Solemnity of Christ the King
As Americans we are naturally weary of anything having to do with a "king", we also don't like the word "authority" all that much - it was the abuse of power by some oppressive authority, even some kings, that brought many of our ancestors to America in the first place. Scripture, however, has no problem with the idea of a king or authority; in fact, Scripture makes it very clear that all authority has been given to Jesus Christ, that Jesus came to this earth to bring a kingdom, and that He is the King of that kingdom! As Christians we proclaim that we are followers first and foremost of Christ, our true King, and that we are committed to bringing His kingdom more fully onto this earth. His kingdom started in us at our baptism and is meant to grow in us throughout our lives. Can you invite Jesus to reign in your heart for a little bit longer each day this week? Think, if we each did that for a few more minutes every day, how much more of a reality the words we pray in the Our Father would become - thy kingdom come!
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Hellfire, brimstone, damnation - words we don't hear very often anymore, but words that our first reading calls to mind (and themes that arise out of our Scriptures). And lest we think that Jesus ushered in an age full of only mercy, pardon and mushy-gushy "love", Jesus Himself, multiple times in the Gospels, speaks strongly about judgment, hellfire, the separation of the righteous and the wicked, warning us of the wide and easy road that leads to destruction and encouraging us to follow the narrow and difficult road that leads to life. This week I challenge you: have conversations about some of these difficult topics with friends and other believers, Catholic or otherwise. These ideas aren't culturally acceptable, many discount them these days, but if we call ourselves Christian, if we believe what Jesus (the Son of God, the Author of all truth) says, then we have to start taking these ideas seriously!
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Why is it that we as Catholics are the only Christians that pray for our beloved dead? Why is it that we are the only Christians who believe in Purgatory? In this homily I will explore how other Christians believe Jesus saves us versus how we as Catholics believe Jesus saves us, and what that difference means in praying for the dead, purgatory, and how we live our lives here and now!