North America with Good Neighbor question

Being a Good Neighbor, Taught by the Good Samaritan | #934

Fr. Joel Homilies Leave a Comment

Ordinary Time, 15th Sunday (C) Today we heard from Sr. Magdalena and Sr. Mary Evelyn, religious sisters and missionaries. We also heard the parable of the Good Samaritan. Three things to keep in mind as you listen to this Gospel: 1) The Good Samaritan is helping an enemy 2) He goes above and beyond 3) He continues a relationship with him. This is the kind of neighbor Jesus is calling us to be.

How would your Facebook comments change if you treated foreign Muslims as neighbors? How would our national discussion on immigration change if we treated Mexico as our neighbor? What about your neighborhood? Jesus has been like a Good Samaritan to you; go and do likewise.

(14 Jul 2019)

Thank you to the Salvatorian Sisters for their witness of faith and life. Please support them and other missions through the Missionary Cooperation Appeal at your local parish.

three men being ordained Catholic priests

Total Self-Gift | #933

Fr. Joel Homilies 1 Comment

Ordinary Time, 13th Sunday (C) Today I’m celebrating my 12 year anniversary as a priest. I accepted celibacy as a requirement for becoming a priest. It has turned out to be a great blessing in my life. Jesus makes a total gift of himself on the cross. He doesn’t want disciples who aren’t willing to make a total gift of themselves. Those who live the church’s teachings about sexuality will discover a great gift, and will themselves become a great gift. (30 June 2019)

Going Deeper: Are you open to the possibility that the Church knows what she’s talking about when it comes to human life and sexuality? Has there been an aspect of church teaching that you said “Yes” to, reluctantly, and it turned out to be a blessing?

Photo of Abraham and Melchizedek offering sacrifice to God

Your Work Is Priestly Work | #932

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Corpus Christi (C) Today we thank God the Father because: By the anointing of the Holy Spirit you made your only begotten Son High Priest of the new and eternal covenant, and by your wondrous design were pleased to decree that this one Priesthood should continue in the church.

This one priesthood continues in all the faithful, who offer praise and sacrifice daily to the Father in their homes and places of work. “With a brother’s kindness” God calls men to “lay down their lives” as ministerial priests. These men offer bread and wine to the faithful to nourish them with Jesus and with charity. It is amazing what God does with the gifts of bread and wine; imagine what he can do with the gift of your life and mine! (24 June 2019)

Going Deeper: How have you exercised priesthood today as a Baptized member of the Body of Christ? Answer in the comments below.

How beautiful will be the day when all the baptized understand that their work, their job, is a priestly work; that just as I celebrate Mass at this altar, so each carpenter celebrates Mass at his workbench, and each metalworker, each professional, each doctor with a scalpel, the market woman at her stand, is performing priestly office! How many cabdrivers, I know, listen to this message there in their cabs; you are a priest at the wheel, my friend, if you work with honesty, consecrating that taxi of yours to God, bearing a message of peace and love to the passengers who ride in your cab.

The Violence of Love, a collection of works of Saint Oscar Romero

Image Credit © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / CC BY-SA 4.0

Communion of Saints

Reflection on Trinity Sunday

Fr. Joel God & Faith Leave a Comment

I have preached on the Holy Trinity every year for the past 9 years. So click this link to see all the old homilies and listen to one that interests you. Most of them have been about love, community, and family. My most memorable was one called Trinity – Spending God’s Money | #130. It was a lot of fun to preach and the best homily I’ve ever done on Stewardship.

This year I had Deacon Ben preach. It seems that every pastor I know of made the Deacon preach today. Deacon Ben made a very good point. He said that the philosopher Aristotle had arrived at the conclusion that there must be one God. He lived hundreds of years before Jesus and never had contact with the Jewish religion. And he grew up steeped in Greek pantheism. Yet he was able to correctly deduce that there must be one being that was perfect, all-powerful, and completely transcendent of this universe and the gods that the Greeks worshipped. However, he could not have known or figured out that the One God was also three divine Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This was something God had to reveal to us. And this revelation reminds us that we are made to be relational persons and not just isolated individuals.

The Father and Fathers Day

Today in the United States of America is a special holiday to honor fathers. Jesus teaches us that God himself is a Father, and the source of all Fatherhood. This means that when a man is truly living fatherhood, he reveals the face of God to his children. It also reminds fathers everywhere that our fatherhood must mirror that of the Heavenly Father. This means providing wise limits and expectations for our children. We need to lead them and guide them into excellence, without placing unrealistic demands on them. Meditate on the Fatherhood of God and what it teaches you about fatherhood.

The Trinity and the Communion of Saints

I was recently away on walking pilgrimage. As we walked down a country road, a truck pulled up next to us.
“Where are you going?”, the driver asked.
“To the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help,” a pilgrim responded.
“What are you going to do there?”, he said.
“Pray to Mary,” said the pilgrim.
The driver responded, “There is one name under heaven by which we are to be saved! There is one intercessor between God and man, the man Jesus Christ! Those prayers can’t help you. She can’t help you. Only Jesus saves!”
And with those encouraging words, he drove away.

I mused on this exchange as I walked along. The Apostles’ Creed professes our belief in the Communion of Saints. The Holy Trinity is the model according to which human beings were made. God sends his Holy Spirit to draw us into the life of the Trinity. We become members of the Body of Christ and part of the Divine dynamic of loving and being loved. In other words, Union with God is also about union with each other. Any Christian will agree that we must encourage, pray for, and support our fellow Christian brothers and sisters. We are on a journey to eternal life and we are doing it together. The most alive members of the Body of Christ are the ones that we call the dead. They are united with God and alive with him forever (see Matthew 22:23-33 and Revelation 20:4-6). Why would they have stopped caring about us? Certainly they must continue to pray for us, encourage us, even cheer us on as we run the race to Eternal life.

We believe that the Trinity remains three distinct persons but they are perfectly united in life and love. The Trinity is a model for the family: each person remains separate and unique, yet sharing life and love with each other. The Trinity is a model for our Church: separate persons sharing life and love with each other. And the Church transcends time and even death itself. Let us celebrate what it means to be part of the Holy Trinity.

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The Spirit Leads Churches and Families | #931

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Pentecost (C) What can we do to stop the decline in the Catholic Church? Not a whole lot, actually. We will not be a thriving parish by trying to be a thriving parish. What we can do is to love Jesus and keep His commandments. We need to be good Christian friends supporting one another. We need to be spouses that discern God’s will and do it together. When we work together and support each other, the Spirit can do great things through us. (9 June 2019)

Going Deeper: Do you and your spouse (if married) pray together and support each other in following God’s will? Do you have close friends that you can talk to about faith? If you do, let them know how much you appreciate them. If you don’t, try and be a good Christian friend to someone else.

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Getting Plugged In To Power From On High | #930

Fr. Joel Homilies 2 Comments

Ascension of the Lord (C) Jesus ascended into Heaven leaving behind an Israel still oppressed by the Romans and millions trapped in poverty and hunger and ignorance. The job wasn’t finished — why did He leave?

As a busy young pastor I found myself overwhelmed by all the work of ministry. The harder I worked, the more behind and inadequate I felt. Then I started actually talking to God and listening to His Spirit. I realized that I had been secretly serving myself instead of serving God. We won’t thrive as a church, or as individuals, by trying to thrive. We will find ourselves thriving when we stop trying to thrive and just serve the Lord faithfully.

A Disciple of Jesus is a little Christ. Plug into Jesus and start living your mission. We want God to change the world, but He wants to change YOU. (2 Jun 2019)

Read More
http://remaleyfamily.blogspot.com/2011/07/vbs-plugged-into-jesus.html

The Problem with the Catholic Church Is… | #929

Fr. Joel Homilies 4 Comments

Easter, 6th Sunday (C) We’ve had a decline in priests, and people coming to Mass, for many years. But it really hits home today as we say goodbye to the Saturday night Mass at St. Anthony. How can we stop the decline of the church in America? The problem is we are “plugged in” to everything but Jesus. If we Christians aren’t connected with Jesus, how can we help other people connect with him? (26 May 2019)

Going Deeper: Do a little unplugging this summer — and spend a little more time and effort connecting with Jesus.

Thank you Sue! [Image Credit]

https://activechristianity.org/better-going-heaven

Behold I Make All Things New – and it Starts with You | #928

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Easter, 5th Sunday (C) What is your dream job, your dream life? Today we see God’s dream: They will be My people, and I will be their God, and dwell with them forever. We want to be good people, but Jesus is calling us to be God’s people. And God’s people love others as Jesus has loved us.

There’s just one hitch: It’s impossible. Before God creates a new heaven and a new earth, he needs to create a new heart and a new mind in you. So God has sent us His Holy Spirit. When we are connected with the Spirit of God, we can love as Jesus has loved. Every time we choose to cooperate with the Spirit, we choose Heaven. This is how people will know God’s love for them: When we have become a community that lives as Jesus lived and loves as Jesus loves. “Behold I make all things new” — and I’m starting with you.

(19 May 2019)

Going Deeper: Bring Jesus to your place of work today: hang up a crucifix in your office, change your desktop wallpaper, put a rosary on the rear view mirror of the work truck, or just pack a holy card in your lunch box and pray it when you need God’s love.

Thank you Steve and Jackie! Your generous donation means every else can listen totally for free. [Image Source]

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Two Things Every Christian Mother Should Do | #927

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Easter, 4th Sunday (C) Mothers Day • Women are amazing. So amazing, in fact, that Pope John Paul II like to refer to, “the genius of woman.” A mother tells her baby: “Take, eat, this is my body. Take, drink, this is my blood.” Motherhood is about nourishing and cherishing life; giving of yourself so that others may be blessed. The child enriches the mother as the mother nourishes the child.

In motherhood we catch a glimpse of the Good Shepherd who feeds and nourishes the sheep. When we look for peace, we fail to find it. But when we search for the Good Shepherd, we find peace and joy and every good thing too. And this brings us to the heart of Christian motherhood. Christian mothers feed on Jesus. They draw life from Jesus. When their children are hard to love, they go to Jesus and Mary. Secondly, Christian mothers lead their children Jesus. We all want the best for our children. There is nothing better than God. What you long to give your children, but you cannot, Jesus can and will. Every Christian vocation feeds on God and leads others to God.

(12 May 2019)

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