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Homily for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 14, 2024, Year B

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Fr. Charles Irvin Diocese of Lansing ( Click here for Sunday’s readings ) We are in ordinary time now. In the liturgies from Christmas until Pentecost we entered into all that God our Father has done for us, all that His Son has done for us in His birth, life, death, and resurrection. God has sent His Son among us not just to tell us that He loves us, but to share His very life with us. Now it is we who are sent, sent by the the Holy Spirit, who, because of Christ, the Father has sent to us. In today’s Gospel account we reflect on that event in which Jesus summoned the Twelve and first sent them out into their surrounding world. The account is not about something that happened long ago, it is about something that is happening to us in our lives. God, you see, is sending us. Being sent is a commission that occurs because of God’s initiative, not ours. Amos, about whom we heard in the first reading, protested that he was not a prophet. Said he: “I was no prophet, nor have I

Homily for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 21, 2024, Year B

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Fr. Charles Irvin Diocese of Lansing ( Click here for Sunday’s readings ) Plans. All of us are familiar with plans. There are family plans, school plans, plans at work, travel plans, game plans, and all sorts of other plans. Our days are lived out in them. Even our fun times are planned… sometimes over-planned. Some people can’t stand plans. They want things to be spontaneous and enjoy the surprises that can come when things are unplanned. Others can’t stand to do anything, and I mean anything, without a plan. They need structure; they go nuts without structures. The world in which we live these days, with all of its many demands, requires us to plan ahead. Few of us have the luxury of unplanned holidays and vacations. Most of us cannot get away unless we plan time for getting away from all the tasks that face us in our everyday weeks, months, and years. In today’s Gospel we heard about the apostles who had been out preaching and had come back to Jesus to report about a

Homily for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 7, 2024, Year B

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Fr. Charles Irvin Diocese of Lansing ( Click here for Sunday’s readings ) Shortly after He began His public ministry, Jesus went back to His hometown of Nazareth. What happened there was very sad. All of the familiar things and people were there — but it was far from being a happy homecoming. They gave Him the cold shoulder and He ended up leaving Nazareth forever. As St. Luke gives the account, the people there in Nazareth froze Him out and then tried to throw Him over a cliff. Why? The whole episode seems terribly strange to you and me. How could an entire town treat Him that way? They were not incredibly mean spirited. St. Mark didn’t give us this account in order to vilify the people of Nazareth. His reason for reporting this event was probably to show us that they were not so very different from you and me. Here we find them standing face to face with God’s very Truth made flesh and blood for us. Here was God offering himself in His only-begotten Son to people just li

Homily for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 30, 2024, Year B

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Fr. Charles Irvin Diocese of Lansing ( Click here for Sunday’s readings ) What happened to the twelve year old girl who was raised by Jesus from the dead? What happened in the life of the woman who was cured? And what happened to those who knew them? Surely the woman told the story of her healing to her children and grandchildren. Surely the girl’s teenage friends heard of her story and shared her story among their friends. We can only speculate about the impact these miracles had in the lives of those who knew the girl and the woman. Was there an effect of Christ’s miracles in the spiritual lives of the relatives and friends of the girl and the woman? The marvelous love God has shown us in our lives is intended to effect not simply ourselves alone but those around us as well. Our religion is communal, not just individual. Events make their impact on us. When we look around us we see that the war against terrorism is long and it will continue for quite some time. If you are

Homily for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 23, 2024, Year B

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Fr. Charles Irvin Diocese of Lansing ( Click here for Sunday’s readings ) Your doctor informs you that you have cancer. Your wife tells you she has been seeing another man. Your husband tells you he’s found a younger woman and is going to marry her. You son announces that he has AIDS. Your employer tells you that your job as been outsourced and your services will no longer be needed. Any number of events can bring your life crashing down. People of faith do not necessarily have trouble free and painless lives and people with little or no faith at all can be found living wonderful, prosperous, and problem free lives, or so it seems on the surface. Life’s blows come to us all no matter what things may seem like on the surface. If you look deeply into the lives of the rich and famous you will find loss, pain, and suffering. Moreover, if you look into the lives of great men and women you will find that most of them rose above pain, loss, and suffering and because of that struggl

Homily for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 16, 2024, Year B

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Fr. Charles Irvin Diocese of Lansing ( Click here for Sunday’s readings ) Our society, someone has declared, is suffering from “jumboitis”. We need the biggest military, the biggest car, the biggest guns, the biggest house, the biggest business, and so forth. We’ve got bigger and bigger buildings, cities, and even churches. “The bigger, the better” and “the more, the merrier” seem to be the adages that govern us. But are they really true? Many don’t think so. Including Jesus. In the Gospels we find Jesus giving high praise for just a cup of water, two copper coins, five measly old barley loves and two dried up fish, little children, crowds of only two or three being gathered together, and services rendered for even the least of our brothers and sisters. Today’s Gospel account has two brief parables, both about tiny things – little seeds. The first is apparently about wheat and the second about mustard seeds, the smallest of all seeds. The farmer¸ once he plants them, doesn’t

Homily for the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 9, 2024, Year B

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There is no homily this week from Fr. Irvin. We present this homily from Deacon McDonald Deacon Michael McDonald Diocese of Albany ( Click here for Sunday’s readings ) Today's gospel passage which we just heard appears early in Mark's Gospel. It's right at the beginning, right as Jesus starts his ministry. He hits the ground running. He swings into action. He calls his first disciples. Crowds gather and begin to follow him. He cures people and he drives out evil spirits. And in that very close-knit world of the Mediterranean, where family membership and loyalty were prime – and gave a person identity – Jesus does the unthinkable. He leaves his family and he takes to the road preaching. His life changed so much that his own family thought he went mad. And they wind up saying what we sometimes say about members of our own family when they begin to stray a little bit. "That guy must be nuts." or “What's gotten into her?" Jesus was preaching that Go