Originally delivered on September 17, 1989
Readings: Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14; Paul to Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-32 or 15:1-10
In the first reading, we hear of God’s anger toward the people of Egypt for their sinfulness. But in the Gospel reading, we learn, through the story of the Prodigal Son, of Jesus’ forgiveness and love for all of us, despite our sinfulness and shortcomings. We are forgiven and loved as we are, not as we might be, because God is love, mercy, and forgiveness. As forgiven people, we need only believe that we are forgiven. But perhaps before we can believe that we are forgiven, we need to forgive others.
Originally delivered on September 10, 1989
Readings: Wisdom 9:13-18; Paul to Philemon 9-10, 12-17; Luke 14:25-33
In this Gospel, we are reminded of what it takes for us to be followers of Jesus. We must be ready to sacrifice ourselves, as Archbishop Romero did, for our sisters and brothers. Unless we embrace the cross each and every day, we cannot be a disciple of Jesus. Although alone we cannot change a corrupt system or arrangement, we can each do something to change the situation for the good of all. If we feel overwhelmed by this challenge from the Gospel, then we can look to the first reading in the book of Wisdom and remember that God sent his Holy Spirit from to enlighten and empower us to be instruments of peace, justice, and love.
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Isaiah 66: 18-21; Hebrews 12: 5-7, 11-13; Luke 13: 22-30
Originally delivered on August 27, 1989
Fr. Healy begins his homily with a funny story about the Holy Ghost Fathers. He reminds us that in today’s gospel, we are called to see everyone as part of the family of God. This is the vision of Jesus. Everyone is in, especially those that perhaps we would want to count out. Fr. Healy then brings the message to the current time by discussing the issues and laws that seem to count some people out. As followers of Jesus, therefore, we must stand up against those things that hurt our brothers and sisters.
Readings: Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10; Hebrews 12:1-4; Luke 12:49-53
Originally delivered on August 16, 1992
In this week’s gospel, we hear the anger of God who proclaims, “I have come to light a fire on the earth.” What have we done with God’s marvelous plan? We are invited to reflect on the fact that Jesus’s crucifixion was legal. Fr. Healy reflects on the writings of James Baldwin and the work of Mickey Leland. He goes on to further share a poignant story of his experience in Africa leading a seminary and invites us to reflect on our likely sin of silence in the face of injustice in order to preserve ourselves and our own interests.
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.
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.