Homily for the Feast of St. Francis Xavier – Year C

St. Francis Xavier April 7, 1506 – December 2, 1552 (Feast Day Dec. 3) Recently, I tore my ACL and had surgery to repair it. When I first met the surgeon, I was presented with three options for the ACL graft that would, essentially, replace my shredded ligament. I chose to go with the cadaver graft, which meant that the surgeon would remove what was left of my ACL and replace it with a ligament…

Homily for the Third Sunday of Advent – Year C

“Rejoice in the Lord always, I say it again rejoice!” These words of St. Paul echo the sentiment of the Church for this third Sunday of Advent. We rightly rejoice as we joyfully await the imminent coming of our Savior…our day of Redemption! It is now just over a week before we celebrate the birth of Jesus and this is indeed reason for rejoicing, for the birth of Jesus ushered in the Kingdom of God…

Homily for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Year C

On this feast in which we celebrate the purity in which Mary was conceived we are invited to meditate on the favor of redemption given to her from the moment of her creation. The angel Gabriel is sent to her to declare “the Lord is with [her]” and that she has “found favor with God.” However, the Church also invites us to reflect on the fact that this gift of favor (which in its “ever-perfect”…

Homily for the Second Sunday of Advent – Year C

There are many things that we take for granted or simply do not notice on a daily basis. When was the last time that you actually thought about the fact that you are always breathing the air around you, that your heart is constantly beating, or that the sun comes up every day? Another one of these things that we take for granted is the phenomenon of clothing. It’s a part of your daily routine…

Homily for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Year B

The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been observed within Western Christianity for more than nine centuries. All the same, its roots are in the East, where Christians have observed this great event as early as the sixth century under the slightly more revealing title, The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple. Every feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary is, in some way, a commemoration of her Motherhood—that…

Homily for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

On this, the second to last Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Church presents us with readings which orient our hearts and minds towards the end times. As we race towards the conclusion of another liturgical year we are invited to lift our gaze from the here and now and ponder for a while the world that is to come. The demands of family life or parish life can often create in us a spiral of…

Homily for the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

“For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.” — Mark 12:44 Too often people hear the ending of this Gospel simply in financial terms. “Well, even though she gave hardly anything compared to all those rich people, Jesus is pointing out that she gave a whole lot more, because it was all the money that she had!” The root of the Greek…

The Wisdom of the Woods

“What I know of the divine science and holy scripture, I learnt in the woods and fields.” – St. Bernard of Clairvaux In southeastern Pennsylvania, USA, the leaves are falling, the wind is breathing cooler, and the air smells rich with the scent of wood fires. We have a cycle of seasons here. They rise and fall from spring to winter like the very lives we live. And every season is a chance for us…

Memorial for Pope Saint John Paul II — October 22

How does one possibly “reflect” on the life and pontificate of Pope Saint John Paul II in just a few pages? I dare say it is easy to give a list of his earthly “achievements” as Pope, as I will do later in the reflection,­ but one can never truly know fully the depth of a human person, because we are limited, finite creatures and only the Infinite, Omnipotent Creator can truly see into the…

Homily for the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

What an extraordinary burden the Shema must seem to be for those who still see their freedom as being at battle against God’s will. How in the world could you possibly bring yourself to fulfill such a commandment without believing that what God desires and has planned for you is going to bring you fulfillment? It is, in fact, an impossible task. If you have given God 100% of your heart, mind, soul, and strength,…