our religious life. We are called like the crowds in the company of Jesus to go to God together, to come out of the tomb of our private spiritual well-being program (that we call our religious life) and to  take a chance on a communal journey to the heart of God which we call communion.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

April 2 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 5:30pm on Sat and 9:30am and 6:00pm on Sunday

Come Out!

St. Albert the Great "Church@Home" mission this Lent admittedly was a stretch for many of us.  For most of us our sacramental catholic faith encouraged us to meet Jesus in the sacramental rites and grace of the Church - but not necessarily in the sacramental nature of the church community itself.

So the call to encounter in our "Church@Home" mission was an invitation to step out of our religious comfort zone -  what I am imiging today as the tomb of our old Catholic thinking and believing. Martha is the primary example of this type of dead faith - all the right answers without communion in the faith of Jesus Christ!  It is possible for us to have a relationship with Jesus Christ but to be dead in our limited faith in what that means.

Just so, it is possible for us to have full membership in the Catholic Church through the sacraments and be entombed in our relationship to the living Christ in the church. So,  St. Albert the Great "Church@Home" is a call to all of us to "come out" of isolated private religious lives and to be free of fear and suspicion, and to join our hearts to the living Christ - the church.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

march 26 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 8:00am and 12:30pm on Sunday

You can't encounter what you refuse to see

 This issue of seeing is really a metaphor for the change of mind that is meant by repentance or conversion. This is so true that we might say instead of "seeing is believing" we would say "believing is a certain type of seeing".

 Pharisees in today's gospel cannot see or will not see as God sees-that we all belong together to God. The Pharisees can only see how others don't belong to God  like they do.

This is a very dangerous temptation for religious people even in our day. We can become obsessed with the distinctions and differences between us rather than the fundamental unity among us

Friday, March 17, 2017

March 19 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 12:30pm and 6:00pm on Sunday

Prohibited Encounters of the Christian Kind

 We might be able to call this meeting of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, the woman at the well, a "prohibited encounter of the Christian kind". That's a little twist on a movie made famous in the 1970s  about extraterrestrial visitors.

This is our first week of "church@home: friends encountering Christ!" The entire premise of this Lenten "Home" mission is the gospel call to meet Christ in the human encounter of love. We call those encounters of love communion.

The strange thing about  this first week's encounter is the prohibited nature of it. Because of the people involved, the location, the religious orientation of each, the time of day, and the personal story of each this  encounter is not only unlikely, unexpected, but almost prohibited by the mores and the traditions of the time.

 The call and the lesson for us as the disciples of Jesus is 1. Do we believe that Christ is available to us and to other people through human encounter? And 2. How many people, persons, types, groups, etc are "prohibited" for you, meaning "off limits" for us?  Some of these barriers to encounter might be based on our upbringing, our religious thinking, our sense of what is polite, our fear of others. Others of these barriers are imposed by our hurt feelings,  past injuries, resentments.   We are not anticipating, expecting, nor looking forward to meeting Jesus through encounter with any of "those" people. What a shame

This Lenten journey is an  invitation for us to "get over it". It is an opportunity to have our minds changed, converted, the freedom to look at these people not as  something to be avoided but rather as an opportunity to draw closer to real life, real God, heaven.   It will demand some understanding, forgiving, accompaniment, and integration...a change of heart!  But that's what religious life in the Catholic Church is all about, repentance, conversion, change of mind and heart.

So who's on your list ? And how might one of these prohibited encounters draw you more closely to the church, to heaven, to God?

Friday, March 10, 2017

March 12 - Lent 2

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 11:00am on Sunday

#gotoGodtogether

How has Jesus revealed himself to his closest disciples?  As One in relationship, One belonging to others in the family/history of faith.  Moses, Elijah, Beloved Son, teacher of the Truth....relationship!

Are we seeing ourselves in the spirit of Jesus...as members, belonging? In fact, can we say that belonging is the heart of our believing?  Why not?

Friday, March 3, 2017

March 5-Lent I

-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 4:00 on  Saturday and 9:30am on Sunday

 We go to God together

 This is the theme that I have struck for this Lenten time  particularly focusing upon our Lenten spiritual formation process called "church@home: friends encountering Christ".   This first Sunday of Lent has the traditional temptations of Jesus in the desert. It is also the weekend when we send our catechumens and candidates for initiation into the Catholic Church to the bishop for the Rite of Election.  My call and invitation is against the traditional individualistic pietistic interpretation of the season of Lent. I believe that most of our  lenten thinking, praying, and spirituality is not very Christian.

What I mean by not "Christian" is that it is largely a denial of our membership and participation in Christ, the church. So much of our  religious thinking around the season of Lent is about our personal sinfulness, our individual unworthiness, and our strategies for convincing God that we are not be sent to hell.  Nothing could be less "Christian" than that.

 I'm suggesting that the spirituality of communion, that we "go to God together" is at the bottom of our baptismal theology of salvation. We are baptized "into Christ" so that we do not approach the throne of grace or the Father as individuals but rather as members, branches on the vine,  members of one another, belonging.

 I am going to be focusing upon the prayers of the mass. Notice with me that they are all spoken in the plural first person or the plural subject of the preposition so it is all "we, our, us, your people, etc". Maybe the grammar of the mass ought to challenge the grammar of our personal prayer, our personal spiritual lives, and our personal confession of sin. Do we pray, think, and confess as a member of the body of Christ or as an individual, "me and Jesus" mentality?

 This corporate, communal, "believing as belonging" is underlying the spirituality of encounter or the spirituality of communion that we are growing in through our Lenten program of "Church@home".

  Do you believe this? How do you see yourself approaching the throne of grace? Is there anyone with you? Let me know

Saturday, January 28, 2017

January 29 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
 -I will be celebrating mass at 4:00 on Saturday, 9:30am and 12:30pm on Sunday.

What's Your Profile?

 I would say that about half of the couples who is weddings I am asked to have every year have met on "match.com" "eHarmony" or some other website. I always ask them and I am interested as to what made them  click on to their fiancé online.  The wisdom of these online programs lies in the profile that the individual registers with. What is your profile?

The beatitudes from Jesus is sermon on the mount are the subject of the gospel reading for this Sunday of the church year. While the beatitudes have always been understood as the law of the gospel so that they are understood as "should do" principles,  I have come to understand them to be not only the profile of a disciple of Jesus but they are Jesus his profile.

How can we understand living the beatitudes as living life as Jesus lived it.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

January 21 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 5:30 on Saturday, 12:15 mass at the Cathedral and 6:00pm at St. Albert on Sunday

Back to Square One

Jesus in the Gospel today fulfills the ancient prophecy regarding Zebulon and Naphtali as the beginning of his public ministry. Why so? Evidently Jesus saw the beginnings of his work of salvation in the light of reclaiming the ancient tribes of Israel beginning with those first lost. Nine centuries before the time of Jesus Christ the tribes of Zebulon and Naphtali were exiled by the Assyrians.  Six centuries before the time of Jesus finally the southern tribes of Judah, Israel, were exiled. They all had to be reclaimed according to the order they were lost. Jesus, according to the angel who gave him his name, "Will save his people".

 It is also in that ancient territory to be reclaimed for God that Jesus found and called his apostles. He called his apostles for two purposes. First, he called them to be with him.  Second, he called them to be sent from him. This being "called and sent" out of the place where one is lost might invite us to consider the beginnings of our separation from God and the source of our salvation.

So, let's go back to square one. Let's remember where we were when we were saved. Let's recognize that we were in fact called not simply to come home from exile but we were called from being lost so that we might be sent. The apostle is one who, most perfectly like Jesus from the Father, is sent.

Where were you when you were lost? Well, where were you when he called you? And how have you been sent?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Jan 15 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org -check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 11:00am on Sunday

He's the Lamb, Who are You?

In the scriptures many persons are identified for us....who are they?  Israel, Paul, the church at Corinth, John, Jesus....

Identity is at the heart of mission.  So, who are you? In what relationship do you know yourself best, first, most dominating in your life?

Do you know yourself first and foremost, fundamentally and existentially, in your waking moment and deepest dreams as one related to God? Or, is your self-knowledge in reflection of some lesser entity?

Does that identity affect your daily walk, mission, happiness?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Jan 8 Homily Prep Epiphany

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 4:00 on Sat and 9:30am on Sunday

Home or Comb

 I am thinking about the revelation of Jesus Christ as Savior of the whole world as seen in the adoration of the magi and the home blessing that we are providing  at all of the masses this weekend. All of this under the umbrella theme of living a shared life in communion.

 On the feast of  the nativity and of Mary the mother of God I was encouraging us to examine the insular or insulated lives that we live even in very close quarters, habitual relationships, marriage,  Family, church. While we can on the outside and even in our minds believe we are sharing a life, too much of life proves that we are simply sharing space.

I have used the image of a beehive or honeycomb to present this "very close quarters but separate insulated lives". We can accept simple geographic proximity as a Shared life. Such proximity is a sad imposter to sharing life and love-communion.

As I described on the feast of Mary the mother of God we can insulate ourselves  in life by putting up the walls of resentment, anger, defensiveness, fear, self loathing etc. It is also possible, however, that we pigeonhole the people in our lives so that we enslave them or inprison them in our judgment of them.   So we build a wall around them because we think we know them and of course we cannot trust them to change.

 The feast of the epiphany is a startling revelation of the fact that all of humanity is called to worship our God. That we are a human family made in the image and likeness of God and that our God has come to save all of us. The home blessing that we will distribute at the end of masses today  can be seen as an invitation to open the door of our heart to at least one person. As we say the prayer of blessing and mark the lintel of the door of our home let's say the blessing over our hearts, our families, our marriages. Let's break down the wall of emnity  that divides us ,separates us even when we are living in such close proximity -  one to the other.

In Christ Jesus we are one person. This delusion of private life, that it is my life, and that no one can  be involved or certainly impact my life is the spirit of the world which Jesus Christ came to conquer.

 Let us come to life in our home by sharing life with those closest to us. It is God's intention from the beginning and it is Jesus' mission as savior of the world

Saturday, December 31, 2016

January 1, 2017 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 9:30am and 12:30pm on Sunday

Saturday, December 17, 2016

December 18 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 5:30pm  8:00 AM and 6:00 PM on Sunday

 What you love is killing you!

My late grandfather of happy memory had an opinion about doctors. He often said that the scheme of the doctor is to find out what you like and then tell you that you're not allowed to have it anymore.   While that is a rather cynical assessment of the medical profession's strategy of what we now call preventative care, it really does make some sense. When we really love something and are attached to it we can do too much of it. This can be the case with our diet but also with our quest for happiness.

I have been reflecting throughout this advent season on the call to repentance and the definition of that word repent to mean "change the direction you're looking for happiness". As I have pointed out over the past couple of weeks there are various ways to identify the wrong direction we are looking for happiness.  The first indication and pointer to our wrong direction for happiness is the unhappinesses of our lives, why we are so angry, sad, or frightened. When we answer that question we often times stumble upon the  in adequacy of our chosen  direction for happiness  and it can be a pretty easy thing to "change direction".

 There is a second and more difficult situation in our call to repentance or change in the way we are  looking looking for happiness and that is where we are really happy.  The danger of what makes us really happy is that we can often NOT recognize or hear the call to change our direction for happiness.

 This advent time is one of examination into what are our values and priorities as we strive for happiness. John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, the blessed virgin Mary  and today, Saint Joseph, invite all of us to have the faith and courage to acknowledge the emptiness of our current striving and to be open to God's will. It is in God's will that we find true and lasting happiness.

 St. Joseph on this fourth Sunday of advent can be understood to be the model for repentance, changing our mind, changing the direction in which we are striving for happiness. Not only in his openness to  changing his mind about "putting Mary away" but in several other features of his faith and choices throughout the infancy narrative of Saint Matthew, Joseph shows himself to be open  to changing his mind, meta-noia, changing the direction he is looking for happiness. In all of it, he reveals the true source of happiness which is doing the will of God in love.

 Do you have the courage to look into your "plan" and to see the false promise of happiness? Repent!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Dec 11 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 11:00am on Sunday

In Prison

 The Bible tells us today that John the Baptist was in prison. It was from prison the John sent his disciples to Jesus to inquire as to whether or not Jesus was "the one" or should I look for "another".

Throughout this Advent time I have been considering the call to repent, the word for conversion or "a change in the direction you were looking for happiness" as Fr. Thomas Keating has defined it.  I have recognized the unhappinesses of our lives as key indicators as to the direction we are currently looking for happiness. I would like to suggest that our happinesses, what makes us happy now, might be on unforeseen prison that is separating us from the Lord of true joy.

On this Gaudete Sunday, which means rejoice, my question Might better be seen as what makes you happy, where are you finding happiness in life? The danger of our answer is that those sources of happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction may be at a distance from the Lord himself. So that our satisfaction or happiness might in fact be a prison that is preventing us from a needed change in our direction toward the Lord of glory.

What John's imprisonment reminds me today is that we are not always free to change direction. Cause we have misread the signs of the times. We may believe that because we're happy and satisfied that we are doing God's will for us.

We can even see our happiness in life as a prison preventing us from responding to the Lord. Some of us have been so attracted to our chosen direction for happiness that we are truly in prison, addicted, trapped. The good news of the Gospel today is that Jesus Christ was born into our imprisonment to self-fulfillment and by the cross and resurrection he has set us free, free to change the direction we're looking for happiness. Free to go deeper to pierce the worldly satisfaction and to open ourselves to God's gift of true joy in the peace of the Kingdom.

While Jesus Christ has broken down the gate of our alienation from God, we must choose to walk away from satisfaction and follow him to true Kingdom joy.

What makes you so happy?  How much of that is God?  How strongly are you trapped in your own happiness - separated from the love of God. Repent - change the direction you are looking for happiness.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Dec 4 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 4pm on Sat and 9:30am on Sunday

Are You Changing Direction or Just Talking About it?

Repentance is the call to change the direction you are looking for happiness. Throughout this advent time we will hear this repeated call but nowhere as strongly as from John the Baptist in today's Gospel. Repent, he says. Change the direction you were looking for happiness. And I don't mean just talk about it.

John's admonition to the Pharisees gives us some insight into how we might telegraph to others that we are changing our direction, it is not with words. St. Francis is quoted often as saying " preach the gospel always and when necessary use words." When we have identified the cause of our unhappiness we can identify a new direction in which we are looking for happiness. However  that change cannot be simply in our hearts in prayer, in our words to loved ones who are offended, but it must be in the actions, the choices, the decisions, and our reactions to the difficulty of daily life.

Are you changing the direction you were looking for happiness? Don't tell me about it-show me-show me with your happiness.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Nov 27 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 5:30am on Saturday and 8am and 6pm on Sunday

What's New

With the beginning of Advent we start a new liturgical year of grace 2017. The question for us may be, "is there anything new?". The repeated annual liturgical calendar is a religious symbol for us as Catholics in which we are called to hear the invitation to conversion. Conversion is a fancy word that means "changing the direction in which we were looking for happiness".

 In what direction have you been looking for happiness? How successful has your search for happiness been? Do you see on the horizon a new direction in which you might find true happiness?  Maybe it is a direction which you have resisted in the past because it appears too difficult, to radical, to pious, too religious, too disruptive to your life?  That resistance is precisely the powerful "self" that refuses to die.

This Advent, this new year, may be the opportunity of grace to go ahead and follow the Lord's call into that direction which you have been resisting but which promises true, deep, and lasting happiness.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

November 20 homily prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 5:30pm on Saturday 9:30am Sunday (and 12:30 at Our Lady of Lourdes on 55th St)

 Can we put Jesus Christ back on the throne?

 Some of you may remember July 20, 1969 like I do. You might know exactly where you were and the people you were with. It was the day of the Apollo space landing on the moon and Ohioan Neil Armstrong stepped out onto the surface of the moon. We were all  glued to a television set and filled with anticipation, solidarity, and pride as Americans.

The beautiful pictures taken from orbit of our planet earth spinning on its axis were relayed back to earth and for the first time we earthlings got to see  what we look like from outer space.

That image of the earth seen from space was a revolution in our "worldview". It was an experience of no longer being the center of the universe but being a participant in a galaxy much bigger than ourselves.

Changing one's worldview is a process that happens in our personal lives every so often. We suddenly recognize that the king at the center of our lives  and the universe in which we have been operating has changed from the center outward, and all of the relationships in our universe  have shifted along with it..

We could use another word to explain our changing worldview, a shift in our paradigm, or in the Christian dispensation we could call it conversion. These shifts or conversions usually follow a "bottoming out": we hit bottom or hit the wall when we fail in succeeding in life lived according to our worldview with its values, rewards, and costs.

In these frustrating and often sad bottoms or walls on our life's journey we are suddenly open to a new world view, a new perspective, philosophy, or path going forward.   For religious people or human beings created in the image and likeness of God this new path going forward is often the world view of the kingdom of God with Jesus Christ upon the throne.

The feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ king of the universe is the invitation for us to once again put God at the center of our world and of our lives.  The funny thing about religious conversion in our lives is that until we hit bottom or hit the wall we don't even realize that we have been walking the wrong road. This opening of our eyes to who and what is the king of "our personal universe"  is often shocking and painful. The death of a loved one, the loss of a lifelong career, the loss of personal health, the failure of our  primary wife project… All of these things and many more are the difficult opening of our eyes to see who is the God that we serve.

The conversation between the two thieves crucified with Jesus is an example of our options today. One thief sees the Lord Jesus even crucified as redeemer and king  offering him everlasting life while the other thief looks at the crucified Jesus and mocks him as diluted , helpless, and foolish in his proposed role as Messiah who can't even get us down off of this miserable cross.

 Who or what is the king of your universe and what is the world view from which you are operating? How could Jesus replace that kingship in your life and thereby change your world?

Friday, November 11, 2016

November 13 Homily Prep St. Albert "pray for us"

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 4pm on Saturday and 11:00am on Sunday

St. Albert the Great, Pray for us!

This intercession is often used at the ends of our prayers here at St. Albert.  I am convinced that 99.9% of us who have used that intercession have intended to intecede with our patron saint, Albert the Great.  This isn't an uncommon practice of the church throughout the ages.  In fact, one of the greatest musical prayers of the church has to be the Litany of the Saints in which we repeatedly invoke the individual saints by name and then pray...."pray for us".

On this year's celebration of St. Albert the Great our patron I am asking us to widen our thoughts about that phrase or prayer  "St. Albert the Great, pray for us".  You see, we are celebrating not only our patron saint, but our parish community.  Beginning this weekend we are introducing a new prayer initative called "Adopt a Friend in Prayer".  Over 450 members of our parish community are preparing to celebrate a Sacrament in this coming year, are serving in the military, or are grieving the death of a loved one.  St. Albert the Great (parish), pray for us"!

We have created seven different prayer cards on which the name of one of these brothers or sisters has been written.  "Adopt a Friend in Prayer" ministry is an opportunity for every member of our parish to adopt at least one of these people and to "pray for us"! We are called in this day and age to offer our parishioners a concrete experience of communion and that experience begins with prayer.  Let's open the doors of our hearts and the doors of our church to these members of our parish who are approaching the the sacraments.  Our prayer for them is a welcoming embrace.

Blessed feastday to all.  St. Albert the Great, pray for us! 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

November 6 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 8:00am and 12:30pm on Sunday

Symptoms of faith in Resurrection!

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, generosity, goodness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity.  The fruits of the Spirit (CCC).  In the face of pain, loss, persecution, hatred, death - these fruits are the symptoms o faith in the resurrection.

Do you manifest and faith in the resurrection?

Friday, October 28, 2016

October 30 homily prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 9:30am  6:00 PM mass on Sunday

  Appearing Little

 Evidently Saint Augustine said of Zaccheus that "he was willing to climb the tree in order to see Jesus".  In that willingness to be publicly vulnerable Zaccheus found salvation.  Saint Augustine was instructing his audience about the  hesitancy to appear needy of Jesus in public.  

In the current generation we have been called to grow the communion of the faithful by inviting others - "Every One Add One". Saint Augustine's interpretation of this gospel text says to me that   Before we are effective in evangelizing our world we need two things: a keen and humble awareness of our need for Jesus and, second, a willingness to make that neediness public.  And that, my friends, is a big problem.

On the first hand, admitting to our neediness is downright un-American let alone unlikely from our egocentric way of being in the world.  So Catholic parishioners-turned-inviters are not very likely to admit their need for anything, let alone friendship with Jesus. It sounds childish, it seems weak, it is too vulnerable for adults.  We have maybe too much Anglo-Saxon "put on a stiff upper lip" demand in our culture. We do not want to admit ( even to ourselves)  weakness, neediness, vulnerability.

However there's a second problem with Saint Augustine's suggestion that we need  not only admit to our need of Jesus but we need to do so publicly.  Again I don't know if it's Catholic culture or American culture or simply human nature but we really have a privacy issue when it comes to our relationship with God and or Jesus.  So we are not likely to admit even to ourselves our need for Jesus and we are certainly hesitant to make that dependence or reliance upon Jesus known publicly.

  But, that is what is required of us if we are going to be effective missionary disciples of holy communion in the world.  So, this Sunday's readings are inviting us to come clean on two very important and difficult features of our Christian discipleship. We have to understand and admit to our need for Jesus. How about that?  Secondly we need to consider how willing we are to transform our public persona allowing others to see our neediness and reliance upon Jesus.

 Tall order. Has anyone ever asked us to do this? I don't think so. Maybe Pope Francis.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

October 23 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email request
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
 -I will be celebrating mass at 5:30pm on Saturday and 12:30pm on Sunday

What's Your Position?

On your communion map, where is God and where are you and where is everyone else?   Where is your position in relationship to the position occupied by God and others?  Like the Pharisee and the tax collector, our faith is all about relationship. Prayer is the expression of our faith. We live as we love and we pray as we live.

What do you think?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

October 16 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 4:00 Saturday and 9:30am & 6pm on Sunday


Don't Weary, Have Faith

 Bishop Robert Barron made a fascinating assessment of the first reading from this Sunday's mass and I can't think of anything more meaningful to say. The "warring with Amalek" can be a reminder to all of us that, like Israel, if one has faith to do God's will in the world they by necessity will be engaged in "the battle".  Saint Paul famously referred to this fact by calling it "fighting the good fight, running the race".

 I think I have been resisting this fact from before I entered the seminary. I think the dominant theme in the spiritual life at least for me is that if I am doing God's will and God is with me then I will not  encounter hardship, conflict, or fighting with others. It's a maybe a naïve understanding of peace. Maybe St. Francis, in the popular interpretation, with his prayer for peace and  his hanging around with all the animals and resolving conflict is my preferred notion of discipleship. However, it cannot be denied that all 12 apostles and St. Paul all died by violent conflict and rejection of people about fighting the "good fight"

 Who we fight against, compete with, struggle with, can be the power of evil, the spirit of the world, the weakness of the flesh, the broken and whining false self.   As a matter fact it is all of these and others. The example of Moses with his hands raised in prayer and the invitation of the persistent woman and the unjust judge in the Gospel both encourage two things.

 First, we must never grow weary of pursuing God's will in the face of opposition, rejection, suffering, hopelessness, etc.  We can never demand that we arrive in the destination of the promised land of perfect peace. We must admit that we are always aliens, homesick for our native land which is peace forever in the Lord.

 Second, this persistence this attachment to God's will is manifest, experienced, accomplished, and realized in what  we call prayer. Praying is the sacrament of our communion with God in faith.   Praying is the experience of our relationship with God.  Our relationship with God and our desire to be in deepening relationship with God can be compared to our most intimate human relations. The longing heart of the lover, the homesickness of the citizen in a foreign land, can be understood as the deepest and  fundamental praying that Jesus teaches and demonstrates in the Gospels.

So,  as people of faith we are possessed by the love of God and  our intentional commitment to do God's will in the world will be experienced as conflict, striving, yearning, longing, battle against the broken and empty powers  of the world and of our human condition. We can avoid growing weary in this good and constant fight by clinging to God's hand in prayer.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

October 9 Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter at www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass at 8:00am on Sunday

Gratitude

The telltale sign of a heart that is free is thanksgiving.  Gratitude in every circumstance is the sign of a heart that sees clearly what is a blessing and is free from fear, sadness, and anger over what is not.  Especially in moment of pain, loss, and persecution only the truly free person can be grateful for life, love, and eternal salvation.  The only things of reality.

Death beds are the place where this freedom is most evident or it's absence is so obvious. At the end of life when everything has been "taken away" the one who is grateful sees rightly. For the grateful heart, everything except sin is gift, grace, and blessing. So gratitude is the only response.

What has imprisoned your heart?  What are you NOT grateful for?