Category: Homily

Homilies for Sundays and Special Feast Days

  • Jesus Was a Failure

    “Who do people say that I am?” Listen to the news. Listen to the talking heads. Listen to the preachers. Watch the Jesus documentaries on the Discovery Channel. Fine. “But who do you say that I am?” “You are the Christ.” The Messiah. The anointed king who’ll save us. You’ll make everything better. You’ll supply us with money, power, and prestige. You’ll lighten our burdens, cure our diseases, and bring our dead back to life.

  • Can you hear me now?

    Which do you think would be more difficult, to be born sight-impaired or to be born hearing-impaired? I’ve always thought that blindness would be worse: not being able to see the beauty of the world or the faces of my loved ones, and not being able to get around easily without some sort of assistance. That’s what I thought until I started meditating on today’s gospel. “And the people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment.” That’s when I began to understand things somewhat differently.

  • The “Law-Abiding” Christian

    The more spiritual you are, the more conscious contact you have with God, the more mindful you become—the more religious you are—the less hold any laws will have on you. You will instinctively know what the right thing to do is by following the law of love in your heart, and you will do it.

  • The Dangers of Understanding

    Then you, being rooted and grounded in love, will have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.

  • Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

    Once that which was special ceases to be special, what’s left to focus on but the discordant and ugly? Those are the things our consciousness starts to focus on when the harmonious and beautiful has faded into the background.

  • Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

    I’m certain that something happened on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. All four gospels record the event. Some scholars suggest that, when the bread and fish were distributed, people who had brought food with them took it out and began sharing it with others. In that case, it was a miracle of compassion and generosity. But, it doesn’t matter.

  • Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

    Some think they can do a superficial read and exhaust what the Scriptures have to tell us. Almost always, to find the depth of meaning that lies beneath the surface, we have to dig. So, let’s dig.

  • Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

    You are disciples. You are prophets. You’ve been summoned; you’ve been empowered; you’ve been sent. For the past few Sundays, we’ve been talking about God’s power—his δυναμις (dynamis). When the gospels spoke of Jesus performing miracles, they used the Greek phrase “doing powerful deeds.” And that is what each of us has been called to do.

  • Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

    We are very used to hearing prayers addressed to “Almighty God,” aren’t we? We were taught that God is all-knowing (omniscient), all-present (omnipresent), and all-powerful (omnipotent). But is this true in real life? You may think I’m being heretical, but, no, it is not strictly speaking true. God’s power—God’s might—God’s δυναμις (dynamis) that we were talking about in last week’s homily—is limited. Nothing limits God’s power, but the divine will itself. God freely introduced limitations in order to create.