Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

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Intrinsic Evils and Voting

Posted: October 18th, 2012, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

Here’s a 3 minute spot I did for Catholic radio on intrinsic evils and voting. It’s kind of neat to be in my car and hear myself come on the air.

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Most moral issues aren’t so black and white as to be always right or always wrong. However, there are certain actions that the Church teaches are always wrong, regardless of the intentions or circumstances. These acts are called “intrinsically evil” because they are evil in themselves and can never be made right. There are 5 issues that fall into this category which we have to confront today:

5 Instrically Evil Actions

  • Abortion
  • Euthanasia
  • Embryonic Stem Cell Research
  • Human Cloning
  • Redefining Marriage

These issues are non-negotiable for Catholics and must be opposed. There are 70 million Catholics in this country. If we all stick together, we won’t have to be voting on these issues much longer.

Homily 225 – 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 14th, 2012, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

Answer the Call

In today’s Gospel Jesus calls a young man to follow him. It is the greatest moment in his life, and yet we are told he goes away sad. His riches stand in the way of his answering the call. What stands in the way of us saying yes to God? Whatever it is, sell it, be free, and follow Jesus. God will not be outdone in generosity!

Homily 224 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 7th, 2012, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

From Worse to Better

As you survey the state of marriage in our society today, it would be easy to get discouraged. Yet we see in our gospel today that even at the time of Jesus they struggled with marriage. When Jesus explains what is required of married people, some of the apostles even question if maybe it would be better not to get married at all. Today’s homily speaks of some of the tough issues surrounding marriage today, including divorce, contraception, so-called “same sex marriage” and others. Things may look grim now, but a new springtime is taking root. If we follow Jesus’ words to return to God’s plan “from the beginning” then we will soon see our society, and marriage in particular, go from worse to better.

Homily 223 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 30th, 2012, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

Prophet Training

You are a prophet! Maybe you didn’t know it, but in your baptism you were anointed “priest, prophet, and king.” Perhaps you’re wondering about just what a prophet is supposed to do. Today’s homily looks at the Old Testament for examples and especially St. John the Baptist. A prophet is someone who speaks for God, with their actions and words. What kind of prophet are you? What message are you sending by the words and actions of your life?

Homily 222 – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 9th, 2012, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

Be Opened

In today’s gospel, Jesus opens the ears of a deaf man. Maybe we think all of our senses are working just fine, but what about our spiritual senses? What about our ability to recognize someone in need? Today’s homily tells the amazing story of what God did with one simple scout who had this awareness. If we’re a little closed off to the needs of others, perhaps we need to ask God for healing, that we might hear him say to us “be opened.”

Homily 221 – 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 2nd, 2012, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

All That Jazz

When we’re growing up, no kid seems to like rules. I remember a similar experience learning to play the trumpet. My teacher wanted me to learn a bunch of scales. I just wanted to play songs. Our readings today also speak of rules, but especially having them in the right balance. It’s good to follow the rules, but we can’t become obsessed with the rules. No musician will perform scales for a concert.

In music, perhaps the best analogy to the kind of life God wants for us is found in Jazz. You’ve got to know the rules…the scales, the key, the changes, etc…but then you get to make it up. You improvise. May we all learn well the rules of life and then improvise with our unique lives as we give God glory with all that jazz.

Homily 220 – 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 26th, 2012, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

How Important is the Eucharist

We’ve spent the last several weeks learning about the Eucharist as we read St. John’s gospel. However, there comes a time when you have to make a decision to act. It’s not enough just to think about the Eucharist or understand it. Ultimately, our lives must answer the key question, “How important is the Eucharist?” Today’s homily looks at how three different priests answered this question.

St. Edmund Campion, S.J.  Fr. Walter Ciszek  Cardinal Francis Van Thuan
St. Edmund Campion, Fr. Walter Ciszek, and Cardinal Francis Van Thuan

Homily 219 – 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 19th, 2012, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

Behold the Lamb of God

This weekend’s homily continues the theme of considering various aspects of the Eucharist as we reflect on St. John’s gospel. Today we learn about what is meant by the term “Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.” What sacrifice is this referring to? What does it mean that Jesus is the Lamb of God?

Homily 218 – 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 12th, 2012, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

Not As It Appears

We normally use our senses to understand our world and to identify what things are. However, things aren’t always as they appear. In in philosophy, we use two important terms to differentiate between what our senses can tell us about something and what that thing actually is. The properties that are perceptible to our senses we call “accidents.” This would include things like color, taste, smell, etc.. Beyond what something looks like, we call the property that actually makes something what it is “substance.”

The terms substance and accidents are philosophical terms that are important to our understanding of the Eucharist. We start with ordinary bread and wine. After the words of consecration the substance of the bread and wine is changed while the accidents remain. What still appears to be bread and wine has been completely changed into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus. The Eucharist is God although it retains the accidental properties of bread and wine.

This transformation is so important and unique to the Eucharist that a new word was created to describe what happens at the consecration. “Transubstantiation” is the word used by the Church and simply means “a change in substance.” As we go forward to receive the Eucharist today, let us be mindful of this great mystery. Jesus says that whoever eats this bread will live forever. Indeed this “bread” is much more than what it appears to be.

Homily 217 – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 5th, 2012, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

Athletes of Christ

I always enjoy watching the Olympics. There are so many sports that I would never watch if it weren’t for the Olympics. I was watching diving the other day and marveled at all the complicated moves they are able to do. All of the athletes are so inspiring. We marvel at the “finished product” we see on TV, but I especially enjoying hearing the stories of all the hard work it took to get there. The training routines and years of discipline are truly inspiring. Why do they do it? …to win a gold medal of course.

St. Paul reminds us that we are competing for a much bigger prize in the competition we call life; we want to win the prize of heaven. If heaven is our goal, why would we expect that getting there would be any less difficult than winning a gold medal? The Christian life requires training and discipline. The early church gave each newly baptized Christian a new title, “Athlete of Christ.” It’s not easy to be a Christian. No one hands you a gold medal simply for showing up.

The lighting of the famous Olympic flame marks the beginning of competition at the Olympics. In our baptism we too are given a flame to mark the beginning of our race in life. The priest passes the torch as it were from the Paschal Candle to the baptismal candle and onto the parents and godparents. As he does so he says to the newly baptized, “Receive the light of Christ.” He might just as well be saying, “Let the games begin.”