Homily for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Year B

The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been observed within Western Christianity for more than nine centuries. All the same, its roots are in the East, where Christians have observed this great event as early as the sixth century under the slightly more revealing title, The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple. Every feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary is, in some way, a commemoration of her Motherhood—that…

Homily for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

On this, the second to last Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Church presents us with readings which orient our hearts and minds towards the end times. As we race towards the conclusion of another liturgical year we are invited to lift our gaze from the here and now and ponder for a while the world that is to come. The demands of family life or parish life can often create in us a spiral of…

Homily for the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

“For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.” — Mark 12:44 Too often people hear the ending of this Gospel simply in financial terms. “Well, even though she gave hardly anything compared to all those rich people, Jesus is pointing out that she gave a whole lot more, because it was all the money that she had!” The root of the Greek…

Memorial for Pope Saint John Paul II — October 22

How does one possibly “reflect” on the life and pontificate of Pope Saint John Paul II in just a few pages? I dare say it is easy to give a list of his earthly “achievements” as Pope, as I will do later in the reflection,­ but one can never truly know fully the depth of a human person, because we are limited, finite creatures and only the Infinite, Omnipotent Creator can truly see into the…

Homily for the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

What an extraordinary burden the Shema must seem to be for those who still see their freedom as being at battle against God’s will. How in the world could you possibly bring yourself to fulfill such a commandment without believing that what God desires and has planned for you is going to bring you fulfillment? It is, in fact, an impossible task. If you have given God 100% of your heart, mind, soul, and strength,…

Homily for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

Before putting out into the deep of God’s Word and what He might be speaking to our hearts today, we need to do a little housekeeping about the actual text in front of us. The word translated as ‘roadside’ at the beginning of the Gospel is exactly the same word in the original as the word translated ‘way’ at the end. St Mark did not use synonyms (when he certainly could have). Even if the…

Homily for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

I had a conversation with this non-Catholic young man from a local Catholic High School. The young man said to me “I know you Catholics believe Jesus is your happiness, but I’m happy doing many of the things Jesus would not approve of. I don’t understand why I should believe in Him.” He continued, “I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t seek to be rich and lie and cheat if I have to in…

Homily for the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

Today’s readings reflect that echo in the heart of every man—the echo that manifests God, the God that is Love: the God Who calls us to participate of his intimate life. This echo is a longing that has been with us since the creation of the first man. St. Bernard of Clairvaux, in his Sermons on the Song of Songs, distinguishes different moments [throughout salvation history] in this ardent longing—which is a longing for the…

Homily for the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

Once George Weigel was asked which books have had the biggest effect on his thinking. One book he mentioned was The Sources of Christian Ethics by Fr Servais Pinckaers, O.P. He then went on to explain why it was such an important book for him: because it roots the Christian life not in a series of rules to be kept (or broken or minimized or explained away), but in the invitation from God to beatitude,…

Homily for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

We welcome today’s invitation, “Come, eat of my food, and drink of the wine I have mixed!” (Prov 9:5). Then, just as we are ready to dive in, St. Paul seems to slap our reaching hand and admonishes, “Do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery” (Eph 5:18). We are conflicted because we are hungry and thirsty and sometimes desperately so. What are we to do? First, the first reading refers to Wisdom’s…