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The Friar

The Friar

Author: The Friar

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These podcasts feature homilies given at Mass and commentaries on various eclectic topics.
386 Episodes
Prayer can often be just talking to God. But to grow in the spiritual life you must obey God. And obeying begins when you listen to God. Continue reading Spend 5 with Jesus: Obedience at The Friar.
It can be easy to say we do not believe in God. Or, it can be easy as well to take the love of God for us for granted. Imagine if married couples ignored each other because they said, "I know they love me." Or imagine children saying the same to their parents. We can do this with God. While it is true that God loves us infinitely, in a way we cannot grasp, it does not mean we do not need to seek to be open to receiving that love. We must avail ourselves of the grace he gives us so we can experience his love and live in that love. Continue reading Homily for Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at The Friar.
Generally speaking people do not admit when they are jealous. Somehow, we learn early that this feeling is something unpleasant and not to be acknowledged. This leads, at its worst, to horrible actions. People in relationships can cause harm to others when they are jealous. People who are jealous can waste so much energy thinking about something they do not have. Jealousy is usually accompanied by feelings of anger, envy, and frustration. Put simply, jealousy is simply a miserable emotion. Continue reading Spend 5 with Jesus: Jealousy at The Friar.
An authentic relationship with Jesus does not mean we cannot trust our intellect. But it does mean we need to believe in miracles. Nicodemus can accept the authority of Jesus' teaching, but the idea he would have to be born from above is too much. Do you believe in miracles? Continue reading Homily for Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at The Friar.
While I do not hear it as much anymore, there was a period of time where Christians (especially Evangelical Christians) would ask others if they had been born again. If the answer was yes, often individuals would identify themselves as “Born Again Christians.” Interestingly, however, they are making the same mistake that Nicodemus made as recounted in today’s gospel. In fact, the phrase that was translated “being born again” is a mistranslation. Here is what Jesus said. “You must be born from above.” There is a little play on words here as the word for “again” and “above” are similar in Aramaic. What Jesus is saying to us is that we must be born “from above.” Continue reading Spend 5 With Jesus: From Above at The Friar.
Over and over God has set things up for us that we might know and be aware of his love for each one of us. And, at least for me, it feels like over and over again I sin. Yet fortunately for all of us, Jesus is a God who forgives. Continue reading Homily for Sunday, April 11, 2021 at The Friar.
Do you remember these two sports calls? Here’s the first. “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” How about the second? “Swing and a ground ball, stabbed by Foulke. He has it, he underhands to first -- and the Boston Red Sox are the world champions. For the first time in 86 years, the Red Sox have won baseball’s world championship. Can you believe it?” Both of these are sports quotes. The first, especially if you lived in the United States was from the 1980 Olympics. These two quotes are from sports calls. The first was in 1980 when the United States Olympic Hockey Team defeated the Soviet Olympic Hockey Team in Lake Placid, New York. The second was the radio call by Joe Castiglione from WEEI (Boston) in 2004 when the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years in Saint Louis. We toss around the world miracle today quite easily. Continue reading Spend 5 With Jesus: Miracle at The Friar.
“They recognized them as the companions of Jesus.” Would it be the case that you would be recognized as a companion of Jesus? The other day it was about recognizing Jesus. But today it is about being recognized. The way in which Peter and John are recognized goes from what may appear to be insulting (“perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men”)to complimentary, as those recognized to be companions of Jesus. Continue reading Spend 5 With Jesus: Companion at The Friar.
“There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” The name of Jesus. One thing that feels to me like it has changed is the ease at which people use the name of Jesus in a derogatory way. It is a curse word among too many today. But in today’s reading, the name of Jesus is the name that saves. We read, “It was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean … in his name this man stands before you healed.” Namely, (no pun intended) it is the name of Jesus that saves. And used properly, it is a name that saves. Used improperly, we commit a sin. Continue reading Spend 5 with Jesus: The Name at The Friar.
Peace. It seems to be so elusive today. We seem so angry. We seem at each others' throats. There seem to be so much violence in the world. Shootings, Domestic violence, wars. It is no surprise that Jesus wishes peace to his disciples and to us. Continue reading Homily for Thursday, April 8, 2021 at The Friar.
Today I am going to suggest using a phrase from today’s gospel as something to think about as you settle into five minutes of silence with Jesus. “They had come to recognize him.” Think about that phrase for a minute. “They had come to recognize him.” It is the passage of the gospel that immediately follows the story of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus who did not know Jesus despite walking with him. You may recall they recognized them in the breaking of the bread. Continue reading Spend 5 with Jesus: Recognize him at The Friar.
So the past couple of days I introduced the concept of silent prayer. Sometimes this is called mental prayer, sometimes it is contemplative prayer. Today, this very day, it is time to give this a try. So here’s what I suggest you do. Continue reading Spend 5 with Jesus: Let’s try it at The Friar.
Mary. Jesus is recognized when he calls Mary by name. Such is a tremendous truth in our faith. We are always called by name. In fact, one of the first questions a priest asks the parents is "What name have you given your child?" Listen carefully because today Jesus will be calling you by name. Continue reading Homily for Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at The Friar.
The techniques used in mindfulness meditation are helpful to the process of prayer. For this reason, I am not critical of those who engage in mindfulness meditation, but if they stop at the end of mindfulness meditation, I would suggest it is like looking at the cake for desert, getting ready to eat it, but never really enjoying the cake by eating it. At any rate, the purpose of meditation is always to place Jesus as the center. Continue reading Spend Five with Jesus: Technique at The Friar.
One challenge for some Catholics is that they know they should pray, but beyond asking God to protect loved ones, heal those who are sick, that is, intercessory prayer, they do not always know what to do. They want to pray, but they do not know how to pray. I have become more convinced over my life that the beginning of prayer is to still the heart. That is, to enter on sacred ground where we place ourselves in the presence of Jesus and hear the command, "Be still and know that I am God!" Continue reading Spend Five with Jesus! An Introduction at The Friar.
We live in a world where brokenness is all around us. There is the unrest in Myanmar. There is the pandemic, which despite our fatigue is still with us. There is violence. There are mental health issues, especially among young adults that are growing exponentially. And as Cardinal Cantalamessa mentioned in his homily on Good Friday, even the Church is beset by ideological battles that have nothing to do with dogma. This is a time when we must stress the unity that is the charism we are called to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to bring about in our world. Jesus spent his life with the broken, and his resurrection is the proof that brokenness, sin and death do not have the last word. Continue reading Homily for Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021 at The Friar.
I love Peter. Every emotion, every thought, every thing he does is right out in the open. He is totally authentic. Even when he fails, he repents with his whole being, his whole self. And is so doing, in today's readings, he shows us what it means to follow Jesus. If our focus in everything we do can be on Jesus, we will be holy indeed. Continue reading Homily for Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at The Friar.
If the entire season of Lent is a campaign for service, then perhaps Holy Week is a retreat for holiness. This is true because there is simply so much packed into this week. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that all we believe about Jesus and the Church is contained in this week. Each day we will see our best and our worst. Continue reading Lenten Reflection for Monday, March 29, 2021 at The Friar.
The entire bible is a love story. It is an attempt by God, over and over again, to get us to listen carefully to one message: God loves us. This week we call holy is a story is a thoughtful expression of God's love of each one of us. And the expression of God's love for us is not meager or timid. It is powerful, bold and awesome. There is no more powerful expression of Jesus' love for us than his passion. Continue reading Homily for Palm Sunday, March 28, 2021 at The Friar.
"The Master has need of it." Do you ever consider that the things you are doing are a part of God’s plan? Jesus gives instructions to this disciples that reinforce that the events of this week, the events of Holy Week, are not “accidental.” Rather, this is the plan for our salvation. The self-gift of Jesus’ suffering and death is a plan chosen by God for our salvation. Jesus freely enters these events of suffering and death because they are part of the plan for our salvation. Continue reading Lenten Reflections 2021: Sunday, March 28, 2021 at The Friar.
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