Originally delivered on December 18, 1988
Readings: Micah 5:1-4; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45
Elizabeth greets Mary as “the mother of my Lord.” This Gospel reminds us that perhaps few of us are prophetic, like John the Baptist in last week’s reading, but many more are like Elizabeth. By accepting ourselves, as God has created us, we have the opportunity to bring God’s Grace to the world. Through the simplicity of our roles and actions, we can make a difference in the world. By choosing life rather than death, light rather than darkness, and by caring for others rather than being judgmental, God’s presence is felt by others through us.
Originally delivered on November 27, 1988
Readings: Jeremiah 33:14-16; Thessalonians 3:12-4:2; Luke 21:25-28,34-36
Advent is a time of waiting for the birth of Jesus. What we do while waiting is worth examining. Do we seize the opportunity to improve our current condition and the quality of tomorrow? If we don’t take action to make tomorrow better, how will we ever explain this to ourselves and to God?
Originally delivered on November 19, 1989
Readings: Malachi 3:19-20; Thessalonians 3:7-12; Luke 21: 5-19
In this week’s Gospel, we hear Fr. Healy’s anger and passion regarding the murder of fellow priest, Segundo Montes, S.J., in El Salvador just three days before the homily was delivered. He goes on to talk about what the financial realities were with Duquesne University and the Washington Office on Haiti. We are reminded that ten years earlier, Archbishop Oscar Romero was also murdered because he fought for the poor. He goes on to remind us that this week’s Gospel tells us that horrible things will happen, including death for some. Despite these things, we are called to bear witness and to stand up for our sisters and brothers. Indeed, we must bring light to every area of government and society where injustice exists. Are we willing to get into a little bit of trouble, in the name of Jesus?
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 October 8, 1989
Readings: Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2, 2-4; Paul to Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14; Luke 17:5-10
In today’s Gospel we hear of the importance of faith and confidence in God. The message in today’s liturgy is powerful and burdensome: the God in whom we believe, does not intervene in this world, but He gives us the strength for each of us to act to make the world a more just place. Fr. Healy cites several examples of individuals that worked to address issues of homelessness, AIDS, and sexism. We are called to do the same, but not for reward, but because faith is its own reward.
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.