On August 12, 1999 my brother tragically took his own life. He was 19. I was 20. This was a brutal time...a time where one could easily ask God, "Why have you abandoned me?" 18 years later, I know that God has not abandoned me. Nor did He abandon my brother. In fact, becuase of the Ascension God has united Himself to all of us in a real and mystical way...so that we are never without Him. God was there when my brother died. He is there for all of us. And through the Ascension He unites us (in His Body) to all of our loved ones--on earth, in Purgatory and in Heaven. This ought to bring us tremendous peace, hope and joy!
On May 13, 1917 the Blessed Virgin appeared to 3 small shepherd children--Lucia (10), Francisco (9) and Jacinta (7). She explained to them that if enough people repented of their sins and prayed the rosary daily there would be peace in the world. Her message largely went unheeded. The good news is: it is still a valid message. If people do those 2 things, we will bring peace to a world that needs peace. Oh...and if that isn't enough incentive, yesterday, little Francisco and Jacinta were canonized saints. This message not only leads to peace on earth but to eternal life. Will you follow?
Jesus Christ calls everyone by name to follow Him. He desires our happiness. And by responding to His voice we will be happy--in this life, yes, but more importantly in heaven for all eternity. On this World Day of Prayers for Vocations, we need to pray that our young people will hear God's voice and have the courage to say "Yes Lord, I will follow you." Amen.
The disciples on the road to Emmaus allowed Jesus to break open the Word and explain sacred scripture to them. Once they understood, they were filled with Divine Wisdom and their hearts were set on fire. If we wish to be disciples of Christ, we too must listen to and accept the Word of God. This requires humility...
Happy Easter to all! Today's gospel tells us the story of Peter and John stepping inside the cave where Jesus was buried. As soon as John saw the burial cloths lying there, he believed! What was it about the cloths? How can we have faith like John's? It's all about spending time with our Lord! He desires to spend time with you. And when you do spent time with Him, you start to recognize His fingerprints everywhere...even in the cloths!
Our Lord loves us so much He went to the cross for us.Why did He need to literally shed His blood to pay our debt of sin? The answer lies in the Jewish understanding of blood and life. The Jews believed that an animal's life was contained in their blood. So if you consumed an animal's blood you took its life into you (something demeaning for human beings, since we were created higher in order than the animals). But when we consume God's blood....we take His very life into us. Thus, by going to the cross and shedding His Blood, Jesus not only paid our debt, but gave us an abundance of life--divine life!
When Jesus Christ raised Lazarus from the dead he was foreshadowning a far greater miracle to come: the raising of a soul from death to life. Mortal sin kills our soul. Christ raises us back to life in the confessional. Every confession is a miracle of far greater magnitude than bringing Lazarus back from physical death! Thank God for his Church and sacraments!
Both the Pharisees and the cured Blind Man had the privlidge to see Jesus with their own eyes. The Pharisees couldn't get past how normal Jesus looked and sounded. Therefore they concluded, "he can't be God." The Blind Man gazed upon the same Jesus and was able to see Him for who he is--God. When we come to Mass do we see through the externals of the Eucahrist? Do we recognize God? Or does it look too normal? Want to see? There is a remedy...
God speaks to us all the time...but we have to know how to hear his Word. In this homily, I give you 3 practical ways to hear his voice.