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Aug 062017
 

One reason people do not read the Bible is they claim that it was written so long ago that it is no longer relevant to us. That comes from a great misunderstanding of the Bible and its purpose. Today’s first reading is over 2500 years old and today’s Gospel is about 2000 years old. When this homily is over, you will see that everything in these readings is relevant to everyone today.

 

Another important point is that non-believers say that  when they see a sign they will believe in God. So they are looking for lightning strikes, or powerful earthquakes, etc. The problem is that there are signs and these people do not see them. What we are looking at today is one of those signs.

 

If you look at the first reading, you will see a word from the Prophet Daniel. This dream happened twenty-five hundred years ago. It comes from a time known as the Babylonian Exile, this is when the Jews, after being warned by the prophets that they had strayed from God, continued to disobey. God allowed, therefore, actually he promised, that they were going to be disciplined by being conquered by the Babylonian Empire who were every bit as vicious as ISIS is today. It was during the reign of King Belshazzar towards the end of that exile that this dream happened. King Belshazzar was the last King of the Babylonian Empire.

 

The Babylonians not only conquered Judah, they destroyed the temple and the dragged rich and powerful among the Jews into their native land which is now called Iraq.

 

Daniel’s dream leads him to see one like the Son of Man sitting on a throne judging all nations and all nations are looking to Him. The term Son of Man here is the exact reference Jesus makes when he calls Himself the Son of Man. He is essentially saying, I am the figure in Daniel’s dream. You can see that those words would be highly controversial to the leaders of the Jews in Jesus’ time.

 

But, the idea that this dream was significant during the Babylonian exile would be absurd. The thought that all the world would look at this figure in the dream and that they would focus on Jerusalem would be a ridiculous idea in the time of Daniel. First Jerusalem is destroyed, the Temple is in ruins and finally the rest of the world would consider preposterous the idea that Jerusalem would be the focus of the whole world. It is like today if we were to say that in the future the whole world will worship in Riga. I am sure some of you are saying: “where is Riga?” The point is Jerusalem was not a place of worldwide significance or for  that matter neither was the God of Jews considered such at the time of this dream. By the way, I am sure your Latvian friends will tell you that Riga is a beautiful city to visit.

 

However, today, we all look to Jerusalem. We all worship that God that Daniel talked about and according the Catechism of the Catholic Church, this dream is the prediction of the fact that at Jesus’ Ascension following His death and resurrection he fulfilled that part of the dream that makes him the King. (664)

 

Now let me explain something to you. Many people are saying we are living in the Post-Christian era. We are living in a time that people say God does not exist. A recent column in the New York Times says that the concept that there is purpose to life is an evolutionary invention produced for the survival of the race and no more.  Many people teach that there is no God, but look carefully, all that is happening today is further fulfillment of Daniel’s dream. This is exactly what Daniel said would happen. It is what happens next that is our focus. We are actually living what has been predicted. That is one of your signs that everything we believe and do is real.

 

But take that to mean that what we believe is true and all that has been predicted that can come true, has come true, but there is still more. That is one of your signs. In our worship, people from all over the world are focused on worshiping the Son of Man focused on Jerusalem. There is a line of demarcation happening where Kingdoms are rising up against the disciples of this Son of Man and now whole countries are doing the same.

This is also significant, Pope Leo XIII explained that just as a person who rejects Christ trusts in a false sense of wisdom and goes astray, the same consequences will affect nations that reject Christ. So, nations that turn from Christ are on the road to destruction just as much as people. The result will be a further rising up against the Son of Man and His disciples until such time as he returns and eliminates those who have rejected him, and embraces those who persevered in Him, also predicted by Daniel among others.

 

Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration when Jesus is transfigured in front of Moses, Elijah and three Apostles, This is the beginning of his march to the throne of the Son of Man and the beginning of the fulfilment of that dream.

 

It is also the anniversary of the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima. This unleashed, as you know not only a terrible power but a terrifying era in human history. Today, we are in a war of tension between a country that long ago rejected Christ, that elevated its leader to deity and now threatens our shores literally with a missile. I am by the way not expecting him to actually carry out his threat, but I am concerned one of these days there will be miscalculation and he will accidentally bomb our shores or those of another country by accident. That will change everything.

 

Today’s readings lead us to ask the question, whom do you seek? The wisdom of the world represented by Babylon that relies on the false gods of our own day,  just as King Belshazzar did in his day, or the wisdom of Christ which is being fulfilled daily just as Daniel predicted in his dream twenty-five hundred years ago.

Fr. Carr is member of the Segundo Elo  of the Canção Nova Community. He is the parochial vicar of St. Michael’s Parish in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA and is the editor of this blog. He is the author of several books, blogs and hundreds of videos all of which you may find on Youtube You can follow him on twitter as @frbobcarr and on Google plus as+FrRobertCarr, his website is Carrbooks.com. Thoughts, comments on the homily? Let us know at Facebook

 Posted by at 01:01
Jul 302017
 

Last week locally there was  a Catholic weekend where the youth celebrated their Christian faith. Much of what happens in these events is an Americanized version of what the Latino Community from Mexico to Argentina has been doing for decades. There is, in the American version, Christian rock music, a celebration of the Eucharist in adoration and powerful talks about the faith.

 

This is a great way to invite people into a deeper relationship with faith. However, our faith is not about super parties in the name of Jesus. These events succeed when they open the door to a deeper faith in Christ; they fail if these people abandon their faith when the party is over.

 

Long after we have established or practiced our faith, after we have developed a prayer life, after we have chosen to live our Catholic faith. We may even encounter difficult times, painful times and even radical evil. That is the time that the rubber meets the road. That is the time when we know the fruit of living the faith. It is not in Jesus parties or when every thing is going well. It is when we don’t abandon our faith but  we embrace Christ more deeply during those times when everything is going wrong.

 

There is a saying that there are no atheists in foxholes, but their are plenty of atheists out there who have given up on their Catholic faith. Do we have to let them experience a foxhole to know that Christ lives? No But what we have to do is understand that people abandon their faith when it does not match their expectations.

 

“If God existed my grandmother would not have died, therefore, He does not exist.” “If God existed there would be no war.” “If God existed Kim Jong Um and the rest of that family would be nice people and evil would never happen.”

 

Catholic radio in Boston has a slogan Try God. But the Boston cartoonist mocked it by writing “Try, God” again from that atheistic perspective that if God exists then the world would not contain evil.

 

Your grandmother may have died, there is war, North Korea is run by an evil monster and evil exists and at least one cartoonist  mocks God saying couldn’t you have done better?

Under those circumstances, how can we  believe that God exists?

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that not only did God create the world, the world is still in the throes of creation. However, regardless of what happens when all goes wrong, St. Paul reminds us in the second reading that all things work for the good for those who love God. Evil exists because it is part of the pain of creation still in progress, but for those who encounter it and love God, they know that even the worst of all they could endure will lead them to the greatest of all places which is eternal life in Heaven. It is during those times that one discovers more powerfully the love of Christ. It is those times when at the end of the day, one not only realizes that he or she survives but is thankful to God for the strength to survive regardless of what difficulties, struggles and even evil itself he or she may be suffering at the hands of this world in the throes of creation. They do not abandon the faith, they embrace it. They do not reject the mass, the attend more attentively. They do not give up on prayer, they discover God’s comfort in prayer. St. Peter reminds us to cast our cares and anxieties before the Lord as he cares for us.

 

Let me remind you I am not only speaking from experience from past histories of struggles and pain, but also from learning from others who struggled through their difficulties in faith. There is a passage in Sirach 2 which I invite everyone to commit to memory. My son, when you come to serve the Lord prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart, undisturbed in this time of mercy, for thus will your future be great. For it is fire that gold is tested and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation.

 

Your biggest struggles are how God makes you more brilliant as Christians. You know the word brilliant comes from the root word to shine. It is not through evil that we grow as Christians, it is coming to Christ when  we encounter pains, anxieties and even evil and bringing it to Him that He strengthens our relationship with Him and our ability to be strong in Him. Those horrible and maybe even horrifying struggles are what recreate us completely in Christ, even when we feel we have been abandoned by Him.

 

This week, I had a conversation with a friend of mine of deep faith. Several years ago he had a stroke and today has recovered. But take yourself to that time. The future would be completely unknown, and even one’s very being is affected by a stroke. Panic can spread and even make the situation worse.

 

In our conversation we were sharing how much knowing that we are loved by God is more important than anything else in our lives. Literally, nothing else matters than that one fact. You come to that point, not through a party celebrating Jesus, but through one disaster or another in which all you have is your relationship with Jesus and holding on to that simple truth is what helps you survive. When that painful time is over you recognize that your faith has been so strengthened that you have been changed in a way that you could never imagine. Why, because you recognize that one simple fact, all things work for the good of those who love God.

 

Believe in that, live in that prayer, bring your troubles to Christ when all goes wrong and know that every syllable of that statement is true. All things work for the good of those who love God, but only those who encounter the worst of all things can ever fully appreciate it.  

Fr. Carr is member of the Segundo Elo  of the Canção Nova Community. He is the parochial vicar of St. Michael’s Parish in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA and is the editor of this blog. He is the author of several books, blogs and hundreds of videos all of which you may find on Youtube You can follow him on twitter as @frbobcarr and on Google plus as+FrRobertCarr, his website is Carrbooks.com. Thoughts, comments on the homily? Let us know at Facebook

 

 Posted by at 06:47
Jul 162017
 

There is something powerful to notice in the parable of the Sower and the Seeds. In each of the cases in the failed seeds, an outside force frustrates their ability to grow. It is either the sun, the rocks, the thorns or the birds.

 

This is an important lesson because a major message of Jesus is that we are all called to be fruitful members of the Kingdom and that each of us has a mission. However, if we allow an outside force to interfere with our mission, we will fail in it. But if we just follow Christ and trust in God, we will succeed in our mission.

 

This means, however, that we will have to follow Christ even when others would have given up, that is the difference between the saved and the lost. In fact, we may find our staying faithful to Christ may actually leads us closer to Him in tough times. This is a message that St. Rose taught, when things go wrong stay prayerful and faithful and you will go stronger in Christ. Otherwise, when things go wrong you will abandon Christ just as Jesus says.

 

Your most difficult times are when you have to be more focused on Christ and He will reveal Himself to you and be your strength.

 

Let us take an example, the easiest one is based on the thorns that grow up around the seed and choke it off. That is the anxieties of the world. When you are struggling with your greatest anxiety, maybe it is fear of losing your job, or just of making ends meet. What if you get a sudden expense that makes you unable to pay your bills. Then it is at those times to pray and trust that God be with you and in your anxiety bring Christ to help you. Those sleepless nights will give way to nights of confidence in Christ.

 

But you have to bring Christ into the problem and in fact that is exactly when Christ is most needed in your life to show you that He is there. This brings us back to St. Rose’s words that if we know how much our difficulties led us closer to Christ, we would ask for more of them.

 

The power of these distractions is that they can lead us to turn away from Christ in order to focus on the problem and by doing this we lose the strength that is Christ.

 

One of the most powerful passages in the Bible is where St. Paul calls us to draw our strength from the Lord it is the passage of spiritual warfare. In that St. Paul shows us that our battle is not against human forces but it is against principalities and powers. What does this mean. It is not against those who cause us anxiety, it is against those forces that when we are in anxiety tell us to focus on the problem and not on Christ. We are to focus on Christ when things are back to normal. That is the path to disaster cited in this parable.

 

We even institutionalize this issue. People feel it is important to keep their children involved in sports to keep them busy and out of trouble, so sports become more important than God because people are focused on ensuring their children do not get lost to the underculture. But they need to be rooted in God and then in sports so they can be strong in their deepest difficulties, which sports does not have the skill to give them.

 

The body is set up so that when there is great trouble, your breathing changes and resources are sent to different parts of the body than when normal. That is why when you have a lot of anxiety, you tend to hyperventilate. The solution is to start breathing deeply and this will calm you down. We do the same thing spiritually, when things go wrong we get focused on the issue, but like when we consciously slow down our breathing to better deal with a crisis, we must bring our struggles to prayer and that will give us the strength to deal with the issue. We have to invite Christ into our issues, it does not matter whether we are dealing with health issues, financial issues, family issues and personal crises of different types. One of the the things you will realize is that nothing can shut you down like fear. When you succumb to fear, you completely shut down and then you become blind to God’s grace in your world. It is then that we have to focus on Christ and know that He is with us in our most difficult situations and those we most fear.

 

Notice, what I said at the beginning, all of these are outside pressures that  can destroy the life within us, but when we focus on Christ they do not choke off the life in us, but bring us to bear powerful fruit. It is this the Christ is ultimately calling us to do. What causes us to bear fruit: sunshine, deep roots and the weeds that died and decayed to produce rich soil. What is that, the defeat of all those seeking to steal from us our eternal life by focusing on Christ the Lord.  

 

Fr. Carr is member of the Segundo Elo  of the Canção Nova Community. He is the parochial vicar of St. Michael’s Parish in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA and is the editor of this blog. He is the author of several books, blogs and hundreds of videos all of which you may find on Youtube You can follow him on twitter as @frbobcarr and on Google plus as+FrRobertCarr, his website is Carrbooks.com. Thoughts, comments on the homily? Let us know at Facebook

 Posted by at 01:01
Jul 092017
 

Everyday we need to ask ourselves if we are in a cave or outside in the sunshine.

One of the ancient condemnations found in the Old Testament is to those who are wise in their own estimation. You find it in Isaiah and in the book of Proverbs. Jesus’ condemnation in today’s Gospel is actually to them. Who are they? They suffer from the sin of pride, which is the sin of actually blocking off the grace of God and relying on their own wisdom and knowledge. In a sense, they are like people who live in a in a dark, stuffy cave and cannot be convinced that there is anything outside of it. Meanwhile, the fresh air and the warmth of the sun, like God’s grace is blocked.

 

You can find these people inside and outside the Church. So they have closed themselves off from the grace of God and rely only on their own knowledge and human wisdom. You see some of them as guests on TV news shows all the time.

 

Let me give you an example: They may mock you for your belief in God and tell you that evolution disproves the existence of God. When in reality, evolution makes atheism an illogical assumption.  But they are closed off to this, they cannot see this because they are wise in their own estimation. Sometimes it can be that they assume that there is no God because they are pursuing a way of life that they feel God would disapprove so they deny his existence.

 

It works the other way as well, there are those who are so determined that their understanding of Catholicism is correct that they are closed off to God’s grace that is trying to soften their hearts.

 

Jesus says clearly here that no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom he seeks to reveal Him. This means we must always be open to deepening our understanding of God and living that deepened understanding as we communicate to God and of God to those around us.

 

Jesus referred to the Father as Abba, which you know is Aramaic for Daddy. He was challenging those around him who had maintained a less than adequate image of God and refused to deepen it. In fact, in some cases, these people were using their image of God to manipulate others.

 

There was a famous story of a televangelist who preached about Jesus every day on his super popular program. Eventually, he was caught up in a financial scandal in his ministry and was sent to prison. While he was in prison, he later admitted, he read the Bible for the FIRST TIME. It was there he learned that all he was preaching of Christ was wrong. Both atheists and devout Christians, including Catholics can be working out of a false image of God.

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us:

 

“…we must humbly cleanse our hearts of certain false images drawn “from this world.” Humility makes us recognize that “no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him,” that is, “to little children.”30 The purification of our hearts has to do with paternal or maternal images, stemming from our personal and cultural history, and influencing our relationship with God. God our Father transcends the categories of the created world. To impose our own ideas in this area “upon him” would be to fabricate idols to adore or pull down. To pray to the Father is to enter into his mystery as he is and as the Son has revealed him to us. 2779

 

So if we become like rocks in our understanding of God and refuse to deepen it, or if we choose to believe that we have evolved to the point that we do not need God then we are among the people whom Jesus described have no knowledge of the truth. The way to become like them is to be rooted in pride and pride puts us into that cave.

 

So who are the others? They are those who are humble or have been humbled and the saints tell us that many of those people are in fact the sinners who have come to realize that their life choices brought them to be nowhere they planned to be. These are the people who are suffering under the burden of sin and all its effects. They have been humbled and have to realize that the way they are living just is not working. If they are living in the same cave, they realize they do not fit with those who are doing fine there. They are looking for an alternative and to them Jesus says Come to me and I will bring you life. Get out of the cave.

 

The doorway is not through sin, but through humility. It is those who have been humbled who are most open to finding the way to Christ. The simple who are able to say they do not know, which is the  beginning of wisdom.

 

Let us look at this example: we have a serious opioid crisis in this country. Did you notice that it has grown more serious since our culture has told everyone to leave religion and reject Christianity, especially Catholicism. You do know that one of the most powerful tools of breaking an addiction is the Sacrament of confession and humbly recognizing the need for God’s grace in this vice. That in fact is the first of the twelve steps. Now you have many of the learned and the clever looking for one solution after another and they are not working. There is even a talk of limiting the number of times an addict can be saved by medical personnel. Meanwhile in different parts of this archdiocese there are holy hours in prayer for those suffering from these addictions many by parents who have lost a child to it. One of the most powerful tools against addiction is indeed coming to the sacrament of Confession regularly which the learned and the clever will never encourage you to do. It forces someone to admit a problem, which the power of addiction and of sin tries to hide from the sufferer.

 

The most powerful way to experience God is when we recognize we are only human and we need the grace of our Heavenly Father through his beloved Son.This humbles us and makes up open to God’s grace. It leads us out of the cave. Meanwhile, the learned and clever will never know what the humble discover. But they remain in the same cave that the humble left behind.

Fr. Carr is member of the Segundo Elo  of the Canção Nova Community. He is the parochial vicar of St. Michael’s Parish in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA and is the editor of this blog. He is the author of several books, blogs and hundreds of videos all of which you may find on Youtube You can follow him on twitter as @frbobcarr and on Google plus as+FrRobertCarr, his website is Carrbooks.com. Thoughts, comments on the homily? Let us know at Facebook

 Posted by at 01:01
Jul 062017
 

The Sacrifice of Isaac and The Annunciation - Google Art Project

Why would a loving God demand someone to sacrifice his own child, especially his first born and one that is the answer to a prayer; a child whose birth is literally a miracle? What kind of God makes such a gruesome and barbaric demand? This is a God who demands human sacrifice and finally, as if to say, “I was only joking.” calls off the whole thing at the last moment. This is absurd! Or is it?

 

Some people in your family refuse to believe in God because this passage makes Him seem savage and you naive.

 

So let’s try to answer the opening questions. First when we are reading the Bible, especially the Old Testament, we can’t read it as if it was written in a vacuum. It was not. These powerful words come to us from real people   through the ages who lived real times and real situations.

 

Abraham is living in the Middle East as a mystic and a nomad surrounding by nomadic cultures and civilized cultures like Egypt. Many of these cultures practiced what is indeed a barbaric practice: human sacrifice.

 

Many do not know that human sacrifice actually was common in some cultures until they became part of the Roman Empire. It was the Romans who put an end to it in their territory and the Spanish who put an end to it among the tribes they  found in the Americas.

 

So human sacrifice was actually a common pagan practice in many cultures from Greece to the Americas from Borneo to China. Even the Gospels mention blood mixed for sacrifices offered by Pontius Pilate.

 

Jewish scholars will explain that what is happening is that God is inviting Abraham to demonstrate in the most extreme fashion his love for God. But you need to see this in context. Abraham is called out of the pagan world, for he is the first of all of us who believe. In that pagan world, for a god to demand human sacrifice is not unusual. It is here that God is demanding a response from Abraham demonstrating that he loves God this much and in the process, God is showing definitively that this process not unknown in other communities surrounding him is not going to be part of the worship of the descendants of Abraham. The angel stops him because yes, he has demonstrated his love in the way he knew, now he will know that he will be called to demonstrate it through self sacrifice not through human sacrifice found among surrounding cultures.

 

When Abraham’s Hebrew descendants, however, abandoned God they would practice the worst sin of the Bible which is idolatry and often idolatry involved human sacrifice. So they would not only abandon God they would regress. Their motive would often be success. The gentile farmers seem to have more fruitful crops on their farms than  we do, we should worship their god instead.

 

In the movie, the Passion of the Christ directed by Mel Gibson, the children who chase after Judas represent those who were sacrificed by the Hebrews when they practiced idolatry. That exact practice is one of the locutions against Judah in Jeremiah 32.

 

In the book of Daniel, we see three men Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego thrown into the fire for not worshiping the idols of Babylon. They are being sacrificed. It is why this story is so important, for they survive unharmed showing King Nebuchadnezzar that the only true God worth sacrificing  to is our God who seeks exclusively the self sacrifice of love of God and neighbor.

 

Jesus would come and take this evolution to a new stage. It was Hammurabi in pagan Babylon who taught an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth as a standard of justice seven hundred hundred years before the reign of King David. Jesus changes it completely to love your enemies, do good to them and pray for them, this is the mark of the Christian.  

 

We see in the New Testament that the tradition continues with St. Paul reminding us that we need to experience a renewal of our minds and live in a new form of wisdom.

 

Now what was called human sacrifice has become the tragic reality of genocide in societies that reject the transcendent God. Meanwhile, Christians seek humble love and obedience  to God as their standard of behavior NOT what the cultures around them are doing, even if it is a “god” that commands it. True Christians who seek Christ in faith and reason have the vocation to be on the forefront of true progress by living out the call of divine wisdom and love.

 

However, if we turn from this call we, like those addressed by Jeremiah,  will also follow the negative and disturbing practices of a wayward culture because when cultures turn from the wisdom of God they devolve.

 

This brings us to you. God has called you who are watching this from New Hampshire to Canada, from Michigan  to Lowell whether you are sitting in a living room, lying in a bedroom with a wheelchair next to you, a hospital bed or even a watching this in a coffee shop. We as Catholics have a calling to live the wisdom of God so that we can testify to it and become sacramental signs and symbols of the Divine wisdom that calls for personal sacrifice out of love for others and for God Himself—nothing more or less.

Fr. Carr is member of the Segundo Elo  of the Canção Nova Community. He is the parochial vicar of St. Michael’s Parish in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA and is the editor of this blog. He is the author of several books, blogs and hundreds of videos all of which you may find on Youtube You can follow him on twitter as @frbobcarr and on Google plus as+FrRobertCarr, his website is Carrbooks.com. Thoughts, comments on the homily? Let us know at Facebook

 Posted by at 01:01
Jul 022017
 

Fr. Jose Fortea from Spain is a powerful exorcist from the Church. However, despite his work and his world wide preaching on drawing close to the faith, he will explain that understanding the faith is simple it is all in the Bible and in Church teaching. If we understand this, then we will understand what it means to be a Catholic. It is important for us to see it this, because we can get lost in the idea that our Catholic faith is rocket science. It is not. It is powerful and it is even more powerful in its simplicity.

 

We can see a basic message to it in our second reading. St. Paul who is writing to the Christians in Rome is teaching us that we need to be dead to sin, but alive in Christ. Remember, St. Paul was the apostle to the gentiles so he is writing to those former pagans now Christians who do not have Judaism in their background. They are learning about Christ and his teachings from the ground up leaving the pagan practices of the Roman religions some we today consider virtuous and others we do not. He is also writing to the Jews who are living in Rome embracing Christ.

 

He is teaching them some basic principles of the faith that lay the groundwork for what become profound teachings in the faith. Here he is giving a simple principle. Be dead to sin, but alive to Christ. If you want to understand this may I remind you of the words of Robert Frost in his poem The Road Less Traveled. It is a similar principle. We can see it also in the words of Jesus of taking the narrow path and not the wide path.

 

Essentially it is simple, the ways of the world lead to death and the ways of Christ lead to life. It is that simple. So to be dead to sin means simply to cut yourself off from the ideas of the world and to embrace the ways of life. You can turn this into rocket science and complicate this, but please do not. It is not complicated. If you embrace Christ and His ways in the Church. If you embrace the sacramental life of the Church and live a prayerful life seeking the wisdom of God, you will turn from those things that lead away from God and promise ultimately nothing but death. So, he is talking about a way of living where your focus is on doing those things that will lead to life and avoiding those things that lead to death.

 

St. Paul in the Galatians gives a good example of both attitudes: He teaches: “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions occasions of envy drinking bouts, orgies, and the like.”

 

He continues to talk of living in the ways of the spirit, the ways that lead to life: In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. There is no rocket science here. Indeed, the fruits of the flesh you can read in any newspaper, it is all right there. But as he says, there is no law against living by the spirit. In that, we put our trust in Christ and do his will and the fruits of will be less and less of the former and more of the latter. When we do that we not only are on the path to life, we are not only living the ways of the spirit. We are also living in such a way that we speak to others by our lives of the power of Christ.

 

In fact, if we are not living the second list, there is no reason to preach the Gospel for we are not walking the talk. But if we are living the second list, if we are living in such a way that we are alive for Christ, there is no reason to speak of the Gospel our lives are doing it for us.

 

But to do that we need to be people who are faithful to the mass and faithful in our prayers. We need to be well versed in the New Testament so that the words of the Gospels and the Apostles can teach us daily how to live in such a way that we are by default we are alive for Christ and dead to sin.

 

When we do that and ask the Lord to strengthen our witness to Him, we grow more alive in Christ and more dead to sin. This means we desire the ways of Christ and not the ways of the world.

 

We become like the former drinker who discovers he can have a great time in life without ever touching alcohol or if he does he drinks to enjoy the taste not to get drunk. It is this call that we are called to live. Others preach he opposite, they teach people to live for sin and be dead to Christ and as you know that does not work out for people ever.

 

 

So heed the words of St. Paul. Be alive in Christ and dead to sin, seek from him the ways of the world that lead us to the joy of Christ and then lead others away from those things in the world that promise nothing but death.

Fr. Carr is member of the Segundo Elo  of the Canção Nova Community. He is the parochial vicar of St. Michael’s Parish in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA and is the editor of this blog. He is the author of several books, blogs and hundreds of videos all of which you may find on Youtube You can follow him on twitter as @frbobcarr and on Google plus as+FrRobertCarr, his website is Carrbooks.com. Thoughts, comments on the homily? Let us know at Facebook

 Posted by at 09:42
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