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.
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.
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.
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.
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.