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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 March 30, 2014 4th Sunday of Lent

Posted in christian, Christianity, church events, ecclesiology, inspirational, religion, scripture by Fr Joe R on March 26, 2014

man born blindOften times when we read the scriptures, we all ready have a familiarity and a certain preconceived idea about what we read. One example would be the story today of Samuel anointing David as the future king of Israel. Jesse had eight sons and to Samuel the choice seemed obvious as he observed the sons of Jesse, but God had his own way of choosing and actually chose the least obvious one. David, the youngest, was a man of heart and faith. His choice was one that stands out for the ages. From this man’s heritage would come the Messiah.
man bor blind aIn the gospel, we see Jesus asked who was at fault for the man born blind being blind. Jesus debunked the common notion that sin of the man or his parents in some way caused the disability. Rather it occurred so the work of God could be visible in the world. To prove this Jesus goes on his own to cure the man’s blindness, even on the sabbath.
Today, we see many disabilities present in the world, and are in many ways confounded that with all our science we can not obliterate disabilities and sickness and all the other negative things in the world. We are quick to ask why God allows this or that, but forget that the choices of humans are sometimes responsible for the bad and even evil things in the world. Disabilities are still in our world and many are challenged by them as they can not picture such a thing happening to themselves or see it in some way as threatening what they see as normal.man born blind c
Yet here we forget that God creates each person out of love and pours his love on that person. A person with a disability is not limited in the love they can give and receive and certainly are happy in their own self-awareness. Who are we after all to judge another for their limitations when like Samuel today was told that God doesn’t look at appearances but at the person’s heart. What is the measure of a successful life? What is it that we seek? What do we expect at the end? You know we can have eyes and still not see. Any parent knows they love each of their children for who they are, each as they are unique and loving. So it is with God. Each of us is born to be called and loved by God for who we are. Now is a good time during lent to look at ourselves and ask if we are in any way man born blind bpreventing the love of God from reaching us and through us to others. Is our heart open and receptive to all? Can we really embrace those whose abilities fall short of our expectations?
In a few weeks we will be celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, the most important moment in history. To return from the dead and to be seen and heard and touched has sealed our faith and has been passed on to us through the centuries. As science has changed the world, so has the Christian faith grown and embraced many. We have been brought to God through Christ’s love and through him to each other to share that faith. His mission to go out to all the world, still remains an active charge even today.

Homily December 15, 2013 Third Sunday of Advent

Posted in christian, Christianity, ecclesiology, inspirational, religion by Fr Joe R on December 10, 2013

Back in June of this year, there was an interesting story and video on the Today show. A three-year old deaf boy named Jason Clamp had a device implanted in his brain stem and was able to hear his Father’s voice for the first time. It was a marvelous thing to see and reminds me of today’s Gospel. Jesus was enabling the blind to see and the deaf to hear, the lame to walk and even the dead to rise. What Jesus did was certainly not explainable by his contemporaries, and the results of seeing and hearing and walking and other medical miracles are rare even today. Certainly even with scientific breakthroughs and the advanced learning of today, we have not matched the doings of Jesus. He cited these signs and wonders to answer the query from John wanting to know if he is the “ONE” who is to come. john in prisonEven in prison, John was indirectly teaching his disciples by sending them to Jesus. Seriously, John had to know that one way or another he was finished. He gave no slack to anyone who came to hear him, and he even condemned Herod the king for marrying his brother’s wife. Even today that would forebode trouble. Yet even as he awaited judgment, John still inquired of Jesus. Perhaps, he was expecting Jesus to be more combative, to be more of an organizer of the people to lead Israel back to the time and glory of King David. Regardless, the disciples went and encountered Jesus and some did eventually follow him. Also we see the uniqueness of John as Jesus points out none greater had ever been born. John stands as the last of the prophets and the messenger presenting the messiah.

So, you might ask how does this relate to Christmas and Advent? As the gospel unfolds, Jesus is in his thirties and we are preparing for a celebration of his birth. I think the point of the liturgy today is patience and preparation. Advent means coming and the time of preparation take patience to prepare and be ready. As the story of John is the preparation for Jesus to appear, so advent is the time for us to prepare and be ready for Jesus to come again as he did on that first Christmas. Our faith and baptism has formed us and made us Christians but certainly we are not yet complete or perfect. foodAdvent is he time to work on this more intently than we usually do. It is a time for us to turn our thoughts and works to the poor and slighted of our own time just as Jesus did. While we can not perform the wonders and miracles that Jesus did, we can start to look after our Sisters and Brothers and see that they can in one way or another be comforted and find rest and peace in their lives. It seems we all become more sensitive to the needy at Christmas but now is a good time to find a more permanent way to help these people. Didn’t we just hear Jesus say that the least of these could be the greater? It is not so important as to what we give, but that we love and act on it by giving out of love.

Be there, be ready to give not only gift and things, but be ready to give time and self and to listen and interact especially with those who are alone and without family. This I think is the call and preparation John the Baptist calls for in Advent.