Cycle C

4th Sunday of Advent

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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.

3rd Sunday of Advent

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Originally Delivered on December 11, 1988
Readings: Zephaniah 3:14-18; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18

John the Baptizer says to us that we must change our ways because Jesus is coming.  We might do well to be as fervent in our preparations for Jesus in our lives as John the Baptizer is.  At the very least, we must use only what we need, be just toward others, and make the world a little bit better for our sisters and brothers through simple acts of kindness and joy.

2nd Sunday of Advent

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Originally delivered on December 4, 1988
Readings: Baruch 5:1-9; Philippians 1:4-6,8-11; Luke 3:1-6

In anticipation of the coming of Jesus, a herald’s voice cries “Make ready the way of the Lord.” While recognizing that we live within an increasingly global village, we must start preparing the way by transforming our own neighborhoods. But we mustn’t stop there.  To “topple the mountains and fill in every valley,” we must look at the economic and political arrangements in our world that keep some poor and others wealthy, even if it makes us uncomfortable.

1st Sunday of Advent

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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?

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33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

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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?

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.

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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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.

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on September 20, 1992

Readings: Amos 6:1, 4-7; Paul to Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31

We all have the same dilemma.  That is, if we really listen to the words of Jesus, it sounds impossible to follow him.  We are all probably, at our best, silent co-conspirators that keep poor people in their poverty. If we take today’s Scripture readings seriously, they are both challenging and somewhat frightening in their ramifications for how we live our lives. We are called, once again, not to be complacent when our sisters and brothers around the world are still hungry.  God is speaking to us today to not sit back and be complacent.  We should get restless and feel the frustration, as Jesus did, when he saw that some were cast aside and trampled on.  But, the sin in today’s Gospel is not being rich, but rather, being rich and indifferent to those around us.  

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on September 24, 1989

Readings: Amos 8:4-7; Paul to Timothy 2:1-8; Luke 16: 1-13 or 16:10-13

We cannot serve God and money.  We cannot put things in front of people.  People must always be more important and we must never put ourselves in a better position at the expense of our sisters and brothers. Through the second reading, we are told to pray for all the people in positions of power and authority over others.

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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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.