Pilgrim Priest

Pilgrim Priest

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 22, 2022 15 min

Easter, 6th Sunday (C) I used to think I would find peace when my problems disappeared. That turned out not to be the case. Here are four words that will help you identify the real source of peace.

Presence. "Peace is not the absence of trouble. Peace is the presence of God." We always feel peace when God is near. God is always with us but we aren't always with him. Like a child lost in the mall--stop searching so hard ...

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Easter, 5th Sunday (C) When Deacon Andy was in basic training, they couldn't go anywhere without running. The drill sergeants were constantly yelling at them to, "Move with purpose!" So many people have no sense of purpose. Some are constantly idle. Others fill the emptiness by being constantly busy. They are moving but without purpose.

We don't have to invent a purpose for ourselves because were made to love God an...

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Easter, 4th Sunday (C) Imagine attending a sporting event in the 1st century. How would people hear the good news of victory? It would spread first by word of mouth and then by messengers. Eventually someone would sit and write it down. This is exactly what we see happening in the Acts of the Apostles. The eyewitnesses spread the Good News of Jesus' victory over sin and death first by word of mouth and then by messengers. What ...
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April 25, 2022 14 min

Easter, 2nd Sunday • The Acts of the Apostles reports that Jesus' disciples worked many miracles. We might be skeptical, but the truth is that miracles continue today at shrines, as part of the canonization of saints, and at healing prayer services. I attended a healing prayer service and training through Encounter Ministries. I have since prayed with many people, some of whom have reported healings. What should we make of this...

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Easter Sunday • Most of us here in church today probably think we know what Easter is all about. But if we were asked to explain it to a friend or family member, what would we say?

You have to read the entire Bible in order to really understand the Resurrection is all about. That's ok, I summarize. Remember the Garden of Eden? That's where the snake tricked Adam and Eve into eating from the wrong tree, the tree of the knowl...

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Good Friday • I can think of three reasons why Jesus had to die on the cross. First, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. Second, to defeat Satan, our ancient enemy. He undermines the kingdom of lies and selfishness by an act of radical trust and self-giving love. Third, Jesus is trying to win your love. We seem to be so convinced that God doesn't know me, can't love me, and couldn't possibly know wha...

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April 15, 2022 8 min

Holy Thursday • The earthly life of Jesus is coming to a dramatic end. Jesus gathers his closet friends and gives them three precious gifts: the Eucharist, the Priesthood, and the commandment to love others as Christ has loved us. Fr. George and I will wash a few feet. I challenge all the men of the parish to go home and wash their wives' feet. Then husbands and wives together wash your children's feet.

Maybe Peter objected...

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Palm Sunday (C) The ashes we received on our foreheads said, "I will die with Christ. The pleasures and treasures of this world are like ashes compared to the inestimable value of friendship with Jesus." As Lent went on, however, we discovered we were more attached than we realized. We are unfortunately like Jesus' disciples who said, "We will die with you," then all ran away.

How is it that Jesus remained faith...

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Lent, 5th Sunday (C) The Gospel of the woman caught in adultery is remarkably similar to the parable of the prodigal son. The woman is surrounded by accusers. Jesus doesn't speak. Finally he says just one sentence that totally unmasks their hypocrisy. One by one, the voices become silent.

The women is left face to face with Jesus -- the sinful one with the sinless one. She expects condemnation. Instead Jesus offers her new life...

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March 27, 2022 11 min

Lent, 4th Sunday (C) Each time I hear the prodigal son story I notice something new. One of my favorite moments was a re-telling of the story with children preparing for their first Confession. As the child came back up the aisle, the father scooped him up into a big embrace. The child shook his head and said, "I was not expecting that!" The Father's love never ceases to surprise us; it's like rose vestments on Laet...

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Lent, 2nd Sunday (C) Some people are concerned that the conflict in Ukraine might usher in World War III. We can take comfort in the message on Our Lady of Fatima, which had two main points:

  • Despite appearances to the contrary, God is still in charge. He offers evil people a chance to repent, and He can and will bring good out of evil. Do not be afraid!
  • We are each being called to conversion of heart. God sees, hears, and knows well...
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    Lent, 2nd Sunday (C) Moses and Elijah appear to Jesus on a mountain top to help him stand firm. The voice from heaven reminds Jesus to remain in his Father's love.

    The apostles are not standing firm. They are, in fact, lying down. God gives them two gifts to help them stand firm: First, they see Jesus radiant with glory of God. Second, they are told to listen to Jesus. Listening to Jesus' voice and doing God's will help...

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    Lent, 1st Sunday (C)

    Have you faced temptations this first week of Lent? You can take comfort knowing that even Our Lord was tempted! Temptations are not sins until we act with our wills. Every year we read about Jesus' temptation, but this year we are also given a reading about first fruits. This teaches us that the proper attitude of a creature is to receive from its creator and then give back again.

    The devil tempts us to gr...

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    March 5, 2022 8 min

    Ash Wednesday • Why do we put ashes on our foreheads?

    Ashes are a sign of death. The Jews had multiple experiences of their city being destroyed. By sitting in the ashes, they would show God they had learned their lesson before the destruction happened, and so hopefully avert it. Most of the time we try to look good. But today we admit: "I'm a filthy sinner. And I'm going to die because of my sins."

    Ashes are also a...

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    February 28, 2022 13 min

    Ordinary Time, 8th Sunday (C)

    Should we abolish the priesthood? Should we abolish the police? How can we stop "toxic masculinity"?

    The police, along with doctors, lawyers, clergy, and soldiers, were known as "professions." They are given special knowledge and privileges and they play by special rules. The word profession comes from the oath one took when assuming one of these roles. The person taking on the roll had...

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    February 21, 2022 15 min

    Ordinary Time, 7th Sunday (C) We continue our journey through Luke chapter 6. Today Jesus teaches the Golden Rule and a whole lot more! Jesus wants his followers to be more than "good people"; we are called to be "God's people." God's people are kind and merciful; they love their enemies and give generously just as God does. Does this sound impossible for you?

    King David shows that we can fulfill this comman...

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    February 13, 2022 14 min

    Ordinary Time, 6th Sunday (C) "Memento mori" (remember death) is more than just a nice motto. Wise people in every century have lived well by keeping their end in view. Modern Americans see death as some kind of failure. We refuse to talk about it, using words like "passed away" to avoid having to even say the word. Too many people opt for no service, scatter the ashes, or give them out like party favors. All of thi...

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    February 6, 2022 4 min

    Ordinary Time, 5th Sunday (C) The prophet Isaiah, St. Paul, and St. Peter all have the same experience. God calls them, purifies them, and sends them on mission. The call of God, however, is not fundamentally a call to go somewhere or do something. It is a call to be with him. You too have been called to Mass, purified, and will then be sent back out on mission. Be with God this week.

    (6 Feb 2022)

    Going Deeper: How can Sunday Mass ...

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    January 31, 2022 15 min

    Ordinary Time, 4th Sunday (C) No doubt you heard today's second reading at a wedding or two. 1 Corinthians 13 was actually addressed to a Christian community. The Christians of Corinth are comparing their spiritual gifts. St. Paul wants to remind them, and us, that the greatest gift is love.

    This reading can be used as a kind of Examination of Conscience. We can put our name into the reading and see how we are doing. And that&#...

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    Ordinary Time, 7th Sunday (C) We continue our journey through Luke chapter 6. Today Jesus teaches the Golden Rule and a whole lot more! Jesus wants his followers to be more than "good people"; we are called to be "God's people." God's people are kind and merciful; they love their enemies and give generously just as God does. Does this sound impossible for you?

    King David shows that we can fulfill this comman...

    Share
    Mark as Played

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