Homilies

From the Past Year

  • They Have Eyes but Cannot See
    “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.”
  • God Doesn’t Measure Up
    “’Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you..’”
  • One in the Spirit?
    “’Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.’”
  • Let Us Go Up to the House of the Lord
    “As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven.”
  • Where Have We Gone Wrong?
    “’I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.’”
  • Us Against Them
    “I give you a new commandment: love one another.”
  • Who Are His Sheep?
    “’My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.’”
  • Right Where You Are
    “So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.’”
  • The Living Faith of Thomas
    So, Thomas gets criticized for his skepticism. That criticism isn’t restricted to Thomas. It extends to anyone who doubts or questions matters of faith. The critics believe that anyone who questions their beliefs is lacking in faith and therefore not a “good” Christian.
  • Resurrection of the Body?
    Our personhood will arise and transcend the grave. Like Jesus, we, too will leave behind our image—a testimony of our love and compassion, the relics of our resurrection.
  • Was Jesus’s Death in Vain?
    “But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed.”
  • A Eucharist of Service
    “‘I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.'”
  • God Hides in Plain Sight
    Showing our true selves is always risky. We risk rejection, especially if we wish to be agents of change. Anyone who promotes change—even change for the better—will encounter opposition.
  • The Repentant Pharisees
    “‘Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.'”
  • The Loving Son and His Older Brother
    “’But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’”
  • Against the Pagan “Christians”
    The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is not the god most “Christians” worship. They’ve fallen into this idolatrous pit because they don’t read the Scriptures carefully enough.
  • Lord, Transfigure Us!
    “Then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my chosen Son; listen to him.`”
  • The Temptations of Christians
    “Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.”
  • Pride Judges All Things
    “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.”
  • Where Are Jesus’s Disciples?
    “’…love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.’”
  • Should Christians Be Miserable?
    “And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.’”
  • The Barque of Peter
    “Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.’”
  • Fear: The Original Sin
    “They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill”
  • Do the Churches Get a Failing Grade?
    Scripture Readings What’s going on in today’s gospel reading? Right at the beginning of Jesus’s public ministry, Luke takes us back to Nazareth, where Jesus grew up. Along with all the observant men of his […]
  • Transformations
    When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”
  • Christianity Is Not for Children
    “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
  • Epiphany or Apocalypse?
    “They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.”
  • Two Liturgies, One Celebration
    “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”
  • Where is love?
    “The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.”
  • A new creation dawns
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him.”
  • Is the birth of Christ an historical event?
    “For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.”
  • What happened to Christmas?
    Scripture Readings Somebody is waging war on Christmas. Who do you think it is? Is it the atheistic humanists who’ve replaced “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays?” Is it the immigrants who’ve brought their strange beliefs […]
  • Sacred Scripture has two faces.
    “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
  • Who was John the Baptist?
    “John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”
  • Where Are You Going?
    ” ‘And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.’”
  • “See? My betrayer is here.”
    “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
  • What Time Is It?
    “And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory.”
  • What’s in It for Me?
    “For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had.”
  • Seeing the Image of God
    “’Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone!’”
  • What do you want?
    Last week, Jesus addressed that question to James and John who wanted places of honor in God’s kingdom. Today, he addresses it to a blind man…and to us.
  • What Makes a Christian?
    For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.
  • Passing through the Eye of a Needle
    Scripture Reading Jesus drives a hard bargain. In today’s gospel, we find a man who apparently had it all: he was young, he was enthusiastic, he was spiritual, he was wealthy, and he was good. […]
  • When’s a Marriage Not a Marriage?
    In his private talk with his disciples, Jesus is quoted as being more forthright. He calls divorce and remarriage adultery. At the same time, this stance contradicts our nearly universal human experience. Can we resolve this contradiction? Obviously, Jesus is appealing to an ideal of marriage. We have to ask, is every committed union of two people—even a solemnized commitment—a real marriage? What is a marriage, anyway?
  • God Doesn’t Make Garbage
    Strangely enough, the reward and punishment paradigm has no place in an adult spirituality. The basic problem with it is that, once people get beyond the toddler stage, the pleasure principle isn’t effective—although the success of advertising shows we’re still vulnerable to it. As we mature, we begin to realize that rewards don’t deliver what they promise. Once we attain them, we see them as the temporary tawdry counterfeits for happiness that they most often are. Punishments don’t fare any better.
  • Getting Your Own Way
    What are you willing to give to get your own way? How much effort are you willing to expend? What are you willing to pay? to sacrifice? What’s it worth to you?
  • 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.
  • Don’t Dive in Shallow Water
    What, then can we say about the Assumption of Mary? It’s both a statement of faith in the Resurrection and a promise of our share in it.
  • 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.