What To Do When You Feel Lost | #942

Fr. Joel Homilies 1 Comment

Ordinary Time, 24th Sunday (C) Today’s readings have one thing in common: the feeling of being lost. The Israelites got lost in the desert, St. Paul got lost in his own intelligence, and the sheep lost his shepherd. Being lost makes us doubt our value. Here are three things we should do when we feel lost:

  1. Don’t forget whose you are. God has been with you, will be with you, and is with you right now.
  2. You’ve used up your own resources. Now stop trusting in your own ideas and trust that God is starting something totally new with you.
  3. Listen to the Shepherd and follow his voice.

Don’t say: “I’m a nobody, worthless, garbage.”
Say instead: “I remember who I am: I will arise and go to my Father.”

15 Sep 2019

Going Deeper: Take a moment to pause, breathe deeply, and present to the Father who is always present to you.

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Jesus plush doll with assorted items - ETSY

Discount Discipleship | #941

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Ordinary Time, 23rd Sunday (C) My brothers are counting the cost of marriage. Marriage requires one to put this relationship first, take up one’s cross, and surrender ‘my’ possessions. Discipleship, likewise, calls for a total gift of self. If we begin the process by negotiating how much I’m willing to ‘pay’, we will find both marriage and discipleship constantly frustrating. If we, on the other hand, are willing to give it all, we will find that the rewards are out of this world!

8 Sep 2019

Going Deeper: Do you want to grow in discipleship? Join our parish Alpha Experience or look into Alpha at your local parish.

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Picture of a fire engine by the ruins of the World Trade Center

To Protect and Serve | #940

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Ordinary Time, 22nd Sunday (C) Should we abolish the priesthood? Should we abolish the police? The police are meant to protect and serve the people, not protect and serve themselves. The same goes for priests… and doctors, lawyers, teachers, parents, children, you! Our value does not depend on sitting in the seat of honor. Mother Theresa went to the poorest of the poor. She humbled herself and God exalted her. Jesus did the same. When you serve those who cannot repay you, Jesus will not forget your kindness to him. When you choose the lowest place, Jesus is grateful for your company.

(1 Sep 2019)

Going Deeper: As a family or community, pray for local firefighters, police, and emergency medical personnel — by name if possible. Use the anniversary of September 11, 2001 as an opportunity to thank them for their service to your community.

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Heart with a door and ladder

Want God to Open the Door of Heaven? Do This One Thing | #939

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Ordinary Time, 21st Sunday (C) The door to the Father’s house is open for you… but it won’t be open forever. Jesus wants you to get moving now before it’s too late. Because we don’t want to find ourselves standing before the gates of heaven begging to be let in, and hear Jesus say to us, “I stood and knocked at the door of your heart for your entire life. I can’t open the Kingdom to you because you never opened your heart to me.”

I don’t want you to miss an opportunity to accept Jesus. So today at Mass we are going to have an Altar Call. If you want Jesus to be the Lord of your Life, and to sit on the throne of your heart, then come forward. Did you know that there is an Altar Call at every single Catholic Mass? We call it, “Communion.” As you come forward you are asked: Do you believe that Jesus is willing to put Himself in your hands? Are you willing to put your life in His hands? If you are, then say AMEN.

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A Stable Place in the Midst of Difficulties | #938

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Ordinary Time, 20th Sunday (C) We face difficulties in our work, health, family, and church. We want to make the difficulties go away so we can get to a stable place. But instead, we should be searching for the place of the stable. This is where we hold the Baby Jesus, receive God’s love, and begin to burn with that same love.

At every Mass we bend down and kneel beside the place of the stable. Carry Jesus in your heart this week. Don’t be like Zedekiah with his wishy-washy heart. Be like Jeremiah, who in the midst of difficulties has found the place of the stable.

(18 Aug 2019)

Challenge: Receive Communion today as though you were receiving the Baby Jesus from the hands of his Mother Mary.

Going Deeper: “To pray is to descend with the mind into the heart, and there to stand before the face of the Lord, ever-present, all-seeing, within you.” (Theophan the Recluse from The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen)

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Icon of Jesus Holding Mary's Soul

We Found the Ark of the Covenant Hiding in Plain Sight | #937

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Assumption of Mary • Our feast today bears allusions to the Ark of the Covenant. This golden box contained the tablets of the Ten Commandments, a jar of manna, and Aaron’s rod. When King David had defeated the enemies of Israel, and was seated on the throne, he brings the Ark to Jerusalem.

The new Ark of the Covenant is Mary. She carries the Lawgiver, the true Priest, and the Bread of Life. When Jesus has defeated the enemies Sin and Death, and is seated on the Throne, he welcomes the new ark into the Hoy City, the new Jerusalem. You too receive the Bread of Life; you too are an Ark of the Covenant. Cherish yourself, cherish one another. And cherish the Mother of God, who is your mother too. (15 Aug 2019)

Going Deeper: Compare 2 Samuel 6 and Luke 1:39-56. How was the Ark a sign of God’s presence to the people of Israel? How is Mary a sign of God’s presence to the people of God? See also Revelation 11:19-12:17.

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No Homily for August 11, 2019

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Ordinary Time, 19th Sunday (C) I didn’t preach this weekend because Deacon Ben was preaching for the Seminarian Collection. I’ve enjoyed a few weeks not having to preach because of having a deacon for the summer. But I am looking forward to serving up some fresh homilies soon. Here’s a couple classics on this weekends’ readings to keep you thinking and growing.

Start Planning for Eternity | #936

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Ordinary Time, 18th Sunday (C) I have good news and I have bad news: You are going to die. The good news is that Jesus has the most amazing inheritance ever — and he wants to share it with you! He wants to take your hand and lead you to eternal life. But you can’t take Jesus’ hand if you are clutching riches, vanities, or feuds.

What will your legacy be? Will your funeral reflect faith in Jesus, hope in the resurrection and eternal life, and your love for God and for others? Will you leave a legacy of feuds or forgiveness; selfishness or self-giving; earthly riches or treasure in heaven? It’s never too early to start planning for eternity.

(4 Aug 2019)

Going Deeper: It’s never too early to start planning your funeral. Talk to your loved ones about your final wishes. Write a few things down. Start preparing for eternal life.

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I Stopped Playing Video Games for Good. Here’s Why

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“Mom, can we please get a Nintendo?” It was the late 80’s or early 90’s and everyone had an NES. Everyone but us. A shiny world of endless 8-bit adventure awaited me. The local Walmart had them on sale: “Please could we get one?” My parents finally relented. They must have been relieved when the Walmart was sold out. We took a rain check but never cashed it in. I had to be content playing at friends’ houses.

My friends were often tired of playing their Nintendo. I think they were happy having other kids to play with instead. But I wanted to play. It was like some magical portal would open up. All the kids would gather around the TV and stare. If you weren’t playing, you were watching someone else play and begging for a turn. Finally some parent would walk in and and make us, “Turn it off and go outside!” That’s when we had the best time: building forts, fighting imaginary enemies, drawing our own worlds, inventing time machines. Even then I remember noting that video games were something like junk food: they were easy to start and gave you a quick fix, but didn’t seem very satisfying.

Super Mario Bros on the NES
What can you buy with Mario coins?
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No Homily for July 28

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Friends, Deacon Ben preached the homily today. It was an excellent reflection on the Fatherhood of God. But I didn’t record it so you’ll have to be content with one of these older homilies:

Thanks for listening and blessings on all of you.