A Speed Bump On Advent Road | #902

Fr. Joel Homilies

Immaculate Conception • Why do we pause, just as Advent gets started, to celebrate Mary’s conception? God had such a great gift to give us, that no one was ready to receive it. So He made Mary Immaculate so that she could receive His great gift. God has to get us ready for His Son. Advent is about God preparing our hearts for the gift of Jesus. He is the joy of Christmas, He is the source of peace, and He is the gift that no Grinch can steal. (8 Dec 2018)

Going Deeper: What kind of Christmas are you preparing for — the Christmas that the Grinch can steal, or the Christmas joy that no one can take from your heart?

Image Credit. Thank you to the Parish Council of Catholic Women for being our latest Patrons.

By Anonymous - Chatzidakis. Byzantine Art in Greece, Public Domain,

The Lord of All Time | #901

Fr. Joel Homilies

Advent, 1st Sunday (C)

There’s nothing more British than the long-running TV series, “Dr. Who.” The main character looks like a normal man but he’s actually a Time Lord. They are supposed to be an advanced race with advanced knowledge of space and time travel.

Today’s Gospel has similarly cosmic characteristics. “The powers of the heavens will be shaken.” To ancient people the sun, moon, and stars are the constants in the world. No matter what disasters were happening on earth, the stars stayed the same and the Sun came up on schedule. They were the clock, before there were clocks. They were the navigational aids before there was GPS. These were the constants in an unpredictable world.

Jesus is telling us that His word is more dependable than the cosmos. Jesus is the true sun, Mother Mary is the spiritual moon, the saints are the stars in the heavens. God’s love is more dependable than the rising of the Sun. When we bless the Paschal Candle at the Easter vigil, this is what we say:

Christ yesterday and today, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. All time belongs to him, and all the ages, to him be glory and power through every age and forever. Amen.

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, the true clock and the true navigational aid. He is the Lord of All Time. He doesn’t just look like a human being; he is fully human. And he doesn’t need to regenerate because He lives forever and ever.

When we try to be the masters of our own time, we find ourselves surrounded by anxieties. My past and my future become a heavy burden. And I escape through carousing and drunkenness.

This is the season where the Grinch sneaks in and steals all your time. How can we use our holiday time well? Here are three thoughts:

  1. Time is a gift from God. What do we do with God’s gifts? We give them back to him! Sunday Mass. Daily Prayer. Give God priority in your schedule.
  2. Discern how to invest your time. Time is not an infinite resource. You have exactly 1440 minutes every day to spend any way you want. Spend wisely.
  3. Trust Him when things change. The Lord of All Time is managing your schedule. They’ll be time for the important things when you let Jesus manage your time.

Let Jesus be the King of your heart and the Lord of your time.

(2 Dec 2018)

Going Deeper: Prayerfully discern your use of time today. Are you trusting Jesus to be the Lord of your time?

*Brother Priest Preaching Podcast 2019*

This homily is episode 1 of season twelve of the preaching podcast. Last year was Building the Disciple Ship. Now it’s time to equip missionary disciples and launch them into the world. The term for those who are sent is Apostles. The album is called “Season XII”. It reminds us of the 12 Apostles and that this is the season for a new evangelization. This is the season when you are called and formed and sent on mission.

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I Am Not The King Of The Hill | #854

Fr. Joel Homilies

Christ the King (B) Jesus is the one person who didn’t try to be “King of the Hill.” The only hill Jesus climbed was the Hill of Calvary where He gave His life for you and me. Because Jesus was a loving servant, that’s why God made Him the King of the universe. Be a servant of the King in your workplace, job site, career, or school. When you let Jesus be the king of your heart and the Lord of your work, we can all stop playing “king of the hill. (25 Nov 2018)

Image Credit: Vectors by Vecteezy!

Going Deeper: This Monday, instead of “working for the Man”, work for Jesus Christ the King. How would you approach work differently if you let Jesus be the Lord of your work? Pray about it and then try it at your workplace or school tomorrow.

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Unveiling the Apocalypse | #853

Fr. Joel Homilies

Ordinary Time, 33rd Sunday (B) “Apocalyptic” literature “unveils” the end of the story. In the Old Testament the Book of Daniel shows that God has a great plan. Those who are faithful become like the stars in the sky; the unfaithful are an everlasting horror and disgrace. When you are watching the news, or dealing with your own personal apocalypse, just remember that God Wins. Remain faithful and keep walking the path He has for you, and you will experience the victory. (18 Nov 2018)

Going Deeper: Read the Book of Daniel

Thanks to Bishop Barron, Fr. Zuleger, Dave Lindsten, and the Book of Daniel for material in today’s homily.

Filled With the Spirit, How Can We Fail? | #852

Fr. Joel Homilies

Ordinary Time, 31st Sunday (B) • TEC 40th Anniversary Mass • Good thing Jesus doesn’t want us to do hard stuff like keep the 10 Commandments and stuff. God commanded us to love Him so that we would be be what we were made to be. We are made in the image to God and God is love. All we have to do is love God and love our neighbor. Its that simple — its just humanly impossible. You are made in His image, but you can’t make yourself into His likeness.

So God sends us the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can make us like God. It is the very trying to be like God on your own, without God’s help, that is the root of all evil. So cut it out! The Spirit has already been placed in your heart, all ready to transform you. Listen to the Holy Spirit and let Him transform your life.

(4 Nov 2018)

Going Deeper: Practice listening:

For the first 60 seconds of your morning just be still… Breathe deeply, intentionally. Pay attention to what’s around you, consider the ordinary things in the space around you that are in fact extraordinary; sunlight, the smell of coffee, sounds of birds, morning traffic outside the window, the fabric of the armchair you’re sitting in. You get to experience it all. You exist because of the Father’s love. Rest in that free, unearned gift of being and being loved for just a minute.

Congratulations to Dale and Rose on 60 years of marriage and to Anchor of Hope TEC on 40 years of retreats. Learn more at

Wipe Your Souls Before You Enter | #851

Fr. Joel Homilies

All Souls Day • It can be hard for Catholics living in America to understand prayers for the dead. Here are three reasons why we pray for the dead: 1) We can only enter Heaven if we are full of love and free of sin. Purgatory is Heaven’s Welcome Mat: Wipe your souls before you enter! 2) Prayers remind us that we are still in communion with the dead, especially as members of the Body of Christ. We pray for them and they pray for us. 3) The Resurrection of the Dead is coming. We pray that we will meet each other at the great “party in the sky”.

I talk about my grandmother’s death at age 79, Andy Barta’s death at age 35, and Job Thomas dying before he was born. All three of these deaths look different when we see them in terms of purification, communion, and the resurrection of the dead. Let’s keep walking towards eternity — and keep your souls clean! (2 Nov 2018)

Going Deeper: Visit a cemetery and offer prayers for the dead.

Photo Credit

Credit for the joke goes to parishioner Jim Shallow.

Carrying Heaven Everywhere You Go | #850

Fr. Joel Homilies

All Saints Day • Heaven is a great place: full of joy, peace, and God’s love, and free of evil and sin. What do you have to do to get to Heaven? Just one little thing: you have to be free of sin. You can’t track any sin into heaven. It’s like head lice – if one person brings it in, everyone will have it.

Being free from sin happens to be impossible for us. So God plants the Holy Spirit into the depths of your heart. Nourish God’s love within your heart and it will grow and fill your heart, mind, and life. You’ll discover that not only are you on your way to Heaven, but you are carrying Heaven everywhere you go. (1 Nov 2018)

Going Deeper: As we adore you, O God, who alone are holy and wonderful in all your Saints, we implore your grace, so that, coming to perfect holiness in the fullness of your love, we may pass from this pilgrim table to the banquet of our heavenly homeland. Through Christ our Lord. (Prayer after Communion from the Mass for All Saints)

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Whats Your Deep Story, Bro? | #849

Fr. Joel Homilies

Ordinary Time, 30th Sunday (B) Are you still waiting in line for your piece of the American Dream? Are you holding your life in your hands, defending yourself from everyone else? Genesis 1 and 2 tells us our deep story: we are part of Creation, carefully crafted by the loving hands of God. I’m your brother, and we are all connected. Go walk in the woods and remind yourself, “My Father made this for me!” (28 Oct 2018)

Going Deeper: Read Genesis 1 and 2. Are you living your life as an Individual or as part of God’s Creation?

Thank you Tom & Sue, John & Amy, and all the good wishes for priesthood Sunday.

Photo Credit Salt & Light | Listen to On Being with Krista Tippett

Want to Win the Game? Lift Others Up | #848

Fr. Joel Homilies

Ordinary Time, 29th Sunday (B) A disciple must be like the Master, and Jesus is a servant. We like the idea that leaders are called to serve others… until its our turn. How would your home look different if you put others first? It would look like a baseball team helping each other win. Keep these two things in mind: 1) Know your own value 2) Help others learn to serve. (21 Oct 2018)

Going Deeper: How would your life look different if you set out to be the last of all and the servant of all? Try it for one day and see what happens.

Shout out to Nick and Tim!