In a homily I gave earlier in the week I mentioned that sometimes commercials come to mind when I begin to think about a homily. Well today when St. Paul was telling some Romans not to let sin into their lives, I thought of a commercial that features creepy crawly creatures that delight in having free range over us until one spray and they are gone. What would it be like if we could do this with sin? But it is not that easy.
Saint Paul has an urgent message for the Christian community in Rome: the Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. The revelation of God to us - creation, covenants, the Incarnation of Jesus, the passion and resurrection of Jesus, the founding of the Church - is fantastic news. It is a single story of redemption, with the goal of rescuing and saving all of humanity.
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Friends, please do not miss that last line of today’s Gospel: "If you then, who are wicked know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"
Today, we hear Jesus asking his disciples the question, "Who do you say that I am?". It's interesting to note that Jesus asks this question after praying in solitude. Jesus always prayed before doing anything important. We read in Mark 1:35 "Rising very early before dawn, He left and went off to a deserted place, where He prayed."
Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, spent 50 years suffering from the Stigmata, the Crucifixion wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ. A Capuchin priest at the monastery in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, he was renowned as a confessor who could see into the soul.
Have you ever been at Mass and before you know it your saying, "Thanks be to God" or "Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ" and not you’re not sure what you’ve just heard. There are all sorts of distractions we bring into Mass or reading Scripture; so at times, I try to listen for key words to help me remember the main point.