Today, Fr. Steve talks about hope, both in light of the readings and in the context of the tragic death of Ross Baldwin, a teacher at Lansing Catholic High School, this past week. May he rest in peace!
Today is Mother's Day, and Fr. Steve talks about the gift of mothers, of Mary our Mother, and of the Church Who is also our mother. May we all honor mothers, to whom we owe our very lives.
Today, Fr. Steve reflects on the heart of the Good Shepherd, who longs to truly give us fullness of life and to heal us, really heal us.
Today, our Gospel is from Luke 24, the Road to Emmaus, and Fr. Steve invites us to enter in deeply into that account and to see how it reveals the power of the Mass, in which we are fed from the Table of the Word and the Table of the Eucharist. In his homily, Fr. Steve quoted from John Senior's book, The Restoration of Christian Culture, which reveals the cosmic and earthly importance of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This is what he says:
What is Christian Culture? It is essentially the Mass. That is not my or anyone’s opinion or theory or wish but the central fact of two thousand years of history. Christendom, what secularists call Western Civilization, is the Mass and the paraphernalia which protect and facilitate it. All architecture, art, political and social forms, economics, the way people live and feel and think, music, literature–all these things when they are right, are ways of fostering and protecting the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. (p. 17)
Today, Fr. Steve highlights the power of truth, God's Truth, to set us free, and His desire to do so for all who will let Him. He will heal us if we let Him. If we let Him! Let's all let Him heal us!
This week in his homily, Fr. Steve continues the healing series, based on the past three weeks Gospel readings, beginning with the woman at the well, the man born blind, and the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Always loving us, God is at work in our lives, even when He waits to respond to our prayer. Most of all, God wants us to know His healing power, and to know His presence in our lives. He loves us and longs for us to hear Him speaking in our hearts. As baptized believers, we have the Spirit, and God longs for us to respond to the spiritual gifts He gives each of us. He wants us to employ those gifts for the building up of the Kingdom of God and the salvation of souls. When we do, our faith grows, as does the faith of those who see and hear us testify to God's goodness to us.
Today, Fr. Steve continues talking about the desire that God has to heal every human heart, basing his homily this week on the Blind Man. He reflects on the challenge of reading through the book Be Healed, noting that it can sometimes be painful to open up our heart to prepare for the Lord's healing love and light. But it's worth it. The promises of healing are freedom and peace. It's good to be healed.
Today, Fr. Steve reflects again on the healing power of Jesus. The Samaritan woman at the well provides a pattern for our own potential healing encounters with Jesus. Healing is central to the mystery of redemption. Fr. Steve underscores the promise that Jesus makes to really give us the "living waters" that can satisfy our thirst for God. God longs to heal us, and will do so if we open ourselves in honesty to Him. (Fr. Steve continues to draw on the fruits of his retreat with the JP II Healing Center, and the insights contained in Dr. Bob Schuchts' Be Healed: A Guide to Encountering the Powerful Love of Jesus in Your Life.)
This weekend, as we recall the powerful Transfiguration of the Lord, Fr. Steve reads much of a sermon given by C.S. Lewis on June 8, 1941 in Oxford by the title "The Weight of Glory." It's a profound meditation on the dignity of human beings, and the glory we are to receive, if we remain faithful to Him.
This week, Fr. Steve reflects on the Fall and God's plan for redemption, which, through the obedience of Christ is out of all proportion to the effects of the one sin of Adam. Fr. Steve then talks about the Witness to Hope Capital Campaign.
This week, Fr. Steve talks about today's Gospel from the middle of the Sermon on the Mount in light of our recent Parish Mission, which we held at the parish this past Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Greg and Stephanie Schleuter and family were here to fun our "Parish Ignition." The structure of each evening included large group activities, talks, follwed by adoration. In this homily this week, Fr. Steve invites us to empty ourselves, to be filled with grace and the Spirit, and to overflow with love into the world.
Expanded version of today's homily.
Today, Fr. Steve reflects on his powerful experience of healing on his recent priests' retreat. He shares how God worked in his own heart, and how excited he is to help others experience healing too. The book, Be Healed: A Guide to Encountering the Powerful Love of Jesus in Your Life, by Dr. Bob Schuchts, motivated him to attend the retreat. In a nutshell, the book and Fr. Steve's experience reveal that God can and will heal us, if only we will let Him.
Today, Fr. Steve reflects on his recent retreat in Florida at a school Mass. He shares about his experience and his confidence that God longs to heal each and every one of us. Each. And. Every. One. Of. Us.
Fr. Mathias Thelen preaches this week about the power and importance of righteousness, which must exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees. Jesus establishes a higher Law of Love, and the call of God is not to mere external observance of the Law, but a radical transformation of our hearts. He is the one who makes it possible to fulfill what He commands.
In his homily this week, Fr. Steve addresses the confusion and division in the Church over the interpretation and application of (especially Chapter 8) of Amoris Laetitia, ("The Joy of Love"), Pope Francis's Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on Love in the Family. He begins by placing this controversy in the context of our long history, and exhorts us not to be afraid. Our hope is in Christ, who promised that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth.
There can be little doubt that there are serious challenges for the Church, caused in part by ambiguities in portions of Amoris Laetitia, which is, on the whole, a very valuable document. Unfortunately, some sections of Chapter 8 are ambiguous and admit of divergent interpretations and applications. Bishops and conferences of bishops have applied AL in ways that are contradictory. In part because of the risk of confusion, four Cardinals submitted what are called dubia, five yes-or-no questions, to the Holy Father. They wrote respectfully to Pope Francis, asking for clarification, but have not received a reply.
Fr. Steve contrasts two examples of guidelines, these from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and the set that came recently from the Maltese Bishops. Fr. Steve also references an article by Madeleine Teahan in his homily, which highlights well the potential negative effects of the Maltese Bishops' approach for all Catholics, especially women. Fr. Steve invites all Christians to pray that the Holy Father will clarify his Apostolic Exhortation in ways that are consistent with the age-old teaching of the Church.