Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time • Year A

Whenever we began to follow Christ, whether as infants, children, or adults, we still hold back. We don’t show up at dawn ready to throw our whole lives into the task of following Christ. Rather, we say, “Lord, I’ll give you everything, everything but this desire, everything but this one fault, all I have except this one deceit, this single sin, this precious pleasure.” As many years as we have lived, as many miles as we have followed Christ, we have still hardly started to live and work and love as Christ commands.

Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time • Year A

The beginning of the First Reading from Sirach today tells us that “wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.” What are some ways we can diffuse wrath and anger? Maybe by stepping away from the situation, taking a walk, turning to prayer, or talking to someone for guidance. Unforgiveness imprisons us and can lead to hardness of heart and violence or inappropriate behavior. On the other hand, forgiveness offered to another brings healing, peace, and inner freedom, which is really God’s deepest desire for each of us.

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time • Year A

As Christians, as members of Christ’s Body, we are called to continue the legacy of such a prophet as Ezekiel, to be prophets in our own day and to persevere in that call. We are called to be people who speak the truth, the truth that is Christ Jesus himself. It is a truth that is not always easy to speak. As Matthew reminds us in the Gospel, it is a truth that sometimes calls us to task and to mutual accountability.

Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time • Year A

In our noisy world we are listening to what our “itching ears want to hear.” What is different and what would amaze Saint Paul is our social media, newspaper, and cable tv silos where we are listening with itching ears to so many more voices who agree with what we want to hear. In our different silos the voices are growing to drown out opposing thoughts, sound doctrine, and God’s Will. Sadly, it does not matter what side we take, our itching ears are winning by listening to what we want to hear, rather than what we should hear.

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time • Year A

Augustine recounts a large period of his life he called “years of ignorance” when despite his success as a professional teacher, and a reader of the greatest books, he could not figure out anything meaningful about Him beyond his name, learned at home as a child. He would acknowledge Jesus was “a great man of extraordinary wisdom…but not God.” And could not understand either what a humble figure like Jesus would be capable of teaching him. Yet, it was precisely in that zone of spiritual blindness where the hidden power of the question opens all the possibilities.

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God • Year C

The sacred narrative of the Gospel keeps a gentle approach to the role of Mary in her son’s mission. She learned, rather, “to treasure up all these things and ponder them in her heart (Lk 2:19) and to go silently, following Jesus through a uniquely personal and demanding “inward journey.” The Mother is there, centered in Christ, with unified and “total will.” Her fiat as a virgin has transformed her into the mother that lives “abiding in God.”

The Nativity of the Lord • Year C

What makes the birth of the child of Bethlehem something extraordinary is not so much due to the singing of angels and the gathering of shepherds. It’s not in the things that surround the birth, rather, it’s in the awareness of who this is, who he will become, how he will manifest himself, what he will say and what he will accomplish.

Fourth Sunday of Advent • Year C

God’s vision is less of a catalog of right and wrong and more of a radical dislodgement of our categories, a vision in which peace and goodwill are the entitlement of all. We give birth to Christ in our world though our vision, our compassion, our forgiveness, and perhaps most importantly our ability to see and hear things differently from humanity, to see and hear things as God would have us do.

Third Sunday of Advent • Year C

Submit to God, draw near to God, side with God. Resist the devil – resist all that is evil. Do not be of two minds. Cleanse yourself free of that two-mindedness. Try, with God’s grace to come to the complete and unassailable faith of Mary, to the radical and all-consuming hope of John the Baptist. Then indeed our parched land will exult and bloom, our blind eyes will be opened, and we will see the glory and splendor that God’s way holds out to us.

Second Sunday of Advent • Year C

John the Baptist reminds us that there is the Advent of children and the Advent of adults. The Advent of children is a time of wondering how things work, and what gifts they will receive. The Advent of adults must be a time of giving, of sacrifice and forgiveness, of the true repentance the Lord most desires. Christ wants that good fruit from us today.