Icon of Jesus Holding Mary's Soul

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

Fr. Joel Homilies Leave a Comment

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

Fr. Joel Free Range

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

Fr. Joel Homilies

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

Fr. Joel Life on Planet Earth

“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

Fr. Joel Free Range

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.

Jesus asks Martha Do You Love Me

Do You Love Jesus Like a Teenager Loves His Family? | #935

Fr. Joel Homilies

Ordinary Time, 16th Sunday (C) St. Luke puts the story of Martha and Mary immediately after the Good Samaritan. He is telling us that we need to serve others generously. But we shouldn’t get so caught up in the works of the Lord that we forget the Lord of the work.

Teenagers claim they love their families. But they spend all their time with their friends or closed up in their rooms. If you really love someone, you’ll want to spend time with them. In a similar way, many of us claim to love Jesus but we never spend quality time with him. Jesus is asking us, in the words of Tevya from Fiddler on the Roof: “But do you love me?”

(21 Jul 2019)

Going Deeper: Does your regular schedule include quality time with your spouse, your family, and God? Take a moment right now and spend five minutes with the Lord. Then schedule some more quality time for your important relationships.

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North America with Good Neighbor question

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

Fr. Joel Homilies

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

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

Fr. Joel Homilies

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