Elevation of the Host

What To Do With The Gift That Is You | BP#830

Fr. Joel Homilies Leave a Comment

Corpus Christ (Year B) I was given the gift of priesthood so I could give it away. The Eucharist teaches us that you are a gift. What do you do with the gift that is you? Don’t use others and let them use you. Instead, the Eucharist teaches us how to give ourselves away.

(3 June 2018)

Going Deeper: Married: Spend a day going out of your way to just give generously to your spouse, without counting the cost or comparing how much they are giving. Single: Sit down and make a little plan for giving generously tomorrow at work or within your community.


Another Holy Trinity

Fr. Joel Human Relationships, The Loving Life Leave a Comment

The three persons of the Blessed Trinity are united in self-giving love. When God created human beings, He made us capable of creating a community of love. Intimacy between a man and a woman creates new human beings. Across times and cultures, parents have been expected to make a stable commitment to one another before they start creating life. We call this marriage, the promise of the couple to stick together and raise the little lives they might create. Three things, marriage, sex, and babies, have always been seen as a package deal: if you were choosing one, you needed to accept all three.

That attitude changed dramatically in the last century. Contraception emerged as an answer to overpopulation and the stress caused by children. To quote Jimmy Stewart, “You call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids!” The assumption was the marriages would be better without the stress of ‘unwanted children.’ Contracepted sex quickly become the norm, and not just for married people. Unmarried people felt themselves entitled to sex with people they weren’t married to, and people they had no desire to have a baby with. In people’s minds, marriage, sex, and babies came to be seen as three separate and unconnected things. You could pick whatever you wanted and leave the rest.

It took only a single generation for abortion to be legalized. We would never have been OK with killing or own children until we started to see the ‘unintended consequences’ of expecting sex to not create life. The cultural expectation of sex without commitment leads to the #MeToo movement. Listen up, celebrities: you know you have her consent when she says, “I do” at the altar. To many people, this sounds extreme and old-fashioned. But there is a natural unity to marriage, sex, and babies. Treating them as a package deal allows you to personally reap the benefits of working with nature. One blogger, writing about yet another celebrity accused of non-consensual sex, suggested these simple rules for a happy sex life:

  1. If you’re not married, assume there’s never consent.
  2. If you are married, treat your spouse like a person and not an object.

As I watch the news or listen to people talk about relationships gone bad, I am struck over and over again by how many of these problems could have been solved by the simple rules above. God’s plans are not easy, but they are simple. God’s simple plan leads to true love.

© BrotherPriest.com

The Trinity Is Our Identity and Our Mission | BP#829

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Holy Trinity (Year B) The Sign of the Cross gives us our identity and mission. There is only One God, the Lord of the whole Universe. Yet He is also our God, a community of persons united in love. Baptism invites us into God’s community of love. Our actions should flow from our beliefs. Live your life, and every moment, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

(27 May 2018)

Going Deeper: Practice making the sign of the cross slowly and prayerfully.


Filled with the Spirit | BP#828

Fr. Joel Homilies 1 Comment

Pentecost (Year B) God gives Himself to His people in the person of the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit enters He fills us with love, shapes us in God’s image, and restores us to Communion with God and one other. Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit. Better yet, let the Spirit pray through you for the building up of another. The gift of the Spirit grows to the degree that we give it away.Read More

© BrotherPriest.com

Seeing With Your Heart | BP#827

Fr. Joel Homilies 1 Comment

Ascension of the Lord (Year B) Jesus returns to the spiritual realm where he came from. We can’t see Him but He can see us. He is present to us through the Spirit that dwells in our hearts. May the eyes of your heart be enlightened so you can live your daily life from Jesus’ eternal perspective.

(13 May 2018)Read More

Mass on Facebook Live – Apparently It’s a Thing

Fr. Joel Church meets World Leave a Comment

The blizzard of April 14-15 forced us to cancel our regular weekend Masses. I still celebrated a small weekend Mass with a few folks present. I shared it with those at home by streaming from my tablet on Facebook Live. At the time it seemed a practical way to share Mass with those who were stuck at home. People loved it — almost 400 people tuned in. Deacon candidates stranded at a retreat center watched the Mass together. So did the Spiritus team in Menasha, WI. I got this message from a grateful participant:

It felt so good and comforting and a relief not to have to miss feeling a part of the church community during the mass. I had just gotten home with a brand new baby and really needed that mass!

Since then it’s generated a lot of buzz. The Compass, our Diocesan newspaper, published a nice article last week: Spring snowstorm leads priests to offer virtual Mass for the masses. I was invited to speak about it on Relevant Radio’s Morning Air show on Wednesday, May 9. I talk for the last 12 minutes of the second hour show. You can still watch the original video on Facebook; as of this posting it’s gotten 9.7K views. And I talked about the experience in the following week’s homily: Shepherd in a Snow Storm | BP#825

I’m not entirely sure what the buzz is all about. Today’s technology makes “going live” on the internet incredibly easy to do. That particular weekend there were thousands of people who would usually have been at Mass who had nothing to do but sit on Facebook. It hit a particular need at a particular time. Is this the next wave, or just a curiosity? Let me know what you think about it, because I’m not sure what to make of it.

No Homily for May 6, 2018

Fr. Joel Homilies Leave a Comment

I didn’t preach this weekend so I have nothing to share with you. But here are a couple of older homilies if you’re looking for inspiration. May you more deeply experience the merciful love of God this week.

From 2015:
What Happens When You Fall in Love… with God (#527, Easter 6)

From 2012, which was also Mother’s Day:
How to know it’s really Love (Homily for Mother’s Day)

And a mediocre recording from way back in 2009:
Fr. Joel’s Homily for May 17

Hunting a Wild Turkey with the Holy Spirit | BP#826

Fr. Joel Homilies Leave a Comment

Easter, 5th Sunday (Year B) • I got my first wild turkey thanks to Lee’s mentoring. The Holy Spirit mentors and guides us in the spiritual life. In addition to being mentored, we are also called to mentor others. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to build us up in the faith so that we can build up others.Read More


Shepherd in a Snow Storm | BP#825

Fr. Joel Homilies 1 Comment

Easter, 4th Sunday (Year B) The Good Shepherd never forgets a sheep. Come hell or high water, blizzard or earthquake, the Good Shepherd will be there with you and for you. How would your life look different if you trusted this much in God’s love for you?

(22 Apr 2018)

Going Deeper: Use Lectio Divina to pray with and meditate on Psalm 23. Write it out by hand. Spend time this week memorizing it.

Thank you to all our listeners and supporters especially Michelle.

(C) BrotherPriest.com

Be a Living Witness to the Resurrection | BP#824

Fr. Joel Homilies

Easter, 3rd “Blizzard” Sunday (Year B) • How do we know for sure that Jesus rose from the dead? We know because eyewitnesses saw the risen Jesus and it changed their lives forever. The risen Jesus is still with us and He continues to change lives today. Where have you seen the Risen Jesus? How has He changed your life? People will believe in the Resurrection when they see the transformation in us.Read More