Daily homily thoughts, 12/12 – Our Lady of Guadalupe

The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a story about conversions. Our Lady wants nothing more than to bring souls to Jesus and therefore to his body the Catholic church!

Our Lady appeared in 1531 to a humble Juan Diego.

Remember, around that same time, many things were happening in the history of the whole world.  Martin Luther, a Catholic monk, decided to leave the church and started his own church.  Another Catholic named King Henry VIII also left the Catholic Church. He wanted a divorce but the pope said no. So he made his own church. In Mexico, Spain had conquered the Aztec peoples, and many people were lost and worried.

But what the native population found with Our Lady of Guadalupe was the image of their mother, who said, “Do not be afraid. Am I not your mother?” And they knew it was their mother.

The story of Mary’s presence spread fast, and it produced the biggest, unprecedented conversions in the history of the catholic church. In seven years, more than nine million people were converted. Can you imagine how many souls have been saved because of Our Lady of Guadalupe?

Everybody in this church right now–everyone here owes his faith, and most likely will owe his salvation to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Without her, most of our ancestors would most likely not have come into Jesus and his body the Church.

All these conversions, all because Mary came to one man and he built a church.

Today, in this holy church, she comes to you and to me, and she says: Build me a church.
– build me a church in your house. make your house a place of love and faith.
– build me a church in your workplaces, your schools….invite Jesus into those places.
– build me a church in your heart….

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the story of conversions. She has converted billions of people. Now she wants to convert YOU and ME.

We all need conversion.
– if you are not praying every day, Mary tells you today: pray, invite jesus into your heart
– if you are not serving this parish, Mary tells you today: build up my church
– if you have sins that you have not confessed, Mary tells you today: go to confession!
– if you are not going to Mass every Sunday, Mary tells you today: come to Mass, come receive the Eucharist in a state of grace
– if you never come to adoration of the blessed sacrament and spend time with Jesus, Mary says: come to my son.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a bridge between cultures….it is her love that unites us…Aztecs, Indians, Spanish, Anglo, everyone…..but she is also a bridge between heaven and earth. Her mission is the same now as it was five hundred years ago: conversion!! Conversion! She wants our conversions!

She wants nothing more than to bring us closer to Jesus and his body the Catholic church.

Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe!!

Daily homily thoughts, 9/15

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.  Here are Mary’s 7 sorrows:

1. The Prophecy of Simeon. (Luke 2:34-35) or the Circumcision of Christ
2. The Flight into Egypt. (Matthew 2:13)
3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:43-45)
4. Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary. (Luke 23:26)
5. Jesus Dies on the Cross. (John 19:25)
6. Mary Receives the Body of Jesus in Her Arms. (Matthew 27:57-59)
7. The Body of Jesus is Placed in the Tomb. (John 19:40-42)

Daily homily thoughts, 8/22

Today we celebrate the Queenship of our dearest Mama Mary.  She is powerful, our queen.  She protects us as the queen bee protects her baby bees.  We do well to invoke her power often, a power she has because God gave it to her.  Even in every day moments….like

  • Hail Mary, full of grace, help me find a parking place
  • Hail Mary, full of grace, this test help me ace
  • Hail Mary, full of grace, hit the devil in the face

Daily homily thoughts, 8/15

20768207_1762972647066015_28761769180727648_nToday, on this solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother, we celebrate that Mary was assumed, body and soul, into heaven.  It is scriptural. We hear in our first reading St. John’s vision. He sees Mary, body and soul, in heaven. What a vision!  Christians have always revered this day.
This is what I did at school Mass–

  • The human is like a balloon: the body (the rubber) and the soul (the air inside).
  • Genesis says that God breathed and we were made, body and soul.
  • In the fullness of time, Jesus came as man, like us. Body and soul.
  • Jesus, by his own power, ascended into heaven….like a balloon with helium…body and soul.
  • Mary was assumed, body and soul….no helium.  She went up by Jesus’ power.
  • Those are the only two bodies we know for sure are up there.
  • As for the rest of us, if we die and have been faithful, our souls will go up.  But bodies stay here.
  • Until the second coming, when scripture says our bodies will rise up.

Daily homily thoughts, 6/10

Two thoughts today.  First, as always we should on a Saturday in OT, we honor the Blessed Mother. One reason we ought to love our dearest mother is that God, when he became man, gave himself entirely to Mary.  He gave everything to her, in a generosity that puts even the widow in our gospel to shame.  She in turn gave everything to Him.  Second thought.  The widow in our gospel gives from her poverty. We too should offer God our poverties.  There is more value there than we know.

When the wine runs out: A homily for the Fifth Sunday of Easter/Mother’s Day (Year A)

jesus_turn_water_to_wine_643Today we celebrate Mother’s Day.  As usual, I start thinking about what I might say in a Sunday homily somewhere in the middle of the week.  Last week I spent my day off in the garden, preparing my plot and putting the tomatoes and peppers and all that in there. I got quite muddy.  I left my muddy cowboy boots on the porch, which prompted Msgr to call and leave a voicemail asking, “Mike, do you know anything about the muddy cowboy boots on the porch? It looks like Cowboy Bob was raptured. OK, bye.”  hahahah. I’ve listened to that about a hundred times.

Anyway, I was thinking as I was gardening about how motherhood is a lot like gardening.  A mother plants, a mother waters, fertilizes, weeds out the problems around the plants. She gives the plant life, she nurtures it, and watches it grow and produce fruit.  This is motherhood!  I say this partly to tell you: everything we, your sons and daughters turn out to be, you helped to make.  Whatever good fruits we produce, it is because you planted us and helped us grow.  That’s one motherly thought from today.

Now, I’ve also been thinking a lot about the Wedding Feast at Cana.  I’ve had a lot of weddings lately, praise God!  The wedding feast at Cana was Jesus’ first documented miracle.  And that miracle happens at Mary’s request.  The wine runs out at the party, and Mary tells Jesus to take care of it.  From the very first miracle, Our Blessed Mother has cooperated in the miracles of Jesus!  She still does.  Which is why we pray TO GOD THROUGH HER.  She intercedes and requests miracles for us.  This is nothing new: it is biblical and REAL!  I’ve seen it all over the place….in my life and in the lives of parishioners.  As Pope Francis said yesterday, “To be Christian is to be Marian!”

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“O Come Let Us Adore Him!”: A homily for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (Year A)

mary-and-eucharistA happy new year to all!  In today’s first reading from Numbers, God speaks to us an ancient and beautiful blessing: The LORD bless you and keep you!The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!  Beautiful!  It is God’s desire to bless us in this new year. We thank God in this Holy Mass for all our blessings from 2016 and pray his blessing upon our 2017.

But I want us to think about a couple years way back. Continue reading