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…

Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Easter – Year B

Today’s Resurrection scene reminded me of the 1962 movie, The Miracle Worker. It’s about how Anne Sullivan helped the young, blind, deaf, and mute Helen Keller connect to the world around her and—in that connection—to come alive! The sense of touch was key. Think about it: this poor isolated and scared girl could not hear or see; touch was one of the last three senses remaining for her to connect to the world. But, Anne…

Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Lent – Year B

On the Second Sunday of Lent, as we progress toward the sacrifice of the Cross, the Church turns our focus to Jesus as He blazes with Resurrection glory in his Transfiguration. We journey with the three Apostles to the top of the mountain, which signifies a particular closeness to God. We see the Kingdom of God has appeared in power in Jesus of Nazareth. We are all terrified at this unusual sight, at this Theophany….

Homily for the Chair of St. Peter

Do you have a problem with authority? It seems that many people do. It may not be outright rebellion, but at least skepticism. Do those in charge really have my best interests in mind? So much of what following a leader depends on is trusting that what is prescribed is really good for us. With so many examples of bad leadership, whether political, social, or religious, it is no wonder that many people, especially those…

Homily for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

Leprosy was a dangerous disease that has been associated with social taboo in the past history, especially in Israel and today’s first reading is a good witness to it. Once the priest declared that a person was leprous, the person was to be considered unclean and had to live apart from the society. At the beginning, it was just for a practical reason that the lepers were asked to live apart from the society, because…

Fra Angelico

FRA ANGELICO February 18 Each saint has a unique way of imitating Jesus. Fra Angelico’s way was as an artist. I like to think that as Jesus mixed dirt with spit and made mud to apply to the blind man’s eyes, so Fra Angelico mixed pigment with egg and applied it to canvas, opening eyes to the beauty of the Incarnation. Art springs forth from the inner experience of the artist. When one looks at…

Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time – Year B

I’m sure that most people have received some type of mail with “URGENT” stamped on it. Today the prophet Jonah speaks an urgent message to the people of the city of Nineveh. “Forty days more and Nineveh will be destroyed.” And the people heard it, repented of their sins and their city was spared. In the Gospel, Jesus presents an urgent message and calls his Apostles to share in spreading the news: “This is the…

Homily for the Baptism of the Lord – Year B

Water is probably to most important substances on Earth. Most of the planet and our bodies are made up of water. Water can be destructive like flash floods and tsunamis, but it also can be very beautiful and therapeutic like quiet babbling brooks, streams,and gentle waterfalls. The serenity produced by a quiet lake or pond can be healing or the awesome power of the ocean can produce great wonder and awe in the Creator. A…