Homily for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

The readings for this Sunday feature two things that help to define every priest: his clothing and his keys. Our first reading mentions clothing as a sign of authority. Due in part to his self-seeking political ambition and his ostentatious display, Shebna is thrust from the office of the king’s prime minster. (Let us priests beware!) Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord tells Shebna that he will clothe his successor Eliakim with Shebna’s own robe….

Theology of the Body and Spiritual Fatherhood

THEOLOGY OF THE BODY & PRIESTLY VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT: PART 3   At the end of the movie “Saving Private Ryan”, Captain Miller (played by Tom Hanks) lies dying and says quietly and profoundly to Private Ryan (played by Matt Damon), “earn this.” Of course, he speaks of the sacrifice that he, Captain Miller, and the other members of his special team of soldiers have given of their lives to save the life of Ryan.  As…

Theology of the Body and The Gift of Celibacy

THEOLOGY OF THE BODY & PRIESTLY VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT: PART 2   Celibacy and sexuality To understand celibacy it is important to have a good understanding of human sexuality, because celibacy will call for the strength to make certain renunciations, but will also (if understood and lived correctly) provide fulfillment for one’s sexual nature.  In fact, the primary reason that people sometimes see celibacy in a negative light is that they see it as denying a…

Part 2/3: Is there a Superior Vocation?

This article is the second of a trilogy on the theme of vocation. Click here for the first article. Next week’s article is on the discernment of one’s particular vocation.  Probably the second most quoted non-biblical thought for Catholics after St. Augustine’s verse on our hearts being “restless until they rest in Him” is that of St. Irenaeus from the second century. I’m so confident you know it that I’ll just leave the end off for now… “The…

Part 1/3: Which Vocation is “More Perfect”?

This article is the first of a trilogy on the theme of vocation. Click here for the second article, discussing whether an objectively superior vocation exists. A chapel bell tolls before dawn, sending a summons to the sleeper to arise. Jesus is calling. “All for you my beloved,” the sleeper whispers, “this day, each step, every breath, through You, with You, in You.” As morning breaks over the world, the chalice is lifted high from the altar in the cloister. And God’s presence is felt…