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Originally delivered on December 10, 1989
Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12
In this homily, we hear of the death of Fr. Healy’s sister, Sally, and Pope John Paul II’s warning of the impending ecological crisis. Animated about the issues of racism, refugees from Central America, and Haiti, Fr. Healy shares his struggle about which issues to address with the people of God. We are asked to hear the words of John the Baptist, as if he was speaking directly to each of us when he say’s “prepare ye the way of the Lord. Make straight His path.” May we make a resolution to not be content to enjoy any of the blessings of God’s creation without a daily consciousness of how our use of God’s gifts affects the lives of our sisters and brothers.
Originally delivered on December 3, 1989
Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:37-44
Now is the time for us to take action. In a passionate homily, even more so than usual, Fr. Healy encourages us to be participants and seize the sacred moment, and to turn our swords into plowshares. Let us put on the armor of light that is Jesus Christ. Now is the hour, for us to work for peace, love, and fellowship with our sisters and bothers throughout the world. We are reminded of the martyrs from El Salvador and Nicaragua, including Archbishop Romero, who were slain in the name of peace. Let the blood of these martyrs to propel each of us to be peacemakers in our time.
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.
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.