Homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

This passage is a parable for the Kingdom of God. The hearers of this Gospel passage would have been Jews who had been faithful (to some degree or another) throughout their whole lives.  They were proud of their Jewish heritage, their traditions, their worship, and their status.  They could not imagine that the Messiah would invite gentiles to his flock.  After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he told his disciples to go out to the…

Homily for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

Many of our parishioners may have heard of Saint John Paul II’s teaching on the Theology of the Body. If we were to ask them what that means, what would they say? I am guessing that many would say, “Oh, that’s about chastity, right?” Or, “I think that’s for married people.” Well, that is partly true. But, John Paul II also wrote at the end of this four-year long series on the meaning of our…

Homily for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

In Rembrandt’s painting of the father embracing the prodigal son, we see the father, elderly and blind, drawing his son close to his heart in a warm, merciful embrace. The son, on his knees, his head shaven and his clothing torn, receives the embrace, and is welcomed back into full communion with his father. The son’s head is turned sideways and his ear is pressed against his father’s chest, where, I imagine, he can hear…

Homily for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

I recently went camping in Glacier Park in Montana. At night, my friend and I spent hours watching the stars. In the northern United States, free from light pollution, the night sky is crystal clear. Satellites pass silently overhead. Comets shoot across the sky. Planes full of travelers move through the starscape. Jupiter and Saturn appear for a time before dipping below the horizon. In a large city, we perceive these stars to be absent…

Homily for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

The readings for this Sunday feature two things that help to define every priest: his clothing and his keys. Our first reading mentions clothing as a sign of authority. Due in part to his self-seeking political ambition and his ostentatious display, Shebna is thrust from the office of the king’s prime minster. (Let us priests beware!) Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord tells Shebna that he will clothe his successor Eliakim with Shebna’s own robe….

Homily for the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Back in the 1600’s Jesus Christ appeared to Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque in a series of visions. In the apparitions that lasted over a year and half, Jesus Christ revealed His Sacred Heart to Sister Margaret Mary and invited her to help spread the message of the Sacred Heart to the world. The image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is now one of…

Homily for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

“This is my body, which is given up for you.” How many of us even pay attention when we hear those words, week in and week out?  Are we really conscious of what we are hearing proclaimed to us not just by the priest who utters those words but also by Christ himself?  Or have we become so desensitized to the meaning of the spoken word that those words—words which evoke the power of life…

Homily for The Fifth Sunday of Easter – Year A

Jesus the Bridegroom Wants to Bring Us Home to Perfect Communion This week’s Gospel comes from John 14.  Early on, the passage focuses on an image of Heaven, an eternal house with many dwelling places where the inhabitants enjoy communion with God. “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.  If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and…

Coming into the Light of Christ: Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Lent

    In this Sunday’s readings we hear the great story of the man born blind – a man who goes through a transformation in the story. This transformation is all about coming into the light of Christ. My own faith story seems to be like the man born blind. The man born blind does not know who Jesus is or why He asks him if he wants to be healed. The man just wants…

Quenching the Thirst of Our Lord: Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent

  Shortly before my ordination, I made my canonically-required retreat and began the first day by praying with the Gospel account of the Samaritan woman at the well. It seemed to me that reflecting upon this very personal encounter of one person with our Lord would make for a good start to the retreat, and I was not disappointed. For four one-hour periods of prayer, the Lord spoke to me in various ways through this…