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Originally delivered on March 12, 1989
Readings: Isaiah 43: 16-21; Philippians 3: 8-14; John 8:1-11
As a follow-up to last week’s parable of the Prodigal Son, this week’s Gospel is the story of Jesus’ forgiveness of the woman about to be stoned for adultery. He asks those that are without sin to cast the first stone. In this homily, we are reminded first of God’s all encompassing love and forgiveness for us, and second that the ultimate norm of morality is the individual conscience reflecting, as best that person can, the will of God. Jesus’ example in this Gospel story is that we must have love and compassion to bring personal forgiveness and understanding of others.
Originally delivered on March, 29, 1992
Readings: Joshua 5:9, 10-12; Corinthians 5:17-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
In this homily, Fr. Healy reminds us that the parable of the Prodigal Son allows us to be with God, despite our shortcomings. Through a powerful story of his own, Fr. Healy reminds us that God is love. Indeed, Jesus is our older brother that petitions His Father for our forgiveness because of His love for us, despite our imperfections.
Originally delivered on March 15, 1992
Readings: Genesis: 15:5-12, 17-18; Letter of Paul to Philippians 3:17-4:1 or 3:20-4:1: Luke 9:28-36
In this homily, Fr. Healy reminds us that our perspective is important in understanding events. In this week’s Gospel, Jesus takes the apostles up the mountain to see a glimpse of the Glory of God. Fr. Healy points out that rather than stay on that mountain, Jesus leads Peter, James, and John back down the mountain to be with and to care for those living below.
Readings: Sirach 27: 4-7; Corinthians 15: 54-58; Luke 6:39-45
Originally delivered on March 1, 1992
In today’s homily, we are reminded that listening and discerning is a difficult yet unending task that we are called to do. Of course, we must be wary of liars, or intentional deceivers, but we must also be wary of those that speak untruths, but believe what they espouse. We must test everything against the divine measure: does this resonate with the message and deeds of the Son of God. May truth always be the treasure in our heart.
Originally delivered on January 26, 1992
Readings: Nehemiah 8:2-4, 5-6, 8-10; Corinthians 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21
In this week’s homily, we are asked to imagine that we are a Jew waiting for the Messiah in order to fully comprehend the power of the Gospel story where Jesus announces that he is the Messiah for whom the Jews had been waiting. We are asked to think about the part of us that wants the responsibility of living The Good News to be for someone else, but not ourselves. Today, in the second reading, we are reminded that we are part of the body of Christ. There is no insignificant part of the body. As such, we must be the living Christ to our sisters in brothers around the world. We are anointed. We are called. We will never have the perfection of Jesus. We will be misunderstood, rejected, ignored, or even stopped in our attempts, but we must continue to try.
It’s unfathomable to me that it has been 25 years since Fr. Healy died. More than anyone else, he helped me to see that God loved me and that I was part of the Church. Perhaps more importantly, however, he helped me understand that as such, I had a responsibility to others, in my immediate neighborhood, country, and the world. He was a priest, a prophet, and a human with all our flaws, sins, and idiosyncrasies.
At the time of his death from AIDS, I remember that many were shocked, even angry, that he had the disease and that he’d chosen to hide it until just weeks before his death. I knew years earlier that Fr. Healy was HIV positive. I once took him to a new physician in the hopes of changing the course of his disease once protease inhibitors came into existence. He brought a plastic bag full of medication to the appointment but then explained to the doctor that he couldn’t keep up the regimen of pills because he was so busy with his ministry. That experience of Fr. Healy has always stayed with me. He was so busy taking care of others that his own health wasn’t a priority. If I had any anger at him at the time, it was likely lessened by understanding his focus.
It has always been sad to me that the cause of his death has overshadowed his ministry and perhaps his legacy. HIs words moved me to tears each week. A recent graduate from a Catholic college, where attending Mass was something that everyone did as a means of avoiding studying for the week ahead, I’d never been so moved as I was each week, listening to Fr. Healy’s homilies. I frequently cried. I got involved. I worked on behalf of others and knew, as Fr. Healy would say, “in the depth of my being” that I belonged in God’s Church.
My uncle, a priest at that time in the Washington Archdiocese, gave me some tapes of Fr. Healy’s homilies and explained the 3 liturgical cycles. Then, more tapes were found in the old rectory and somehow were passed on to me, perhaps by Fr. Tuz. Soon parishioners who had long ago moved on to other areas, found me and provided me with still more tapes of his homilies. I’ve been digitizing and posting them according to the liturgical calendar for more than a decade and yet I still have more tapes that haven’t been heard yet.
Who would have thought that these homilies, many of which were originally delivered, more than thirty years ago, would be not only inspiring, but so helpful to those that couldn’t attend Mass due to a pandemic? Albeit a bit biased, these homilies are timeless with important truths and messages still to be heard. They are also a glimpse into the past where a greater context of now historical events can be understood.
My hope is that somehow this collection can live on in an accessible archive. Now in late-middle age, I know that I cannot manage this indefinitely so I am putting this hope out there and remaining open to what might become available.
Today, as a means of remembering a great priest and prophet, I hope you’ll join me in taking just a few minutes to remind yourself that you are a child of God…and then do something simple or extraordinary for someone else, especially the poor or marginalized, because we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
Frank Finamore, website creator
Originally delivered on January 12, 1992
Readings: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7; Acts 10:34-38; Luke 3:15-16, 21-22
A Sacrament of initiation, Baptism, is more than a welcome to the Church. Baptism is an initiation into the family. In today’s homily, we are asked to acknowledge Baptism as a commissioning outward to share in the spirit of our family. Everyone is family, and as such, we are asked to hold a world vision based on Jesus, who taught us tenderness toward each other and justice for all. As a family, we must embrace all people, without exception, and especially immigrants, refugees, and strangers. All are welcome and all are one. Although we are baptized in water, we are also baptized in fire and spirit. May God set us on fire to make the spirit of family alive in our world.