It’s Palm Sunday! Which means free leaves, a super long Gospel, and a short homily! (Okay, well, at least you get two of those things today!) Here’s a quick reflection as we look to the end of Lent this week. Things may not have gone as we wanted since Ash Wednesday, but there’s still time to prepare for Easter!

What is the utmost goal of every Christian? Or, at least, what should it be? As far as I can tell, the clear answer is “holiness.” We seek to be like the one who came to be like us. As much as we think of ourselves as people who “do” things, who accomplish things, who work and work and work, the reality of the Christian mission is that it’s not so much about a “what” as it is a “who.” We do what Jesus did because we want to be like him. Our life goal is to become saints, those who live with him in heaven forever.

So, how do we get there?

For the past 2000 years, there has been no shortage of treatises and guides. From the lives of the saints to apostolic exhortations written by popes, I could sit here and list hundreds of perspectives on the matter. Many people want to help you become more holy, and I encourage you to read as many of them as you can.

In this video, I’ve decided to take a slightly different approach. Rather than attack the issue head on, offering tips that will help us become holier and closer to Jesus, I’ve decided to present five ways that each of us can become a bit more evil. (Probably not what you were expecting! One commenter wrote that I’ve been in quarantine for too long, and I don’t disagree!)

The idea is simple: sometimes, it’s helpful to look at the opposite of what you want to see how you might be subtly undermining your goals. In this satirical take, I offer five things that are the furthest goals from a Christian life—things that are horrid and absurd and downright unconscionable—to make clear what we must avoid. Even as people seeking holiness, there is a part of us that is still susceptible to evil. We must be on our guard, quick to turn away from it when we find it.

Click here to listen

One thing that originally brought Br. Tito and I together how many years ago was our love for the show Scrubs. It is an absolute classic, a longtime favorite of mine since high school. It’s wacky, it’s moving, it’s just absolutely relevant to every situation.

This week, in honor of the heroes that are working in hospitals saving lives, Tito and I decided to devote this week’s Everyday Liminality to the wonder that is the world’s greatest medical show. Hope you enjoy!

[Also, and completely by accident, hours after posting our episode, Zach Braff and Donald Faison, two of the leads in the show, released the first episode of their own “rewatch” podcast of the show. If you’re interested, it’s called “Fake Doctors, Real Friends. Be warned that the language is not appropriate for children.]

Is there anything wrong with being rich? This is America. And in America, we reward hard work and ingenuity. You can be anything and anyone you want, right, as long as you work for it. If you work hard enough and have enough skill, you deserve everything you get. Millionaire? Billionaire? Richest person in the world? This is the sign that you have worked hard, and everything you earn is rightfully yours. No one can take it away from you.

Okay. But what if that person is a Christian?

The question of what we do with our money is arguably the most important issue found in the entire Bible (in the Old Testament, second only to the issue of idolatry.) More than an insistence on peace, more than politics, far more than sexual ethics, Jesus spends most of his earthly ministry caring for the poor and preaching about wealth. He tells his disciples how they are to approach it, preaches against the rich, and raises up the poor. Truly, if there is one thing that Jesus cares about more than anything else, it’s what we do with our money.

Understandably, then, the Catholic Church has a few things to say on the topic. Drawing from the social encyclicals, papal pronouncements, and ecumenical council documents, this week’s Catholicism In Focus offers a brief overview of the Church’s stance on but one economic topic: private property.

Can a Christian be rich? In general, the Church has no problem. But it definitely depends on what one does with their riches.

Do you REALLY believe?

The following is a homily for the fifth week of Lent, Year A. The readings can be found here.