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Anchored In The Lord

Weekly homilies of Father David Neuschwander
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Anchored In The Lord
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Now displaying: Category: Easter Season
May 2, 2021

5th Sunday of Easter

Jesus says in our Gospel today, "Remain in me, as I remain in you."  Jesus, am I remaining with You throughout my day?  Jesus, am I remaining with You throughout Mass?  

Apr 25, 2021

4th Sunday of Easter

After healing a crippled man in the name of Jesus Christ, Peter says to the leaders and the people in our 1st reading, speaking of Jesus Christ, “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”  That's a bold statement!  Could it possibly be true?!  Because if it is, then it also has some very large repercussions that modern society will not want to hear...

May 9, 2020

5th Sunday of Easter

Every Christian, by their baptism, is anointed priest, prophet and king.  Peter challenges us this weekend to that first anointing: "be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God."  There is the ordained priesthood by which priests in the Church offer to God the sacrifice of Christ and offer to God's people the sacraments, but there is also the priesthood of the baptized by which every Christian, in Jesus, is called to offer spiritual sacrifices to God.  Every day we can offer these spiritual sacrifices, and at Mass we have the opportunity to collect them all from that past week - our thoughts, words, prayers, actions, and intentions...even our anxieties, worries, concerns, hopes, and dreams - and place them on that altar as our sacrifice to God in the power of our baptismal priesthood!  And like He does with the bread and the wine, He can take what we offer to Him and transform those sacrifices into something even greater.

Apr 26, 2020

3rd Sunday of Easter

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus walks up alongside two of his disciples, though He's not recognized for who He is but thought to be a stranger.  This Stranger begins to unpack for them the Scriptures and how they foretell and prefigure the Christ.  The hearts of these two disciples are set on fire as Jesus teaches them, though they don't fully realize it in the moment.  It's only at the end of the day, in the breaking of the bread, that they recognize Who was with them, and then Jesus vanishes from their sight.  Take a walk on the road to Emmaus, let Jesus draw close, even if you don't recognize Him at first, let Him teach you about the Scriptures and Himself, let Him set your heart on fire!

Apr 19, 2020

2nd Sunday of Easter/Divine Mercy Sunday

On this Divine Mercy Sunday, Deacon Brian reflects on the immensity of God's mercy.  He lays out two common traps (both springing from pride) that we as Christians can fall into and which limit our reception of God's mercy.  Like children at Christmas or Easter who freely and joyfully receive gifts, he encourages us to remember the mercy of God as an undeserved gift, but a gift that God desires to give to us.  Let us open our arms, hearts and minds to accept (with the joy and enthusiasm of a child) the incredible gift of mercy that our Savior desires to share with each of us!

Apr 12, 2020

Happy Easter!

During this time of COVID-19 I've heard people say both how unfortunate and difficult of a time this is, and how many blessings are hidden in this time.  While I agree with both (and I most certainly see God's hand at work in my life, in our Church, and in our world in the midst of the difficulties) there is an easy mistake to fall into while trying to make sense of it all.  The mistake is to look at the blessings and the good coming out of it and say, "God did this so that...(list your blessing or good thing)."  The problem is that if we say that God did this in order to bring about good things, then we also have to say that it's His fault that bad things and struggles are happening in so many lives - we inadvertently, but very quickly, turn God into a monster.  The appalling message of Easter, of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, is that God can bring good out of ANY situation.  Not that He wants bad things to happen, not that He wanted His son to be rejected, tortured, and murdered, but out of anything - whether good, neutral, bad, or downright horrific - God is able to bring good.  God's goodness is unstoppable!  Not even death can stop Him!  Christ is Risen!  Alleluia, alleluia!

 

Jun 4, 2019

Ascension Sunday

In the new parishes I am serving - St. Joseph in Hayward and St. Ann in Cable - we have three gifted deacons.  It is the custom in this cluster that the deacons preach every 1st and 3rd weekend of the month.  As a result, I will be preaching less often.  Lucky for you, I have homilies from previous years that I will continue to share ; ).  This is last year's homily from Ascension Sunday: (Enjoy!)

May 28, 2019

6th Sunday of Easter

Have you ever heard one Christian teach one thing about Jesus, and then heard shortly thereafter another Christian teaching the opposite?  Who's right?  How do we find out the truth?  In our first reading we see where the first followers of Jesus turned to find the truth in the midst of disagreements and controversies over what they should believe...and where they turned then is still where we as Catholics turn now!

May 20, 2019

5th Sunday of Easter

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead turned everything we thought we knew completely upside down!  God showed that He has the power to bring good out of anything...even evil, and even the difficult and painful moments of our lives.  This weekend I celebrated my final weekend of Masses in the Superior area.  I have been asked to assist in covering the Masses in the Hayward and Cable Catholic Churches effective immediately.  Thank you for welcoming me so warmly into your hearts and lives.  Though this time of change and transition will be difficult, I know that God has the power to bring good out of all things.  Please welcome whatever priest comes to this area next with the same warmth and love as you did me, and he will be one lucky priest!

May 12, 2019

4th Sunday of Easter

Jesus says today in our Gospel, "My sheep hear my voice.  I know them, and they follow me."  What does God's voice sound like in your life?  What happens when you follow it?  What do we and others miss out on when we don't?  Often God's voice/invitation doesn't give us the whole story or plan He has, just the next step in the process...so we can easily dismiss those thoughts, that voice, because it might not seem, from our perspective, to make sense in that moment. But I challenge you this week: listen for that voice, and the next time you hear it (even if it doesn't seem to make sense or takes you out of your comfort zone), follow it!  God has something special in store!

May 5, 2019

3rd Sunday of Easter

Our Gospel story today is one of the passages we as Catholics point to in the Scriptures where Jesus sets Peter apart from the other Apostles, in which we read the beginnings of the papacy and the pope!  God gave us a great gift in our pope, a leader and figurehead meant to keep Jesus' Church united as ONE body.  Jesus' great prayer was that all of his followers might be one, as He is in the Father and the Father is in Him, that we would all be ONE...at present there are over 40,000 different Christian denominations.  Thanks be to God for our ONE Catholic Church, united throughout the whole world, for the gift of the pope to keep us united (even in the midst of struggles and difficulties and disagreements - kind of like the head of a family), and for the gift of the Eucharist where we become what we are: ONE in the Body of Christ!

Apr 28, 2019

2nd Sunday of Easter

Is it wrong to question God?  Is wanting to know how or why something happened considered a weakness or lack of faith, or even a sin?  In the Gospel today Jesus appears to His apostles, but Thomas isn't there.  When Thomas comes back and all of the others are claiming that Jesus is risen, he refuses to believe unless he sees it himself.  Is that wrong of him?  I think not!  

Apr 21, 2019

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter to all of you and your families! 

One question this Easter: What does God want to do for you?

May 13, 2018

Ascension Sunday

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers!  This weekend we celebrate Jesus' Ascension into heaven - that after rising from the dead and appearing to His disciples for a number of days, Jesus ascends to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.  The ascension is not a one-and-done event, though.  We are the Body of Christ still present on this earth, so His ascension is still happening in us.  As we follow Jesus, as we run faster and jump higher, as we overcome the obstacles of life and refuse to give up in our pursuit of a more meaningful relationship with God, we also ascend!

 

May 6, 2018

6th Sunday of Easter

Love requires both intention AND action: a good action without good intention is not love; the best intention without action is not love.    Our readings today challenge us to love if we are to remain in God.  But how can we remain in love all day long in the midst of our many different obligations and mundane duties?  The good news is that every daily, ordinary action we do can be transformed into an act of love when we attach it to a good intention by offering it up with a short prayer!  In our faith life, too, love is intention AND action.  Intending to love God isn't enough: we actually have to act on it!

Apr 29, 2018

5th Sunday of Easter

All day, every day, we are making decisions.  Ultimately, what we do and don't do, how we respond or don't respond to different people and situations, is our decision.  I believe everyone WANTS to be a good person: a good mother or father, husband or wife, family member, friend, worker and coworker...but it's our daily decisions (regardless of what we say we want to be) that determine whether we actually ARE any of those things.  In the Gospel today Jesus challenges us to remain in Him always.  God never stops being with us, but we often, on account of our many obligations and pressures and duties, choose not to remain in Him.  But those things are only excuses, because our decisions are entirely ours.  What will I decide to do this week to remain in God just a little bit longer each day?

Apr 22, 2018

4th Sunday of Easter

Peter says in our 1st reading today, speaking about Jesus Christ, "There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved."  If salvation is only in Jesus, then who can be saved?  Can non-Catholics go to heaven?  Can Hindus or Buddhists or Muslims go to heaven? And what part do we have to play in it?  Listen and find out!

Apr 14, 2018

3rd Sunday of Easter

When Jesus appears today to His disciples and says, "Peace be with you," they at first think it might be a ghost.  Ghosts and the supernatural are not talked about very much in our current Church culture.  What do we believe as Catholics about ghosts?  What if we or someone we know claims to have experienced a presence beyond this physical world?  Should we be afraid?  Can they hurt us?  Or can we help them?

Apr 10, 2018

2nd Sunday of Easter

In our Gospel, Jesus appears to the disciples behind locked doors and rather shockingly (since most of these people deserted Him during his arrest and crucifixion) He says, "Peace Be With You."  Then He shows them His wounds - His hands and His pierced side, still present even on His resurrected and glorified body.  God wants to give us a deep, abiding peace in this life.  The path to that peace, however, is counterintuitive: it involves admitting and confessing just how much we have wounded others and God along the way - our sins - because to the extent that we admit our sinfulness, we experience God's amazing mercy; and to the extent we experience God's desire and love for us even in the midst of our brokenness, we experience God's peace!

Apr 1, 2018

Easter Sunday

And I will raise you up
And I will raise you up
And I will raise you up on the last day.

What does God want to do for you?  How does He want to raise you up?  What does He want to do in your life right now?

Jun 4, 2017

Pentecost

In our baptism we received the same Holy Spirit that the disciples received 2,000 years ago.  By our Confirmation we were sealed and strengthened in that Holy Spirit.  So why don't we see the miracles and wonders that the presence of the Spirit brings, like those in our 1st reading?  In order for the power of the Spirit (which is already within us) to be unlocked and unleashed through our lives, we have to be able to say, in all areas of our life, with our whole heart, "Jesus is Lord!"  The more we can say that, the more the Holy Spirit can come out with power!

May 30, 2017

Ascension Sunday

Jesus ascended into heaven not to distance Himself from us, but so that He could turn around, reach down, and raise us up to where He is!

May 16, 2017

5th Sunday of Easter

Every Christian, by their baptism, is anointed priest, prophet and king.  Peter challenges us this weekend to that first anointing: "be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God."  There is the ordained priesthood by which priests in the Church offer to God's people the sacraments, but there is also the priesthood of the baptized by which every Christian, in Jesus, is called to offer spiritual sacrifices to God.  Every day we can offer these spiritual sacrifices, and at Mass we have the opportunity to collect them all from that past week - our thoughts, words, prayers, actions, and intentions...even our anxieties, worries, concerns, hopes, and dreams - and place them all on that altar, asking God to transform them just as He does the bread and wine.

May 8, 2017

4th Sunday of Easter

Dreams are hopeful and safe - they can't be failed.  Goals, on the other hand, are not safe - they can be failed.  It's easy to dream; it's not easy to make goals and follow through on them.  In the Gospel this weekend, Jesus calls himself the good shepherd whose sheep hear his voice and follow him as he leads them to good pastures. Dreamers hear that voice but don't actually move anywhere.  Disciples hear that voice and have the courage to take a step: to set concrete spiritual goals in their daily lives, to fail, to get up again, and to succeed.  How are we disciples?  How are we dreamers?  Where is the Lord calling us to take another step?  

Apr 30, 2017

3rd Sunday of Easter

In the Gospel today, Jesus joins two disciples on the way to Emmaus, but they do not recognize Him until "the breaking of the bread".  In the Eucharist, at every Mass, Jesus not only draws close to walk with us on our journey through life, He also transforms bread and wine into His Body and Blood so that He can be physically united with us: thanks be to God for this great gift of the Eucharist!

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