Do you know why God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ? Are you able to explain the basic message of the Gospel to someone? In this talk to priests and leaders in the Archdiocese of Detroit, Fr. John breaks open the basic message of the Gospel under the four headings of Created, Captured, Rescued, and Response.
Rerouting was a series created at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church. It was designed to break open the basic story of the Gospel, based on the experience that many Catholics do not know the Bible as well as they would like. As a result many Catholics find the lectionary that is proclaimed at Mass to be hard to follow. The entire series lasted fourteen weeks, but these are the first five talks that break open the story, drawing heavily on Genesis 1-3.
The shootings at Sandyhook were beyond tragic for those who continue to grieve deeply the lives of their children. In this homily during the Advent season, Fr. John reflects with us on the reality of death, heaven and the need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us an eternal perspective.
In this talk on marriage, Fr. John discusses what are commonly referred to as “The Four Goods of Marriage:” permanence, partnership, faithfulness, and fruitfulness.
The teaching of St. Paul on marriage found in Ephesians 5 is one of the most misunderstood passages in the New Testament. What is it that the Lord calls husbands to be and to do in marriage? What is it that He calls wives to be and to do? This talk shatters misconceptions about this beautiful but hard to understand passage, and offers ideas for how to thrive as a married couple.
In this series, Fr. John lays the groundwork for how to live as a daily disciple of Jesus. This five-talk retreat creates a dynamic reversal of our focus from being inward and maintenance based to being outward and mission-oriented. This change occurs first in our hearts, through an encounter with Jesus, then in our homes as we grow in our faith, and finally in our culture as we witness to the Gospel.
Session One – Call to Discipleship: Jesus Loved Andrew and Cherished His Friendship
In this session, Fr. John begins the series by defining discipleship and digging deep into what a call to discipleship is. The first call to discipleship is not a call to go and do something, but rather it is a call to draw closer to Jesus in friendship.
Session Two – Cost of Discipleship: Slide Over, Take Your Hands Off the Wheel, and Let Me Drive
In this session, Fr. John covers the cost that we all face in being a disciple. He talks about how we don’t become a Christian by rolling up our sleeves and trying harder, but rather by holding up our hands and surrendering.
Session Three – Rewards of Discipleship: What’s in it For Me?
What’s in it for me? Is that a selfish question to ask about living the life of a disciple? In this talk, Fr. John dives into this question that is very worth asking.
Session Four – Life of Prayer of a Disciple: But Father, What am I supposed to do During All that Time?
What do you do in prayer? This talk focuses on five essential questions that will help you build a better understanding of a life of prayer, which goes beyond mere recitation of memorized prayers.
Session Five – Stewardship of a Disciple: Giving to God What Belongs to God
Time, talent, and treasure are words we often hear when talking about stewardship. In this session, Fr. John takes apart our perceptions of what stewardship is and makes us realize that time, talent, and treasure have little to do with it.
Holy Thursday is the beginning of the holiest days of the year in the Church. As we celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Fr. John offers a way into a deeper understanding of what Jesus is about to do in His glorious passion, death, and resurrection.
St. Pope John Paul II once said that in his mind the crisis of our day and age is a degradation, indeed a pulverization of the dignity of the human person. In this talk, Fr. John addresses this crisis and issues a call to action for disciples of Jesus.
This series took place between September 2010 and March 2011. In it, Fr. John offers his perspective on St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body – an extraordinary gift that the late Holy Father offered to the Church and to the world to understand God’s plan for the person, marriage, and family.
“Suffering – meaning = despair.” This was how Victor Frankl once described the reality of pain and suffering. Why is there suffering? Is my suffering in vain? Can anything good come from suffering? In this talk by Fr. John, these and other crucial questions are discussed against the backdrop of the Passion of Jesus.
The Rosary is one of the most treasured prayers in the Catholic Church. Yet, for many people, it can be difficult to know how to pray this beautiful devotion without falling into mere rote recitation. Fr. John offers here some initial reflections on Mary and why the Church honors her as she does, and then some reflections before each of the mysteries of the Rosary to better help us pray more attentively.
A series for those thinking of coming into full communion with the Catholic Church. In these talks, Fr. John speaks to those who are either unbaptized, baptized but not Catholic, or Catholic but eager to learn more about the faith.
- Introduction to the Kerygma | Watch Video
Kerygma is the Greek word for proclamation. It has come to be understood as the basic message of the Gospel, but it is anything but basic. The Gospel isn’t just news, let alone ordinary news; it is extraordinary, life-changing news! This is the first of five consecutive talks that aim to give us a biblical vision of reality, so as to us better understand what Jesus has accomplished for us in His death and resurrection.
- Kerygma (Part Two) | Watch Video
This talk grapples with the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” The Biblical answer? Because God, who is Love, out of love, created all that is. The grace in this talk is wonder and awe, as we gaze at the Lord who is infinitely powerful and rich in mercy.
- Kerygma (Part Three) | Watch Video
If God is good, and everything He made is good, why are things so obviously messed up? Why is there evil? These, and other related questions, are tackled in this second talk breaking open the basic message of the Gospel. In a particular way, we want to look closely at the consequences of sin, and see that they are worse than we had imagined.
- Kerygma (Part Four) | Watch Video
In this talk we turn our attention to why God became man, and what precisely Jesus is doing in His passion, death and resurrection. He is certainly making atonement for our sins, but he is doing more than this: He is going to war against our ancient foe.
- Kerygma (Part Five) | Watch Video
In this final talk on the Kerygma, we turn our attention to the question, “What is the reasonable response to Jesus having saved us from the powers of Sin, Death, Satan and Hell?”
- Father or Adversary | Watch Video
- Liar, Lunatic, or Lord? | Watch Video
- The Holy Spirit (The One Who Answers the Cry) | Watch Video
- Credibility of the Scriptures | Watch Video
- Testimony & How The Early Church Grew | Watch Video
- Introduction to the Sacraments | Watch Video
- Prayer | Watch Video
- The Inviolable Dignity of the Human Person | Watch Video
God wonderfully created a deep friendship between Fr. John and Steve Andrews, one of the founding pastors at Kensington Community Church. This friendship created multiple opportunities for shared prayer between the two congregations, as well as a number of talks and events to help foster a spirit of unity amongst Christians. This is a sermon Fr. John gave at Kensington on May 28, 2011.
This is the funeral homily for Fr. John’s dad, given at Holy Name Parish in Birmingham, MI. February 19, 2016.
This is the funeral homily given for Fr. John’s mom Holy Name Parish in Birmingham, MI. September 18, 2018.
Fr. John speaks on the Seven Keys to a successful marriage on the Feast Day of the Holy Family at Our Lady of Good Counsel. December 30, 2018.
Fr. John’s mother went through great anger, bitterness, and rage due to the divorce of her mom and dad. In this homily, Fr. John describes how the power of the Holy Spirit was able to change her heart, and how that same Spirit is able even now to transform our hearts too wherever they most need it.
Why did God become man in the person of Jesus Christ? This should be something that everybody knows, but do we? In this homily from Christmas Eve, Fr. John draws upon the imagery of D-Day to help us understand that the Lord came to fight for us and to deliver us from Powers we cannot compete against.
For this 1st Sunday of Lent, Fr. John offers a powerful image to pray with so as to better comprehend the “bad news,” without which the Gospel appears to be ordinary news.