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Prodigal by Fr. Reid

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2012/09/08 at 9:11 AM

• Shortly before he died, the great Dutch artist Rembrandt painted one of his most beautiful works, which is entitled The Return of the Prodigal Son. While the original version of this painting is in St. Petersburg, Russia, we have a copy of it in our confessional, which I encourage you to visit!

• In this painting we can see a young man in tattered clothing and sandals, kneeling before his elderly father, leaning his head into the father’s breast in repentance. And the father, in turn,embraces the son with his age-stiffened hands in an act of sublime mercy.

• This story, of course, is the subject of today’s Gospel. And it’s a marvelous Gospel story, isn’t it? I love this Gospel because it reminds us that there is always hope for the sinner.

• This story tells us clearly that no matter what we’ve done in life, we have a loving Father who will always take us back with compassion. This should give us all great comfort!

• While there are many angles from which we may look at the Gospel, I want to focus today on the aspect of reconciliation and forgiveness that forms the heart of this Gospel story.

• St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that God’s omnipotence – the fact that He is all-powerful – is most perfectly and fully expressed in His mercy. In other words, God’s uses His omnipotence in order to forgive us our sins.

• It’s a powerful thought, is it not? To think that of all the ways that our Lord could manifest His omnipotence, He uses it to forgive us and reconcile us to Himself. We see this symbolized today in the person of the father of the prodigal son.

• Despite the numerous sins committed against him by the son, when he sees his son coming from afar he runs after him; and in that moment sin and mercy meet. And the mercy of the father is so overwhelming that the son can barely finish the confession he has prepared.

• And not only does the father forgive, but he calls the servants to bring him new clothes, sandals, and a ring. He orders the slaughter of the fattened calf and a party ensues, for the father wishes to rejoice in the reconciliation he is now experiencing with his son.

• Brothers and sisters: This is how our God deals with us. This is the God we worship! This is the God we believe in.

• Yet we cannot see in the father simply an image of our Father in heaven; we must also see in him a model for us to follow in forgiving others.

• One of the more difficult parts of life is learning how to handle the hurts and offences that occasionally occur in our dealings with others. Because we humans are flawed and sinful, we often hurt one another: sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally.

• But regardless of whether the people who hurt us mean to do so or not, our duty as Christians is to forgive always. For the true Christian, there can be no conditions on forgiveness.

• We must be willing to forgive, even when the person who hurt us has no remorse or contrition, even when the person who hurt us does not desire our forgiveness.

• Indeed, to harbor grudges and to hold on to past slights is truly a very selfish act that will never do anything for us except make us miserable. Anyone who holds onto a grudge in this life will never be happy and peaceful.

• Rather, we must always seek to be peacemakers, looking for ways to reconcile with those who have hurt us.

• And the reason we must forgive is simple: it’s because God has forgiven us. As St. Paul tells us in the second reading today, God has reconciled us to Himself through Christ. God does not count our trespasses against us but seeks to be reconciled with all of us.

• In turn, we must have the wherewithal to get over our selfish and proud emotions and extend that same mercy to others. For indeed, my brothers and sisters, if we don’t forgive others inthis life, we have no reason to expect that our Lord will forgive us in the next.

• Moreover, when we humble ourselves enough to forgive those who have hurt us, we are freed from the bondage caused by our negative emotions. Forgiveness makes us free. It increases charity within our hearts. And best of all, it makes us more like God.

• Contrast the father in this story with the older son who is holding on to his grudge. Who is happier? Who is more at peace? Who would you rather be?

• But this Gospel today is not simply about the mercy of the father; it is also about the conversion of the son. The son undergoes a powerful change of heart in this parable in order to be reconciled with his father, and we must be willing to do the same.

• Yet keep in mind that conversion always comes at a cost. Pain is always involved because conversion of any kind is a matter of dying to self in some measure.

• It was not easy for the son to change. It was only the terrible misery of his condition that forced him to take the courageous steps to free himself from the slavery into which his sin has cast him

• But like the son, we must be willing to recognize our sinfulness. We must recognize the ways we have hurt others. We must learn to admit our wrongs and failures. We must be willing to ask for forgiveness. And we must be willing to make amends.

• In his misery the son recognizes how he has wronged his father. The son then decides to admit his wrong and ask for forgiveness, and he is willing to become his father’s hired worker in order to make reparation for his sin.

• Likewise, we must be willing to take these difficult steps when we hurt others. While doing these things can be very painful, they are necessary. And we cannot allow our pride get in the way of trying to reconcile with those whom we’ve hurt.

• Like the prodigal son we must humbly acknowledge our wrong-doing and seek reconciliation with those around us.

• But above all, we must seek reconciliation with God and with His Church, as St. Paul encourages us to do. While it’s so very important that we make peace with one another, we must also be willing to reconcile with our Lord through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

• Confession cleanses us from sin; it makes us a new creation, as St. Paul says. Confession reconciles us with God and with His Church. And it helps procure for us the grace to avoid future sins.

• Along with prayer and frequent worthy reception of Holy Communion, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the best preparation we can make for Heaven.

• My brothers and sisters, is there anyone in this world in need of your forgiveness? Is there anyone against whom you are holding a grudge? If there is anyone in your life who needs forgiveness, then grant it and experience the freedom and peace that forgiveness brings.

• And if there is anyone to whom you owe an apology, then make it. Humble yourself, admit your wrong-doing, and do your best to make amends. Life is too short for us to be at odds with one another, and eternity is too long for us to spend it separated from God.

• So let us all reconcile with one another while we still have time in this life.

• But most importantly, let’s make it a point to reconcile ourselves with our Father in Heaven, and with His Church. And in so doing, let us each become a new creation in Christ.

Copyright 2010 by Reverend Timothy S. Reid

Reverend Reid is pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic  Church in Charlotte, NC

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Thoughts for Peace of Soul

In 07 Observations on 2016/08/12 at 12:00 AM

We need to live in the present which is when God gives us the grace to do what we ought to do. The present will soon pass and the past only survives in our memory.God respects our free will, permitting us to rebel against Him. He will not imprison us by taking away our freedom. Follow God freely, and you will be freer; actually; you will be more your real self as He meant you to be. Whenever you find yourself to be over-concerned with problems, or in an anxious state, try turning inward and see if you are forgetting to ask for help from Him who promised to come to your aid..We can imagine the future but it only exists in our imagination. So, what we only have is the present, and by living in the present moment as we ought is an aspect of living in the presence of God.
All Christians are called to sanctity. Each  one bears a unique character and personality and reflects or manifests Christ in a different way. Only God’s grace can illumine the soul so one needs to ask God to transform one, to enlighten one, so that one can see Him instead of oneself. Grace is that mysterious sharing in the nature of God because it is by grace that we are raised above our nature so that our souls become capable of knowing God as God knows Himself and of loving Him, and sharing in His life.
If you do not find God in the mirror of your mind it is because you are looking at yourself.  The greatest tragedy that can occur in your life is if you begin to live without God which occurs when you decide for whatever reason to “do it your way”. The devil says that God and everything about Him is a delusion, but it is really but the illusion is you looking only at yourself and not recognizing reality.If you look at things from God’s point of view, you will not confuse yourself because you will be facing reality.
When you begin with loving God, you will find yourself wanting to act virtuously.   Make Christ the center of your life; weigh things as God weights them; His judgment is the norm for truth. Acknowledge with humility your weaknesses and lean on the strength of Christ.
Our spiritual birth occurred when our Baptism gave us a life of grace which is a sharing of God’s own life.This divine life, this gift given to us, created us anew; and at that predestined instance, we joined God’s family by divine adoption.The divine life was given to us in seed state, and it is our duty to make it grow and bloom. That is the task of our entire life.We must constantly “prune” and renew ourselves by conforming ourselves to Christ alone.With gratitude and confidence, we prodigals must return to our Father when we stray and with open arms, He receives us and forgives us.
We go to a physician to halt the progress of an illness or disease; go to the Divine Physician for mercy .The Divine Physician has a cure for every ailment.God is always ready to help us mend our ways. His love for us is the balm that restores us. He re-aligns the pieces of our lives and mends the cracked pot.We can be instruments of God for others, leading them to know or to return to God.When others see themselves in the light of God, their conscience will lead them to see they need to make fundamental changes that will restore peace, calm, order and harmony to their soul.
While His ways are not our ways, His always work out, particularly in bailing us out of difficulties of our own making.Trust in you heavenly Father, in His guidance, in His trust, and He will restore you serenity. So do not fret;carry on. Begin again and again by looking forward and not backwards, by looking to the future and letting the past be past.To do this takes determination, humility, hope and courage. It requires not dwelling on our weaknesses, insufficiencies, failures or defects but resting and trust in Him. Do your best and He will take care of the rest.

“Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.”

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2016/08/12 at 12:00 AM

Like the Greeks who approached Philip, we too say that we would like to see Jesus. God Himself and His creation can only been seen by those whose intentions and attitudes are good.

To be clean of heart means to be selfless, looking at everything from God’s point of view rather than our own. By putting God first we can keep our hearts pure. It is in the heart that the soul can defile itself. This occurs when envy, spite, evil desires or evil intentions sprout in our hearts. Once conceived, they are brought to life in actions. You cannot “see Jesus” in your neighbor if your imagination has cluttered your hear with a tapestry of false images. So, it is in the heart that we can offend God instead of loving Him. Consequently, anything that comes between us and God must be avoided, corrected, given up; we must remove all obstacles and ask forgiveness of God for what we have done.

In order to really have a pure heart, we must have right intentions which mean that Christ alone is the reason for and object of our actions. We begin this by making our daily Morning Offering Prayer we learned as children. As the day goes on, we must ask ourselves: What am I doing? Why? and For Whom? Do everything for His glory and when you encounter difficulties, do not allow yourself to be discouraged. Simply ask yourself: Is this God’s work or mine? Is God leading or am I? Correct intention brings interior freedom and peace of soul.

Our exterior appearance is not of any importance compared with our inner life. We must ask God’s help in keeping our hearts pure and must be on guard duty 24/7 in order for it not to be defiled by jealousy, envy, spite or any disordered desires. We must be careful to have proper intentions in our actions because our egotism can make an obstacle out of any good thing. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to guide our hearts and follow His guidance with docility as He transforms us.

To maintain a pure heart involves controlling our intellect, our memory and above all, our imagination, and above all the interior dialogue those produce, easily derailing the heart. A wise man once referred to the imagination as the lunatic in the house. Useless imaginings can lead to loss of proper perspective and become a spiritually destructive force. Often the imagination can create false scenarios which can lead to unjust judgments which cool the heart.

The prompt dismissal of useless thought is the initial means of purifying the imagination. Then, comes the replacement of wild imaginings, suppositions, and projections by focusing on some aspect of the life of Christ, thus displacing the unreal with the real and true. Essential to keeping one’s heart pure are: guarding the senses, avoiding sinful situations, controlling ones entertainment, being temperate but above all, having recourse prayer and to the Sacrament of Confession.

If your heart searches for God, your heart will find Him simply because he is looking for you like the father of the prodigal looked for his son. We can always count on Our Father’s help to put us on the right track again. He understands us and is there to encourage us in our struggles. He never ceases to love us even when our hearts have turned from Him. He will never abandon us.

Sts. Perpetua and Felicity

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2016/08/05 at 12:00 AM

 One of the most amazing and important pieces of literature from the Church’s history is a text called: Passio Sts Perpetua et Felicitatis.
 This historical text contains the account of the arrest, imprisonment, and martyrdom of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity and their fellow martyrs in the North African city of Carthage in 203 AD. We celebrated their feast day this past Thursday.
 The document includes both St. Perpetua’s own personal testimony of the events leading up to her death, as well as the first person account of one of her fellow martyrs, a man by the name of Saturus. There’s also a brief introduction as well as a ‘blow-by-blow’ account of the martyrs’ deaths written by an editor who was an eyewitness.
 This document is important because it’s one of the oldest surviving texts written by a Christian woman, and it’s one of the few personal accounts of the martyrdom of a Christian woman. The story is incredibly compelling.
 St. Perpetua was a young noble woman who had recently given birth, and St. Felicity was her slave, who also was pregnant. They were arrested in the persecution of Septimus Severus for being catechumens, i.e., people preparing for baptism into the Church.
 After refusing to recant their Catholic faith and going ahead with bapism, the women were imprisoned, where St. Felicity eventually gave birth to a daughter.
 Eventually, the women and their fellow martyrs were led to an amphitheatre, where they were mauled by wild animals and eventually killed by the swords of gladiators. As gruesome as it sounds, the account of their martyrdom is really quite inspiring and beautiful.
 It speaks of the martyr’s peacefulness and rejoicing, of how they were rapt in such prayerful ecstasy that they didn’t even feel the attacks of the animals, and of how they gave each other the kiss of peace before being put to the sword.
 Most amazing is the editor’s account of St. Perpetua’s death as she was led to the sword.
 He wrote: “But Perpetua, that she might experience the pain more deeply, rejoiced over her broken body and guided the shaking hand of the inexperienced gladiator to her throat. Sucha woman – one before whom the unclean spirit trembled – could not perhaps have been
killed, had she herself not willed it.” St. Perpetua was 22 when she died.

 As you read this remarkable account of martyrdom, one cannot help but feel some sense of the great hope the martyrs had as they faced their gruesome deaths. Trusting completely inGod’s goodness and mercy, they faced their deaths rejoicing and with implacable serenity.
 We, as Christians, are called to this same hopeful serenity, rejoicing always in God’sgoodness and mercy, no matter what circumstances Providence should deem to befall us.
 Today as Holy Mother Church celebrates Laetare Sunday, we have special reason to rejoice, for laetare is a Latin word that means “rejoice,” and we are rejoicing because we are nowmore than halfway through our Lenten journey, and soon the joy of Easter will be upon us.
 And our readings today remind us so clearly of why we should always hope in God andrejoice in Him.
 In our first reading from the Book of Joshua reminds us of how God provided for theIsraelites during their 40-year sojourn in the desert with manna from Heaven – the foretaste
of the Eucharist we now are blessed to receive at Mass.

 But eventually, under the leadership of Joshua, the Israelites were led into the Promised Landwhere they feasted on the produce of the land.
 In the same way, we are strengthened and nourished by the Eucharist as we live in exile here on earth. But someday we hope to enter into the Promised Land of Heaven where we will enjoy the bounty of God’s goodness for all eternity.
 Our second reading from St. Paul’s 2nd Letter to the Corinthians tells us of how our Lord, in His great mercy, constantly reconciles us to Himself through Christ. Not only are our sins forgiven, but we are made new creations in Christ!
 Thus, we must never despair about our sins, for there is no sin that God will not forgive if we are truly sorry for it. While we should nourish sorrow and contrition for our sins within our hearts, we must never worry about God’s mercy, for He offers it freely to all who repent!
 We see this spelled out so clearly for us in the story of the Prodigal Son. In the character of the father in this parable, we are given a wonderful glimpse of how God the Father treats us when we turn to Him in repentance.
 Even when we’ve squandered and misused the great gifts He has given us, even when we’ve given ourselves over to even the worst forms of sin and selfishness, if we but turn back to Him in repentance, then He makes us His children once more.
 Just as the Father showers the Prodigal Son with fine clothes, new sandals, and a ring of gold, God the Father rejoices over us and once again pours out His gifts of grace upon us when we confess our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, restoring us to the place He has created for us in His family, the Church, from which we estranged ourselves by our sin.
 At times our sins can seem debilitating. As we consider the gravity of our sins and the numerous times we fall into the same sins over and over, perhaps it is easy for us to get discouraged and to believe that God must be tired of us.
 How often have we believed that we could never be victorious over our sins? How often have we believed that our sins are too many or too serious to be forgiven by God?
 My brothers and sisters, this must never be the case! God’s goodness and generosity far surpass our wickedness – no matter how wicked we may be! And so we must rejoice, for hoping in God and rejoicing in His goodness is truly the proper response to His mercy.
 But even more than rejoicing, we must also make a commitment to live our lives for God. The greatness of God’s mercy and goodness demand this of us as well.
 And our dedication to Him must be so great that, likes Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, we must be willing and ready to die for Him – even the most cruel death – and to do so happily. For we know the reward that awaits us in the eternal Canaan so far surpasses any pleasure we may find here on earth.
 Brothers and sisters, Holy Mother Church bids us to rejoice this day as we near the end of our Lenten sacrifices and approach the glories of Easter. But let us rejoice all the more in our Lord’s great mercy and love.
 May we never fear to seek His mercy in those times that we’ve sinned, but rather let us turn to Him confidently – yet without presumption – and receive from Him the grace we need to live according to His will.
 May we trust that by always turning to Him in our need, He will eventually make us into the holy men and women He desires us to be, and may we always refuse to be conquered by sin.
 Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, pray for us.
10 March 2013

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio.
To enable the audio, lease go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

 

Merciful Forgiveness

In 07 Observations on 2016/04/15 at 12:00 AM

We are most Christlike when we forgive. Who am we to refuse to forgive someone for whom Jesus Christ died to redeem by His death?  Life is full of little and big discords, but we should not let these annoyances influence or dominate our lives. We do not have a right to hold a grudge against anyone, much less get even. We must not be cold or insensible to others. Deliberate, intentional shunning of anyone will be a serious obstacle to your spiritual growth.

You cannot be open to God’s will if you close your heart to your neighbor’s need. Do not deceive yourself by praying a great deal while closing your heart to another person. Do not think you are accepting God’s will if you are finding dealing with others tiresome, a nuisance or even repugnant. Both good and evil are permitted by God. You will encounter ingratitude from friends who do not understand you and people who hinder you. How you react is what makes the difference.

Humiliations and contradictions purify our souls, detaching them from our ego in order to have us bear more and more fruit. If we wish to have peace and serenity of spirit, we need to conform ourself to His will. This is the only sane way to deal with the weakness of others that impinges on our lives, and to deal with the frustrations or set-backs that are bound to come our way each day. To do this involves respecting the other’s opinions, decisions, likes and dislikes. Look to Jesus as your guide in how to deal with everyone: family, friends, acquaintances, unknowns. Just as mercy is God’s constant attitude towards all, so we too must always be ready to relieve anyone. So we must cultivate a sensitivity of heart so that our eyes and ears will be aware of the daily opportunities we have to show mercy.

Jesus is the most wonderful example of mercy. His mercy springs from His compassion. He  did not shun anyone and felt sorry for those who sought Him with their physical and spiritual ailments. He reached out to them with His grace. He knows we are sinners and He reaches out to us constantly. He is a merciful God who will not abandon us. He offers us the grace to repent and He is there for us in our daily struggles. He wants us to return to Him, to have us near Him, to protect us from straying, to strengthen and fortify us. Call on Him. He will answer you and help you carry your cross withe patience despite the irritations others cause you. God wants to prune away all things that prevent us from being Christlike. Humiliations and contradictions, suffering and illness, purify our souls, detaching them from our ego in order to have us bear more and more fruit.

Just as mercy is God’s constant attitude towards all, so we too must always be ready to relieve anyone. To do this we must first cultivate a sensitivity of heart so that our eyes and ears will be award of the daily opportunities we have to show mercy.
The peace of your soul is determined by your relationship to God. We seek peace and want our sins forgiven. God’s grace is there for us, dependent only on our desire to accept it. Never give up on yourself or any person because God is merciful. Repentance is possible because no one is beyond God’s grace. No matter how bad a situation is, God’s goodness and mercy is there for anyone who seeks Him. Testify to God’s mercy to bewildered or suffering friends, and guide prodigals to their loving and forgiving Father. The closer you get to Christ, the more you will seek to do His will. Avoid anxiousness by maintaining unbroken the bond of love; protect it with your life.

Reasons for the Hope Within

In 15 Audio on 2015/07/24 at 12:00 AM

Host – Rosalind Moss

From the heart of a Jewish Evangelical convert to the Catholic Church comes the program, Reasons for Our Hope, based on St. Peter’s exhortation to: “Sanctify (set apart) Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pet. 3:15).

Reasons for the Hope Within

Back to Series List

Program Name

Audio File Name – Click to download

1.

Introduction to the Gospel of Luke 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_01.mp3

This is a thrilling study of the Jewish roots of our faith, taught by a Hebrew-Catholic, and seen through the heart of St. Luke who writes his Gospel to demonstrate that Christ, the Jewish Messiah, came from Israel, for Israel, and for the whole world.

2.

The Announcement of the Birth of the Herald of Messiah! (Luke 1:1-25) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_02.mp3

Four hundred years before Christ, God told the people of Judah that He would send a messenger, a herald, to prepare the way for Israel’s long-awaited Messiah. Here, at last, is the announcement of his birth—the birth of John the Baptist—the herald of heralds!

3.

The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_03.mp3

In the greatest announcement ever made to a creature, the angel Gabriel appears to a young Jewish maiden to inform her that she would give birth to the Son of the Most High—the Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who, prior to now, no man could look upon and live.

4.

The Visitation (Luke 1:39-56) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_04.mp3

In what has become known as the Second Joyful Mystery, we’ll meet two Jewish women who were not afraid to trust the power of God in their lives to do the miraculous. One, an older woman past child-bearing age would bear the herald of the Messiah; the other, a virgin, would bear the Messiah himself.

5.

The Birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:57-80) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_05.mp3

We are about to witness the birth of the greatest man who ever lived, the one of whom our Lord Himself said, “among those born of women none is greater than John.” Come meet this one, chosen to “make the crooked ways straight” for the long-awaited Messiah of Israel, the son of David, the Lord Himself.

6.

The Birth, Circumcision, Presentation, and Finding of Our Lord. (Luke 2:1-52) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_06.mp3

All that has gone before—the setting of Luke’s Gospel, the Annunciation of the angel Gabriel to Mary, the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, the birth of John the Baptist—has been preparation for the moment we are about to enter: the birth of the Savior of the world.

7.

The Preaching & Imprisonment of Messiah’s Herald (Luke 3:1-20) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_07.mp3

We are about to see the life and ministry of a man who gave his all for Christ, a man who will be known for all time as the herald of the Messiah, the one God chose from all eternity to be the “voice crying in the wilderness” that the world might recognize and receive the Savior of mankind.

8.

The Baptism and Genealogy of the Messiah (Luke 3:21-38) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_08.mp3

Over 1,000 years ago, Joshua led the people of Israel through the Jordan River into the Promised Land. We are about to witness not only the baptism of Joshua’s Lord in that same Jordan, but the manifestation of the Triune of Israel—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

9.

The Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness (Luke 4:1-13) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_09.mp3

The Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness (Luke 4:1-13)

10.

The Beginning of Messiah’s Preaching and Healing Ministry: from The Wilderness to the Synagogue (Luke 4:14-5:26) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_10.mp3

Nowhere do we have a clearer example that the Messiah “came to his own home, and his own people received him not.” From healing, to casting out demons, to the call of his disciples, to the forgiveness of a paralytic, Jesus demonstrates over and over again that He is God indeed, who came that we might have life.

11.

The Lord of the Sabbath (Luke 5:27-6:11) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_11.mp3

From the conversion of Matthew—the wonderful story of a hated, despised tax collector who was among the outcasts of Israel—to the rejection of the religious leaders, comes the lesson that even those zealous for the laws of God can lose sight of the God they serve.

12.

The Calling of the Twelve Apostles & the Sermon on the “Plain”(Luke 6:12-49) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_12.mp3

The Calling of the Twelve Apostles & the Sermon on the “Plain” (Luke 6:12-49) The same God who appeared to Israel through Moses on Mt. Sinai, now appears to that same nation on mount in Galilee. Yet far from being fearful, many are healed. Who is this Man who speaks like no man has ever spoken and who takes the Ten Commandments to heights and depths never before imagined?

13.

Healings, Miracles, Forgiveness: “God Has Visited His People!” (Luke 7:1-8:21) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_13.mp3

Healings, Miracles, Forgiveness: “God Has Visited His People!” (Luke 7:1-8:21) From the healing of the centurion’s slave, to the raising of a son en route to his funeral, to the forgiveness of the woman who washed our Lord’s feet with her hair, rightly did the people of Israel exclaim: “God has visited his people!”

14.

From Power over Nature, Demons, and Death to the Feeding of the Five Thousand (Luke 8:22-9:17) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_14.mp3

“Who then is this, that he commands even wind and water, and they obey him?” Who indeed. We will see in this lesson that this radical Jew, this prophet, this Messiah who heals the sick, who raises the dead, and before whom demons flee is indeed God in human flesh.

15.

“Upon This Rock I Will Build My Church” (Luke 9:18-27) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_15.mp3

Who or what is the “rock” upon which Jesus would build his Church? Here is a thrilling look into the Jewish context of our Lord’s words to Peter, words the disciples would have understood from their own history and from Israel’s longing.

16.

The Path of Discipleship and the Transfiguration (Luke 9:21-36) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_16.mp3

What does it mean to take up our cross daily and follow Him? Is discipleship a call for a chosen few or for everyone who would call himself a Christian, a follower of the Christ? Join us as we look at the joys, hindrances and worthy end of giving our all to the One who gave His all for us.

17.

Lessons from the Messiah as He “Sets His Face” Toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:37-10:42) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_17.mp3

Jerusalem is our Lord’s destination as he sets out on a journey that will end with his death. We’ll follow the Savior as He casts out demons, is rejected by the Samaritans, encounters a few would-be followers, and pays a needed visit to the home of Martha and Mary. Here is much food and blessing at the feet of the Master.

18.

The “Our Father” The Gospel in a Jewish Prayer (Luke 11:1-13) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_18.mp3

The “Our Father”—also known as the “Lord’s Prayer”—has been called both the greatest prayer and the greatest model for prayer ever given. If your mind ever wanders at prayer or if your prayers tend to become mechanical, here in this lesson is the cure and restoration for the Christian soul.

19.

The Ultimate Rejection of the Messiah by Those He Came to Save (Luke 11:14-54) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_19.mp3

In an almost unthinkable turn of events, the scribes and Pharisees accuse Jesus of casting out demons by the power of the devil. Our Lord responds with a list of “Woes!” which He alone can speak to the nation that gave Him birth. It is no God of love that would leave the scribes and Pharisees, or us, content in our sin.

20.

How Not to Reject the Messiah (Luke 12:1-59) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_20.mp3

We look this week not only at how not to reject our Lord, but, more, how to love Him, how to grow in our faith, how to know freedom and happiness in this life beyond all we’ve thought possible. Here is a practical “how-to” of how to live as pilgrims in this world, with our hearts set on the world that will never end.

21.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem …How oft I would have gathered you!” (Luke 13:1-35) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_21.mp3

In one of the most heartrending passages in all of Scripture, we see the grief of the Savior who came for his own, yet his own received him not. Here is the remedy for the poverty of sin, of apathy, of living a life contrary to God’s will and of being on the path that seems right to a man, but whose end is the way of death.

22.

The Cost of Being Christ’s Disciple (Luke 14:1-35) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_22.mp3

What does it take to live a life that is consistent with our desire to love the Savior who gave himself for us and who never stops loving us, no matter how many times we fail? Join us in discovering how we can lose our lives in order to gain them; how we can to die to self that we might live to God.

23.

The Prodigal Love of God for Every Lost Soul (Luke 15:1-32) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_23.mp3

Here is the Father’s love for sinners illustrated by three parables: a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. No matter who we are, what our background, or how far we’ve strayed, God waits—longs—to welcome back with outstretched arms, the one who returns to him with a humble and contrite heart.

24.

Heavenly Attitudes toward Earthly Goods (Luke 16:1-31) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_24.mp3

All that we are and have comes from God. Our Lord teaches that we are to be stewards of His manifold gifts, and that we must be as clever and diligent in storing up riches for heaven as those of this evil generation are in storing up treasures on earth.

25.

Messiah’s Mobile Yeshiva en Route to Jerusalem (Luke 17:1-19) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_25.mp3

In their last year of studies with the Master Rabbi, Jesus teaches his disciples lessons they would need for a time when he would no longer be with them—lessons on the responsibilities, the privileges, and the gratitude of faith. Our Lord teaches them, and us, that what is impossible with men is indeed possible with God.

26.

Warning! Be Prepared for the Coming of the Son of Man (Luke 17:20-18:14) 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_26.mp3

The Second Coming of the Messiah is sometimes as difficult for people of our day to believe as it was for the people of Israel in our Lord’s day. Jesus assures his disciples and us that he who came as a dying Lamb will indeed return as a victorious King, and warns of the dangers of not being prepared for His Coming.

27.

Keys to the Kingdom: The Receptivity of a Child and the Riches of Poverty – Luke 18:15-30 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_27.mp3

Many people live only for this world. Rosalind Moss continues her study of the Gospel of Luke by showing how God wants us to live for the world to come. Using the example of the little children and the young rich man, Jesus tells us we are to rely on Him instead of our own devices.

28.

Much is Expected of the One to Whom Much is Given – Luke 18:31-19:28 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_28.mp3

We receive many gifts from God. In the Gospel of Luke, Rosalind Moss show that Our Lord expects us to use the gifts He gives us to spread His Gospel message and not just coast through life ignoring the needs of others.

29.

Palm Sunday: The Humble Advent of the Triumphal King – Luke 19:29-44 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_29.mp3

Our Savior is about to make His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Rosalind Moss uses the Gospel of Luke to explain how Christ came humbly as a suffering servant to redeem the world and will come again in glory at the end of the world.

30.

Monday and Tuesday of Holy Week: Our Lord’s Love for an Obstinate People – Luke 19:45-21:4 

Host – Rosalind Moss

rshope_30.mp3

With His crucifixion only days away, Jesus Christ prepared for His death. Rosalind Moss guides you through the Gospel of Luke and shows how even now Our Lord gave one final warning, calling for repentance of the people of Israel.

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“Getting to know Jesus will give rise to Love”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/01/16 at 12:00 AM

This is the only way to get to know Jesus: speak to him. You will always find in him a Father, a Friend, an Adviser, a Helper in all the noble deeds of your everyday life. And getting to know Him will give rise to Love. (Furrow, 662)

If you try to meditate, Our Lord will not deny you his assistance. Faith and deeds of faith are what matter: deeds, because, as you have known from the beginning and as I told you clearly at the time, the Lord demands more from us each day. This is already contemplation and union. This is the way many Christians should live, each one forging ahead along his own spiritual path (there are countless paths) in the midst of the cares of the world, even though he may not even realise what is happening to him.

Such prayer and behaviour do not take us away from our ordinary activities. In the midst of our noble human zeal they lead us to Our Lord. When men offer up all their cares and occupations to God they make the world divine. How often have I reminded you of the myth of King Midas, who turned all he touched into gold! We, despite our personal failings, can turn all we touch into the gold of supernatural merit.

This is the way our God does things. When the prodigal returns, having squandered his fortune in riotous living and, worst of all, having forgotten about his father, his father says: ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe, and clothe him in it; put a ring on his finger, and shoes on his feet. Then bring out the calf that has been fattened, and kill it; let us eat, and make merry.’ Our Father God, when we come to him repentant, draws, from our wretchedness, treasure; from our weakness, strength. What then will he prepare for us, if we don’t forsake him, if we go to him daily, if we talk lovingly to him and confirm our love with deeds, if we go to him for everything, trusting in his almighty power and mercy? (Friends of God, 308-309)

The Church is God’s Call to Be Part of His Family

In Uncategorized on 2014/09/05 at 12:00 AM

 “A mystery,” Pope Francis said, “that we all live and in which we all take part.” The Pope, who will discuss this topic in light of Vatican Council II texts, began from the parable of the prodigal son that illustrates God’s plan for humanity.

In spite of the rain that suddenly fell on Rome this morning, Francis followed his custom of winding through St. Peter’s Square in the Popemobile, greeting the tens of thousands of people present and, before beginning his catechesis, he joked with them, praising their endurance in spite of the inclement weather.

In his teaching, the Holy Father explained that God’s plan is “to make of all of us one family of his children, [a family] in which each one feels close to and loved by him … feels the warmth of being the family of God. The Church—not an organization born out of an agreement between some persons but … the work of God, born of this love and progressively built in history—has her origin in this great plan.”

The Church, the pontiff explained, “is born of God’s desire to call all men and women to communion with him, to friendship with him, even further, to participate as his children in his very divinity. The word ‘Church’ itself, from the Greek ‘ekklesia’, means ‘convocation’. God calls us, urges us to leave selfishness behind, the tendency to be wrapped up in oneself, and calls us to be part of his family. This call has its origins in creation itself. God created us so that we might live a relationship of profound friendship with him and, when sin cut off that relationship with him, with others, and with creation, God did not abandon us. The entire story of salvation is the story of God seeking humans, offering us his love, gathering us to him. He called Abraham to be the father of many; He chose the people of Israel to forge a covenant that embraces all peoples; and he sent, in the fullness of time, his Son so that his plan of love and salvation might be fulfilled in a new and eternal covenant with all of humanity.”

“When we read the Gospel we see that Jesus gathers a small community around him that welcomes his word, follows it, shares his journey, becomes his family. And with this community He prepares and builds his Church.” It is a Church whose origin lies in the “supreme act of love on the Cross, in Jesus’ opened side from which flow blood and water, symbol of the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Baptism. In the family of God, in the Church, the lifeblood is God’s love that is made concrete in loving him and others, all, without distinction or limits. The Church is a family in which we love and are loved.” The Church is made manifest, as on Pentecost, “when the gift of the Holy Spirit fills the hearts of the Apostles and compels them to go out and begin the journey to proclaim the Gospel, to spread God’s love.”

The Pope observed that, even today, “there are some who say: ‘Christ yes, the Church no’. Like those who say: ‘I believe in God, but not in the priests’. But it is precisely the Church that brings us Christ and brings us to God. The Church is the great family of the children of God. Of course it also has human aspects. there are defects, imperfections, and sins in those who make her up, pastors and faithful. Even the Pope has them, and many. But what is beautiful is that, when we realize that we are sinners we encounter the mercy of God who always forgives. He never forgets us. He gathers us up in his love of forgiveness and mercy. Some say that sin is an offence against God, but it is also an opportunity for the humility to realize that there is something better: God’s mercy. Let’s think about this.”

“How much do I love the Church? Do I pray for her? Do I feel part of the family of the Church? What am I doing to make it a community in which everyone feels welcomed and understood, feels God’s mercy and love that renews life? Faith is a gift and an act that has to do with us personally, but God calls us to live our faith together, as a family, as the Church.”

“Let us ask the Lord, particularly in this Year of Faith, that our communities, that all the Church, be ever more truly families that live and bring the warmth of God,” the Holy Father concluded.

VIS 130529

Mary Magdalene

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2014/07/04 at 12:00 AM

 While many modern scholars point out that there is no direct evidence that the sinful woman mentioned by St. Luke in our Gospel story today is St. Mary Magdalene, Pope St. Gregory the Great did recognize her as such.

 Further interpreting today’s Gospel passage, Pope St. Gregory also taught that the 7 devils exorcized from Mary Magdalene symbolized the 7 deadly sins.
 Thus when depicted in art, St. Mary Magdalene is often shown dressed as a penitent with the alabaster jar of perfumed ointment we hear about in the Gospel today.
 While scholars debate the true character of Mary Magdalene and whether or not she was a reformed prostitute, following the lead of Pope St. Gregory the Great, Church Tradition has always cast Mary Magdalene as the ideal penitent.
 While perhaps the sinful woman in today’s Gospel is not Mary Magdalene, I have no doubt that, as a saint, Mary Magdalene wept over her sins all the same. For outside of Our Lady, we are all sinners; we have all fallen short of the glory of God.
 In fact, being moved to the profound contrition we see in the sinful woman in today’s Gospel is part of becoming a saint. The closer we grow in likeness to our Lord, the more clearly we recognize the horror of our sins and desire to repent of them.
 The saints understood very acutely that there is no such thing as a small sin, but rather that all sin is a terrible injustice against our infinitely loveable and merciful God.
 But while man’s sinfulness is a sad reality, our readings today give us some measure of hope that even the worst of sinners can be reformed and live lives that glorify our Lord.
 In our first reading today, Nathan the prophet confronts King David about his sinfulness. And David was no ordinary sinner: he was both a murderer and an adulterer!
 Yet we see in the story of David, Uriah, and Bathsheba that conversion is possible, even for the worst of sinners, and that even the worst of sinners can receive God’s mercy.
 What we learn from this story is that none of us – no matter how we’ve been blessed and favored by God – is immune to sin. David was God’s anointed. He was chosen by God to be Israel’s leader, and yet he committed two of the gravest sins man can commit!
 The prophet Nathan reminds us so very clearly of how our sins offend the Lord, especially when we consider the blessings He has bestowed upon us. Nathan lists for David all the ways God has blessed him and then asks why he done evil in His sight.
 But more importantly, this story teaches us that if we confess our sins, as did David, God forgives – even the most serious of sins like murder and adultery.
 As we know by faith, there is no sin greater than God’s mercy, and to think that your sins are beyond God’s mercy is not humility, but the very worst form of pride – a pride that, if not corrected, can lead a soul to despair in this life and damnation in the next.
 Following Pope St. Gregory’s proposition that the sinful woman in the Gospel is St. Mary Magdalene, and given what we know about David’s life after this run‐in with Nathan, our readings today also teach us that the greatest sinner can become a great saint!
 This truth is one of the very beautiful paradoxes of our faith! While we may have to suffer the natural and destructive consequences of our sinful choices, when God forgives us He holds no grudges.
 Nor does He continue to judge us according to our sins once we’ve repented, as does the Pharisee with the sinful woman in our Gospel story. When we repent God forgives and forgets. Like the father of the Prodigal Son, He embraces us and showers us with love.
 But even though we may experience God’s mercy and love by repenting of our sins, sin nevertheless damages us – especially our mortal sins. This past Lent and Easter I spoke at length about the burdens of sin – of how sin damages us and our relationships.
 For this reason we should never willfully commit sin, presuming that we can go to confession afterwards and that all will be well. Sin damages us, and presuming upon God’s mercy without being fully contrite will leave us bereft of forgiveness.
 Yet the destructive and enslaving effects of sin need not last forever. Healing is possible with God’s grace, but our healing is contingent upon our response to our sins and the unfailing offer of God’s mercy.
 After being called out by Nathan, David repented in sackcloth and ashes, and while the child born of his adultery died because of his sin, Bathsheba eventually bore him another son and David’s kingdom prospered. More importantly, David became holy.
 The sinful woman in the Gospel is also a great example of true repentance. She knows that her sins are grave and she weeps over them. She makes reparation through a grand display of humility and love.
 In truth, God expects something similar from us. He expects us to humble ourselves and make reparation as best we can, especially for our grave sins.
 Last Sunday I mentioned how our Lord raises us to life from the death of sin through the grace of confession. I also mentioned how we should strive for perfect contrition, i.e., being sorry for our sins because they offend our Lord rather than being sorry because we fear the hell our sins merit.
 Along those same lines, I encourage you this week to consider how you confess your sins and how you do your penance. Do you prepare adequately before your confession, and are you brutally honest when you confess your sins – or do you make excuses for yourself as you confess and try to cast yourself in the best light?
 And when you do your penance, do you do it quickly so as to get it over with? Or are you deliberate, recollected, and loving toward our Lord?
 Moreover, if you have committed a particularly grave sin in your life like abortion, murder, adultery, sterilization, or a prolonged use of contraception, then I encourage you to consider making on‐going reparation for those sins.
 If you are sorry for the sin and have confessed it, be at peace with the knowledge that God has forgiven it. But out of a great love for God and gratitude for His mercy, make a grand gesture of your contrition.
 Praying the Rosary or Chaplet of Divine Mercy every day in reparation for your sins, making a significant donation to a charity, or regularly denying yourself things that you enjoy are all great ways to do this.
 Brothers and sisters, the sinful woman in today’s Gospel was forgiven much because she loved much. May we show our love for our Lord by making humble reparation for our sins.
 And may we trust that our Lord’s mercy and forgiveness will cover whatever sins we’ve committed in this life, no matter how grave they may be.
16 June 2013

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio.
To enable the audio, lease go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

 

Man to Man – Dad to Dad

In 14 Book Corner on 2014/05/23 at 12:00 AM
Just in time for you to order for Father’s Day!!234bfaebb355d65472a51701_350x535
I’m pleased to announce the release of a great new book on fatherhood by Pauline Books and Media in which I am honored to have contributed a chapter. Read more about  Man to Man, Dad to Dad: Catholic Faith and Fatherhoodbelow.
Click  HERE  to read reviews by  Dr. Scott Hahn, Matthew Kelly, Matt Frad and Fr. Larry Richards, to name a few!
About this Book:
The identity and purpose of fathers in contemporary society is more uncertain than ever before. Cultural shifts such as rising rates of divorce and single motherhood, conception through sperm donation and in-vitro fertilization, and the educational and professional advancements of women have confused traditional paternal roles and family unit structures. As a result, a perception has been created whereby fatherhood is undervalued…or altogether unnecessary. But this perception is misguided-especially for Catholic fathers who are vital to supporting the structure of the family unit: he “domestic church.”
In this collection of faith-filled reflections by fourteen Catholic men, the value of a Catholic father’s identity and purpose is affirmed in the context of modern society. Acknowledging our workaholic tendencies and the constant struggle to strike a balance between family life and work life, fathers are provided with a realistic approach to making their relationships with God, their wives, and children more involved and fulfilling.
Blending personal anecdotes from Catholic fathers, models of fatherhood in Jesus’ parables, Scriptural passages, references to other publications, and allusions to Church teachings and figures of authority, this guidebook helps Catholic dads find the path to living as faithful family men through three simple steps: pray, love, confess.
Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan
  • Introduction: Dads in Deed, by Brian Caulfield
  • 1: The Prodigal Son Meets the Forgiving Father, by Mike Aquilina
  • 2: St. Joseph: A Man’s Man, by Rick Sarkisian
  • 3: Balancing Work and Home Life: Insights from the Experts, by Brian Caulfield
  • 4: Five Steps for Disciplining Kids, by Ray Guarendi
  • 5: Good Sports for Kids, by Gerald Korson
  • 6: A Father’s Vital Presence, by Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers
  • 7: The Best Sex You Will Ever Have, by Jonathan Doyle
  • 8: Theology of the Body for Fathers, by Damon C. Owens
  • 9: Millennials, Morality, and New Evangelization, by Jason Godin
  • 10: Superdad: More Than an Action Figure, by Bill Donaghy
  • 11: You Can Keep Your Kids Catholic, by Patrick Madrid
  • 12: Repairing a Broken Marriage, by Peter Kleponis
  • 13: Breaking the Chains of Porn, by Mark Houck
  • Conclusion: Three Simple Steps, by Brian Caulfield
Get your copy today!  www.pauline.org/MantoMan
.
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