Battle Ready: How to Fertilize a Burning Bush | #918

Fr. Joel Homilies

Lent, 3rd Sunday (C) The ancient gods are forces within creation. But the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob isn’t just another force in the universe: I Am Who Am. He is The Creator, not a creation. Moses needs to be convinced of three things: 1) God’s Power 2) God’s Plan 3) God’s Love. When we are convinced of these three things, we can turn life’s “crap” into fertilizer. (25 Mar 2019)

Going Deeper: Dump your ? at Confession this week.

Thank You Mission Partner Sally and Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

Battle Ready: Birds of Pray | #917

Fr. Joel Homilies

Lent, 2nd Sunday (C) It’s the second week of Lent – have you been falling asleep on your Lenten resolutions? Peter, James, and John were falling asleep when they were supposed to be praying. Abraham, on the other hand, chased away the birds of prey and resisted the temptation to run from God. He fights for the Covenant and God blesses him abundantly.

We need to fight for the things that matter: family time, couple time, God time. If you fight the little battles of couple time and prayer time, you’ll be ready for the big battles. If you let the little things slide, you won’t be prepared for Gethsemane. Want to win the battle? Chase away the vultures. (17 Mar 2019)

Going Deeper: Schedule couple time with your spouse, if you’re married — or quality time with God, or both.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay and

Battle Ready: Cruise Ship or Battleship? | #916

Fr. Joel Homilies

Lent, 1st Sunday (C) Is the Church a cruise ship or a battleship? Do you see yourself as a passenger on a faith cruise, or a crew member on a battleship? Today Jesus gives us the key to victory: obey the commander-in-chief. This week you are sailing into war! You must make yourself “Battle Ready.” (10 Mar 2019)

Challenge: Think of the one thing you’re really struggling with so far, then Google: Bible verse ________. See what comes up, look it up in your Bible, write it out by hand, and commit it to memory.

Cruise Ship vs. Battleship – Igniter Media:

Image Credit

It’s Not WHAT You Give Up for Lent, but WHY? | #915

Fr. Joel Homilies

Ash Wednesday • The question we all ask is, “What are you giving up for Lent?” But the real question is, “Why are you giving it up?” We can certainly give up things because we want to be better, healthier, have more time, less addicted. Good things. But Lent is about participating in Jesus’ death so we can participate in His Resurrection. It’s only a Lenten sacrifice when we can say, “Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice for me. I want to unite this sacrifice with your sacrifice on the cross.” (6 Mar 2019)

Read More
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors on Pixabay

On Fridays We Don’t Eat from the Bacon Tree

Fr. Joel Being Catholic

We are just on the cusp of the great Lenten Season. Lent is a time for fasting, abstinence from meat, reflection and reform. The Church requires all Catholics from age 18 until age 59 to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting means a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent are also days of abstinence for anyone 14 or older. Abstinence in this context means not eating meat. Instead of the pepperoni or sausage pizza, you’d eat the cheese or veggie pizza. I know it’s a terrible hardship, but you’re likely to survive. In an earlier time, Christians went vegan for the entire Lenten season. Fast days meant eating and drinking nothing. The Catholic Church of today wants to encourage a basic level of fasting and abstaining. You are welcome to add more, but you shouldn’t do less. A good friend of mine give up snacks, sweets, and condiments last Lent. He said it was exactly the right thing for him. What is the right sacrifice for you this Lent?

More importantly, why do we fast? In the Beginning, in the Garden of Eden, God required one little fast from Adam and Eve: not to eat the fruit of one single tree. Adam and Eve broke the fast. Essentially they chose food over God. By fasting a little in order to strengthen our relationship with God, we are choosing God over food. Fasting is ultimately about abstaining from sin. It is also about preparing for God. We fast for one hour from all foods (except water) before receiving the Eucharist. Fasting prepares our bodies, and our hearts, to be truly fed by the Bread of Life. Fasting is a clear way of declaring that we depend ultimately on God and not on the resources of this world.

Children go hungry every day all over the world, and even in America. Fasting is a means of solidarity with the poor. It is a way of leaving resources for others. It is also a path to self-discipline, greater chastity, and a restraining of the appetites. Who know that a few small sacrifices could mean so much? Happy Lent!

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors on Pixabay

How to Stop Swearing and Gossiping | #914

Fr. Joel Homilies

Ordinary Time, 8th Sunday (C) When we are shaken by bad weather, the bad words come out. Where are they coming from? If your heart is filled with anger or pride, your mouth will be filled with bad words and gossip. We are called to be good stewards of the our little corner of the universe. Empty the junk out of your little corner and fill your heart with goodness. Your speech will change when your heart changes. (3 Mar 2019)

Going Deeper: Practice silence. And change your idea of bad weather.

Thank You to everyone who has helped push us over 400 downloads per week for the month of February.

Downloads Per Week

No Homily This Weekend

Fr. Joel Free Range

Ordinary Time, 7th Sunday (C) Apparently I have never recorded a homily on this particular set or readings. If I had preached, I would have talked about how we tend to make ourselves the standard. Everyone who drives faster than me is a maniac; all the slower drivers are “little old ladies.” Everyone older than me is “old”, everyone younger than me is young. But the true line is Jesus. I’d suggest this homily, in spite of it being from Advent:

Jesus Can Fix All Things

The Right Way To Use All Things, Including Erasers Shaped Like Wrenches | #913

Fr. Joel Homilies

Ordinary Time, 6th Sunday (C) We wouldn’t be so worried about pleasure, power, possessions or popularity if we believed in the Resurrection. St. Ignatius reminds us that we must use created things as much as they help us to fulfill our purpose, and rid ourselves of them so far as they hinder us from achieving our purpose. I find that exercise, silence, and good Christian friendships help me use things for God’s glory. Then I give four examples of what it looks like to have things in their proper place. Do you believe the Resurrection? (17 Feb 2019)

Going Deeper: Read and meditate on St. Ignatius’ First Principle and Foundation. Are you truly attached to the Creator? To what degree are you indifferent to created things?

Thank you Christopher for becoming our 7th Patron

PSA: Unauthorized Access (resolved)

Fr. Joel Free Range

Around January 15th, 2019, I discovered unauthorized access to the website. An unknown party had managed to create an administrative account. This gave them access to any and all content on the website including visitors’ comments and feedback that had been submitted through the website form. They did not have had access to emails that I sent or received through my email address, nor to the subscriber list email addresses.

The account appears to have been created on October 2, 2018. The only damage I could find was two posts that had been modified by the addition of links to websites: real-estate, hardware, and a news article on lottery winners. There was no other damage or evidence of malicious activity. I took steps to secure the blog and repair the damage. In doing so, I seem to have broken the media player and also disabled the emailing of new posts to subscribers. For subscribers who depend on an email it appeared that I had stopped posting.

The podcast continued to function normally. I believe the player has been fixed. Subscribers are once again being notified of new posts. Thank you to Steve, Todd, and Brenda for bringing these issues to my attention. Please let me know if you notice any continuing or additional problems. Thank you.

Working Hard, Catching Nothing? Peter Shows Us How | #912

Fr. Joel Homilies

Ordinary Time, 5th Sunday (C) Have you worked hard all night and caught nothing? Stop washing your nets and spend a little time in silence. Maybe God is calling you to put out a little from shore, to cast into the deep, or to stay put just where you are. The Lord isn’t far away — and he has what you need. (10 Feb 2019)

Going Deeper: Do you find silence maddening or refreshing? Spend quiet time in silence.

Thank you Sue! | Photo Credit