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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10; Hebrews 12:1-4; Luke 12:49-53
Originally delivered on August 20, 1989
In today’s gospel we hear from an angry Jesus who proclaims, “I have come to light a fire on the earth. How I wish the blaze were ignited!” He then goes on to speak of the divisions that will exist in our society because of Him. Fr. Healy preaches that God is angry because of what we have done with God’s plan for us to love and share with all of God’s children, our brothers and sisters. We are reminded that even Jesus’s crucifixion was legal. That is, we cannot stand behind what is the law as protection from what is God’s law of love that we are called to follow. Even our acts of silence, participation by inaction, or approval by passivity hurt others and we are challenged to examine ourselves and seek God’s ways, even if that means that we will create divisions, as today’s gospel states.
Originally delivered on May 25, 1986
Readings: Proverbs 8:22-31; Paul to the Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15
Today we are asked to pause to try to grasp the very nature of our God. Fr. Healy reminds us of the story of St. Augustin’s attempt to understand God. Indeed, we may only catch glimpses of God. Every creature on Earth is a reflection of God, who is neither male or female. Our task is to keep falling deeper in love with God, by holding and understanding every person as best we can because she or he is a reflection of God.
Originally delivered on June 7, 1992
Readings: Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11; Paul to the Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23
Fr. Healy reminds us that we have already received the Holy Spirit. Perhaps not in the wind or the fire, but in the light and life of the diversity of our sisters and brothers. Indeed, there are people throughout the world waiting for the fire within us to make a difference in their lives. He reminds us of political events in Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Thailand, Cambodia, China, and Haiti where people are waiting for the power of the Holy Spirit. The message of Pentecost is not to be still and wait for God to save, but rather that we must be fire on the earth.
Originally delivered on May 2, 1992
Readings: Acts of Apostles 5:27-32, 40-41; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19 or 21:1-14
In this homily, we hear of the tragedy of the riots in Los Angeles in 1992 and Fr. Healy’s struggle to understand the riots in light of the Easter allelujah that he felt during the season. From the first reading, we are reminded that we, like the apostles, sometimes may get into trouble doing the work that we are called to do. In the second reading, we hear again that Jesus will triumph. Finally, in the Gospel, through the story of Jesus meeting Peter fishing, we are reminded of Jesus’ forgiveness and our responsibility to serve others. The racial riots in Los Angeles is another reason to know that we still have an unjust society and that we must confront those injustices if we say that we are true witnesses of Jesus. What are our present day events that show the injustices that remain? How are we changing societal structures and ensuring that all people are included? These are the questions that we must consistently ask ourselves as believers in Jesus’ Resurrection.
Originally delivered on April 2, 1989
Readings: Acts of the Apostles 5: 12-16; Revelation 1:9-11, 12-13, 17-19; John 20:19-31
In this week’s homily, we’re invited to rethink what it meant for Thomas to doubt the existence of the risen Lord until Thomas saw Jesus for himself. What if Thomas is the hero in the story? Perhaps Thomas was the only one who recognized that to be the Messiah required Jesus to suffer human pain and suffering and Thomas was acknowledging that human suffering of our Messiah by asking to see his wounds and put his hands in His flesh. Furthermore, it might be that this Gospel story tells us not so much about Thomas’ disbelief, but rather that we can experience a relationship with our God by being in relationship with our sisters and brothers, reaching out to them, and touching their lives in a similar way to how Thomas touched Jesus’ wounds and hurts.