4th Sunday of Lent
"Pain's there for a reason. It lets your body know something's wrong and it needs to be fixed." These words are true of our body, but they are also true of our emotions, heart, soul, and spirituality. Pain is there for a reason - it lets us know that something is wrong and needs to be fixed - as both of the brothers in our Gospel this weekend experience, and as we have and continue to experience in our own lives. Pain is often coupled with an invitation from God to come home, to come to the fullness and wholeness that our Father wants to give us!
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
"But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!" Strong words from Jesus in our Gospel today - very strong words. Repentance is turning toward God and admitting our sins...and it's not easy for us as humans. We're sinners. That's not meant to be depressing, but freeing. We are sinners, we've messed up, and Jesus came to free us from our sins, to take that weight off of our shoulders so that we can get on living. Jesus tells us today that this path to freedom, however, starts with repentance - turning toward God, admitting our mistakes, and allowing His forgiveness to enter our lives and lift us up.
This weekend I will be taking 10 high school men from our diocese on a seminary visit to Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minnesota. Please keep us in your prayers, both for safe travels and that these young men might be open to discovering God's will for their lives.
Because of this seminary visit, I will not be preaching this weekend. Lucky for you, however, I have a Throwback Homily on our readings this weekend for the 2nd Sunday of Lent!
2nd Sunday of Lent
In the midst of our Lenten journey, we catch a glimpse today of Jesus transfigured in glory on top of a mountain. This Jesus who was seen by Peter, James and John 2,000 years ago is the same Jesus who has appeared to us, who has tangibly broken into our lives at particular moments, who has woken us up (if only for an instant) to the reality of His presence in and around us! What are some of your mountaintop moments? These experiences are meant to strengthen us for the journey. When the road seems too long, remember the view from mountaintop, and keep your eyes open...who knows when you'll suddenly find yourself on top of a mountain again?
1st Sunday of Lent
Lent is a great opportunity for us - an excuse to slow down a bit, a time to shake us out of our daily routine (through fasting and no-meat Fridays, with our personal resolutions: giving something up or adding healthy spiritual practices). Lent provides us more chances to LOOK UP to our God and ask for His help in our lives. The Israelites were led by Moses out of Egypt, they were tempted in the desert and failed three times by not turning to God and trying to fix the issue themselves. In our Gospel today, Jesus is led into the desert for forty days and forty nights, tempted by the devil, and Jesus wins three times! How? He LOOKS UP to the Father for help and doesn't try to do it alone. This Lent you will be led into the desert (some things in your life will be hard and difficult), and you will be tempted (like the Israelites, like Jesus). Will you try to do it alone, or will you LOOK UP?
The day you're a little more self-conscious (if you went to Church in the morning). The day people look at you funny, wondering why your forehead is dirty but probably not willing to say anything to you about it. The day you find out which of your co-workers are Catholic. The ashes placed on the foreheads of millions of Christians throughout the world this day proclaim three things: we belong to God, we are totally dependent on God, and we have decided today to take concrete steps during these next 40 days to turn back to the Lord!
8th Sunday in Ordinary Time
In our Gospel today Jesus challenges us, before pointing the finger at someone else, to point it first right into the mirror. "How do I look (spiritually)? How could I look better (spiritually)?" This week, this Lent, take a long, hard look in the mirror...give some serious thought to what you'd like to do to make this your best Lent ever!
Once again I encourage everyone (all listeners, wherever you're from - if you're listening consider yourself part of our parish community) to register for FORMED by going to superiorcatholic.formed.org. Should it ask you for an Access Code ours is: 6RC4CN. This week's homily was 3 minutes short so that you would use those 3 minutes to register for FORMED, login, and see the resources they have to offer. Take advantage of this great opportunity for your own study and spiritual growth, available at your fingertips wherever wi-fi or data is present ; )