In my road to the priesthood, after two years of college, I entered the novitiate. There were about thirty men in my class. The novitiate was located in isolated country about forty miles from Rochester, New York.
I don't consider myself a prude. The human body is beautiful. I know about sex and I admire its power and intimacy. The gift of creation that lives and drives through us is a reality to be honored.
Caleb was 12 years old. He has heard about Jesus. This man was the most exciting thing to hit his town that he can ever remember. The rumors about him were fantastic. He told stories that were filled with suspense, laughter, nasty people, heroes and conclusions you would never expect.
A prophet becomes a vehicle, a means that God uses to express his message to his people. Today God has serious concerns that his people are not loving and caring for the vulnerable and hurting people in their midst.
In today's reading from Jeremiah, the one who's usually filled with gloom and doom is speaking with hope. Let me share something on hope from one of my favorite poets, Charles Peguy. In this poem he pictures hope as a little girl walking with her two older sisters, faith and charity.
Today we have an interesting feast. The mother and father of the blessed Mother are named Anne and Joachim. I say "Interesting" because their names are not found in the Gospel.
Today we celebrate James the Apostle. This James was the brother of the other Apostle John. The two were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee.
It's easy to claim that the God of the Old Testament is fearsome, legalistic and even blood thirsty. Look at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and then the flood with only Noah and his family being saved.
We all know the feeling of not being appreciated for something we have done. Perhaps we've reached out to assist a person or an organization with the great deal of effort. We've make a huge sacrifice of time, precious time. We've expended a great deal of energy
Each of us is a shepherd. We might not actually have sheep, but each of us is responsible for another person or persons. As a priest, I have a sense of responsibility for you who are part of the App community.
I've just done a review of some of the recent studies that try to come up with the number of atheists in the world. Getting a specific number is difficult.
Because we have faith, we believe that God can enter our world and do things that defy gravity, that break the flow of nature. And so Jesus can talk to the a raging wind and the wind goes calm.
God has given each of the gift of freedom. We have the ability to think anything we want. I am free to think good and enriching thoughts like, "That person is as beautiful as a flower." or I can think negative and bad thoughts like, "I would like to clobber that person on the head so they will stop bothering me."
I find today's reading from Isaiah difficult to reconcile with the God of love, patience and forgiveness that I have formed in my mind.
Today, God is intent on cruelly punishing his people through the instrumentality of their enemies.
Have you ever been so afraid that you are trembling? Along with the uncontrollable shaking of your body, your heart is beating wildly and you are sweating profusely.
God says some pretty tough things through the prophet Isaiah. His message is directed to people who today we would consider quite holy. These are people who frequently are worshipping, praying and celebrating in the Temple. They are preoccupied with external actions. And God in no uncertain terms is rejecting what they are doing.
The overriding message I receive from today's readings is our call to share the Good News of Jesus' life, death and Resurrection with others. First, we have the humble shepherd and tender of trees, Amos, who is called to travel out of his country some eighty miles away, and tell people to stop their injustice and give their lives totally to God.
Today is the feast of a young lady who is soon to be canonized a saint, Kateri Tekakwitha. Let me tell you of this wonderful lady.
In our busy lives we need a break. We need to stop the running, the worry, the judgments, the fears, the regret and the guilt. We need to stop. Perhaps we need a nap. Maybe we lose ourselves in a novel, a movie or TV program. Maybe that the only way to get away is hiding for a few moments of peace in the bathroom.
Lennie was a player. He relished his freedom not to be tied down to anyone or thing or job. He had developed the art of juggling, managing multiple relationships and projects. He was riding the crest of high success.
The Gospel of Matthew was directed to faithful Jews, both those who had given their lives to Jesus and those who were questioning a commitment to him. Matthew frequently quotes from the Hebrew Bible to show Jesus' place in God's plan for salvation.
We give many titles to Jesus to help us know him: Messiah, King, wonder-worker, healer, Son of David. Lamb of God. Each of them opens a door to understanding a bit to the unfathomable Jesus.
We're beginning a trip through the prophet Hosea in our first readings. Remember he was the priest who God asked to choose a wife from among prostitutes. Gomer proved to be repeatedly unfaithful. Hosea never gave up on her.
The great evangelist Paul! The indomitable missionary of Jesus admits to us today that he has a reality in his life that he considers a debilitating burden.
You and I who have been baptized have received a commission. We have been called priests, prophets and kings/queens. I'm reminded of our prophetic call as we have listened for the last few days to the words of the Prophet Amos. The example and words of Amos the prophet are difficult to incorporate into our daily Christian life.