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3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on January 23, 1994

Readings: Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

This week we hear the story of Jonah as an illustration of God’s way of communicating with us and His love and mercy.  Fr. Healy encourages us all to learn from the story of Jonah and be compassionate and understanding of our sisters and brothers, especially those that think and act differently than we do.  We should not judge others believing that we have the real truth.  God did not call us to be each other’s judge.  We are called to be a prophetic people living out the love of God to our sisters and brothers, regardless of their beliefs even about controversial issues, such as abortion, birth control, homosexuality, and the ordination of women priests. Finally, we are reminded that Jesus was never judgmental, but poured out His love for all.

 

Epiphany

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Originally delivered on January 3, 1988

Readings: Isaiah 60: 1-6; Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12

As we close our liturgical celebration of the Christmas season today, we are reminded to take what we have learned, and like the magi, spread the message to all people.  How have we been welcoming to all with God’s love?  How, at times, do we keep his message all to ourselves?  We are encouraged to reach out to other people with whom we have not yet shared God’s message.  As we heard in Matthew’s Gospel, we should “go home by a different route” spreading the news of God’s love.  The message is for all – rich and poor, healthy and sick, US born and foreign.  Do we ever keep God’s message just to ourselves so that it can benefit our own interests?  When this homily was originally delivered in 1988, inequality among people was a crisis on the US political scene.  The Kerner Commission brought some answers, but the simple answer – the inability to not share what was given to us all, was an answer seen by many as the cause behind the unrest.  Do we ever “lock out” people we want part of our lives, people with whom we need to share our good news?  How many of us feel marginalized?  As Fr. Healy so eloquently points out, it is good news that Jesus came, but it is just as important that we recognize it as good news to be shared.  The real good news from Jesus comes down to love, compassion and identifying with the oppressed.  We must be open to embrace all God’s people.

 

Holy Family

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Originally delivered on December 28, 1987

Readings: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14; Colossians 3:12-21; Luke 2:22-40 or 2:22, 39-40

As we live in the spirit of Christmas just three days ago, today we are reminded how to foster that spirit in our families, both our physical families, and the universal family of God throughout world.  We are called to charity and love for all. This charity can begin at home, but cannot stop at the threshold.  If it does, it is false charity.  It must extend to the second dimension of family, the family of God.  As we are reminded by Saint Paul in the second reading, put on love to all people.  No Christlike family can exist if the love stops at the threshold.   This universal family is spread across race, language, culture and country. Our call is to share the virtues of kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness with all.  It is our responsibility if were are to be part of the family of God.

Christmas

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 Originally delivered on December 25, 1987

Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5; Acts 13:16-17, 22-25; Matthew 1:1-125

The good news for humans is celebrated today in the birth of Jesus as a fragile baby.   We had all been waiting long, and it was becoming an obsessive topic of conversation:  “When will He come?”  Today we celebrate the birth, not coming as a king or great ruler, but as a child, his destiny clothed in our humanity.  For all people, the promise has been kept.  He has entered into our world as a human. We are reminded that “you can’t have it both ways” — the promise of a free people making decisions for themselves and God as a leader providing everything. But in Jesus, we are shown the way.  Along with the freedom we are afforded, we pay the price that Jesus paid. We walk in search of God with all the pain and suffering that we must sometime endure to reach Him.  But it’s pain and suffering Jesus endured with us, and through it, we are granted salvation. Today we celebrate the arrival of Jesus on earth.  May our future be filled with us learning more about His message to us to achieve our salvation with God.

Assumption

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Originally delivered on August 15, 1993

Readings: Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10; Corinthians 15:20-26; Luke 1: 39-56

In this homily, we hear a reflection of Jesus’ response to woman that yelled out “Blest is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!”  In response, He said, “Rather, blest are they who hear the word of God and keep it.” Fr. Healy asks us to consider that Mary’s willingness to hear God’s word and carry out His will is her true gift to us so that we might emulate her actions.  


Easter

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Readings: Genesis: 1:1-2.2; Genesis 22:1-18; Matthew 28:1-10

Originally delivered on April 15, 1990

We are joyful today because the Easter people know that God’s strength and triumph is greater than any death.  We will experience and taste death in countless ways, but we will persevere because of our God.  We are encouraged to see our Easter blessings even in the depths of our despair.

Passion Sunday

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Readings: Isaiah 50: 4-7; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14-27, 66

Originally delivered on April 8, 1990

How can we understand those that called for Jesus’s death?  How are we like them?  Like them, do we think that we are doing the right thing?  Or do we shrink at the thought of standing up for what we know is right? That is, what are our motivations for what we do? Indeed, part of the human condition perhaps, is that we are not always at our best.  But, we must pray to God to be accepting of our human limitations and that we may have more courage to stand up for a cause that makes the world better.