Fr. Michael Byron's Homily Blog


OUR EXTRAVAGANT GOD

January 20, 2019
I have hosted some parties in my life—including large ones—but I have never heard of drinking on the scale that the gospel of the John describes.  At the wedding feast in Cana, Jesus provides something between 150 and 180 gallons of wine—and this was after ...

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THE RISKS OF BAPTISM

January 13, 2019
In the ritual prayers for the baptism of children in the Catholic Church, one of the first questions that is asked of the parents is, “Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?”  And their required response is, “We do.” And here I am stea...

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THE STORY IS NOT A MISTAKE

January 06, 2019
King Herod was a crazy man.  By all historical accounts he was mentally unstable, grandiose in his lust for power, ruthless in putting down his enemies—real or perceived—and perpetually paranoid about his grasp on control.  But he was also a Jew.&nb...

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A CHRISTMAS STORY

December 25, 2018
Perhaps the most compelling Christmas story of this past year was one that all of us listened to together last July. And by all together I mean millions of people from every part of the world. It was the story of Tham Luang, and if you don’t remember that tale by name, I&...

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A VOCATION TO BE FAITHFUL

December 23, 2018
Since it’s still Advent and not yet Christmas I think I can get away with sharing a story that is depressing and heartbreaking and sad. So here is goes… A few months ago I was one of a few of the Pax Christi people who participated in a retreat experience at St. Jo...

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LIFE WITH THE SAINTS

December 16, 2018
One of the best parts of being in full-time church ministry is that I regularly get to mingle with Saints.  I know that we’re all Saints in virtue of our baptism, but here I’m thinking of these people who astonish me with their faith, their generosity, their kind...

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GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING NEW

December 09, 2018
And there they all were, and it didn’t matter. Tiberius Caesar was on his throne in Rome. Pontius Pilate was in his palace in Jerusalem. Herod was living lavishly and savagely in his many mansions in Palestine.  The high priests were firmly in control of all thing...

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OUR CALLS ARE IMPORTANT

December 02, 2018
“Your call is very important to us; please stay on the line and you will be helped by our first available representative.” Is there any more irritating sentence in the world to hear than that one?  It’s a pre-recorded robo-voice that you only encounter w...

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CHRIST HOLDS ALL THE ACES

November 25, 2018
Although I am not a tremendously good card player, I have played enough to know that the value of what you are holding in your hand depends entirely on which game you are playing.  The very same cards can mean something completely different in various situations. There ar...

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AN ASTONISHING HOPE

November 18, 2018
My Grandma Byron died 30 years ago today.  I remember it as a sad day, but not too much.  She was almost 90 years old and had been suffering from the effects of dementia for about a decade.  She had long since lost her ability to speak coherently, or to recognize a...

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WHAT WILL YOU GIVE?

November 11, 2018
Like many of you, I’m sure, I do most of my charitable giving for the year during the last weeks of December, to be sure I get a tax advantage.  Let’s think about that for a moment:  When I give is in part conditioned by what I stand to benefit from. That...

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WE REMEMBER EACH NAME

November 04, 2018
On the day of my Father’s funeral several years ago, among the many who came to the liturgy was Archbishop Flynn, who had known and befriended my parents.  I was the presider and the preacher that day, but he asked before Mass if he could say a few words to the people ...

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AREN’T OUR SAINTS JUST THE BEST?!

October 28, 2018
I think the very best thing about “my job” is the endless parade of holy, inspiring people whom I have the honor to meet and to serve all the time.  One of them is named Mary and she lives in Bloomington.  She turns 95 years old this month, and I first met h...

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HOW GREAT ARE YOU READY TO BE?

October 21, 2018
People of a certain age—like me—will recognize to whom the title “The Greatest” once referred in American popular culture.  He used that description to speak about himself: “I’m the greatest.”  It was the world heavyweight champ...

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ON BEING KNOWN…

October 14, 2018
When I was a student at St. John’s University 40 years ago, every fall as part of the football homecoming weekend celebrations the students put on a campus-wide talent show.  It drew a large crowd and it featured all kinds of acts, whether vocal, or instrumental or mag...

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JESUS WILL BE JUST FINE

September 30, 2018
One of my enduringly favorite quotes during the time of my graduate studies came off the cuff one day in class from the professor, who was a well-known Jesuit priest and scholar and writer on the liturgical life of the church.  I no longer remember the conversation that set ...

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CAN YOU ASK THE QUESTION?

September 23, 2018
“…and they were afraid to question him…and they were afraid to question him.” These are the disciples with their beloved friend and teacher, Jesus.  Why—or about what—would they be afraid to question him?  What is too scary to ...

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FOR LOVE OF A LOSING TEAM

September 16, 2018
In the parish from which I recently came, one of the most prominent, faithful, generous and good families was headed by a man whose career is in marketing and sales for the MN Twins.  So I always had to be careful about making disparaging remarks about the team while in chur...

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WHAT KIND OF NEWS?

September 09, 2018
We live in an age, of course, in which the category of “fake news” is recently and frequently invoked by people who aren’t happy with what the content of the news actually is.  The idea is that if you can only discredit the bearer of the news, then the news...

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SUMMONED TO BE AS BIG AS GOD

September 02, 2018
What do you notice?  And what do you question?  Aren’t these two of the most revealing things that can be asked of ourselves, and others?  This past week I was traveling to the funeral of a friend and I stayed in a fairly high-end hotel, just because I felt l...

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WE WILL REMAIN, LORD…EVEN NOW

August 26, 2018
This coming week I will be traveling to Montana for the funeral liturgy of my oldest, closest friend.  Matt and I met in the 1st grade in our Catholic school, and for more than 50 years we have been right there for one another—a rare, precious gift.  We vacationed...

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FLESH AND BLOOD! REALLY?

August 19, 2018
What do homemade chocolate chip cookies and a bucket of KFC original recipe chicken have in common?  Other than the fact that they are two of the most delicious and unhealthy foods that one could eat…. I’ll spare you the suspense.  The answer is that the...

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THE FOOD IS JUST THE BEGINNING

August 05, 2018
On Friday morning we celebrated the funeral Mass here for Jean Cullen, age 90, who was a long-time part of the Friendship Village community.  During the preparation process for that liturgy the children gathered together to speak about her life.  They were so sorrowful,...

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It’s About God, Not the Guide

July 22, 2018
When I was in high school I was turned on to a roving Christian evangelist named Bill Gothard, who was at the time traveling around the country with his multiple-day seminar called Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts.  The leader of the bible study group at my Catholic parish...

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Let Us Consider the Albatross

July 14, 2018
If you ever have occasion to stop in my office here at church you will see one of the most ambiguous of my possessions.  I have been much more aware of it this month because I have had to move it from St. Paul to Eden Prairie…together with everything else I own. ...

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It's All About the Mission

July 08, 2018
“A prophet is not without honor, except in his native place.”  If Jesus’ words are true, then this weekend should pretty much be my high water mark among you here at Pax.  Most of you don’t know me, and I am presuming to stand here before you as ...

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