BEING GOOD–UNCONDITIONALLY

This reflection on Luke 13:1-9 is for the Third Sunday of Lent.

I almost did a double take reading today’s Gospel. You see, something doesn’t quite add up–at least on first reading. And I’m not talking about the parable of the fig tree–that one is pretty clear, its meaning self-evident and its message quite consoling. Put simply: If we don’t get our act together, we will perish. But God is the gardener who gives us an undeserved second chance and a much-welcomed reprieve.

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Neat, simple, and reassuring enough for us to get back to business as usual, right? The problem, however, is what comes before that. What our Lord says before the parable is not quite as neat and simple–and certainly not as consoling! Continue reading BEING GOOD–UNCONDITIONALLY

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A DOSE OF ASTONISHMENT

2008_02_17_transfigurationThis homily, based on Luke 9:28-36 and Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18, was delivered at St. Agnes Catholic Church.

It’s not every day during his earthly life that you see our Lord bathed in heavenly light. In fact, such displays of divinity are quite few and far between. Unless my memory fails me, this so-called Transfiguration of the Lord is probably the only recorded one aside from the Resurrection appearances and the Ascension–which don’t really count because that’s already the Risen Lord we’re dealing with. Continue reading A DOSE OF ASTONISHMENT

A TEMPLATE FOR OUR TEMPTATIONS

This homily, based on Luke 4:1-13, was delivered at St. Agnes Catholic Church.

We must concede: The devil is one shrewd creature. As we see in today’s Gospel, he is a true master at his craft, with great timing and equally great strategy. The devil knows exactly when to show up and understands exactly which carrot to dangle before our eyes. And he’s relentless, too–even when his target is no less than the Son of God.

ChristInTheWilderness_1 Continue reading A TEMPLATE FOR OUR TEMPTATIONS

THE REAL ORIGINAL SIN (or WHAT ISAIAH, PETER, AND PAUL TEACH US)

WhatIsSinThis homily, preached at St. Agnes Catholic Church, is based on Matthew 4:19, Isaiah 6:1-8, and 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.

What’s wrong with Isaiah, Peter, and Paul?

All three are outstanding men of God: Isaiah is one of the major Old Testament prophets, Peter the head of the apostles, and Paul the greatest missionary of the Church. And yet in all our readings today, these three utter such unlikely lines, words that most of us wouldn’t expect to hear from such men.
Continue reading THE REAL ORIGINAL SIN (or WHAT ISAIAH, PETER, AND PAUL TEACH US)