Search This Blog

Get into the ring! How this works...

This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily 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!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Epiphany - Feast Four of Christmas!

(preaching at 4pm and 11am Masses)
The Epiphany (the word means manifestation) is the fourth feast in this beautiful season of the Incarnation of our God. Humanity itself is now the vehicle by which God is revealed explicitly. Humanity was created in the "image and likeness" of God but it was not until this final age, the fullness of time that God is manifest (revealed) by man as man. Humanity is now entrusted with a higher calling. This human life of ours is the manifestation (or ought to be) of the eternal life which is God. As Paul says to the Ephesians, each human life is now a "stewardship of God’s grace." Wow!
Too few understand that their humanity is revelation of God's life. And all of us fail at times to perceive and thus receive the human life of others as it is - revelation of God. Look how God is entrusted today to the pagan Magi. Look even how the "old devil" Herod is given some role to play in the Magi arriving at the birth place. All human flesh radiates the presence and power of God. Epiphany.
Are there aspects of your human life that challenge this teaching? Are there human beings who hide the fact that they are stewards of God's grace? I guess that's all part of what makes life in Christ so engaging.
Why not tap on "comment" below and leave me an anonymous reaction. Or email me at ( Love to receive some manifestation of God's grace through you - afterall, you are its steward.

Check back here (Estok Homily Library - on right) for audio versions of these actual homilies.

Mary, Mother of God - Feast Three of Christmas

(preaching at 4pm Vigil and 12:30pm on the day) Happy New Year!
Mary, is celebrated as Mother of God, which was a major accomplishment in the history of our developing church theology. She was always acknowledged as mother of Jesus - but not so as Mother of God. She is also then celebrated today as Mother of the Church (we are the Body of Christ). And on the first day of a new calendar year it is good that we celebrate Mary as the first and perfect disciple. As follower of Jesus, she believed. As obedient believer she conceived. As companion to all the faithful she leads us to heaven. Do you know her? Shouldn't you?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Holy Family - Feast Two of Christmas

Well, after the whole week of preparing for and celebrating Christmas, the preparation for the December 26/27 Feast of the Holy Family was short. I am uploading the homily to the archive (see Estok Library on right). I was mostly interested in seeing our families become more "churchy" (meaning praying, teaching, and serving like Christ) and our Church becoming for family-ish (meaning communion of life and love, brothers and sisters in the Lord).

See what you think?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Blessed Christmas - The Homily

I thought I'd upload the homily in between Masses today just in case. Blessings to all on this most holy Feast!

Enjoy the Christmas tree in St. Albert rectory.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Blessed Christmas 2009!

(Preaching at 4:00pm, 10:00pm and 9:30am)
This is the first Christmas for the people of St Albert and their new pastor (that's me). What a grace. The priest is permitted to choose which of the four gospel readings of Christmas he prefers. I have chosen St. John's "In the beginning....the Word became flesh....this was life for the world".

Where my heart is drawn is back to the image on St Albert's altar of the Good Shepherd carrying the lost lamb back to the flock. This is what I see in the birth of Jesus as a human being. God not simply "became man" but took on the human condition trapped in the isolation of sin and self-satisfying materiality. We needed rescued and we could only be recovered by one like us. Jesus had to fall very far from heaven to the back of an old cave to reclaim "Old Adam". Now it is done - but it's not over!.

How do you see yourself still trapped in the old Adam of selfishness, material survival, the lost human condition? The liberation or rescue of Jesus birth made freedom possible for all - but faith is necessary for each one. Let me suggest that stress is the sign of our lack of being rescued in Christ. Stress! That's it. To the extent that you are "stressed" you're trapped. We need rescued still. Raise us up Lord Jesus and carry us to the freedom of new life in you! Hmmmm. What do you think of that?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Advent IV Homily - Whew!

It may be my age, but I don't remember preaching for fifteen minutes. I did mention in the midst of this homily that "it was getting long." Anyway, give a listen and let me know what you think. Having trouble with my library. Please listen to the Advent IV homily called "The Last is History". It works fine.

Christmas anyone?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Advent IV - History!

These Advent homilies have been focused upon the appearance or arrival (advent) of our God in mystery and majesty. This fourth week is the addition to that reflection of the coming of our God in history. Remember, history, mystery and majesty!

The scriptures turn us to two important facts of history: the Visitation of Mary to the house of Elizabeth and the anticipated birth of the "human face of God". The psalm pleads with God that "He would show us His face". The pregnant Mary carries within her that "face". She and Elizabeth are hailed, in a sense, because they were the first to believe that Jesus is the human face of God born in time, born to them.

This human appearance (advent) of our God in Jesus in the manger at Bethlehem is the single greatest moment in divine-human relations since the creation of Adam and Eve. Can we see who He is? Can we see who we are? All creation rejoices in the light of His face.

Do you believe? Do I believe? How might our lives be different if we believed differently, more deeply, more personally? Let me know.

You can make a comment on this blog anonymously - use a pen name. You also can share an email comment with me at I would like to hear a word from you.

My mass schedule for the coming feasts is:

December 19/20: Saturday-4:00pm, Sunday-12:30pm

December 24/Christmas Eve: 4:00pm(church) and 10:00pm (church),
December 25/Christmas Day: 9:30am

December 26/27: Saturday-4:00pm, Sunday-11:00am

December 31: New Year's Eve/Mary, Mother of God - 4:00pm

The other homilies of Advent are available at "Estok Homily Library" just to your upper right >>>>>>>

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The homily from this Advent III is now available in audio file. You can highlight and copy the link below or you can go top right and double click on the link under "Estok Homily Library". Blessed week to you.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Advent III - The Lord is Near so rejoice! Or at least shape up!

The readings for this coming Sunday are found:

Masses this weekend are: 5:30 Sat and 11:00am Sunday

As I have been preaching throughout this season, Advent is about the appearing or arriving of Christ in History, Mystery and Majesty. Week I was dealing with the majestic and final appearance of Christ at the end of time. Weeks II and III are about the Mysterious appearing of Christ in our midst. Week II was about faith and Week III is about charity. We have to know and believe that salvation is about Christ being present and appearing mysteriously in our "doing something".

If we believe by faith that the Lord is near (he has appeared) than we no longer need to live in defensive fear of life and others, we are free to live in kindness and joy - charity. Believing that the Lord is near sets us free to be loving. So when others ask John the Baptist "what are we to do?" he was able to answer "stop living out of self-justifying fear and aggression and demonstrate to others that you believe in Emmanuel. Show that He is near (advent) by living a joy-filled generous life.

When the pastor comes to the house for dinner everyone "is on their best behavior". Because the "religious one" is near we act more like the love of God. We must treat others as if the Lord were in our midst. It is advent - he has arrived, he is near, he is in our midst - so rejoice!

If you are not rejoicing is it because you do not believe the Lord is near? That's what I think. What do you think?

If you want to hear last Sunday's homily click on the link under "Estok Homily Library" to the right>>>>>>

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My December Mass Schedule

I am posting the dates and times that I will be presiding and preaching at St. Albert Parish.

December 12/13: Saturday-5:30pm, Sunday-11:00am

December 19/20: Saturday-4:00pm, Sunday-12:30pm

December 24/Christmas Eve: 4:00pm(church) and 10:00pm (church),
December 25/Christmas Day: 9:30am

December 26/27: Saturday-4:00pm, Sunday-11:00am

December 31: New Year's Eve/Mary, Mother of God - 4:00pm

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Grand Opener

I arrived as pastor of St. Albert the Great on June 15, 2009. On the following weekend I preached at all the masses. As I listened to this homily I can hear how nervous I was. It was a big moment in the life of a new pastor...meeting the folks for the first time "in the ring".

Take a listen:

My Plan for this Blog

As we go on, I will be adding my old homilies to the "". If you go to and put "Estok" in the search function and the homilies should appear. See if it works.

My first post - oops

This is the beginning of Advent and so I decided to try something new. Instead of emailing the homilies to everyone, I thought I'd try this blogging thing. So, you should be able to click on the link I have here and next to the title "November 29, 2009" click on the "6.09" thing there. It opens in your Media Player.

Good luck

My second post

Well, the first post seemed to work. So here is Advent I:

just click on the link and you should be ready to go. Peace!