This homily is based on Matthew 25:14-30.
The Lord’s parable today leave us with more questions than answers–as usual. You could say it’s a “questionable” parable.
The master of the house has three servants, and before he leaves for a long journey, he decides to entrust to each one of them a large amount of money. To the first, he hands five talents; to the next one he gives two talents, and the last servant, one talent. A conservative estimate is that a talent is equivalent to US$1000 today, so if we do the math, that’s a total of US$8000 he just handed to his servants.
Continue reading PLAYING IT SAFE
Today’s homily is based on Matthew 25:1-13.
Do you feel like you’ve been running on empty? “Running on empty” is a phrase we use to refer to people on the brink of exhaustion–be it physical or emotional. It’s a reference to automobiles running so dangerously low on fuel that it might just stop running any moment now. It basically means you’re on the verge of a breakdown or burnout.
Continue reading RUNNING ON EMPTY
This homily is based on Matthew 23:1-12.
In today’s Gospel our Lord criticizes the excesses and shortcomings of the Pharisees, but virtually tells us to practice what they preach. It’s surprising advice since it’s a subversion of the usual adage that we should “practice what we preach.”
Continue reading PRACTICE WHAT THEY PREACH
This homily is based on Matthew 22:34-40.
Singer/songwriter Howie Day has a couple of great lines in his 2003 hit, “Collide”:
Even the best fall down sometimes.
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme.
Never mind the rest of the song–which, of course, is a love song–but I think those two lines capture something pretty basic in our lives: Sometimes even the best of us can screw things up! Continue reading FALLING SHORT OF THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT
This homily is based on Matthew 22:15-21.
In today’s Gospel reading, our Lord utters his famous line: “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and repay to God what belongs to God.” At first glance, the Lord seems to be proposing a division between our usual lives and our so-called spiritual lives. Sort of like Sunday Christianity, when people act like Christians only when they go to Sunday services. As for the rest of the week, they act “normally”–that is, not in any particularly religious or even moral way.
Continue reading SUNDAY CHRISTIANS, CAFETERIA CATHOLICS, ETC.
This homily is based on Matthew 21:33-43.
In his monologue at a Saturday Night Live (SNL) episode, comedian Aziz Ansari warns against stereotyping the people who had voted for Trump–except for that group of people who, as soon as Trump won, told themselves: “Hey, we don’t have to pretend like we’re not racist anymore! Whoo!’”
Continue reading EXPIRY DATE
This homily is based on Matthew 20:1-16.
Many years ago I was a student in a class called “Homiletics.” Maybe you can’t tell, but people training to be priests take a class to learn how to preach.
Continue reading HOW I ALMOST FLUNKED MY ORAL EXAM BECAUSE OF TODAY’S PARABLE
This homily is based on Matthew 18:21-35.
Today’s Sunday Gospel is about forgiveness: Peter, on the one hand, monitoring his quota on forgiveness, and our Lord, on the other, tossing all that accounting out the window by reminding us that by the way, we all of us are recipients of the Father’s boundless mercy, remember?
Continue reading THE TWO THINGS WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FORGIVENESS
This reflection is based on Matthew 16:21-27.
Sting sang a little-known, but heartbreaking song at the Oscars last February. The song is called “Empty Chair,” from the film, “Jim,” which is about the journalist James Foley, who had been beheaded by the Islamic State three years ago.
Continue reading EMPTY CHAIR
This homily is based on Matthew 16:13-20.
Here are two images that created some controversy a few years ago: The first, of course, is the poster for the movie “Da Vinci Code,” based on Dan Brown’s best-selling novel.
Continue reading CAREFUL THE CHRIST YOU CHOOSE