6th S. Easter: Mothers

Today’s readings can be found by clicking HERE. The YouTube link to the homily will be HERE soon.

Today’s Gospel is one of my favorite teachings of Jesus. As we near the end of the Easter season, we should pay close attention to the final words of our Lord to his disciples. I want you to notice something very important. Jesus does not talk about the structure of the church. He doesn’t talk about logistics and organization. He doesn’t talk about councils and cathedrals. Jesus talks about love. The love that the father has for him. The love that he has for his disciples. And the way that we can be a part of this beautiful exchange of life and love that is shared between the father, the son, and the holy spirit. He teaches us the way to be right in the center of the love of the most blessed trinity. 

He says, “In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

This is where we give thanks to God for our Fathers and mothers. Jesus teaches us that he has absolute unconditional love prepared for us. We can be in Jesus, and he in us, and we in God’s love. And I think it’s a mother’s love that helps us to understand what that looks like and feels like. A mother’s touch, a mother’s embrace, a mother’s tender heart teaches us about the tender love of God. 

But as Jesus said, that tender love of God is not without expectation–we must follow the commandments. And I think this is where dads come in. In this life we have a job to do. No slackers, not takers, we are workers who see the plan, know the demands, have the tools, and then go about getting it done. Simple, practical, logical, cut and dried…follow the commandments. But today isn’t Father’s Day. It’s Mother’s Day. 

And a mother knows how to love when things are not simple, when there are no easy answers, when things are complicated, when we’ve followed all the rules and the directions and things still don’t come out quite right. When we sit in the dust covered in sweat and tears, and at that moment you don’t need logic, you just need some love. And that’s what moms do best.

I once heard that the role of the father is to take a child to a great divide and inspire in that child the confidence to jump–to go for it. A mother’s role, when the child falls, is to pick the child up, bandage their wounds, wipe their tears, and return them to the father so that they may try again.

So often my love toward my children is demanding and expecting, and too often doesn’t feel like love at all–we sometimes call that kind of love “tough love.” It’s love, but doesn’t feel like that in the moment and is often only experienced as love some years down the road when the lesson hard-learned flowers in due season. I hope my children appreciate the lessons now that will save them trouble later. 

But sometimes we just need love now. Not the lesson, but love. God may be full of gentleness, mercy, and compassion, but those are lessons not often taught by fathers–thank God for mothers. Mothers who are courageous enough to tell us demanding fathers, “Okay, they get it already!” Is it any wonder that our church looks to Mary for guidance and the example that leads us to Jesus for mercy, and to the Father’s love.

St. Thomas Aquinas said, “As sailors are guided by a star to the port, so Christians are guided to heaven by Mary.” Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, but mothers teach us the way, teach us our prayers, teach us humility before God. Mothers bring their children to Church, to Catechism and teach while they are there. Where would our church be without mothers doing this great work of teaching children about Jesus and his Church? Where would our families be without mothers living God’s love in a visible way? Thank God for mothers…our mothers and Jesus’ mother. Happy Mother’s day.

4.30.23 4th S. Easter. The Only Way We Know

Today’s homily notes are for 4th Sunday of Easter, April 30, 2023, and the readings can be found by clicking here. The video of the homily is here soon.

Today after Mass I have the pleasure of baptizing four more children whose names will be written into the book of life. Two thousand years later, the church, faithful to the teaching of our Lord and to the witness of the early church, continues to baptize for the salvation of souls. 

-St. Ephraim the Syrian said of baptism, “Today your offenses are blotted out and your names are written down. The priest or deacon blots out in the water, and Christ writes down in heaven.” 

Reading 1 Acts 2:14a, 36-41

“What are we to do, my brothers?” Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;

and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. He exhorted them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day. 

NOT A ONE AND DONE! This is the first step toward a life of peace and joy and holiness that begins here on earth but finds its ultimate fulfillment in heaven. 

Gospel Jn 10:1-10

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. Whoever enters through me will be saved…I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

CCC 1257-61 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. The Church does not know of any other means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude. God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. 

Baptism is necessary for salvation for those whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church continues to affirm both Baptism of blood and the Baptism of desire. Of blood are those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received baptism. Of desire includes catechumen and those who although ignorant of the Gospel seek the truth and do the will of God in accordance with their understanding of it…

And for children who have died without Baptism, the Church teaches that we can only entrust them to the mercy of God who desired that all peop[le should be saved, and especially Jesus’ tenderness toward children when he said, “let the children come to me. Do not hinder them.” MK 10:14.

CCC 1262-1274 

The two principal effects of baptism are purification from sins and new birth in the Holy Spirit. In baptism our sins are forgiven, we become a “new creature” an adopted son of God who shares in God’s own nature, we are incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, bonded with all Christians who share this baptism, and we are marked by God with an indelible spiritual character than no sin can erase.


Reading 2 1 Pt 2:20b-25

If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you,

leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.

4.23.23 3rd S. Easter. He Speaks To Us Still

Today’s homily notes are for 23rd Sunday of Easter, April 23, 2023, and the readings can be found by clicking here. The video of the homily is here soon.

My first visit to Campus Crusade. No Bible. 

I fell in love with Jesus in the Scriptures. There is real power in the Scriptures. The story of Jesus is powerful. The name of Jesus is powerful!

The Gospel according to St. Luke begins like this:

Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received. – LK 1:1-4

Reading 1 Acts 2:14, 22-33

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed: “You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words! – Speaks of their Patriarch, King David.

Gospel Lk 24:13-35

Two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.

they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.

Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures.

while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him.

“Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”

Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of God. -St. Jerome

We ought not, as soon as we leave church, to plunge into business unsuited to church, but as soon as we get home, we should take the Scriptures into our hands, and call our wife and children to join us in putting together what we have learned. -St. John Chrysostom
For in the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven meets His children with great love and speaks with them; and the force and power in the word of God is so great that it stands as the support and energy of the Church, the strength of faith for her sons, the food of the soul, the pure and everlasting source of spiritual life. DV 21