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Faith Without a Mask Posts

The Church Born from Mercy

Sunday of Divine Mercy (2nd Sunday of Easter)

This solemnity of Divine Mercy had its beginnings in February of 1931, when St. Faustina had a vision of Jesus, who said that he desired this feast especially for the sake of sinners, saying “Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.” But to really understand this idea of Divine Mercy I think we need to enter into the experience that the apostles had in that locked upper room.

Christ, the Messiah and True Friend

5th Sunday in Lent, Year A, with Scrutiny

I want you to focus for a moment on the words of relationship in this Gospel. “The sisters sent word to Jesus saying, ‘Master, the one you love is ill.’… Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus… he told them, ‘Our friend Lazarus is asleep’… ‘Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died’… as soon as she heard this, she rose quickly and went to him… she fell at his feet… Jesus wept, so the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him.’… Father, I thank you for hearing me.”

There is something even more incredible that the raising of Lazarus from death to life, and that is

The Lenten Vision of Christ Transfigured

2nd Sunday in Lent, Year A

I don’t know about you but this Gospel was not what I was expecting for a Lenten Gospel. When I went to start praying over my homily I was ready for something more… I don’t know… something more penitential, maybe? A gospel about conversion… or prayer… or something that sounds like Lent. Instead we have the story of the Transfiguration. And what’s more, it turns out that even though the Lectionary has a three year cycle, it uses the Transfiguration on the second Sunday of Lent every single year. So it really got me wondering what the message was about the Transfiguration that is so important to hear at the start of Lent.

Sin is Less Than Human

1st Sunday in Lent, Year A

I remember the first time we talked about the story of Adam and Eve in religion class. It was third grade, I wasn’t exactly paying attention to what was going on in class, and suddenly I hear the teacher say, “OK class, today we’re going to learn about the sin of Adam.” I can only imagine the look of terror that must have come over my face until a few seconds passed and I realized that I was not the Adam being referred to. For all the rich meaning in the story of Adam and Eve, it’s sad that what we sometimes boil it down to is Adam’s sin. I understand why that happens — it’s a huge part of the story — but there is more there, too.

Fear as a Hinderance to Trust

8th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Last week the Gospel told us to love our enemies, and the reflection I had in my homily was that while it is a very simple instruction it is very hard to do because we get caught up in anger. Well today we have another simple instruction: do not worry. If you were listening closely, Jesus actually said those words to us three separate times in the Gospel reading. Do not worry. Just like last week, this is a very simple command, and just like last week I bet most of us have a really hard time living in this way. You know what’s really ironic? I spend a lot of time worrying about getting this homily written… and it’s a homily about not worrying…