A thought from Sunday's Homily:

December 31, 2017 - 1st Sunday after Christmas

Like Simeon in Luke’s gospel, we should wait on the Lord and not waiver or be affected by situations and circumstances until the fulness of time comes and we see the salvation of God. (From the homily of Patriarch Craig Bates on the first Sunday of Christmas)

December 24, 2017 - 4th Sunday of Advent

On this last Sunday of Advent, after a season of longing to be ransomed from captivity, God’s answer, which is the salvation of the world, begins with a young virgin’s “behold the bondservant of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word.” The melancholic “O come, O come, Emmanuel” then turns into a joyful “O come, let us adore Him.”

December 17, 2017 - 3rd Sunday of Advent

Advent is waiting for the right God. “And it will be said in that day, ‘Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited’” (Isa 25:9). Which God? The One who will have prepared for ALL PEOPLES on a mountain a lavish banquet of aged wine and choice pieces with marrow; the One who will have swallowed up the veil which is stretched over ALL NATIONS; the One who will have swallowed up death for ALL TIME, wiped tears away from ALL FACES, and removed the reproach of His people from all the earth; the Lord who spoke and fulfilled His promise (Isa 25:6-8).

December 10, 2017 - 2nd Sunday of Advent

It’s easy to misunderstand God’s grace. It’s so scandalously kind, it blows our mind. Grace is not just the unfathomable forgiveness of sins. It’s also the undeserved bestowal of ability to bear His likeness. It trains us to live righteously as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior (Titus 2:12). It’s both “not getting what we deserve” and “getting what we don’t deserve.”

December 3, 2017 - 1st Sunday of Advent

God is good all the time. Sometimes we don’t benefit from His goodness because of a wrong reception, perspective or attitude or a lack of readiness on our part. That’s why the Eucharist, which is given for the life of the world, becomes a source of sickness or death to some (1 Cor 11:30). The fire of His love is warmth and light to some and pain for others. God doesn’t change. He is always good. It is we who need to change and be conformed to His image of goodness. Happy new liturgical year!

November 19, 2017 - 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

The parable of the talents reminds us that what we have is God’s possessions. They’re His to distribute through us (in which case they are a blessing), not ours to accumulate and keep for ourselves (in which case they can be a curse). Prosperity is a matter of entering into the joy of our Master; that is, being entrusted with more of His gifts so we have more ability to bless others.

November 12, 2017 - 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

The readings today don’t talk about the end times in particular but about the wisdom of being prepared anytime. And similar verses don’t talk about a future great tribulation in particular but about the virtue of persevering in tribulation anytime.

November 5, 2017 - 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Paul et al imparted to the Thessalonians not only the gospel but also their own lives. For that reason, it was accepted not as the word of men, but for what it really was, the word of God. This embodies the Psalm that says the entirety of God's Word is truth. The spoken word is made complete when accompanied by the sacrificial giving of one's life. Otherwise, it is not the totality of the word, not the "full-gospel", and in fact can be Pharisaic hypocrisy.

October 29, 2017 - 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

You shall love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind. This is the first and great commandment. The second is like it: love your neighbor. On these hang all the law and the prophets. This is why our starting point is baptism, the death of the old self. If that self is out of the way, there remain only God and neighbor to love.

October 22, 2017 - 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Before we worry about what is Caesar’s, we first need to be concerned with giving to God what is God’s - our whole selves.

Jesus said, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Maybe the reason things are instead “subtracted” from us (and we end up in oppression like Israel under Rome) is because of our failure to obey Jesus in the first place. If we do, maybe what we worry about would take care of themselves.

October 15, 2017 - 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

If a close friend or family is getting married or celebrating his birthday, there will be no question about your presence at the banquet his father (whom you know as well) is hosting. You’d get him the most precious gift and the price won’t be an object. You’d be excited and count the days and probably won't be able to sleep the night before. You’d make a lot of effort preparing yourself (ladies would even spend on hair and make-up). You’d carefully choose and won’t skimp on what you’ll wear. You’d come early to the event and get involved in the preparations. You may even help serve the guests. You’d sing your heart out when they play the very familiar newlyweds’ song or the birthday song. You'd give a 60-minute speech. You'd have the time of your life, especially if with common friends or relatives. Your adrenaline would flow and you’d party all night.

But if you don't know the person, you'd ask yourself if you have to be present at the celebration. You'd get the cheapest gift just to have one, or recycle an unwanted gift you got before. You'd drag your feet to the venue. You’d sit alone in a corner. You'd feel awkward singing “Happy Birthday to You.” You’d have nothing to say if asked to speak. You won’t get the private jokes and things said during the roast. You'd have the most boring time and constantly look at your watch.

Now replace the groom/celebrant with Jesus, the father with God, and the banquet with His kingdom and the Holy Mass. What would be your scenario?

October 8, 2017 - 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Some have the idea that God’s perfect vineyard is one that needs no work, whose fruit grows on its own. That’s why when faced with challenges, they complain and walk away. The vineyard is where He commanded the blessing - life forever. But that doesn’t mean it needs no cultivating. In it, as in Eden, less-than-ideal situations are the ground He wants us to cultivate and bear fruit out of. If we walk away from them, we forfeit the opportunity to become fruitful and someone else will be given that opportunity. May we learn to recognize a blessing when it’s right in front of us, and not mistake it for a curse and pass up the chance of participating in the work of the kingdom.

October 1, 2017 - 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Our response to our Father’s bidding to “go work today in the vineyard” should not be because of pressure to perform to please an exacting tyrant or to help a needy landowner. It should be to fulfill His desire for us to taste and see His goodness. The harvest is plentiful and He wants more workers not because He’s short of manpower but because He wants all to partake of the harvest, of the kingdom He has chosen gladly to give us, of the many mansions there. There’s more than enough of that kingdom to go around.

Jesus didn’t say, “this is My commandment, that you love one another, that God’s feathers may not be ruffled.” No. It’s so that His joy may be in us and that our joy may be full.

With this understanding, let’s go work today in the vineyard.

September 24, 2017 - 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

"To those he said ... whatever is right, I will give you." What is right is what we sinners don't deserve - forgiveness, mercy, grace, provision, life. But in God's definition of justice, it is what He gives us despite our sin, in the hope of drawing us by His kindness. That's what the parable of the laborers in the vineyard is all about. And we can "take what is yours and go," i.e., rejoice in the unmerited favor we have received and live in it (which is an experience of heaven) or grumble and waste God's indescribable gift (which is an experience of hell). It's really our choice.

September 17, 2017 - 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

When God forgives the offender, it doesn't mean He favors him over the offended. He gives both justice to the the oppressed and mercy to the oppressor. Psalm 103:6 says, "for all who are mistreated He brings justice." Verse 10 says, "He doesn't punish us sinners as we deserve." He restores to one the gift of God taken from him by the sinner, and restores to the other the likeness of God taken from him by sin. The gospel today instructs us to go and do likewise.

September 10, 2017 - 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

It is the rich kindness, tolerance and patience of God that lead to repentance, not anger or threats (Rom 2:4). And it is ignorance of that kindness that causes insecurity and straying away.

SEPTEMBER 3, 2017 - 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me."

This is not a dividing line but a guideline. It is not meant to prevent some but to direct all. Jesus is showing the way to what the Father has always wanted to happen - that all be reconciled to Him.

August 20, 2017 - 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I'm a universalist. Not a dogmatic one, but a hopeful one. When you read things like Romans 11 - that God has not rejected His people, that they did not stumble so as to fall, that their hardening is partial, that the fullness of the Gentiles will come in, that all Israel will eventually be saved and that that is God's covenant with them, that it is God's choice that they are beloved, that the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable, and that God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all - how can you not be passionately hopeful about the restoration of all things?

August 13, 2017 - 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

"When they had crossed over". This phrase immediately follows the gospel reading today. "When", not "if". It is the fulfillment of Jesus' word to meet His disciples on the other side - after they were battered by the waves, after they strained at the oars, after they were terrified by what they supposed to be a ghost, after their faith went up and down, after they were taught to look to Him and not the wind or the waves, and after they saw Him calm the storm. At this point, they still were not perfect and they still had not gained insight from the incident of the loaves. Nevertheless, it all ended up with them crossing over - just as He promised. Stand they did, for He was able to make them stand. The Alpha who began their journey was also the Omega who was faithful to complete it.

August 6, 2017 - 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus, who is good and perfect, was made like us in all things but sin. That means everything else about man is good. Our humanity, flesh, activities, emotions, uniqueness and idiosyncrasies, minus sin, are all good. And we are obviously very precious and valuable to God, like the pearl of great value, that He gave His life to save us.

July 23, 2017 - 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Beware of an "us and them" mentality. It may lead to a "you and me against the world" and soon just "me against the world" attitude. Don't judge. Let God sort out the wheat and the tares. As for you, just be wheat and shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of your Father. You just may turn some tares into wheat.

July 9, 2017 - 14th Sunday in Ordinary time

"But we never can prove the delights of His love until all on the altar we lay."Let go of your yoke; it wearies you and weighs you down. Lay it on the altar in exchange for the life Jesus gives. His yoke is easy. Take it; don't resist it. And you will find rest for your souls in His delightful love. Never fear, only trust and obey.

July 2, 2017 - 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Has your house ever been flooded? Did you tear it down or give it away? Have you ever gotten into a fender bender? Did you throw your car away? Has your child ever had a fever or acne? Did you put them up for adoption? No. In each case you fixed, mended and repaired.

If you, being imperfect, know how to restore what you love, how much more will your Father in heaven restore His children, the apple of His eye? He doesn't discard His prized possession when they are vandalized. God in Christ came to seek and save that which was lost, marred or defaced and makes all things new.

June 25, 2017 - 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

A church father said that when Jesus descended into the realm of the dead, death died upon confrontation with life.

Sin afflicted us, defaced God's image and likeness in us and put us to death. Jesus destroyed death. How? By taking from us and upon Himself its sting - sin. That is, all our hatred, envy, malice, violence and love of self. And when they came face to face with the mercy, love, patience, humility, meekness, kindness and selflessness in Jesus, they were obliterated. That's how He overcame evil and that's how we overcome evil; not with retaliation, not with an eye-for-an-eye kind of justice, but with good and with the power of love.

June 18, 2017 - 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I learned from my high school geometry teacher that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That's why two men working together can carry a 400-pound load when they each cannot handle 200 pounds on their own. There is just that synergy when individuals come together as one. God built humanity that way, God built the church that way, and God meant ability to be multiplied that way.

June 4, 2017 - Pentecost Sunday

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

 

Common good means others' good is my good. Each man's joy is joy to me, each man's grief is my own. That's why I should use the gifts I have to build them up and not tear them down. And that's why I should rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.

 

Blessed Pentecost to all!

May 28, 2017 - 7th Sunday of Easter

Part of the Eucharistic prayer (parenthetical additions mine):

Grant that we may enter into a heavenly inheritance with Your apostles and saints. There, (in communion and solidarity) with the whole of creation (Jew and Gentile, male and female, far off and near, light and darkness, day and night, summer and winter, ice and snow, whales and sea creatures, flying and creeping things, mountains and plains, trees of the field, everything on the earth, everything under the earth, every knee, every tongue, everything that has breath, and all shut up in disobedience and shown mercy), freed from the corruption of sin and death (of pride, vainglory and hypocrisy, hatred and malice, apathy, anger, arrogance, exploitation, manipulation, the thinking of self as more important than others, and the lack of love, mercy and compassion) may we glorify You (joining the heavenly host in their unending hymn of praise) through Christ our Lord, through whom You bestow on the world all that is good.

May 14, 2017 - 5th Sunday of Easter

Eternal life is knowing God, as in a marriage relationship like the Bible metaphorically illustrates. It's not something you secure by satisfying a judicial requirement, it's not a legal status, but it's something you grow in by being in and experiencing. You don't enter into the relationship with a motive of obtaining a position of prestige, financial security, special favors or celestial real estate. May we not be gold-digging Christians. Instead, may we desire to grow in the bond of love, commitment and knowledge of God, and to please rather than to ask what we can get. Then we obtain the fullness of real blessings.

April 23, 2017 - 1st Sunday of Easter

At His resurrection, Jesus entered into the new creation and left its doors open for us. He comes to the here and now to make known to us the path to that life and direct us away from the path to destruction. All creation is counting on us as their steward to take the right path for their sake.

Reminds me of Marty McFly going back to his would-be father George's younger days and making sure he ended up with his would-be mother Lorraine. This he had to do without interfering with George's free will. On his own initiative, George had to begin being what he was destined to fully be and conquer that which was in the way: Biff Tannen. When he did, it led to a future that was comfortable for him and his family who were counting on him for their life.

So begin being what you are predestined to be - conformed to the image of God's Son. And conquer your Biff and give your future a good riff.

APRIL 16, 2017 - Easter Sunday

Change is not coming. It already came 2,000 years ago. And the world was never the same again and is headed toward full restoration. We look for that life of the world to come.

Death is conquered! We are free! Christ has won the victory!

 

Happy Easter!!

April 9, 2017 - Palm Sunday

You making it to heaven means you have attained the measure of the stature of Jesus. It means you have God's love in you. It means you have in you the attitude that was also in Christ, who found joy in emptying Himself, setting aside the privileges of deity and leaving the glories of heaven, to become like us and identify and go through the human experience with us in order to redeem us. It means you won't be able to sit still in heaven, seeing that there are those who have yet to make it there.

April 4, 2017 - 5th Sunday in Lent

If we find ourselves in seemingly hopeless situations and say, “our bones are dried up, our hope has perished and we are completely cut off” or “he has been dead four days”, God can do what He’s done before. He can again utter the words, “I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of them” or “Lazarus, come forth.” He can tell anything holding us back, “unbind him and let him go.” He can put His Spirit within us, make us come to life and place us on our own land. He can give life to our mortal bodies. And He can once again prove to us that if we believe, we will see the glory of God.

March 26, 2017 - 4th Sunday in Lent

The blind man in today's gospel (Jn 9) followed a very basic principle (which my mentor taught me 30 years ago): obey first before you complain or require God to make you see and understand. Jesus anointed his eyes and sent him and he, still without sight, went. Only after he obeyed did he begin seeing and his obedience made him a powerful witness.

Do you believe you are being sent but feel anxious or even resentful because you do not see clearly or not at all, and God doesn't seem to notice or care? May we have the faith of the blind man - quick to hear and comply, and slow to speak and complain. And trust that God knows what He is intending to do.

March 19, 2017 - 3rd Sunday in Lent

Exo 17:1-2 - Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?”

If they knew the gift of God, they would have asked and He would have given them living water. They would not have quarreled with Moses, tested God and erred in their hearts. And they would have entered His rest. Jesus said, "Ask and you shall receive." Not "grumble, not complain, not blame and you shall receive."

What was written in earlier times was written for our instruction. Today, if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.

March 12, 2017 - 2nd Sunday in Lent

You don't gain muscle by lifting weights for 12 hours once a month. You have a much better chance if you work out 1 hour 3 times a week.

Similarly in our Christian walk, you grow not by doing something huge once in a long while but by simply putting one foot in front of the other constantly at a regular pace. Not that we would never need to do sprints now and then but the pattern is one that calls for steadfastness and commitment to stay the course. Only then can you expect to see results.

March 5, 2017 - 1st Sunday in Lent

How much plainer can you put it?

(MSG) Rom 5:18-19 Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.

20-21 All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.

February 26, 2017 - 8th Sunday After the Epiphany

Peter, James and John saw God's resplendent glory in Jesus on the mountain. Was it because He only had it at that time and no other, or were the disciples granted grace to momentarily see it more fully? Jesus is the radiance of the Father's glory all the time. In Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead all the time. He is good all the time. But we don't see that all the time. When things go well, we do. But sometimes we lose sight of that truth and question it because we're distracted by worries, challenges and other things we tend to blow out of proportion. Sometimes, sin blurs our vision (Psa 40:11-12). At other times, we're just spiritually half asleep.

Today's concluding collect is spot on about this - "All-glorious Father, awaken our hearts and open our understanding to who Christ is and who we are through Him, that in Your light we may see light, and in this world may be light, for the sake of Christ the Lord." May it be our prayer.

February 19, 2017 - 7th Sunday After the Epiphany

From the standpoint of today’s gospel, “enemy” becomes a misnomer and “loved ones” takes on a whole new meaning. If we are to be sons of our Father who causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous, we are to love not only those who love us and greet not only our brothers. We are now to regard all men as loved ones, even enemies and persecutors, and be perfect as our Father is perfect.

February 5, 2017 - 5th Sunday After Epiphany

Because we're bearers of the image of God and partakers of His divine nature which loves enemies and blesses persecutors, 

Hypocrisy is NOT... "smiling at and loving people we're not on good terms with."

Hypocrisy IS... "not smiling at and loving people we're not on good terms with."

January 29, 2017 - 4th Sunday After the Epiphany

Jesus' began His ministry by proclaiming that the kingdom of God is here. His first acts were healing and deliverance. His first sermon was the Beatitudes. His first encounters with Mary Magdalene and Zaccheus were about forgiveness and acceptance. While He did teach about the law and commandments, His words and actions pointed to the essence of the kingdom He proclaimed and embodied - love. Because the kingdom He proclaimed was first about love before it was about law.

January 22, 2017 - 3rd Sunday After the Epiphany

Maybe not many of us are wise, not many noble, not many mighty, but God has nonetheless called us and given us gifts. And His gifts and callings are irrevocable. We may not have silver and gold but such as we have, we are to give. Healing, comfort, hope, peace and life are in our hands waiting to be released to people who need them and can’t get them from nobility, might, silver or gold.

January 15, 2017 - The Feast of our Lord, the Giver of Life

2nd Sunday After the Epiphany

We, the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church, celebrate today the Feast of the Lord and Giver of Life to promote a culture of life and proclaim that all life is sacred and therefore should be respected, upheld, enriched and sustained.

Our Helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing …
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us ...
His kingdom is forever.

(from “A Mighty Fortress is our God”)

January 8, 2017 - The Feast of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ

1st Sunday after Epiphany

Gregory Nazianzen on the Baptism of Jesus: Heaven, like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and all men, opened.
1 Cor 15:22 - For just as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

It’s a real wonder how we readily accept death spreading to all men through Adam’s sin and struggle with something just as true - that in Christ, all are given life.

Some believe it's because “broad is the way to destruction and many take it; and narrow is the way to life, and few take it.” But that is so 0 B.C and we cannot base our eschatology on an evaluation of man's condition then. The second Adam came so He could reverse the result of the fall and show the way to life so men could participate in His work of making all things new. Eventually (and the Bible prophesies it), this leads to a healthier, more sensible and truthful eschatology of the restoration of all things.

January 1, 2017 - Feast of the Holy Name

This phrase jumped off the screen when I was reading 1 Cor 13 the other day, as if I had never seen it before: (love) is not provoked.

This kind of love was what a survivor of 2 Nazi concentration camps, and who forgave his torturers, knew and still could say, “I still believe in man in spite of man.” This was what a 19th century hymnist who lost a 2-year old son and all his livelihood, and later 4 daughters in a shipwreck, understood and still could write, “it is well with my soul.” This was what a crucified Savior had in His heart which was expressed in the words, “Father forgive them.”

This and other qualities - patient, kind, not jealous, not arrogant, does not seek its own, does not take into account a wrong suffered, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, never gives up - are that “something” about Jesus’ name.

On this the Feast of the Holy Name, may we realize what invoking the name of Jesus really is about - being what it embodies.

December 25, 2016 - Christmas Day

"If God is love, then - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Love, and the Word was Love. All things came into being through Love, and apart from Love nothing came into being that has come into being. In Love was life. And Love became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw Love’s glory, full of grace and truth.Athanasius said, “He (the Word) has been manifested in a human body for this reason only, out of the love and goodness of His Father, for the salvation of us men. The first fact you must grasp is this: the renewal of creation has been wrought by the Self-same Word Who made it in the beginning. There is thus no inconsistency between creation and salvation for the One Father has employed the same Agent for both works, effecting the salvation of the world through the same Word Who made it in the beginning.”I say, "There is no inconsistency between creation and salvation for the One Father has employed the same Agent, Love, for both works, effecting the salvation of the world through the same Love Who made it in the beginning."

December 18, 2016 - 4th Sunday of Advent

A lesson from Mary's example in today's Gospel: by sacrificially keeping ourselves pure and giving of ourselves in obedience to God and for love of neighbor, even if ostracized, we are to bear, nurture and give birth to something that would make people feel, realize and exclaim, "Emmanuel", God indeed is with us.

December 11, 2016 - 3rd Sunday of Advent

“Yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John”, not in terms of benefit, reward or renown but of the standard of their calling. To be greater than John is par for the course in the kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy. He preached the good news in the wilderness, where there seemed no hope, to prepare the way of the Lord. We are to do at least that and, representing the kingdom, bring love where there is hatred, pardon where there is injury, faith where there is doubt, hope where there is despair, light where there is darkness, and joy where there is sadness. When we do, we proclaim that that kingdom of God is here and hasten the manifestation of its fullness and the coming of its King.

December 4, 2016 - 2nd Sunday of Advent

The dying Captain John Miller told Private James Ryan to “earn it.” That is, the salvation he gave his life to provide. Similarly, as God's redeemed, we are to walk in a manner worthy of our calling, to shape up for the kingdom Jesus already gave His life to restore us to and make us worthy for.

As stinky prodigal sons accepted by our loving Father, we should realize that a shower, though not required prior, would be very appropriate if we are to continue living in His mansion.

“I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be … let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.” (Phil 3:12, 16) This is what it means to "repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

November 27, 2016 - 1st Sunday of Advent

We wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Lord not so we can escape the imperfections in what He intended to be our home and the venue of our fellowship with Him, but so we can begin the rest of eternity ever with Him in the same venue when all things will have been made new.

November 20, 2016 - 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Christ is in us who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, sick, in prison and suffering. In every insult, rift and war, where color, scorn or wealth divides, He suffers still, going through our plight with us, yet loves the more. This is our King who pitched His tent among us to dwell forever with us, a very present help in trouble, and in whose days we will dwell securely.

November 13, 2016 - 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

The poor widow in the gospel gave her all. That confronts our giving. Consider this: our offerings are put on the altar alongside Jesus' offering of Himself. His was 100%. Shouldn't ours be no less?

November 6, 2016 - 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Before, it's about having no more sorrow or pain and possessing resurrected bodies free of sickness, the life of the world to come is first of all about being like Jesus in His divinity. That will be the main source of our eternal, ineffable joy. "I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake."

October 30, 2016 - 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

God created humanity very good. When our beauty was disfigured by sin, He, in Christ, did not abandon us, but loved us and gave Himself up for us that He might restore us and present us to Himself as His bride. This is the real marriage made in heaven. Self-centeredness motivates a man to look for a perfect matrimonial prospect, one who would serve his needs and require no sacrifice to fix. But the Son of Man comes to seek and to save that which was lost.

October 23, 2016 - 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Our prayer should not be about justice for others and mercy for ourselves (that is, God remember their sin and give them what they deserve but forgive my sin and don't give me what I deserve). Our prayer should be about justice for ourselves and mercy for others (that is, God restore what I lost from the wrong done to me and forgive my offender). For both God's justice and mercy are restorative. He is able both to justly correct the wrong done and mercifully restore the wrongdoer.

October 16, 2016 - 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

"Apart from the least of Jesus' brothers, the rest will not obtain the fullness of the promise. Understand, though, that the least may not be the literally poor, naked or sick, but the proud and Pharisaical because they are destitute spiritually. They won't get ahead of prostitutes and sinners in the kingdom and won't get justified before tax collectors. But while they may be difficult to love, they too need mercy."

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