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30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on October 24, 1990

Readings: Exodus 22:20-26; Thessalonians 1:5-10; Matthew 22:34-40

This day’s liturgy presents to us the two faces of God.  The first, from the Old Testament, warns us that if we don’t welcome others, such as aliens, widows, and orphans, then we’ll see the terrifying face of God’s vengeance.  The second, from the Gospel of Matthew, is a loving God that says that our love for God and our neighbor is the basis for all of the commandments.  Fr. Healy, joined by Fr. Antoine Adrien of Haiti, asks us to consider how the law of love applies to the issues of the day in Bosnia, Somalia, and Haiti. In this homily, we also hear the rare recorded words of Fr. Antoine, who speaks of the pain and frustration of Haiti.

 

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on October 21, 1990

Readings: Isaiah 45:1, 4-6; Thessalonians 1:1-5; Matthew 22:15-21

In today’s readings, we hear that all power is given by God only as a means of creating the Kingdom of God here on earth. How are those in power today helping to do just that?  How do we participate in that political process?  We must ask “What would Jesus do?” and then follow those answers of Jesus rather than what any politician might say.

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on October 10, 1993

Readings: Isaiah 25: 6-10; Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20; Matthew 22: 1-14 or 22:1-10

We are reminded today that we are all invited to the wedding banquet.  Today, we are asked, just as a bride and groom, to let go in order to more fully receive Jesus’ promise.   Each and every one of us is invited to the banquet of our Lord, without exception and without conditions, and yet, we are equally called to serve the fellow guests, our sisters and brothers.

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on Oct 3, 1993

Readings: Isaiah 5:1-7; Philippians 4:6-9; Matthew 21:33-43

In this week’s Gospel, we hear another parable about a vineyard.  Today we hear about tenant farmers who brought forth beautiful grapes, but they thought it was their own doing and forgot about their responsibility to the vineyard owner. Fr. Healy reminds us that his theory is that the Gospel is meant to comfort and console as well as challenge us.  How do we tend the vineyard?  Do we sit on the sidelines and do nothing in the face of injustices in our world?  Let the same Jesus that comforts us, challenge us in this day’s reading to renew our effort to tend His vineyard.

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on September 27, 1987

Readings: Ezekial 18: 25-28; Philippians 2:1-11 or 2:1-5; Matthew 21:28-32

In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to us again in a parable about a son who says he’ll do something for his father and doesn’t while another son who refuses, but eventually does what is asked. Fr. Healy suggests that we are likely more like the first son because while we say “yes” we haven’t really put that yes into action on behalf of our Father. We might look around who are saying yes to Jesus by the way that they are living their lives. Indeed, we might look to the experiences within our own country.  How do we reconcile our Constitution with the fact that we had slavery for so long, waited more than a century for women to get the right to vote, or still engage in capital punishment?  In our own personal lives, how do we go beyond our “yes” to doing the real work that we are called to do.  Saying yes to Jesus, means risking ourselves, our wealth, and perhaps even getting into a little bit of trouble.  We must get out into the field and empty ourselves for our brothers and sisters.

 

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on September 30, 1990

Readings: Ezekial 18: 25-28; Philippians 2:1-11 or 2:1-5; Matthew 21:28-32

Today Jesus speaks to us again in a parable about a son who says he’ll do something for his father and doesn’t while another son who refuses, but eventually does what is asked.  Fr. Healy discusses how we are each like the first son when we accept the call of Jesus and yet we often find it difficult to carry out that promise. There are others , such as Mitch Snyder, who don’t accept any structures or institutions, but then go on to serve their brothers and sisters, in the spirit that Jesus calls us all.  But we are also asked to think of those that go through the motions of faith, but then don’t live the Gospel in their daily actions and habits. We might remember all the amens that we’ve given and reconsider those that we might discard, but who do great works on behalf of our less fortunate sisters and brothers.

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on September 23, 1990

Readings: Isaiah 55: 6-9; Philippians 1:20-24, 27; Matthew 20: 1-16

In today’s Gospel, we hear the parable of the vineyard owner who gave the same pay to the workers that came late in the day as those that worked a full day.  Perhaps, like the vineyard owner, God loves each of us equally, regardless of talents, what we’ve done, or how hard we’ve worked.  God loves us all and therefore we must not be envious, but rather full of joy that the “last one” among us has “made it.” But Fr.Healy goes further in this homily.  He challenges us to look at the fact the vineyard owner paid the “usual wage” which was, in fact, a low wage, a wage that the market would bear.  We are invited today to reflect on the unjust structures, and furthermore, the practice of dividing the workers by the powerful so that the workers after each other rather than unjust structures that keep them all in poverty.