Preparing The Way - 1st Sunday of Advent

12-01-2019Homilies

It’s Christmas time! Let the shopping and holiday events begin. As Catholics, this time of year is especially important as a time for preparation on a spiritual level, but we can only do this preparation by actually allowing ourselves to slow down, hearing Gods call to peace. St Paul asks us to not settle for the worldly expectations that constantly surround us, to not be complacent but to be always awaiting the coming of Christ. 

Can we take the time to place ourselves in the face of Jesus? What words come to mind? What would it be like? Are we living like He really exists or is he an idea? Let us not forget how quickly this life goes and how this type of season that we are in now can bring our focus elsewhere. There are many opportunities to let God back in.  Through confession, honest prayer, and quality time with God, we can remove the “cobwebs” within our own spirituality. Let us live with an urgency that calls us back to our Lord. 

Rev. John Ehrich, STL, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Phoenix in 2000.He earned his M.A. from St. Meinrad Seminary in 1998 and his MDiv in 2000.After five years of parish ministry, he studied at the Accademia Alfonsiana inRome where he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (Moral Theology) in2007. Fr. Ehrich currently serves at St. Thomas More in Glendale.

Jesus, Remember Me - Christ the King

11-23-2019Homilies

Priest. Prophet. King. Offering sacrifice, delivering God’s message and even ruling over nations are anointed actions shown in prefigurements in the Old Testament. People such as Moses and David. The New Testament accounts Jesus as a different kind of leader, as someone who does not desire the worldly platitudes we expect from other priests, prophets and kings of the past. A salvific leader, Christ’s kingdom encompasses a differing vision from temporal reality. The greatest act of power is not merely to command or fix, but to submit to a greater power. Jesus displayed this by surrendering to His Father; by dying on the cross so that the gates of heaven could be opened, allowing reigning mercy for all to become the last word.

On a personal level, we hear the words in the gospel, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” We can understand that Jesus can truly reign in our lives and even at the end, when we are brought to our own salvation.

Rev. John Ehrich, STL, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Phoenix in 2000.He earned his M.A. from St. Meinrad Seminary in 1998 and his MDiv in 2000.After five years of parish ministry, he studied at the Accademia Alfonsiana inRome where he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (Moral Theology) in2007. Fr. Ehrich currently serves at St. Thomas More in Glendale.

Some Of That Old Time Religion - 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

11-17-2019Homilies
Fr. John reflects on the gospel and refers to the reactionary responses that often follow any hearing of "the end times," whether in scripture or in everyday life encounters. In the gospel, Jesus foretells the signs, both false and true, that will occur. As Christians, we believe in the Truth of the person of Jesus Christ, who desires us to choose Him over any other fears, idols, or ideologies that circumvent our understanding of Him. Fr. John names radical subjectivism as one of those dangerous ideologies. It is a mentality that is rampant in modern society and clouds the truth that the Lord has always had for His children. We cannot be both for and against God, rather, we must stay faithful to the heart of the gospel and its many gifts that we continue to unpack and understand. The God of mercy, justice, and hope is truly one to never forget amidst the chaos of today's times.

Rev. John Ehrich, STL, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Phoenix in 2000.He earned his M.A. from St. Meinrad Seminary in 1998 and his MDiv in 2000.After five years of parish ministry, he studied at the Accademia Alfonsiana inRome where he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (Moral Theology) in2007. Fr. Ehrich currently serves at St. Thomas More in Glendale.

There's No Golf In Heaven - 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

11-10-2019Homilies

Fr. John Ehrich describes some misconceptions that many might hold in regards to our ideas about heaven, which are described by Jesus in the gospel. The idea that our loved ones who have passed have “become angels” may serve comfort to grieving families, but ultimately, we must clarify that we are only “like” angels, not actually new angels, when we enter into heaven. Another clarification is that marriage in heaven is not a part of the equation. Though Christ has compared eternal life to a wedding in other scripture passages, our human institution of marriage is not purposeful in the context of heaven. Why? One, there is no need for the procreation that marriage brings about because when we are in heaven, at that point, we are fully, purely, impermeably present with God. When we think about the state of affairs in heaven, it is easy to think very personally in the first person perspective (Will or won’t I be in heaven? Will it be my version of heaven? Will it be a land of golf, or chocolate, or _______), or forget about the communal importance of being together at mass. Our understanding and hope is that we’re not only all meant to be united with our Lord Jesus Christ after we die, but also be actively participating in the life in the Body of Christ that we experience in ministry, service, family and love for one another.

Rev. John Ehrich, STL, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Phoenix in 2000.He earned his M.A. from St. Meinrad Seminary in 1998 and his MDiv in 2000.After five years of parish ministry, he studied at the Accademia Alfonsiana inRome where he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (Moral Theology) in2007. Fr. Ehrich currently serves at St. Thomas More in Glendale.

The Man In The Tree - 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time

11-03-2019Homilies

A pervading message in our minds is the phrase, "not good enough." A phrase that pops up in our thoughts about other people and especially ourselves. "I am not good enough." It is a damaging thought that can pervade our mentalities due to upbringing, culture, or just our own standard of evaluation. But God has not created anything that is not good. We cannot fully rely on our own judgement about ourselves because the reality is that Christ loves us in all that we are. If we exist, we are loved. We are enough.

The famous "little and despised," Zachaus, a tax collector and an enemy to many people, encounters Jesus in the gospel reading today. It is well-known that because of his job title, many would think very little of him in character and moral standards, because he would have profited personally from the funds he would collect. Though we do not know exactly how Zachaus might have truly viewed himself, we can deduce that he still has an interest in the Messiah - so much so that he climbs a tree to get a better view. It is interesting that Jesus has a mission with Zachaus. He meets Zachaus immediately in friendship, even before Zachaus professes his need to change. He does ask or demand change beforehand. He simply wants to eat dinner with him, (a sinner). What we can take from this interaction is that Christ seeks each of us out personally and independently of what we think we deserve or should be. Despite our limited view, whether we think we are "not enough," or even the worst, God loves us entirely and sees what we can be. Like a loving parent, Jesus is patient and deeply knowing of who we are at our deepest level. We can rest in that love. A love that always abides and even challenges us to invite Christ into our homes and our hearts.

Rev. John Ehrich, STL, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Phoenix in 2000.He earned his M.A. from St. Meinrad Seminary in 1998 and his MDiv in 2000.After five years of parish ministry, he studied at the Accademia Alfonsiana inRome where he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (Moral Theology) in2007. Fr. Ehrich currently serves at St. Thomas More in Glendale.

Jesus, Have Mercy On Me A Sinner - 30th Sunday In Ordinary Time

10-26-2019Homilies

Fr. John continues to expand on the themes of the Gospel of Luke to be persistent in prayer, what prayer ought to be like, and what our disposition in prayer should be. We see how the comparison between the Pharisee’s prayer and the tax collector’s prayer speak to their different postures when approaching the Lord. In today’s time, the Pharisee could be seen as a “Good Catholic”, one who thinks that they are doing everything moral and upright because that’s what it takes to get to heaven. The tax collector is someone who knows that they are a sinner and they are helpless without God. God knows that there is nothing that we can do to earn His grace, and so he does not want us to “do everything right” but to recognize our state, who we are, and our need for mercy. We can try to do better, incorporate virtue, but recognize it is God’s operation first, God’s movement in our lives that moves us forward and upward towards perfection. Jesus’ time spent with sinners shows how he did not have time to spend with people who didn’t think they were sinners. If there is no “space” for God to fill, then he cannot fill it, so we need to open our hearts in need of God’s mercy.

    Rev. John Ehrich, STL, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Phoenix in 2000.He earned his M.A. from St. Meinrad Seminary in 1998 and his MDiv in 2000.After five years of parish ministry, he studied at the Accademia Alfonsiana inRome where he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (Moral Theology) in2007. Fr. Ehrich currently serves at St. Thomas More in Glendale.

    Does God Answer Our Prayers? - 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    10-20-2019Homilies

    This week’s homily addresses the power of prayer. Is God telling us the truth in promising to give us what we ask for? Or did he mean something else or more for us? There are many cases in which are prayers are not answered…we see in war and worldly issues. Yet there are instances too in which sick people are healed after being told they have a certain amount of time to live from diseases. Fr. John Ehrich takes a survey of the congregation and many raised their hand and shared that they have had prayers answered, but it’s a question of whether it’s an answer to prayer or if God is operative in our every day life. We must ask for faith and a deeper understanding that if God doesn’t answer our prayers, he will deliver a good answer with our best interest in mind. Jesus is constantly telling us about persistence of prayer. Take the woman who nags at Jesus on the street. God says if an unjust judge will not answer this woman how much more will God bring justice to her? The reasons we ought to prayer is the same reason we ought to do everything – because Jesus said so. There will be a good deal of time between what we ask for and when we get it, and that our prayers are not always going to be good for us. Yes it is not according to our will but God’s will. God wants us to see us as dependent on him. We must examine our prayer life. IF we don’t pray every day we will be missing something. Ask for the Lord to be with us every day through even small prayers to keep the relationship going. See if we can add more prayer to strengthen our relationship with him. He will abide.

    Rev. John Ehrich, STL, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Phoenix in 2000.He earned his M.A. from St. Meinrad Seminary in 1998 and his MDiv in 2000.After five years of parish ministry, he studied at the Accademia Alfonsiana inRome where he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (Moral Theology) in2007. Fr. Ehrich currently serves at St. Thomas More in Glendale.

    Let Us Live In Gratitude - 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    10-19-2019Homilies

    Fr. John Ehrich relates the ideas of Sunday’s first reading and Gospel passage, drawing attention to the parallels of gratitude and healing. The outcasts depicted in the scriptures, (such as lepers, or non-Jews) display this gratitude to Christ; the ones who are least expected to show gratitude, do. They not only recognize the immensity of God within their midst, but respond with earnest and honest graciousness.

    How often do we take Christ’s love and presence for granted in our lives? He explains his own experiences with this question. Certain moments remind him of this present-day goodness of God. Whether at a beautiful wedding or at the bedside for a dying young woman, Fr. Ehrich has recently experienced true gratitude among his community. He calls all of us, with full awareness of our human sufferings and frustrations, to be brought back to Christ in all that he offers. We are asked to continue to acknowledge our own blessings or circumstances and ultimately respond with gratitude.

    Rev. John Ehrich, STL, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Phoenix in 2000.He earned his M.A. from St. Meinrad Seminary in 1998 and his MDiv in 2000.After five years of parish ministry, he studied at the Accademia Alfonsiana inRome where he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (Moral Theology) in2007. Fr. Ehrich currently serves at St. Thomas More in Glendale.