17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
There are two movements in the Christian life - one is a turning away from sin, the other is a stepping towards God. The readings this weekend are more focused on the latter - stepping towards God. The individuals in our parables find something of great value to them! To get it, however, they have to sell everything else. It's a question of priorities and re-prioritizing things in their lives. There are so many good things we can focus on in life, so many good actions and decisions we can pursue...but only one can be our top priority, and only one our second priority, and only one our third. All of these good things can't be our top priority, which means that much of the Christian life is deciding which priorities God is calling us to put first, and which ones (however good they may be) the Lord is asking us to put further down the list. Following God isn't just doing good things; following God is doing the good things God has planned for us to do!
As a second installment I invited Dan Tracy, a seminarian for our Diocese, to say a few words at the end of Mass. He spent part of the summer here with us at St. Joseph and St. Ann parishes and will be heading back to seminary in the weeks ahead - he is a good man and will be greatly missed!
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
With all of the polarization in the media and the emotionally driven statements part of me wonders what happened to true, honest, good ol' arguments. In this sermon, building off of my last sermon on judgment, I explore why I think our country has lost the art of argument (which we used to possess) and what steps we as individuals can take to bring that art back. It won't be easy, but bringing God back into the public sphere (which then brings respect for every life back into the public sphere) is part of the answer!