Pilgrim Priest

Pilgrim Priest

(formerly Brother Priest Preaching Podcast) Have you thought sermons were boring? Think again as Fr. Joel unpacks the word of God for today's audience. Fresh, local, and live takes on the Gospel for our world. A new homily every Sunday.

Episodes

May 9, 2021 13 min
Easter, 6th Sunday (B) Mothers Day • Archeologists have uncovered the oldest know human burial in Africa, and it was a child, a little boy lovingly laid to rest. Even 78,000 years later we can see that his family loved him. Today we celebrate the gift of a mother's love. This day can be hard for many. Some are grieving the absence of a loving mother, the loss of a child, or the dream of being a mother that didn't come to fr...
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Easter, 5th Sunday (B) You are alive because your parents shared their life with you. They kept giving you life by feeding and protecting you. Parents love their children so much they want them to live forever! But no one can give their children eternal life. Only God, who is fully alive, can give us the gift of eternal life. Through the gift of Baptism, we are born again to a spiritual life. Through the gift of the Eucharist we ar...
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Easter, 4th Sunday (B) How did I know I was called to be a priest? I used to lie awake at night waiting for a sign from God. Instead of a sign, God lined up a house visit to St. John Vianney Seminary. I continued on to Mundelein Seminary in Chicago. Then I was unexpectedly transferred to Rome. That was when I experienced the care of the Good Shepherd. None of us is anonymous; none of us is unknown. Each sheep matter...
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Easter, 3rd Sunday (B) St. Peter is preaching to the very people who had demanded Jesus' execution. And he is the one who denied Jesus three times! But Jesus forgave Peter. Now Peter wants them to also receive mercy. Have you experienced God's merciful love? Do you want others to experience the same mercy? How can we help people to experience the mercy we have received? We can forgive them as God has forgive...
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Easter, 2nd Sunday (Divine Mercy) • Jesus was always at peace because he was always in communion with his Father. He knew his Father loved him and would take care of him even when he felt abandoned. Now that Jesus has returned from the dead, he offers his disciples the same gift of peace. There are two steps for to experience this peace. The first step is the forgiveness of sins. The second step is to enter into the life that Jesus...
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Easter Sunday of the Resurrection • Last year we couldn't attend Easter Masses due to Covid restrictions. It was strange and different but came with unexpected blessings. The experience reminded me of the Emmaus optional Easter reading. The two disciples in the story had lost faith and hope. But Jesus walked with them and explained how his suffering and death was all part of God's plan. It restored t...
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Good Friday • Pontius Pilate goes back and forth between Jesus and the chief priests. When he listens to Jesus, he hears the truth and feels peace. When he listens to the crowd, he becomes confused and fearful. Peter ultimately listens to the crowd. Mary and John, Joseph and Nicodemus, ultimately listen to Jesus. What about you: Do you listen to Jesus and turn away from the crowd, or listen to the crowd and reject Jesus? &#...
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Holy Thursday, Last Supper • The Jewish people gathered every year to commemorate their freedom from slavery in Egypt. They could not have known that their meal of unleavened bread and unblemished lamb was preparing for something much greater. Today we celebrate the Last Supper where Jesus changed the Jewish Passover into the Eucharist. The Eucharist itself is like an appetizer for the heavenly banquet. As we gather year af...
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Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion (B) It is Passover season and Jerusalem is crowded with pilgrims. Jesus rides into the crowd on a colt, making a clear and explicit claim that he is the Messiah and heir to the throne of King David (see Zechariah 9:9-12). This gesture will ultimately get him killed. What can we learn from the our Lord's passion? I always thought it showed us how tough Jesus was. But then I read how every co...
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Lent, 5th Sunday (B) Imagine for a moment that your great-uncle had passed leaving no heirs and you stood to inherit his vast fortune. But there was one catch: he wanted to give his money to someone who had nothing. In order to inherit the vast fortune you had to divest yourself of everything. Suddenly you would be playing the opposite game as most people. Instead of having the most, you would want to have the least....
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Solemnity of St. Joseph, the Husband of Mary • I prepared for this feast day by reading the Fr. Don Calloway book Consecration to St. Joseph. I disagree with much he had to say about St. Joseph, but I am still excited to consecrate myself to St. Joseph. I personally feel drawn to him as a model of spiritual fatherhood and especially a model for celibates. I think he has much to teach our modern world. Here are seven things we can l...
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Lent, 4th Sunday (B) What does the Catholic Church actually teach about salvation? Do you have to be "good enough" to get to Heaven? Or is it enough just to have faith, as your Bible-church friends like to say? God always acts first and we respond. God offered a covenant with Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. He was setting the stage for the gift of his Son, Jesus. God offers the Christ Child, ...
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Lent, 3rd Sunday (B) The 10 Commandments are all pretty much common sense... except the third commandment. God wants a day dedicated to him, and he wants you to honor him by not working. We are imitating God who rested on the 7th day. We are celebrating Freedom from slavery. Christians have two additional reasons to celebrate. We celebrate Jesus' Resurrection and we look forward to the unending rest of Heaven. Worship God and t...
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Lent, 1st Sunday (B) Once upon a time, the world was so sinful that God was sorry he made human beings. He decided to wipe them out with a big flood. Only Noah would listen to God. So God gave him instructions to save himself, his children, and all the animals. Everyone else was swept away by the flood waters. Noah emerged from the ark to a fresh, clean world. He was greeted by the rainbow and a covenant with God. Our second readin...
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Lent, Ash Wednesday • The Catholic Church requires fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and that we abstain from meat on those days and all the Fridays of Lent. Everything else is up to us. Depending on what we give up, we might arrive at Easter being being skinnier, healthier, better-rested, or all sorts of other wonderful outcomes. But there is one great outcome we should all strive for. Did this Lent help you to love God and...
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Ordinary Time, 6th Sunday (C) Leprosy was contagious and incurable. The leper had to quarantine by going out into deserted places and crying, "Unclean." Jesus touches the untouchable; he loves the unlovable; he cures the incurable. Even to this day, he touches sinners in the sacrament of Confession. In the name of Jesus, St. Damien of Molokai touched the untouchable, loved the unlovable, and cured th...
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Ordinary Time, 4th Sunday (B) Moses prophecies: A prophet like me will the LORD, your God, raise up for you from among your own kin; to him you shall listen. The scribe finishes the book of Deuteronomy with these words: Since then no prophet has arisen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face. (Deuteronomy 18:15, 34:10) A new prophet arises who has not only seen God's face, but is the very one who spoke to Moses on...
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Ordinary Time, 3rd Sunday (B) Instead of another homily on being called by God, I want to talk about a relationship with God. First I want to explain that relationship with God is at the very heart fo Catholicism. All the key people in the Bible are called into a relationship with God. And not just any relationship, but the unbreakable family bond called a covenant. It is like God became family with Adam and Eve, No...
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Ordinary Time, 2nd Sunday (B) We have a hard time making up our minds at a drive through. How are we going to figure out our life? So many options leads to anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. If you look beneath your competing desires, you will find deeper desires. You want a meaningful life, true love, a deep peace and lasting joy. If you have been paying attention during the Christmas season, you might have noticed a moment wh...
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The Baptism of the Lord (B) We first heard today's Gospel reading back on the Second Sunday of Advent. John the Baptist called us to repent to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord. How did your Advent journey change you? What did God give you at Christmas time? Spend a moment reflecting on the gift you received at Christmas. God wants to give you more! You have received Jesus into your heart and ...
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