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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on November 16, 1986

 

Readings: Malachi 3:19-20; Thessalonians 3:7-12; Luke 21: 5-19

 

In today’s Gospel, we are once again reminded that we must follow Jesus, despite the fact that many obstacles will confront us precisely for what we believe and do based on those beliefs.  We, in a sense, bear a burden as Christians.  We are reminded of the 1986 Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy, Haiti, and affordable housing as current day happenings (then and now) that challenge us to act on behalf of our sisters and brothers, the poor.

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on November 8, 1992

 

Readings: Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14; Thessalonians 2:16 -3:5; Luke 20:27-38 or 20-27 , 34-38

 

How does our conscience shape our actions? Are we, like the seven sons and their mother from the Book of Maccabees, willing to die for what we believe?  In today’s homily, we are reminded that we may have to take a stand for something which will become irrelevant at a later date.  Nonetheless, in the moment, we are called to follow our conscience.  We should pray dearly and act sincerely based on what our conscience tells us. On the issues of women priests, abortion, sexual orientation, divorce, and our economic systems, we must pray and ultimately follow our conscience.

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on November 5, 1989

Readings: Wisdom 11:22 – 12:1; Thessalonians 1:11 -2:2; Luke 19: 1-10

The story of Zacchaeus, the wealthy tax collector and a short man, teaches us that we needn’t worry about things we cannot change, but rather change the things we can.  We can waste time and energy trying to change things that we might view as a challenge or problem rather than seeing those challenges as gifts from God to be used to bring justice and dignity to all God’s people.  In our collective diversity, God’s glory is made manifest. 

 

 

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on October 26, 1986

Readings: Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18; Paul to Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; and Luke 18:9-14

In this week’s Gospel we hear the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. We are reminded today that everything that we do should be done in a Christian spirit and in the name of Jesus.  Through the parable, we are invited to examine the prayerfulness of our own lives.  In Jesus’ time, the Pharisees were seen as the most righteous and the tax collector was seen as the lowest, greediest kind of person.  And yet, the tax collector asks for and receives God’s mercy. We hear about Bishop Hunthausen’s courage, despite the institutional church, to stand up for social justice. Through this homily, we are reminded that although we belong to the Church, only adhering to the rules of the institutional structure, like the Pharisee in the parable, doesn’t justify us in the eyes of God.  But rather, we must try everyday to be a people devoted to Jesus, make mistakes, but know that we can ask and receive God’s mercy. If we’ve made the choice to follow Jesus, then we’ve committed ourselves to be a struggling people – a people devoted to helping the poor.

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on October 19, 1986

Readings: Exodus 17:8-13; Paul to Timothy 3:14 – 4:2; Luke 18:1-8

Prayer is always the lifting of the mind and thought with God. It is how we are in communion with God.  But prayer is more than just formal prayers. Being in relationship with our brothers and sisters, especially those hurting and in pain, is how we give praise to our God that created us and also be a people in prayer.  Whatever we do that is meant to harmonize us with God’s plan for us is prayer. In this week’s readings, we hear that even Moses’ arms needed support, just as we need others to help and support us. 

Read the Transcript: c29ot-10-19-86

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on October 12, 1986

Readings: Kings 5:14-17; Paul to Timothy 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19

There is no doubt about it — God can cure all human suffering, but His use of power is limited to opportunities to encourage our faith. The Scripture tells us that for the foreigners, God was willing to heal them, in order to help us to increase our faith and believe more in the Lord. We are called to grow in faith each day.  We are reminded that in 1986, the similarities between lepresy and AIDS were so evident.  Then, and now, we are called to be loving to all people just as Jesus loved the ten lepers in today’s Gospel.  Our God is not merciful, but rather God is Mercy. In His image, we are called to bring love and compassion to all those suffering with human afflictions. 

Read the Transcript: c28ot-10-12-86

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on October 5, 1986

Readings: Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2, 2-4; Paul to Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14; Luke 17:5-10

We hear in today’s homily that we should not look for appreciation and gratitude from others, but rather take actions based on the Gospel.  Our faith can give us strength and courage even when others oppose and undermine us. Furthermore, we must love those opponents as Jesus loves each of us, even giving HIs life for us. The Eucharist is our thanks, the perfect thanks,from God the Creator.  If we can remember to give thanks to God, we can find the strength to carry on as Christian people, whether or not anyone else ever appreciates us.  Let us be faithful not for reward, but because faith is its own reward.