Posts Tagged With: Jesus

The Ultimate Status Symbol

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on November 4, 2017 at 4:00pm and November 5, 2017 at 8:00am and 10:30am Masses

I bought a new watch this week, not because I needed a new watch, but because I needed a new watchband, and for whatever reason a watchband costs as much as a new watch, so I got the whole watch.  It even came with a 10-year battery.  All for the unbelievably low price of $17.  I even saved 5% because I used a Target Red Card.  It was a great deal.

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Exercise Your Way to Heaven

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on October 14, 2017 at 6:00pm and October 15, 2017 at 8:00am and 10:30am Masses

A married couple were in their 90’s and had been married for 70 years, but they still had excellent health, because the wife always insisted that they both eat right and exercise.  Unfortunately, as they drove to the beach on vacation, they were in a terrible auto accident and they both died.

When they arrived in heaven they were greeted by St. Peter who said, “Welcome to heaven!  Right this way!  The feast is about to begin!”

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Agree, Pray, and It Is Ours!

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on September 9, 2017 at 6:00PM and September  10, 2017 at 8:00AM and 10:30AM Masses

 

There is a commercial that has been running on TV recently.  A woman is looking carefully at a wall covered with dozens of different paint chip samples.  She is trying to figure out what color would look best in her family room.  As she is trying to make her decision her husband walks in the room and notices what she is doing, his face falls, and he quickly and quietly sneaks out of the room before she notices he is there.  Obviously, he wants nothing to do with choosing a paint color.

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Our Captain Needs No Boat

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on August 12, 2017 at 6:00PM and August 13, 2017 at 8:00AM and 10:30AM Masses

A man was fishing from his boat on a river when a bad storm came up.  The storm was so strong that it blew his boat against the rocks along the shore and the boat sank.  The man was swept down the river in the strong current and he realized that he would soon be swept over a waterfall that was several hundred feet high.  There was no way that he would survive if he went over the waterfall.

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Stop Fidgeting and Just Be

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on June 10, 2017 at 6:00PM and June 11, 2017 at 8:00AM and 10:30AM Masses

A husband and a wife were driving and agreed to stop to eat at the next town along the highway.  When an exit sign finally appeared they could not figure out how to pronounce the very long name of the town.  They were very hungry and it made them irritable, so they began to argue about who was pronouncing the name correctly.

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We Don’t Have to Find God

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on May 20, 2017 at 6:00PM and May 21, 2017 at 8:00AM and 10:30AM Masses

I recently went on retreat with the men of the parish.  Then my wife and I drove to Utah on vacation, really I drove 5,000 miles while my wife slept.  She awoke for the important things, like the incredible scenery, the points of interest, and when I was being introduced to my new friend, a Utah Highway Patrol officer.  Except for that bump in the road, it was good quality time with God.

It’s easy to find God on retreat or vacation.  You see God at work in your life; that he has blessed you with the time and resources to go away for a little while.  It’s quiet, peaceful, and unhurried so you have many opportunities to speak and listen to God in prayer.  You walk and drive with God through the beauty of his creation, whether it’s a beach, a park, the snow-covered Rocky Mountains in Colorado, or the colorful canyons in Utah.  You will even find God in other people.  It’s amazing how friendly everyone is when you share a rocky, steep, uneven, and possibly dangerous trail on the edge of a cliff a couple of thousand feet above a canyon.  Not only do people say “hello,” but they go out of their way to make sure you are OK, ask if you need help, and will even insist, “No, you go first.”

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How Different Is Our Shepherd

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on April 2, 2017 at 7:00PM Penance Service

One day a shepherd was out looking for one of his lost sheep. He found the sheep, but he was sad, because while looking for it, he lost the Bible that he always carried with him. A few weeks later, another sheep walked up to him carrying his beloved Bible in its mouth. The shepherd couldn’t believe his eyes. He took the precious book out of the sheep’s mouth, looked up to heaven and said, “It’s a miracle!”

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Our God Weeps for Us

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on April 1, 2017 at 4:00PM and April 2, 2017 at 8:00am Masses

A young couple was waking up the day after their wedding.  The young man asked his new wife if she could make some coffee.

She replied, “I can’t.”

He responded, “Why?  Don’t you know how?”

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What Makes it Fulfilling?

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on February 11, 2017 at 6:00PM and February 12, 2017 at 8:00am and 10:30am Masses

A young man stopped at a tuxedo shop to order a tuxedo for his upcoming wedding. He was a little nervous about getting married so as the tailor took his measurements, the young man asked him if he was married. “Yes, in a few weeks my wife and I will have been married 50 years,” the older man replied.

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Be-Attitude

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on January 28, 2017 at 4:00PM and January 29 at 8:00am and 10:30am Masses

A man was having another bad day, so he stopped at a restaurant to have dinner and a few glasses of his favorite beverage. As he waited for his dinner and for the waitress to return to refill his already empty glass, he looked at the walls of the restaurant which were covered with old items like road signs, hubcaps, and rusty tools like you would see at

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Give Yourself the Gift of Silence this Christmas

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on December 17, 2016 at 4:00PM and December 18, 2016 at 8:00am and 10:30am Masses

As you make your way over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house this Christmas, or wherever else you might be going, there is so much that will keep you occupied as you travel: a cellphone, a laptop, an iPad, an iPod, a video game, a DVD of your favorite holiday movie, the list goes on and on.  When I was growing up we didn’t have any fancy technology to keep us busy on long trips, we had the Be Quiet Game. The Be Quiet Game is simple: you do not talk or make any noise whatsoever for as long as you possibly can.  Any parent knows how hard this is for a child to do. But my parents convinced my sisters and me that this was one of the most exciting games that you could play and we would try really hard to be quiet longer than anyone else to win whatever the prize might be. Although now as I look back I realize that my parents were the true winners of this game, because for however long the game lasted, they enjoyed peace and quiet.

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My Beloved, Come Down!

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on October 29, 2016 at 6:00PM and October 30, 2016 at 8:00am and 10:30am Masses

There is a lot of preparation that goes into a homily: prayer, Bible study, checking biblical commentaries, and researching the writings of popes and saints. This time I included one unusual step that I never included before. I decided to climb a tree. I used to love to climb trees, but it has been decades since I have actually climbed a tree, and I found that it is not as easy as it used to be. There is a lot of talk about global warming, but I think that people are ignoring a much more serious issue – the ever increasing power of gravity. I used to be able to easily jump and touch a basketball rim, but I had to get out a ladder to climb our oak tree and the branches are much lower than a basketball rim. When I finally did get into the tree, it was difficult to climb very high and if I strayed too far from the trunk, the branches would begin to creak and bend toward the ground.

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Faith Is Not a Verb

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on October 1, 2016 at 6:00PM and October 2, 2016 at 8:00am and 10:30am Masses

There was a woman who was very open about her faith.  In fact she would often stand in the front of her home and shout “Praise the Lord!” to everyone who would pass by.  She lived next door to an atheist who was constantly angry about her constant talk about her faith.   Every time she would shout “Praise the Lord!” to someone, he would shout back, “There is no God!”

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Getting to the Highest Place

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on August 27, 2016 at 6:00PM and August 28, 2016 at 8:00am and 10:30am Masses

NOTE: The story of my trip to Staples was modified for the Sunday Masses as a complaint was received about its content.  Here I include the original version as those who attended both Saturday and Sunday thought the Saturday version was better and they did not think that it was disrespectful.

Obviously wedding receptions were much better in biblical times than they are today. Based on what Jesus says in today’s gospel there was no seating chart. You sat wherever you wanted. Wouldn’t that be nice? Today we have those place cards that let us know where and with whom we will be spending the next half dozen hours of our lives. We don’t have a choice.

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We Hit the Lottery!

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on August 6, 2016 at 6:00PM and August 7, 2016 at 8:00am and 10:30am Masses

I don’t often play the lottery, but when I do I play the same numbers.  Recently reading the newspaper, there I saw all of my numbers listed in the lottery results section of the paper. I had matched every single number perfectly without missing one! I hit the lottery!   Unfortunately you will notice that I said “hit” the lottery and not “win” the lottery because unfortunately the drawing was for the California Super Lotto, which I have never played, and will probably never play in my life. With the odds of winning the lottery so high my numbers will not repeat again for another 25,000 years!

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It Would Take a Prophet to Recognize Our Sin

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on June 11, 2016 at 6:00PM and June 12, 2016 at 8:00am and 10:30am Masses

One day I made the mistake of asking my wife why it takes her so long to get her nails done at the mall, after all you can probably trim and paint your nails yourself in a few minutes at home. What I got out of this conversation was a required trip to the salon to see exactly what goes on when you get a manicure and a pedicure. I had no idea all that was going there. I wondered why my wife took a stack of magazines with her each time, and now I know. It takes forever. The old polish is removed and then the nails on both your hands and feet get trimmed, shaped, scraped, filed, and buffed. But it is more than just the nails. Your hands and feet get washed, scrubbed, and soaked in moisturizer. Any rough skin you have is exfoliated, which I learned means that you scraped with a rough stone until your callouses disappear or you can no longer stand to be tickled any longer, whichever comes first. I know because I couldn’t stop laughing as they did my feet.

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God’s Word is Alive!

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on January 23 and 24, 2016 on the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) at the 4:00PM (Vigil), 8:00AM, and 10:30AM Masses

I found a nice leather bound edition of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table at Barnes and Noble, and after finally making it through the long line to the only open register in the store, the cashier informed me that the leather bound books were buy one, get one 50% off. “No, thanks,” I said. I have the book I want.” “Oh, no,” she said. “I don’t want you to miss out on the savings.” “That’s OK,” I replied. “The line is long and I don’t want to have to wait again,” “Go get another one,” she said. “These nice people will wait for you.” They may have been nice people, but by the looks on their faces they were not going to remain so for long. So I ran back, grabbed the first book I could find, and returned to the register. The woman looked at it as she rang it up. “Oh, how nice!” A beautiful children’s book!” Except that it really isn’t beautiful and really isn’t for children either.

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Superhero Pointing Out Christ

As many of you know I recently had a surgery to repair a hernia. But some complications required that I be admitted to the hospital. I was supposed to be home in time for the Price Is Right, but instead I was stuck in the hospital until I completed a checklist of requirements that would prove I was ready to go home. I wanted out fast so I ate everything they placed before me, I walked the hallway every couple of hours, and when they asked if I wanted pain medication, I replied, “Pain? What pain?” One nurse asked me, “Are you Superman?” and I replied, “I’m not Superman, but I just had a Kevlar mesh installed inside of me and I’m pretty sure that makes me Batman.”

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Pope Francis’ Message to Us (U.S.)

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on September 26 and 27, 2015 at the 6:00pm (vigil), 8:00am and 10:30am Masses

There are so many groups to which we can belong. Now that the Pirates have clinched their third consecutive playoff berth and won again yesterday, the group of people that call themselves Pirates fans is growing. It used to be so much smaller. On Friday nights many of us part of the group of people that have a favorite football team and/or band that we support and root for. Some of us are an alumnus of a college or university. We also might be members of a club, support a charity or cause, and be registered as a Republican or a Democrat. We all have reasons why we chose one group over another and why it is better than another group we could have chosen. Even groups for which we belong and had no choice of whether we are members or not, like our family and our nationality, we have strong feelings about them and why they are so important to us.

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Don’t Give Up, God is at Work!

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on August 9, 2015 at the 8:00am and 10:30am Masses

A magician worked for a cruise line and because each trip the ship made had a completely new audience, the magician did the same tricks over and over. Now the captain had a parrot that watched every magic show and quickly figured out how each trick was done. So during each performance the parrot would shout out how each trick was done. “The rabbit is in a different hat under the table.” “He was hiding the ace of spades up his sleeve.” Needless to say the magician was furious because every show was ruined. But it was the captain’s parrot and so he could do nothing.

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Jesus Our Hero

HOMILY

Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on June 27, 2015 at the 6:00pm Mass and on June 28, 2015 and the 8:00am and 10:30am Masses

When I was young I got to see one the greatest events one of my lifetime, you might be thinking the moon landing, but I am of course talking about the day Franco Harris came to Butler. Few people probably remember that day in the early 1970’s at George Kerr’s Appliance Store on North Main Street, but one 7 year old will never forget that day because Franco was (and is) his favorite football player.

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Reflections on the Movie “Son of God”

REFLECTION

Here are a few reflections that I have on the film Son of God having seen the movie at the theater this week.  This is not a review of any sort, we know the story and how it ends after all, and obviously if we are Christians it is a movie that we should see, if more than anything so that Hollywood makes more movies about faith and the Bible, but I thought that I would write just a few of the themes that struck me as I watched the film, such as God, love, joy, prayer, forgiveness, Mass, and Gospel.

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