THE TWO THINGS WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FORGIVENESS

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?

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TORMENTED BY DEMONS

The homily is based on Matthew 15:21-28.

In today’s Gospel story, Jesus meets a mother who begs him for help. Her daughter, she says, is tormented by demons. The mother is desperate, so desperate, in fact, that she herself torments the Lord’s disciples, who eventually goes to Jesus to ask him to send the woman away “for she keeps calling out after us.”

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THE ART OF WALKING ON WATER

This homily was based on Matthew 14:22-33.

We’ve all heard that phrase “standing on solid ground.” Today’s Gospel is about anything but standing on solid ground. Do you remember ever feeling like you’ve run out of solid ground? One day you get out of bed, and for some reason, you feel completely unsure of your world, your life, and yourself. Maybe it’s because there’s some kind of crisis in your life–the sudden death of a loved one, the painful end of a valued relationship, the loss of a much-needed job, or just some unexpected detour or dead end. Sometimes you can’t even quite put your finger on any specific reason for how you feel, but the bottom line is, you don’t feel grounded.

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ONLY JESUS

This homily is based on Matthew 17:1-9 for the Transfiguration of our Lord.

The Transfiguration of our Lord was–quite literally–“a brief shining moment.” It was that one fleeting moment when Jesus’ divinity–normally hidden during his earthly life–shone through, but only for one fleeting moment.

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One moment Jesus’ face was bright like the sun, and his clothes white as light as he stood there between the two great prophets, Moses and Elijah. The next moment he was alone and it was “only Jesus.” Continue reading ONLY JESUS

FINDING IT AND LOSING IT

This reflection is based on Matthew 13:44-46.

We have two very similar mini-parables in today’s Gospel reading, and the one thing they have in common is that their characters both find something and lose something. In the first one, a person digs up a valuable treasure in some field, and what does he do? He “loses it”: He reburies the treasure, sells all that he has, and buys the field.

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LISTEN TO THE GROANING

This homiily is based on Romans 8:26-27 and Matthew 13:24-30.

In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul uses an intriguing description to refer to the sound of the Spirit praying in us: “The Spirit himself intercedes with ‘inexpressible groanings’.” There’s a reason why the Apostle didn’t liken it to something more conventional or more appealing. Like why not, for instance, a beautiful song?

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ALONE TOGETHER

This homily, based on John 6:51-58, was delivered at St. Agnes Church for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Sherry Turkle has a book called “Alone Together” The title is telling enough, but if there’s any doubt about what it means, the subtitle says it all: “Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.”

We know what she’s talking about, don’t we?

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