Pope Saint John Paul II Letter to Priests – 1988

A Priest Never Stands Alone A few years ago I celebrated a funeral Mass for the member of a family, and in attendance was a mutual friend, Anne, whom I would consider to be a holy woman, and tremendously gifted by the Holy Spirit. After the committal, I was walking back to my car and Anne stopped me, practically with tears in her eyes, and said “Oh Father! When you were celebrating Mass…Father, it was…

Homily for The Ascension of the Lord

Today is the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. Let me ask an honest question: Who cares? or perhaps better put, what’s this got to do with you and me? After all, our life is one of bills, sick relatives, and homework, so what does Jesus’ return to the Father have to do with your life and mine? To add to this seemingly irrelevant feast day, many of us think of Catholicism solely in…

Homily for The Fifth Sunday of Easter – Year C

I’m sure you’ve seen the words in the same place I have seen them time and time again—printed on bumper stickers, so that anyone stuck in traffic can easily read: “No Jesus (N-O), No peace. Know Jesus (K-N-O-W) Jesus, Know peace.” In our Gospel passage, Jesus says the words we hear every time we celebrate the Eucharist: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.” These words are startling only when we…

Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Easter – Year C

Many of you may not know, but today is the day designated by the Church as a “World Day of Prayer for Vocations.” Prayers for vocations to the permanent diaconate, the priesthood and the consecrated religious life are not only encouraged, but also prayed for in a special way this day. Hopefully, we all know that all of us have vocations given to us by God, some are to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, some…

Homily for Easter Sunday – Year C

Recall the scene of the Easter Vigil: the flickering light of the Paschal flame heralds first light into the dimly lit Church; the lector approaches the ambo to read the long creation narrative. Our mind wanders. Maybe we remain unmoved. Since remaining so would be a terrible thing, let us condense the narrative. In the beginning, God speaks, “Let there be!” and it is so. First, he establishes three realms: “God said, ‘Let there be…

Homily for Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion – Year C

Wow! Talk about the Feast Day of the suffering, self-sacrificing, Theology of the Body! Today we celebrate, and yes I mean celebrate, albeit with mourning and sadness the Crucifixion and Death of Our Love – Jesus. It is always difficult to watch one we love suffer, especially someone so good and innocent. Liturgically it is called “Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion.” Passion is from the Latin word passio, which suggests suffering and death, but…

Homily for Holy Thursday – Year C

Today we celebrate with great solemnity the Liturgy of the Lord’s Supper, commemorating the night when Our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Paschal Sacrifice of Himself for the salvation of the world. It would take place in the “Upper Room,” the same upper room where He will institute four of the Church’s sacraments: Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders, Holy Confession and Holy Confirmation. Jesus would institute two of them at the Lord’s Supper: the Holy Eucharist…

Homily for Fifth Sunday of Lent – Year C

What impulse, what desire drives us? What is the longing of all longings? Hidden in the deepest marrow of our bones what is the ache that angstily seeks to be satisfied? Is it not to be intimately known and totally accepted? To be truly seen, and then completely received. Saint John Paul II beautifully taught: Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love…

Homily for Fourth Sunday of Lent – Year C

What is God telling us this fourth week of Lent this year? He may very well be reminding us, His adopted sons and daughters, that this Sunday is the midway point of the Lenten journey. This is the time to rejoice that the Lord has provided for his people, Israel, for centuries during their times of famine, slavery, wandering, which was to penitentially prepare them for their entrance into the Promised Land. What Joshua did…

Homily for the Solemnity of the Annunciation – Year C

My brothers and sisters in Christ, on this beautiful Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, we hear in this familiar Gospel, the Virgin Mary’s response to the Archangel Gabriel, “behold, I am the Handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Mary said yes to the Mystery of the Word of God becoming man for our salvation. The Eternal Son of God taking on human flesh in Mary’s…