CACINA

Homily December 17, 2017 the 3rd Sunday of Advent

Posted in Called, christian, ecclesiology, Faith, forgiveness, homily, inspirational, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on December 13, 2017

advent wreathToday our gospel again meets John the Baptist. Our gospel this week is from the gospel of John and the first human we meet in this gospel is John the Baptist. He is quite a sight living in the desert, rough and ready, dressed in camel hair with a leather belt. As the son of Zechariah, who you might remember he was a priest and thus so was John. They would have been considered rural priests, not part of the aristocratic wealthy priests of Jerusalem. The first thing the Jerusalem priests did was to send investigators to see what he was up to. In Jesus’ time, there were large groups of alienated priests around and they opposed the Jerusalem priests and the subservience to Rome. They were considered problems 2advent2who didn’t follow the law. But for the most part it was the luxury of the Jerusalem priests who set the “rural” priests aside. John by his dress and life style was out of their control, but he was preaching and drawing crowds. So we see in today’s gospel that they immediately challenge and examine John, Who are you? What are you, a prophet? Are you Elijah? Are you THE prophet? Then finally Who are you? What are we to tell those who sent us?

John answers that he is Isaiah voice crying in the desert. He is calling for repentance and baptises those ready to repent of their sins. He is a witness for the one to come. His interrogators clearly understood what he was about and of course the Jerusalem priests were not happy. The point is, that John like Mark uses John the Baptist to introduce us to Jesus and thus the readings blend in with 4-advent-5our sense of waiting and preparation for our coming Christmas day. John’s baptism should remind us of our own baptism and the fact that as John said we have been baptised with the Holy Spirit. Christmas reminds us that Christ came and offered his whole life and self for all of us for the forgiveness of sins. We should be thankful and share that love in this Christmas season.

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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.

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 for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time from Sts Francis and Clare Parish

Posted in Called, Christianity, church events, Faith, homily, religion, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on November 19, 2017

From the Parish of Sts Francis and Clare, at the web site https://stsfrancisandclare.com you also can see past homilies and much more.

 

 

Today’s Homily at Holy Trinity Parish, November 12, 2017- the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Homily at Holy Trinity, October 22, 2017- the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, ecclesiology, Faith, homily, inspirational, religion, scripture, Word by Fr Joe R on October 22, 2017

Homily, October 22, 2017- the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, church events, Faith, homily, inspirational, politics, religion, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on October 19, 2017

29 sun4One thing we must first remind ourselves of today is that the gospel has nothing to do with our concept or idea of separation of church and state. The question involved was a question of authority and God as the ultimate power. The first reading is interesting because Cyrus was not a Jew but the Persian Ruler. Isaiah refers to him as “God’s 29 sun1anointed,” the same title given to Jewish Kings. In this case, Cyrus unknowingly to himself, was doing the work of God by letting the Israelites return home and even reconstruct their temple. So the ruler who is doing God’s will has legitimate authority, but God is the source. In the gospel, the Pharisees and Herodians were actually setting a trap in their friendly approach and seemingly simple question. It required either a yes or no with either answer having dire consequences of turning believers against Him or committing treason against the empire.29 sun3 But Jesus doesn’t answer the question really as it was put to Him. In fact he left two unanswered questions, that then and through the centuries remain for each generation to answer. What belongs to God and what belongs to Caesar(or the state, the good of humanity). It has led to a whole history of rich versus poor, of demands for human rights, of demands for the end of slavery and all other movements even to our present time. Humanity’s fallen nature has not always made us a people with our best foot forward, but hopefully we are trying and learning what it means to be a Christian and a lover of God and all that it asks us to do. It is an ongoing task, learning and developing as a people, as a world responsible to our creator. We are all called to be open and discerning of the Holy Spirit who leads the way for all. Truly we will be complete only when we are one with God, in this life, and in the next.

Today’s Homily at Holy Trinity Parish, October 8, 2017- the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, Faith, homily, inspirational, religion, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on October 8, 2017

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Homily- October 8, 2017- the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Faith, homily, inspirational, religion, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on October 6, 2017

27 sun 4Well it seems we are back into vineyards and the business of grapes for another week. Of course Israel was an agricultural nation and grapes were important if they were to have wine for their tables. Remember too Jesus said I am the Vine you are the Branches and my Father is the vine dresser. So these parables have a sense of importance, but we have to be careful to realize they have at times been heavily allegorized and possibly stretched beyond their original intent. Keep in mind that Jesus or the early church never accused or blamed the Jewish people for Christ’s death.27 sun2

A farmer in Israel as elsewhere lived off the land. They would trade and barter for the necessities they needed for farming, livestock, food and taxes and tithes and other necessities of life. In essence, a landowning farmer would be left with about 20% of his crop to look out for his family. A tenant farmer as we see in the gospel, could really not expect much more, but was obligated to pay the landowner. Now, typically, the tenants were the leaders of the people. Their lifestyle, accountability, leadership all become questionable and a need for change is seen and brought about. It these writings it would mean at the time that the leadership was passed on from the chief priests, etc to the new Judaeo-Christian Church.

To move forward through the centuries, we see the message of Jesus has been constant, and his church remains. It has looked to be different in one time or another, but like old testament times, repentance, change and renewal was always something the Holy Spirit has maintained and has kept Christ alive to the world. Our message today, is that good leadership must listen and work together with the people of God. History has proven that in all areas of spirituality the Spirit breathes where he wills. It is for the rest of us to discern the Spirit and not disparage the messenger.27 sun

In the intellectual sphere, the remarkable achievements of learning and science has advanced the world and also challenged us to clean up the mistakes we have made. If God our ultimate landowner asked for an accounting today, What would we say?

Today’s Homily at Holy Trinity Parish September 24, 2017- the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, homily, inspirational by Fr Joe R on September 24, 2017