I love being able to spend a few days with a parish community sharing the Gospel with them, unfortunately my teaching schedule usually only allows me to do one in Advent (mid-December, after classes are over) and one in Lent (during our Spring Break). So please book these in advance! There are two different themes that I usually cover in my parish missions, “In The Footsteps of the Fisher of Men” and “And the Word Became Flesh”. Each mission is three nights (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday) My usual format for each session is ninety minutes: 20 minutes of music, 40 minutes of message, 30 minutes of adoration (with music).
In the Footsteps of the Fisher of Men
I spent a number of years researching a book on St. Peter titled, “Between the Savior and the Sea”. This series of talks invites the listeners to walk in his footsteps as he came to understand who Jesus was and how he was called to be His disciple.
Into the Deep
Main Scripture: Luke 5:1-11
When Jesus asked Simon Peter to follow him, he didn’t say, “start over.” He took a fisherman and made him a “fisher of men.” He transformed Simon’s natural gifts into an opportunity supernatural grace. As he called Simon, Jesus calls us as well. But we have to get over our fears and stereotypes of who we think he is and what we think we want if we are going to be true disciples of Christ.
Caught in the Storm
Main Scripture: Mark 4:35-41
The storm was raging. The boat was filling up with water. Everything thing seemed lost and Jesus was… asleep!?! We have all, like Simon Peter, wanted to grab God by the robes and say, “Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Will you abandon us forever?” (Psalm 44:23). But some of us would let the ship sink before admitting such a thing.
“Lord, You Know that I Love You.”
Main Scripture: John 21:15-17
Many of us have an image of our spiritual life that does not gel with reality. We can (consciously or unconsciously) put on a mask before God that keeps us from becoming truly intimate with Him. But Jesus loves us totally—not just the good, but the bad. He doesn’t need us to be fake, but faithful. He wants us to be as real with Him as He is with us. That’s when we encounter what love really is.
“And the Word Became Flesh…”
St. Francis was enamored with the infant Jesus, and Franciscan spirituality has often focused on the beauty of the Incarnation. As Catholics we know that it happened, but don’t often ask why. The Catechism of the Catholic Church offers four reasons as to why the Word became flesh, and understanding those reasons brings us to the heart of the Gospel and God’s plan for our lives.
Why did the Word become Flesh?
Main Scripture: John 3:16-17
Why would God, who controls the Universe and all that it contains, become a baby who couldn’t even control when he went to the bathroom? The answer is found in the most famous verse in the Bible.
What Holiness Really Means
Main Scripture: John 14:6
We are all called to holiness. Many people define holiness as the absence of sin. But that is a shallow definition when we compare it to the grace and love of God that He poured out to us in His Son. The Second Person of the Trinity became flesh so that we might truly understand what it really means to be holy.
“For That Is What We Are!”
Main Scripture: 1 John 3:1
“For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” It sounds like heresy, but it’s a quote from St. Athanasius. The Catechism refers to this when it tells us that the Word became flesh so that we might “partake in the divine nature” (CCC 460). We are sons and daughters of God, and our whole identity should be based on that miraculous fact.