Fr. Joel ( 21 Jul 2014): Jennifer is a passionate woman and her passion for life is evident on every page of this memoir. Sometimes the sentences and writing style feel overwrought; she seems to be exaggerating for dramatic effect. But when she talks about free-lancing so she can jet-set with her boyfriend and hiring waitstaff to cater parties at their …
How can Jesus say that his yoke is easy, his burden light? I’ve found 3 answers to lighten our load: 1) Let God Lead 2) Lift with the Lord 3) Labor with Love. Jesus himself carried the burden of our sins, but love made his load light. The scripture passage wasn’t stalking me; God reminding me that I wasn’t carrying my burdens alone.
The following is a transcript of my homily delivered 18 May 2014. The audio recording was unfortunately not available. Peace and Joy. ~Fr. Joel Easter, 5th Sunday Today’s Gospel shows us why Christianity is not like all the other world religions. The Buddah and all the other great religious leaders claimed to know the way. Jesus does not claim to …
On the happiest day of human history, two disciples are walking to Emmaus and they are downcast. They are downcast because they do not realize that Jesus has risen from the dead. In the middle of their sadness, Jesus walks with them and begins to show them that He had to suffer in order to enter into His glory. Jesus walks with as as we go through life, and He helps us carry our burdens. Just as Jesus had to suffer in order to enter into His glory, so we also have to suffer before we are ready for Heaven.
Genesis tells us about the most embarrassing moment in the world, the moment when Adam and Eve sinned. Adam and Eve’s mistake was to listen to the serpent instead of serving God; they did what seemed best to them rather than doing what God asked. The fundamental choice of our whole life is whether we are going to obey God or not, whether we will serve God and others or serve ourselves. In the desert, Jesus shows us how to do it the right way; Jesus refuses to serve Himself, because He is totally dedicated to serving God and others.
Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple because He was Mary’s first-born Son. At the same time, God is showing His Son to some of God’s friends: Simeon and Anna are people of prayer and they are some of God’s friends. God also uses Simeon to talk to Mary and Joseph about who Jesus will be, and how she will have to suffer. Mary, however, would say that all the suffering was worth it!
We face challenging situations that can cause us to lose our peace. The example of Ahaz from the book of Isaiah shows us how we can lose our peace and if we don’t trust in God. The story of St. Joseph from the Gospel of Matthew shows us how we can keep our peace if we approach challenges with obedience to God’s word. No matter what happens, whether in politics or in our personal life, we can keep our peace if we keep our faith in God.
Our universe is so enormous, it’s hard to comprehend the size of it. Yet compared to God, it is nothing more than a grain of sand or a drop of dew. Amazingly, God still loves us and seeks us. Of all the people in Jericho, only the sinner Zacchaeus was really seeking Jesus. And it turns out that Jesus had been seeking Zacchaeus. Are you seeking the Lord? Then He will find you.
The baptized on earth, the souls in Purgatory, and the saints in Heaven all form one great big family called the Church. The Greek word for Church, ecclesia, means “the gathering” or “assembly.” God is gathering His children from the four corners of the earth, and from all of history. The Holy Spirit is tugging us to join this gathering, and we need to choose whether we are going to rise with the Saints, or stay stuck in the muck.
The truths of the Gospel undermine ancient cultural assumptions about slavery. Today the Gospel is working to undermine our contemporary culture of Consumerism. Jesus sets the price for discipleship: Being His disciple will cost you everything. Jesus isn’t talking about a contract (an exchange of goods and services); he’s referring to a covenant (an exchange of persons). We give everything, and we get Christ in return. And He is worth more than everything.