Homily for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

The Missionaries of Charity, the community founded by Saint Theresa of Calcutta, now serve in over 130 countries with more than 4,500 sisters ministering to the poor.  Most of them have learned multiple languages and skills in order to serve the needs of those they “meet in the street” on a daily basis.  In all of their chapels throughout the world two words are inscribed next to the crucifix of Our Lord: “I thirst.”  These…

Homily for the 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B

Of the many metaphors, images, forms, and figures used by Jesus to explain the Kingdom of God and His role relative to this world and that which is to come, it is the image of the Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:14) that is, perhaps, most familiar to the Christian world.  As a common fixture in the ancient world, the shepherd and his role relative to his flock were well known to the contemporaries of Christ.  It…

Homily for the Nativity of John the Baptist

We all love birthdays! We instinctively know that the birth of a person into this world is something that should be celebrated. We celebrate because we are happy that this person is in the world with us. Our knowing them has somehow made our life better. However, when the Church celebrates a birthday in our liturgical calendar, whether it is the Nativity of Jesus Christ, Our Lady, or St. John the Baptist, we are reflecting…

Homily for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

In the B readings for the eleventh Sunday of Ordinary time, Jesus uses the image of the kingdom of God as likened to the sowing of seeds. The first reading from Ezekiel also uses the analogy of God planting a tender shoot that shall “put forth branches and bear fruit”. Finally in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he directs us to be courageous because all that we do in our bodies while in the world…

Homily for the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

In the Collect for this Sunday’s celebration of the Mass we pray, “O God, from whom all good things come, grant that we, who call on you in our need, may at your prompting discern what is right, and by your guidance do it.” This prayer presents to us three truths: God is creator and source of all that is good. God created us in his own image and likeness, allowing us to share in…

Homily for the 7th Sunday of Easter – Year B

In one of his reflections on the Song of Songs in the Theology of the Body series general audiences (June 6, 1984), St. John Paul II elaborates on the nature of human and divine love. It is entitled, “Love Is Ever Seeking and Never Satisfied,” a title we can all relate to. We live in the desire of love and as believers we have encountered human and divine love, yet we remain on a journey…

Homily for Pentecost Sunday – Year B

For the “ancient Church,” Pentecost was a beginning – a beginning of the Church born in the Spirit of God. It was a beginning of zeal, fortitude, and tremendous trust in the Spirit of God in ministry. For many today, including some clergy, in the “modern church,” Pentecost has been reduced to an end – the end of the Easter season or some simplified watered-down happy “birthday” of the Church. For many, Pentecost, and the…

Homily for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity – Year B

My Uncle Sylvester, a priest, gave me a Rosary when I made my First Communion. It came in a black leather pouch with a zipper. The pouch was lined with thick rich red velvet in which I used to love rubbing my thumb when I prayed my Rosary. While I no longer have either the Rosary or the case, I remember them, especially the case. That black case and its rich lining made an impression…

Homily for Divine Mercy Sunday – Year B

Early on in my seminary formation, I greatly enjoyed learning about morality and ethics. My main role model at the time had a great knowledge of ethics and had impressed that upon me. I enjoyed learning how the great philosophers and theologians evaluated the “rightness” or “wrongness” of a given action. I was drawn to topics like “intrinsic evil” and levels of culpability for a given circumstance. However, at the same time, I also struggled…

Homily for the 5th Sunday of Easter – Year B

When I was a child in the pew at Sunday Mass, my mother would often warn us to “catch the blessing” when the priest was about to conclude the Mass. One Sunday, after I had become a server, I carried the missal to the priest for the solemn blessing, and as he extended his hands to bless the people, I caught the backside of one hand on my cheek. My mother exclaimed after Mass, “You…