January 1: Mary, Mother of God and New Year

Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to today’s Celebration

This is a great day of joy the world over: a new year has just begun and with it is the hope of new relationships of peace, new endeavours to make life better for the human family, and resolutions to start afresh in many areas of our individual lives. We as Christians share this joy for our good news is that the Father of mercies is always extending his love and care so that we can return to him and start over afresh. In sending us his Son as a human being born of Mary in Bethlehem he showed the depth of that love: he offered a new era to the whole human race, and now we are celebrating the beginning of the two thousandth and twelfth year of that era. Now let us reflect on all that we want to start afresh in the coming year, let us ask the Father to help us overcome the old ways of sin and death, and to give us his help in our new endeavours.

Holy Family 2014

A little boy greets his father as he returns from work with a question: “Daddy, how much do you make an hour?” The father is surprised and says: “Look, son, not even your mother knows. Don’t bother me now, I’m tired.” “But Daddy, just tell me please! How much do you make an hour?” the boy insists. The father finally gives up and replies: “Twenty dollars.” “Okay, Daddy,” the boy continues, “Could you loan me ten dollars?” The father yells at him: “So that was the reason you asked how much I earn, right? Now, go to sleep and don’t bother me anymore!” At night the father thinks over what he said and starts feeling guilty. Maybe his son needed to buy something. Finally, he goes to his son's room. “Are you asleep, son?” asks the father. “No, Daddy. Why?” replies the boy. “Here's the money you asked for earlier,” the father said. “Thanks, Daddy!” replies the boy and receives the money. The he reaches under his pillow and brings out some more money. “Now I have enough! Now I have twenty dollars!” says the boy to his father, “Daddy, could you sell me one hour of your time?” Today’s gospel has a message for this man and for all of us, and the message is that we need to invest more of our time in our family life.

Christmas 2014

Michel DeVerteuil
General Comments

This well-known story is very rich so we will focus on some aspects only, staying with Mary’s perspective, especially in verses 6 to 7, and 16 to 20.

In verses 6 and 7 Luke tells us that Mary gave birth “when the time came for her to have her child.” Contrary to the popular interpretation, he indicates no regret that there was no room in the inn. All happened as was foretold.

To understand the significance of verse 19, it is important to note that the Greek word which we translate as “things” is rhema, means both “word” and “event”. Mary, through her interior attitude of respectful listening, turns the event into a sacred word.

Christmas - Homilies and Stories

 Socrates taught for forty years, Plato for fifty, Aristotle for forty, and Jesus for only three. Yet the influence of Christ's three-year ministry infinitely transcends the im­pact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all antiquity. Jesus painted no pictures; yet, some of the finest paintings of Raphel, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci received their in­spiration from Him. Jesus wrote no poetry; but Dante, Milton, and scores of the world's greatest poets were inspired by Him. Jesus composed no music; still Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfec­tion of melody in the hymns, symphonies, and oratorios they composed in His praise. Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by this humble carpenter of Nazareth. 
"His unique contribution to the human race  is the salvation of the soul. Philosophy could not accomplish that. Nor art. Nor literature. Nor music. Only Jesus Christ can break the enslaving chains of sin and Satan. He alone can speak peace to the human heart, strengthen the weak, and give life to those who are spiritually dead." 

Does God Exist?

Malice of Absence

Claim:   While a college student, Albert Einstein humiliated an atheist professor by using the "Evil is the absence of God" argument on him.

Does evil exist?

The university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists? A student bravely replied, "Yes, he did!"

"God created everything? The professor asked.

"Yes sir", the student replied.

Christmas Eve Sermons

From Only Partly; the rest when you sign up
1. Christmas Eve: What Was Seen At Bethlehem - Luke 2:8-20
2. Candle Lighting Service & Sermon: A Great Light - Matthew 4:16
3. Christmas Sermon: No Room In The Inn - Luke 2:1-7
4. Advent Sermon: Surprise, It's Christmas  -  Luke 1:26-38
5. First Person Skit: "A Personal Testimony" - Luke 2:1-7 


    1st SERMON FOR LUKE 2:8-20

Sermon Opener 

Mary: Immaculate conception - Dec 8

Popular imagination has added an interesting slant to the story of the woman taken in adultery. You know the story: The Pharisees bring the woman before Jesus for judgment and Jesus says, "Let the person who is without sin cast the first stone." They fell silent, and then, all of a sudden a stone came flying from the crowd. Jesus looks up, surprised and amused, and then says, "Hold it, mother? I am trying to make a point, here." This joke likens the sinlessness of Mary to the sinlessness of good women and men we have known. For we have known many good men and women who think that their holiness of life is their personal achievement. As a result they develop a certain holier-than-thou attitude toward others who have not attained their level of holiness. They become intolerant, angry and judgmental toward those they regard as sinners. People like that would not hesitate to throw the first stone at a sinner caught red-handed, like the woman in our story.

Mary: Immaculate Conception Through Images - Video

Advent 3 B - Rejoice - Homilies

Rejoice Sunday in Advent

TK: Notes

Prepare the Way of the Lord:

1) The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey (Aesop)

A man and his son were once going with their donkey to market. As they were walking along by his side a countryman passed them and said, "You fools, what is a donkey for but to ride upon?" So the man put the boy on the donkey, and they went on their way. 
But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said, "See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides." So the man ordered his boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn't gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other, "Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along." Well, the man didn't know what to do, but at last he took his boy up before him on the donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passersby began to jeer and point at them. The man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said, "Aren't you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours -- you and your hulking son?" The man and boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, until at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey's feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them until they came to a bridge, when the donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the donkey fell over the bridge, and his forefeet being tied together, he was drowned.

Try to please everyone, and you will please no one.

12 Purposes for Pain in the Midst of Grief and Suffering

Time and time again he was swallowed up by sorrow … his life experiences resulted in the full expression of this rawest of emotions. When Ryan was a young boy, his mother died and then he was held back in school. Later on, Ryan noticed a lump in his chest and became increasingly troubled when it just wouldn't go away. A doctor soon delivered a devastating diagnosis: lymphoma.
Ryan's weekly routine included two trips to the hospital for chemotherapy, but even cancer couldn't squelch a common teenage thrill – driving. Late one evening, Ryan had gotten permission from his dad to move the family SUV off the street and into the driveway of their home. No sooner had Ryan slid behind the wheel … when the deafening sound of gunfire riddled the nighttime air.
Ryan's older brother bolted outside and discovered Ryan on the ground with a bullet wound to the back, shouting, "They were trying to steal the truck. They were trying to steal the truck!" The criminals sped off in their compact sedan, having arrived as would-be thieves but leaving as cold-blooded killers. Ryan Lara died a few moments later on the front porch of his home.
In the most grievous of ironies, Ryan was expected to fully recover from cancer. Everyone anticipated Ryan turning 16, getting that prized driver's license, going on dates and driving himself to football practice. No one could have imagined that he'd experience a fatal bullet wound in his very own front yard.