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Juan Point at a Time

Juan Point at a Time

By Juan P Ruiz
I am currently a Jesuit transitional deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. This podcast is a collection of my best homilies thus far... plus some of the rest. (Feel free to be the judge of that.) My focus is often on spiritual insights that are gleaned from the readings or the occasion being celebrated. May it bring some reprieve and encouragement for the journey. :D
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People be Different
It turns out that people are different and remain so, but that doesn't need to get in the way of grace or holiness! Year 2 - Ordinary Time - Week 17 - Wednesday
August 09, 2022
Persistence and Insistence in Prayer
Christ is more than encouraging when it comes to prayer. He's persistent and insistent that we trust in God's goodness. Year C - Ordinary Time - Week 17
August 04, 2022
The Garden of Eden Reversed
An empty tomb. God in the garden. Christ's encounter with Mary Magdalene that sets in motion a new beginning for a new creation. Feast of Mary Magdalene
August 02, 2022
Pause and Breathe
Sometimes, all that Jesus asks of us is to take a moment and rest. Year C - Ordinary Time - Week 16 - Sunday
July 30, 2022
Saber vs Conocer - How are we to 'know' God
There is a great deal of helpful scholarship about God as we have come to know of Him through Christ, yet it is in knowing Him directly that most will find their peace with Him. Year 2 - Ordinary Time - Week 15 - Wednesday
July 21, 2022
Saint Benedict of Nursia - Fostering Competition in Community
Saint Benedict wrote a guide called "The Rule of Saint Benedict." It is filled with merciful and pragmatic wisdom for communal living. Today's homily focuses on just one of his many insights.
July 19, 2022
Saint Maria Goretti - Holding Firm to Faith in God's Utter Benevolence
Warning: this episode includes some violence in the description of the death of Maria Goretti. Her response is that of the forgiving victim, just like Christ.
July 15, 2022
Lambs and Wolves - What Drives Your Actions?
Jesus sends out his disciples as lambs among wolves and that seems like a scary prospect, unless you know what it's like to be the type of lamb Jesus intends. Year C - Ordinary Time - Week 13 - Sunday
July 07, 2022
You Too Can Choose to Forgive
The people marvel at the power of forgiveness that God has given to human beings. Do we, perhaps, feel called to exercise that today? Year 2 - Ordinary Time - Week 13 - Thursday
July 07, 2022
A Leap of Faith into Total Trust
Sometimes Jesus exaggerates when he's trying to get us up and moving. The more that he demands, the more that is promised. Year 2 - Ordinary Time - Week 13 - Monday
July 05, 2022
An Immaculate Heart in a Time of Crisis
The Gospel today offers an example of how Mary's Immaculate Heart carries the aftermath of crisis and what we can move towards in similar crises. Year 2 - Ordinary Time - Week 12 - Saturday - Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
June 27, 2022
Surrender to Mercy
Christ wants us to know that we're not better nor worse than anyone else. He just invites us to surrender to mercy. Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
June 19, 2022
Jesus Wants Witnesses, Not Warriors.
Sometimes it's tempting to want to build a kingdom for God, but He wants so much more than that for each of us and asks something different than many might suspect to get there. Additional context: This homily was delivered in Canada at the tail-end of my studies there before I returned to the United States to be ordained a priest.  Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord
May 31, 2022
Not as the World Gives Do I Give
Jesus is saying farewell to his disciples and preparing them for his departure, by preparing them to remain near to him always. Easter - Week 06 - Sunday
May 25, 2022
Stepping Off the Seesaw
Many learn as children how to defensively protect the territory they can control. Jesus comes to invite us to help him grow a new kingdom that is much greater. Easter - Week 04 - Wednesday
May 17, 2022
Behold, the lamb of God!
It is not an easy thing to see Christ in ourselves, the world, and others, but it is a great gift that Christians can give. Sometimes, however, moments of weakness like Peter's betrayal can hinder the ability to see Christ. Easter Octave - Friday
April 29, 2022
Is Hatred the Root of Community?
Hatred often seems to be the root of community in the world, but it is mercy, not hatred, that builds community. This is at the heart of the spread of Christianity. Year C - Lent - Week 5 - Saturday
April 12, 2022
Don't Flip Off the Lights
Sometimes people choose, consciously and unconsciously, to turn off the light of their conscience. Today's scripture story is an example of what can happen when people choose to do so.  Year 2 - Lent - Week 05 - Monday
April 07, 2022
Living Life on Life's Terms
The story of the Prodigal Son is often told with an emphasis upon his repentance and God's love, but there is another nearly invisible character who models what is possible from the very beginning. Year C - Lent - Week 4
March 30, 2022
Taking off Training Wheels
Though tradition and teaching can help us come to know a lot about God, he ultimately just wants us to know him. Today's Gospel points us back towards relationship with God; something we can encounter when we enter into interior silence. Lent - Week 2 - Sunday
March 16, 2022
Waiting in the Wilderness
Christ always models for us that with which he also helps us. In the readings for the first Sunday of Lent, that's moments when we walk through wilderness in our lives. First Sunday of Lent
March 08, 2022
Love the Rocks
When challenges come for faith or life and they seem insurmountable, the best thing to do may be to love them even though it seems like exactly the opposite of what we want to do.  Year 2 - Ordinary Time - Week 6 - Wednesday 
March 01, 2022
Beware the Poisoned Water
Jesus shocks his disciples with the beatitudes today. They are not an appealing list, yet they can wake us up to poison we might be drinking without realizing it. Year C - Ordinary Time - Week 6 
February 22, 2022
Saint Josephine Bakhita - A Flask of Oil That Never Seemed to Run Dry
Saint Josephine Bakhita walked through the valley of the shadow of death and had plenty of cause to fear evil, but she somehow lived with a grace that is beyond telling. Ferial of Saint Josephine Bakhita The blessing read at the end of this homily comes from the reflection guide to Kate Bowler's Good Enough Lent which can be found here.
February 15, 2022
Willing to be Brokenhearted
The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a devotion that emphasizes the God's loving mercy for us. This homily speaks to how we can learn to love ourselves and others more like Christ. The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
February 08, 2022
A First Step in Reconciling with Institutional History
Jesus today raises two difficult moments from the institutional history of the Israelites. As similar as our own responses can be at times, he is opening a space to begin reconciling with the past in the present. Year C - Ordinary Time - Week 4
February 02, 2022
We Need Not Rely on What We Do, But What God Wants
Unbeknown to nearly all, Jesus quietly performs a miracle at the Wedding at Cana. He can do the same with the water in our lives when our trust is fully in Him. Year C - Ordinary Time - Week 2
January 18, 2022
Healing by Authority that comes from God
The healing work of therapists and the healing work of priests can be quite complimentary. Year 2 - Week 1 - Ordinary Time - Tuesday
January 11, 2022
Rejoice! The Spirit of God Burns Away the Chaff
Many thought John the Baptist was the messiah because he had answers to difficult questions, but the true messiah does much more than provide answers. Advent - Week 03 - Sunday
December 14, 2021
What Are We Waiting For?
The Gospel today is cast with characters who are all waiting for something when they encounter Jesus. As we prepare for Advent, perhaps each of us can ask ourselves, what am I waiting for? Advent - Week 02 - Monday
December 07, 2021
A Man Who Did Much by Focusing on Doing Little
John Berchmans life was fraught with tragedy, yet he is remembered for having been kind, friendly, intelligent, and emotionally mature. He is a saint not for the sacrifices that were forced upon him, but for his continually responding out of a desire to do only the will of God in the midst of it all. Memorial of Saint John Berchmans
November 30, 2021
Pilate vs Jesus - Ready, Fight!
Today's Gospel has two rulers go toe-to-toe in a verbal boxing match. The opponents seem unevenly matched and it turns out they are, but not the way one would expect. Year B - Solemnity of Christ the King
November 22, 2021
When the World Seems to Turn Upside Down
Jesus was well aware that everyone faces apocalyptic moments in life, moments when it feels like the world is being turned upside down. Today's reading and the story of Christ's own life is a reassurance to trust in his word.
November 16, 2021
Something is Better Than Nothing
It's amazing how many things can get in the way of doing good, but when it comes to implementing our great desires, something is better than nothing. Year 1 - Ordinary Time - Week 30 - Friday
November 08, 2021
Discovering the Heart of Her Vocation
It always seems so difficult to find one's place in the world. This was even the case for Saint Therese of Lisieux after having committed to life in a convent. Her words offer comfort and guidance for those seeking a place within the Catholic Church and beyond. Feast of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Feast of Saint Therese of Lisieux
October 05, 2021
Stop Digging Down
Jesus provokes in the Gospel reading with images of cutting off a hand or foot if it causes us to stumble... and he's exactly right. Some things lead us down to perdition and aren't worth an iota of our time or energy. Year B - Ordinary Time - Week 26
September 26, 2021
Looking up to the Banner of the Cross
Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross Sometimes people find themselves trapped in a private hell, but Christ is able to break into even those spaces and lead them out by the hand. What the Christian tradition encourages is looking up to the triumphant and exalted cross of Christ, especially when times of trial and tribulation come. Christ can be a guide through and out of darkness. The painting referenced in the homily is called the "Harrowing of Hell" by Fra. Angelico. It can be found here:
September 15, 2021
God Needs Only the Tiniest Opening
Saint Monica is the mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo. Although she is credited with his conversion, it is God's ability to bring hope there seemed to be none that allowed her to be a source of inspiration for her son. Memorial of Saint Monica
August 31, 2021
Seeing others with Fresh Eyes
Year 1 - Week 17 - Ordinary Time - Friday In the Gospel reading, Jesus is not able to reveal himself to the people of Nazareth because of preconceptions they firmly held. Sometimes we too can get caught up in the attitude of the people of Nazareth for seemingly good reasons when others are trying to reveal something new to us about themselves.
August 10, 2021
The Road to the Kingdom of Heaven is Not Always Obvious
Year 1 - Ordinary Time - Week 17 - Wednesday Both of Jesus' parables presume that when it comes to the Kingdom of Heaven, we will know it when we see it. Yet daily we must make decisions in the midst of uncertainty. This sermon offers a rule of thumb which helps with discerning which road leads to the Kingdom of Heaven.
August 03, 2021
Sometimes People Say Unfortunate Things Out Loud
Year 1 - Ordinary Time - Week 16 - Saturday In the parable of the wheat and weeds, Jesus advises not yanking out the weeds. As always, he's sharing a bit of good news.
July 27, 2021
Willing to be Thought a Fool in the Service of Others
Feast of Mary Magdalene Mary Magdalene has a profound love for Christ which is particularly obvious when he is experiencing poverty and humiliation. Her story helps understand how she was able to do so and how others can grow in their capacity to love those they encounter who may be in similar circumstances.
July 24, 2021
Listening for the Spirit Speaking
Year 1 - Ordinary Time - Week 14 - Friday If someone desires to speak with the Spirit, it begins with listening.
July 11, 2021
When God does Triage
Year B - Ordinary Time - Week 13 - Sunday When humans do triage, they prioritize efficiency. When God does triage, he prioritizes love. This works out better than many might dare to hope.
July 05, 2021
Sincerity of Heart
Year 1 - Ordinary Time - Week 12 - Saturday One of the greatest gifts that someone can give to God and others is a sincere heart filled with gratitude. It often comes as a response to what has already been received.
June 27, 2021
Those who Point Others Towards God
Solemnity of the Birthday/Nativity of John the Baptist People who do not point towards themselves, but try to direct others towards their best selves are gifts to be treasured.
June 27, 2021
Gettin' back on the Straight and Narrow
Year 1 - Week 12 - Ordinary Time - Tuesday Saint John Fisher Saint Thomas More The gate may be narrow, but in this lifetime, it's never shut.
June 27, 2021
The Family of the Daily Zoom Mass
Year B - Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity The hope that is found in Christian communities can seem strange until one is witness to it in action. Then, it somehow works.
June 27, 2021
Virtue Signaling
Year 1 - Ordinary Time - Week 11 - Wednesday Jesus called out virtue signaling way before the term existed, and he did it to help liberate folks.
June 27, 2021
Living in the Kingdom like Walter Ciszek
Year 1 - Ordinary Time - Week 11 - Thursday The Kingdom of God is not only a hope for the future, but a promise for the present.
June 27, 2021
Dirty Gravel being Cleaned Out
Year 1 - Ordinary Time - Week 11 - Saturday When something stirs up negative emotions someone didn't know were there, it can turn out to be a big blessing in disguise.
June 27, 2021
Nobody will Notice
Year 1 - Ordinary Time - Week 9 - Friday Getting caught up in what others will think can be a trap for some, but thankfully, God helps people to recover from it.
June 27, 2021
Let God be the Judge of That
Year 1 - Ordinary Time - Week 10 - Thursday God reserves for himself the role of judge and that can be a source of great joy and freedom.
June 27, 2021
God Measures by Quality not Quantity
Year 1 - Ordinary Time - Week 9 - Saturday No matter how little it may seem, there is always something that can be shared.
June 27, 2021