Justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ

Luke’s Gospel today gives us a wonderful insight into who our God is.  When we enter into this Gospel we begin to catch a glimpse, through a glass darkly, as Paul says elsewhere, into the beautiful mystery of God.  A great theologian, Hans Kung, wrote a book entitled On Being a Christian published some years (1979) ago and although I have not read it for many years, a question he poses has always remained with me. 

The union of two good forgivers

Having been married to my beautiful loving wife PattyAnn for almost 50 years,-- 49 years, 9 months and 1 day, and some hours to be exact,-- Father Ray thought I would be the best one to preach at this celebration. Marriages are parodied, praised, cursed, blessed and form the plots of movies and TV sitcoms. Many poets and writers  have written countless pages about marriage. Here ‘s a little sampling of what they have said:

God Is Unity in Diversity

I believe it was Winston Churchill who once referred to the Soviet Union as “a mystery wrapped in an enigma.”  For many Catholics, when you ask them about the Trinity, you get a similar response.

Building Communities

Good morning!  Happy birthday! Pentecost Sunday celebrates the beginning of the Church and marks the end of the Easter season with the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

We are the ones who need to change

Today’s Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is a “transitional” feast”:  it is at once about letting go, and about the promise of new beginnings.  One story comes to a close: the Gospel, the time in which Jesus is present and visible to the eye of the flesh.  Another story begins: the Acts of the Apostles, in which the Holy Spirit is the prime mover.  The principle of continuity between the two stories is the person of Jesus, who says "Remember, I am with you always, to the end of time."  The difference lies in the form of his presence: from now on, the followers of Jesus discern his presence in the world not by his physical body, but through his empowering and indwelling Spirit.

There is nothing new under the sun

"Whatever was, will be again; what has been done will be done again, and there is nothing new under the sun."

Believe it or not, that's from the Bible! In this melancholy text, the Preacher of Ecclesisastes laments the futility of life, its endless cycle of repetitions, humanity's inability to learn from its mistakes.  He sounds really depressed!

My sheep hear my voice and follow me

Today is traditionally known as ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’ as reflected in our readings this afternoon/morning.  “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me….

Easter Vigil

A few moments ago we began our solemn liturgy of the Easter Vigil with the lucernarium a Latin word meaning the time of the lighting of the lamps and we lit the new fire and the great candle representing Christ risen among us. Our liturgy tonight is filled with the symbolism of light overcoming the darkness. In our opening prayer we asked that “the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.”  As the Paschal candle was processed through the community its great light was shared and the church moved from darkness into the light of our faith, our belief that Jesus Christ is “the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. All time belongs to him and all the ages. 

Mass of the Lord's Supper

Once upon a time, a small, oppressed people gathered together to share a meal.  Called together by Moses and Aaron, they heard of God's plan to set them free from their slavery in the land of Egypt.  Invited to leave behind the pain of their past, they re-embraced their true identity as God's Cho