Giving Glory to God (#748, 31st Sunday)

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Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) • We can only love the Lord our God when we begin to realize how much He loves us. Once we are rooted in God’s love for us, then we can go and love others as Christ has loved us. And that gives great glory to God. When did you fall in love with Jesus?Read More

Send Them On Their Way (#747, All Souls)

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The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) • We don’t know exactly what the next life looks like. But we do know that it’s a journey that all must take. We send them on their way with our love and our prayers. We hope and pray that when it’s our turn, they will be waiting by the door to greet us.Read More

All Saints and All Souls

Fr. Joel Being Catholic 2 Comments

“Father, I don’t want you to think I’m crazy, but I saw my grandmother after she died. She came to visit me. She told me that I shouldn’t worry and things would be fine. I’m not crazy, am I?”

What’s crazy to me is that people are surprised by this. Our Catholic faith tells us that human beings are made of both body and soul. We can see the body but not the soul. Our body and our soul become separated when we die. The body is washed, dressed, laid out for a funeral, and reverently buried to await the Resurrection. But where is the soul? Those who loved the Lord God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength go straight to God and begin to enjoy the happiness of Heaven. The souls that said ‘yes’ to God in a half-hearted way, who loved God but not fully, go through a Purgatory to purify them for Heaven. And the souls that said ‘no’ to God whole-heartedly, who rejected God’s love and that was their ‘final answer’, begin to experience the pains of Hell.Read More

Time to Fall in Love with Jesus (#746, 30th Sunday)

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Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) • The scholar knows so much about the law but he’s forgotten the heart of the law. Many of us know the Catholic faith, but have we forgotten what it’s all about? Have I fallen in love with Jesus?

(29 Oct 2017)Read More

When Did You Fall in Love with Jesus?

Fr. Joel Being Catholic 2 Comments

The problem with the Catholic Church is that most Catholics don’t have a personal answer to this question. We have gotten so used to seeing the Church in a de-Jesus-ified way. We think of Baptism as “entry into the Church”. We think of Sunday Mass and regular Confession as, “ways to keep your church membership current.” We often think that believing and following Catholic teaching is what will get you to Heaven. But the Catholic Church is not the world’s savior. And her sacraments, teachings, and beautiful architecture doesn’t save anyone.Read More

Whats Wrong With the Catholic Church

Fr. Joel Being Catholic 7 Comments

Catholics in the United States are leaving the church faster than ever. In the past 10 years our area has seen a 30% decrease in Baptisms and a 40% decrease in the number of Catholics choosing a church wedding, and lots of declines in school and catechism classes. While the Catholic Church in the South and Southwest shows some good growth, churches in the Northeast and Midwest are shrinking rapidly. The result is net decline. Nationwide for every 1 person who enters the Catholic church through the RCIA process, 6 people are leaving!

Any company that was losing customers this fast would be working hard to reinvent itself. The Catholic Church moves slowly, but the truth is now painfully obvious: the Church needs to make some changes. I’ve heard lots of suggestions: better music, more welcoming environment, teaching the faith in a more engaging way, fun youth activities, more adult programs, multi-media, and the list goes on. People have been suggesting even more drastic solutions for years: bring back Latin, or get rid of celibacy, allow members to vote, make women priests. I have hit upon the one change that I think will make or break us. Every Catholic needs to be able to answer this one question:Read More

Don’t Use God’s Masterpieces as Toilet Paper (#745, 29th Sunday)

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Twenty-ninth Sunday In Ordinary Time (Year A) • We know who a $100 bill belongs to, and what it’s worth. You are made in God’s image. God signed his name on your heart. You are a precious, unique, original piece of art shaped by the hand of God himself. Do you see God’s image in others? Do you see God’s image in yourself?

(22 Oct 2017)

Point to Ponder: Have you ever felt crumpled, used, worthless? Consider praying the Novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots for healing in that area.

Point to Discuss: Talk to a friend about practical ways you can welcome others and treat others as a masterpiece.

Point for Action: Repeat to yourself: I am a priceless and unique masterpiece.

You Are Invited to the Royal Wedding (#744, 28th Sunday)

Fr. Joel Homilies 1 Comment

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) • We might find the king’s behavior a little disturbing. But we should be even more shocked by the response of the wedding guests. God’s invitation is met with apathy and opposition. We have each received an invitation to the banquet, but that doesn’t mean we have a guaranteed seat. Many are invited, but few are chosen.

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The Day the Sun Danced

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The fall of 1917 brought a strange controversy to the newspapers of Portugal. Three small shepherd children in the little village of Fatima claimed that the Blessed Virgin Mary had been appearing to them monthly beginning on May 13 of that year. The supposed appearances had caused much scoffing and ridicule, especially among the communist and anti-Catholic press. But crowds of people had started gathering on the 13th of each month to witness the children praying, listen to their reports of visions, and ask for favors.

The lady had begged the children to pray the rosary and offer sacrifices for world peace. She warned that many souls go to hell because there is no one to sacrifice and pray for them. She also predicted a worse war (World War II) if the world would not repent. Finally, she promised the children there would be a special miracle so that all would believe. The miracle was expected on October 13th.Read More

The Maple and the Hemlock (#743, 27th Sunday)

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Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) • We are surrounded by spirits both good and evil. Cooperate with the good ones and resist the bad. Our Lady comes to help us find the path to life and reject the path that leads to death. Use Holy Water at home, pray the Rosary every day, teach your children about God, and focus on what is good. “Go and fear nothing,” says Mary, “for I will help you.”Read More