Mercy, St. Faustina, and our Chapel: A homily for Divine Mercy Sunday (C)

original_painting_of_the_divine_mercy_by_eugeniusz_kazimirowski_in_1934_wikimedia_commons_40_cna.jpgWhat is mercy?

  • St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas define it as God’s greatest attribute
  • God doesn’t give up on us
  • Grace is when we get what we don’t deserve. Mercy is when we don’t get what we do deserve.

Who is St Faustina?

  • Sister Faustina, Helen at first, — from very poor family
  • On February 22, 1931, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ appeared to this simple nun
  • Paint this, with inscription JESUS I TRUST IN YOU
  • Pope JP2: This is my “SPECIAL TASK”

The Message – ABC

  • Ask for His Mercy
    • Just about everyone I’ve met is plagued with some combination of fears, doubts, concerns, problems, losses, failures, anxieties, misunderstandings, disputes, distractions.  Doubts – like THOMAS
    • We need his MERCY!!!
    • Confession, chaplet
  • Be Merciful
    • in thought, word, deed
  • Complete trust in his mercy
    • I fly to Your Mercy, Compassionate God, Who alone are good. Although my misery is great and my offenses are many, I trust in Your Mercy because You are the God of Mercy, and it has never been heard of in all ages, nor do Heaven or Earth remember, that a soul trusting in Your Mercy has been disappointed. (State your intentions) Jesus, Friend of a lonely heart, You are my haven. You are my peace. You are my salvation. You are my serenity in moments of struggle and amidst an ocean of doubts. Amen. St. Faustina pray for us.

Our chapel

  • This is my prayer: The establishment of perpetual adoration
  • Enveloped by mercy: 3pm prayer – “You expired Jesus but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty yourself out upon us” 1319

A Lesson from Dog Food: A homily for Divine Mercy Sunday (C)

First Holy Communion

A dog has to have food to grow strong and fast, etc

What is it that’s in the food that makes the dog grow?  Carbs, protein, vitamins, etc

But you can’t see the carbs, the protein, vitamins….all you see is, well, dog food

Same with Eucharist — the Lord is the Eucharist, even if you don’t see him there…..Remember our Gospel: “Blessed are those who have not seen but still believe”

Point being: you NEED the Eucharist to grow spiritually, just as a dog needs his food

And a dog needs food more than just once, or every now and again…..same with us with Eucharist

When we go to Jesus: A homily for the Fourth Sunday of Lent (C)

• Today’s Gospel is, at its simplest level, about going to the Lord
• Prodigal Son, in desperation, goes back to his father
• Come to Jesus song lyrics


• Just  like father in our gospel
• He rejoices!!!  Today is Latare Sunday, Rejoice Sunday….We usually reflect today about OUR need to rejoice, but I want to reflect on GOD’S rejoicing!
• God rejoices when we go to him!

• And he rejoices when we go to the Eucharist!
• The Eucharist is the continuation of Incarnation.
• Prolongation of His Presence in the world
• Literal fulfillment: “I am with you always, even until the end of the world”
• Jesus: “Watch one hour”
• Fulfillment of his name Emmanuel
• John the Baptist: BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD

• I came here in 2017, and a pious lady asked: Fr. Can we open an adoration chapel?
• Others have asked the same. Many signs this is God’s will
•  Turns out Fr. Aaron askd permission for the same space to become an adoration chapel back in 2015!  Another sign
• Wrote application – numbers how many people, etc., space, etc. Surveys are proving….
• Permission granted….ours will be #14 in diocese

• About being with Jesus!!!  ANd he rejoices!!!
• Jesus loves us enough to be present with us, night and day, in Blessed Sacrament
• So a perpetual adoration chapel is 24 hours a day
• Just like in Bible! MIRACLES.. Transformed!! RAYS OF SUN MELT ICE, S-O-N TAN
• Spending time wit Jesus TRANSOMS us, enables us to become ambassadors (2nd reading), SENT OUT… Mary and Martha, contemplative and active, etc. some parishes do neither
• Sacred silence….consecrated silence….cave of silence….and we hear!!!

It is all about being with Jesus
• My mission and vision: I want everyone here to love Jesus

Handicap accessible
North end, old convent REP building rectory
Name: Divine Mercy Chapel
Planned Opening date: June 23 – CORPUS CHRISTI 3:00PM (DIVINE MERCY HR)
Sign up weekends, Orientation meetings, Open house, novenas, dedications, etc….

More later, but point is:  Jesus will be rejoicing in Shelby Co until the second coming!!  Because folks will be coming to him 24/7!


Conversations, sin, and growth: A homily for the Third Sunday of Lent (C)

Three thoughts today–

1.  There is great power in a conversation.  Today we see a conversation in our gospel.  That is what we see every Sunday in our Gospel.  Conversations are hugely important.  While on retreat last week, there were two parish priests from Louisville with me, one their Vicar General and another a member of the personnel board. One night they retreated to the cell next to mine in the monastery to work on a project: they were coming up with a slate of priest moves. I kept thinking: on the other side of this wall is a conversation that will change the lives of countless people — the priests, numerous parishioners, etc.  Incredible.  Not long ago there was a man in the church who was going through a bad time, a really bad time. He thought it might end things. He came here, for the first time, in desperation. A parishioner met him, talked with im for an hour plus, and the man told our parishioner at the end: You saved my life.  A conversation.  Tolkien and CS Lewis one time had a conversation that resulted in Lewis meeting the Lord and ultimately writing all the works he wrote.  A conversation.  We must have conversations about the Lord, testifying to what he has done and is doing in our lvies!!  Witness!   And we must have conversations with the Lord….we call that prayer.  A CONVERSATION CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING

2.  Jesus hates sin.  He hates sin because sin makes slaves of his sons and daughters.  CS Lewis’ Great Divorce is great on this.  There is a man who has fought with the demon of lust forever.  The angel comes and asks: Will you let me kill it?  Jesus asks the same of us today: your addiction, problem, issue: will you let me kill it?  On our own we’re doomed to fail in overcomign things like this, but with the Lord we can.  That is the meaning of our first reading today.  Just as God freed our ancestors from slavery, he does so again…the problem is, often people like their ruts.  Like our ancestors who wished to return to Egypt and the slaver there.  CAn you imagine?  But we do the same.  We must let God kill our sin.

3.  A word about the tree in the gospel.  We are fruitless on our own.  The whole world, fortunately, is wired for life and growth. There is a creative impulse in the world. Our job is not to produce fruits on our own — no one can — but to let God produce fruits THROUGH US, BY MEANS OF US.  Jesus the vine, we the branches; we are fruitful only if we’re plugged into him–and he’s really the one that’s fruitful, we are the instruments.  Sin is when we don’t let God bear fruit through us.

Happy Sunday

A miraculous staircase: A homily for the Third Sunday of Lent (C)

Miracle story about St Joseph —

  • Loretto Chapel (1878) Miracle Staircase –
    • Santa Fe, New Mex
    • millions/yr – 130 yrs old
    • nuns needed staircase for a 22″ choir loft
  • too small a space – too small for staircase
  • Nuns prayed to St. Joseph – a novena
  • On tenth day, a man showed up on a donkey looking for work
  • Using the tools around his belt, the man made the staircase himself
  • Man disappeared without notice, or pay
  • Staircase – the pride of carpentry
  • it has two 360 degree turns and no central support, no nails, screws, or glue
  • it hangs there with no support
  • Architects say that gravity … it should have crashed the moment someone stepped on it
  • But used daily for 100+ yrs
  • Three mysteries to this:
    • 1) ID of man is unknwon
    • 2) architects, engineers and scientists cannot explain how the stair case can balance without central support
    • 3) wood – the type of wood used is not found anywhere in the region
  • 33 stairs!!!!

Folks — all our readings are about this: God is always calling us to the next level, to a higher level.  The first reading is about Abraham. God calls him to the top of the hill to give him the Abrahamic covenant. In our Gospel Jesus takes Peter and James and John to the top of the Mt of transfiguration. Our second reading, Paul reminds us that our citizenship is heaven….God calls us UP

And everything we do — it’s a step up to heaven, or a step down to perdition

It can be easier to go down…….it’s easier to “go with the flow,” to go down the gravity, etc

But God calls us up

It’s worth the climb

And we don’t ascend alone…..we help each other out, we must — or we will fail

Let us make the climb!

St. Joseph and Lent: A homily for the 8th Sunday of Ordinary Time (C)

On Ash Wed, we will hear the same Gospel we hear every Ash Wed. Jesus talks about three things — Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving.  We should do eat least one thing in each of these categories. For that reason I have given you a Lenten Resolution card….fill it out and sign it and DO IT!

I was thinking, as we enter this Month of March which is dedicated to our patron St Joseph, what Joseph would have written on his card. Because he offers us such a ncie example. It’s worth reflecting on his example as we get ready for Lent.


  • In the whole of the Bible, Joseph never says a word. A man of silence
  • Joseph is PRESENT to Jesus — he received Jesus, always invited Jesus into his home
  • Joseph ADORES Jesus — he and Bl. Mother were the first to do a holy hour, as they looked upon their beautiful baby boy


  • We always talk about giving up stuff for Lent….and we SHOULD and MUST!
  • Joseph gave up his whole life!  HE was a young man, a late teen maybe — he had his whole future ahead of him!  He gives up his future hopes and dreams for the sake of JEsus….and he got SO MUCH MORE back…..that is how our “givings up” should go….we may give up stuff that’s hard, but we get way more back
  • Joseph was a simple man, a man of humble means


  • Joseph is the all-provident saint…..IT AD JOSEPH….Go To Joseph
  • That phrase comes from the original Joseph in Genesis, who had been placed in charge of all the food in the midst of the family…..whenever the people needed food, they went to Joseph
  • We look at that original Joseph and remember that it’s all the more true with the new Joseph
  • Joseph provided everything for Jesus and Mary….a strong and humble man….he built their house, put food on their plates, etc
  • We’re meant to be providers also…..not just money, but time and talnet and too

Let’s look to Joseph and invoke his intercession, praying for a good Lent

God will sort us out later: A homily for the Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time (C)

I want to share with you a poem I remember from senior year of high school — The Cookie Thief by Valerie Cox

 A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
with several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shops,
bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see,
that the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be. . .
grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between,
which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock,
as the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

With each cookie she took, he took one too,
when only one was left, she wondered what he would do.
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,
he took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other,
she snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother.
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude,
why he didn’t even show any gratitude!

She had never known when she had been so galled,
and sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate,
refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,
then she sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise,
there was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair,
the others were his, and he tried to share.
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
that she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.

What a poem!  It hits on a message Jesus is making in our Gospel, where he COMMANDS us to love and FORBIDS us to judge.

One reason Jesus forbids us to judge: because, like the cookie thief lady, we usually don’t have to story right in the first place.  Only the one true judge — Jesus — understands everything, and so only he knows the whole truth.  I often think that folks would be much more understanding and kind if they understood all the brokenness, pain, and difficulties others are going through.

Another reason we are forbidden to judge?  Because the average person, when faced with mistreatment, insults, or hatred, has a different instinct than what Jesus commands us to do in our Gospel.  Jesus commands us to love — no exceptions.  We look to our first reading for an example of this. Saul was envious of David and wanted him dead, and he tried three times to kill him. In the reading today, David finds the sleeping Saul and had the perfect chance to kill the one who had tried to kill him and who had been so bad to him. David refuses to do so but opts to forgive.

Jesus holds us to the standard of love. We are to love everyone. As the plaque in my office reads, “Love everyone. I’ll sort them out later. – God.”  Amen!  The love God calls us to is concrete and PROACTIVE.  Jesus says it’s good to be nice only to those who are nice to us first. That is a reactive love.

We are to love. God will sort us all out later.