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No Cross, No Crown – A Homily for the the 29th Sunday of the Year

October 20, 2018 0 Comments
No Cross, No Crown – A Homily for the the 29th Sunday of the Year

In the Sunday Gospel, the Lord Jesus speaks of crosses and crowns. The apostles have only crowns in mind, but Jesus knows the price of the crown. So, He must teach them and us that crowns—the things we value most—come only through the cross. It may help to review the context of this Gospel. Jesus […]

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The Danger of a World Without Walls

October 19, 2018 2 Comments
The Danger of a World Without Walls

God’s commandments can be likened to defensive walls. Every ancient city had such walls to protect its citizens. Even though the walls limited movement, within them people could come and go safely. Outside those walls, all bets were off; things could be dangerous despite the open vistas. Scripture says, Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: […]

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Working for the Kingdom Despite Human Failures

October 18, 2018 1 Comment
Working for the Kingdom Despite Human Failures

My father had an expression: “Charlie, people disappoint.” It was his way of saying that even people we think irreproachable, godly, and saintly can let us down, either with sin or simply by being unable to help us in key moments. Something of that comes through in the words of St. Paul from today’s first […]

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Five Biblical Lists of Mortal Sins

October 17, 2018 7 Comments
Five Biblical Lists of Mortal Sins

The first reading for Wednesday of the 27th Week of the Year, from Galatians, spoke to sins that exclude one from the Kingdom of Heaven. If one dies unrepentant from committing any of these sins, one cannot go to Heaven but rather must be excluded in Hell. It is an important reminder to pay heed […]

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On the Adolescent Fixation of the Modern West

October 16, 2018 5 Comments
On the Adolescent Fixation of the Modern West

Recently at the Synod on Youth, Archbishop Charles Chaput made the following observation: Unfortunately, many “developed” countries today are actually “underdeveloped in their humanity. They’re frozen in a kind of moral adolescence; an adolescence which they’ve chosen for themselves and now seek to impose upon others. I have written on this topic as well. What […]

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What Our Church Buildings Say About Us

October 15, 2018 4 Comments
What Our Church Buildings Say About Us

The week in the Office of Readings from the Liturgy of the Hours we are reading from the books of Haggai and Zechariah. Both these prophets wrote at the time of the return of the Jews from the Babylonian exile, which had begun in 587 B.C. The Jewish people were permitted to return to the […]

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Forsaking Everything and Receiving More Besides

October 14, 2018 1 Comment
Forsaking Everything and Receiving More Besides

In the Gospel for Sunday’s Mass, we read this funny story about Peter that speaks to the paradox of losing one’s life only to find it more abundantly: Peter began to say to Jesus, “We have given up everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has […]

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What Does Heaven Cost? A Homily for the 28th Sunday of the Year

October 13, 2018 10 Comments
What Does Heaven Cost? A Homily for the 28th Sunday of the Year

The Sunday Gospel invites us to wrestle with these fundamental, essential, focal questions: “What does Heaven cost?” and “Am I willing to pay it?” I. Problematic Pondering – A rich man asks Jesus, Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? Though his question is a good one, it is problematic because he couches it […]

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