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Today’s Homily at Holy Trinity, December 10, 2017- the 2nd Sunday of Advent

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, Faith, homily, inspirational, religion, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on December 10, 2017

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Homily, December 10, 2017 the 2nd Sunday of Advent

Posted in Called, christian, Faith, forgiveness, homily, inspirational, religion, scripture, Spirit, Uncategorized, Word by Fr Joe R on December 7, 2017

2advent4This week we jump from the end of Mark’s gospel to the beginning. The idea of “waiting” is still present, but we are introduced to John the Baptist. His message is to repent and prepare. He baptises as a sign of forgiveness. In doing so, he adds a new word to our Advent as we repent and prepare. That word is change. It is a word that most don’t like to hear or do. Mostly, we are all set in our ways and pretty much satisfied with whom we are. In the comfort we feel, sometimes we forget that we can hurt others by what we do or say. It is easy to say repent and get ready for 2advent2Christ’s coming, but do we really step back and take a close honest look at who we are. Jesus came at a time there was turmoil and disillusionment in the Jewish community. Many had wandered off from the teaching of the prophets, the priest, the temple and yearned for communing with God. John was an intriguing figure and they accepted him as a prophet or even maybe the promised Messiah. He was the attraction of his time drawing people from everywhere. 2advent3His message was clear, repent, change, and wait for the one to come. I have always wondered why we use John in the desert preparing the people for Jesus’ ministry in preparing for Christmas. Yet, the liturgical year uses his message of repent and change at the beginning every year to prepare ourselves by calling on us in our season of wait to repent and change. Christ is certainly coming, first symbolically at Christmas, but also most assuredly to each of us in the future either near or far.

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Homily The First Sunday of Advent from St Francis and Clare Parish, Ft Lauderdale, Florida

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, Faith, homily, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on December 3, 2017

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Today’s Homily at Holy Trinity- December 3, 2017, the first Sunday of Advent

Posted in Christianity, church events, Faith, homily, religion, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on December 3, 2017

Homily December 3, 2017, the First Sunday of Advent

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, church events, Faith, homily, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on November 30, 2017

advent 1Today we start the new Liturgical Year, but we start it by going to the end part of Mark’s gospel to the prophecies of persecution and the times of tribulation and the destruction of the Temple. One thing standing out is the word in our liturgy today is the word and idea of “waiting.” Waiting for the Master who has gone away and will return at any time in the near or far future. Waiting for him to come at any time, any hour and to be advent2prepared to open and let him in.

The first reading from Isaiah is from a time Israel had returned home to devastation and the ruins of their Temple. Very definitely there were gaps in their trust and faithfulness to God , gaps that they had to fill in to once again become his faithful people. The situation and state of the world seemed so hopeless for them, that giving trust and hope was difficult. God, however, responded to them giving them aadvent3 “YET” in the promise of a coming of a savior. The when and where was unknown, but the “YET” was his only son Jesus who came to the world and to the Jewish people during a later time of occupation and subservience to Rome. The gospel today is from Jesus’ last days and after his account of the coming persecution and destruction of Jerusalem. It follows that as he tells them of the Master leaving and returning at an undetermined time. Ironically or unfortunately, almost every century has experienced the signs persecution and disorder and being cut advent4off from God. Christianity has never been perfect, as mankind has never managed to fully and completely to be faithful. Our saving grace is that same “YET” we are reminded will come again to all who await God’s call. His call to wait, to be awake, to weather the times and persecutions to greet him when he comes, is still there. The season of Advent is here to remind us to watch and wait as we celebrate once again Christ’s coming as an infant in Bethlehem.

Homily November 15, 2015 at Holy Trinity Parish for the 33rd Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time

Homily November 15, 2015 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, Faith, homily, inspirational, saints, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on November 11, 2015

33sToday’s readings are similar to the readings at the end of every church year. Apocalyptic and Cataclysmic renderings of events and descriptions used to render a certain fear and consternation of the coming of end times and Jesus’ second coming. As believing Christians, we have faith, certainly, and a sense of uneasiness that at times we fall short of the perfect love we should have, but if we remain positive and work toward that love of Christ, why should we have fear? Christ is with us now. We actively share his body and blood in the Eucharist. He has sent his Spirit among us to guide and help us along the way. At the end of our path, he awaits, loving and welcoming us to be with him and his Father. All of us ultimately meet him, and the end of life, be it individually or collectively is the achievement of life and a new beginning of a whole life which we can not now know but we know it has been prepared for us by our faith. God’s love is an embrace surrounding all of humanity 33sufrom the beginning to the end. Christ’s call to all and his love and concern that all have the chance and opportunity to know and love and share God’s beneficence, should make us more comfortable as we approach our final union with him.

Love is certainly a much greater motivator than fear, although fear is sometimes a better short term solution. But seriously consider, what relationship lasts or is fruitful if it is based on fear alone. In our society, does fear of punishment stop people from doing wrong and evil things? Love at least make people stop and think and consider how and why things are good or evil. That is not to say that people can not make mistakes or wrong decisions, but ultimately only God knows each and every person for who they are and what they do, and he alone can only judge their love or lack thereof.

33sundaMark wrote his gospel about the year 60. We can see in his and other wrings of the time, that the early community expected Jesus’ return to be imminent. The fall of Jerusalem was a real sense of an apocalyptic end to them. Yet Jesus has yet to come. Every century, every age almost has issued warnings and almost pleas for the end. Yet, Jesus said only his Father knows that time, and truly all of humanity will one day be together in God’s embrace and will only then know fully the love of God.

Homily November 8, 2015 Holy Trinity Parish for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Faith, homily, inspirational, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on November 8, 2015

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Homily November 8, 2015 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Faith, homily, inspirational, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on November 5, 2015

32 sThe stories of the two widows in the readings today is probably familiar to most of us. How many times have we heard one or another of these two stories used as examples of giving and giving generously. Sort of like giving until it hurts. Yet, Jesus was contrasting this poor widow with the Scribe and others who flaunted themselves and paraded around in their importance. Yet this humble woman was out of her faith and love and trust of God giving as she felt she must, sacrificing some or all she needed. Trust, a key word, as Jesus came and had a special care for the poor who in many ways were left to the mercy of their peers and many times never saw any mercy. In his time and in most times, do people look out for the poor and others or just themselves?

The Widow's Mite Luke 21:1-4

The Widow’s Mite Luke 21:1-4

Certainly, prudence requires that one takes proper precautions and care of his family and loved ones, but ultimately it is God who cares and looks over us. He also calls on us took look out for others, especially the poor. Why the poor, you might say, but think about it, if you a parent, you love all your children, but as they leave your home, some are more independent than others and the more dependent ones have a care and concern a bit higher for you. With God, the poor have a special trust not different than others, but perhaps more finely tuned that God leads and takes us where we go. Sure many of us plan and prepare and set our sites on the future and what is good, but it is God’s goodness that lets it happen.

A poor person often has a more humdrum day to day vision, know that each day is a gift that somehow God gives and brings forth the next. Planning is hard when just getting along is a constant task. Yet faith and trust in God brings resourcefulness and happiness. Relationships and love overshadow all that stands in the way to the father. Riches, status, celebrity all can stand in the way or not according to how we trust in God and relate to others. 32sundayTrust means that life has twists and turns we might never envision, yet God walks with us and brings with him if we trust that his way is the way. As all of us get older, I think we realize that as the twists and turns came, like it or not, how we related to God and others is ultimately what made it a good or bad experience.

Trust then is like the two widows, trusting their lives to be safe and fulfilled by God and leading them to a long and safe way home.

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Today’s Homily at Holy Trinity Parish the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 25, 2015

Posted in Called, christian, Faith, homily, inspirational, Resurrection, Word by Fr Joe R on October 25, 2015

Homily at Holy Trinity Parish October 18, 2015 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Faith, homily, inspirational, religion, Resurrection, saints, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on October 18, 2015

Homily October 18, 2015 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, Faith, homily, inspirational, scripture, Spirit by Fr Joe R on October 13, 2015

29thsundToday’s gospel has two parts, the request of James and John and secondly what was required of a follower of Jesus to be a leader. The request of the disciples who were relatives of Jesus would be kind of a natural request of the two in the group following Jesus and seeking the messianic times. But, Jesus throws two roadblocks at them tight away. First, he tells him that he is the Messenger and position or rank is not his to give for eternity. Then he gives the clincher and wants 29thsuto know if they can drink the cup he will drink. Clearly, he is telling them that to be a follower, suffering and even death must enter in. As Christians, we know there is always an element of sacrifice and at times even suffering in fulfilling our faith. History has shown in every century that faith has led at various times and places to suffering and even death for men and women of faith. In our own time, religion and its practice is forbidden or restricted or controlled in many countries. The triumphalism of one faith over another is still prevalent in some parts of the world. The cup Jesus offered keeps filling up and is being emptied even as we pray today.
Which comes to the second part, that so many marvel at the concept and application, but seem to miss the point. Jesus didn’t come to confirm what was, but to give a whole new insight to God and seeking him out. Leadership wasn’t a throne and servants and armies and power. No, it was in loving, in serving, in caring. He was about people, all people and he cared and looked after each one as much as he could. More than anything he wanted his disciples to work together, to share their common faith not in a 29thsundayhierarchical way but as a functioning body that works as one. All is a part of his command to love one another as I have loved you. It is hard for us to get it as we are so used to being governed or served from the top down. But in serving all, Christ is telling us each of us has something to contribute and has reason too to hear, listen to his sisters and brothers. Christ’s life, his ransom was his gift to give us the way, the truth and the life.

Homily October 11th, 2015 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, Faith, homily, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on October 8, 2015

28sunOver the past weeks in the gospel of Mark, we have seen Jesus talk of following him and what needs to be done to be in good standing. Who wants to be first, how does sin impede you and so on. Today we meet a rich young man who asks what he must do. Being a good man the commandments were no problem for him. Jesus said he lacked one thing, complete dedication. Give up all he had and follow him. Through the centuries this passage has so often been used for a description and entrance into religious life, was that really Jesus intent? Often he cites the extreme to make a point more relevant to all. Like pluck out an eye etc. What is he saying., what is the meaning? What here can get in the way of eternal life. What roadblock could be here? Wealth, possessions, comfort, being overly satisfied with ourselves. All these distract and make us self-centered, Jesus was about people, about care, looking out, being with others caring. Nothing can or should stand in the 28suway of doing that. Can we not become so concerned with the here and now and what we have that we forget the who is there in and around us. Certainly the commandments not to kill, nor commit adultery, nor bear false witness, nor defraud, nor steal, and yo honor parents in the gospel are boundaries to be followed, but the command to love, the basis for all commands sets no boundary of giving to assist and be there for one another. This unrelenting love is ultimately what Christ asks of us and ultimately is asking for us to give ourselves and our love in a personal and intimate way to God.

Today’s Homily at Holy Trinity Parish October 4th, 2015 The 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, ecclesiology, Faith, inspirational, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on October 4, 2015

Homily October 4, 2015 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, ecclesiology, Faith, homily, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on September 30, 2015

27suToday’s gospel talks of divorce, and in church it seems to always be a controversial topic. Before I talk about that, let’s first think about what marriage is. The quote from Genesis say that man needs a partner, but if we look at history, the partnership was for the most part not an equal one if we look at how women were seen and treated throughout history. Truly, it has been mostly a man’s world with marriage an arranged and bartered relationship falling short of a real partnership, and often an arrangement lacking in true love of the partners. Even in the western world and our own country the equality of women starting 27sin the late 1800’s is still a work in progress. Partnership in marriage reflects equality and the basis for that partnership is love, and as our faith tells us love is a Godly thing and love for ourselves and others is what makes us grow and love each other and bring us to God. Marriage is a special sign or Sacrament that like all the sacraments works in our life. Living and growing in love for one another in this sacrament brings the lovers and those around them and sharing in that love to God. It shares in the relationship of the Trinity itself.

However, humanity is not perfect. Not one of us is without fault or sin. In so 27sundmany ways we can fail as individuals, and unfortunately those failures can be harmful to others and can bring failure and misfortune into life. Personalities, and any number of things can lead to couples separating or going different ways. Divorce is an unfortunate thing, but when a partnership can no longer be, God’s love is still there for all and his love must always be the guide through this and all of life’s trials and times. Jesus quoted the law in the gospel for that was what he was asked. But notice he embraced the children and said accepting the kingdom of God like a child was the important thing. God is the judge, the lover, the one who forgives, always embracing us as we walk the twisted path to his kingdom. Hi love will not ail us.

Homily at Holy Trinity Parish September 27, 2015 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, Faith, homily, inspirational, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on September 27, 2015

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