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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on November 16, 1986

 

Readings: Malachi 3:19-20; Thessalonians 3:7-12; Luke 21: 5-19

 

In today’s Gospel, we are once again reminded that we must follow Jesus, despite the fact that many obstacles will confront us precisely for what we believe and do based on those beliefs.  We, in a sense, bear a burden as Christians.  We are reminded of the 1986 Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy, Haiti, and affordable housing as current day happenings (then and now) that challenge us to act on behalf of our sisters and brothers, the poor.

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on October 26, 1986

Readings: Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18; Paul to Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; and Luke 18:9-14

In this week’s Gospel we hear the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. We are reminded today that everything that we do should be done in a Christian spirit and in the name of Jesus.  Through the parable, we are invited to examine the prayerfulness of our own lives.  In Jesus’ time, the Pharisees were seen as the most righteous and the tax collector was seen as the lowest, greediest kind of person.  And yet, the tax collector asks for and receives God’s mercy. We hear about Bishop Hunthausen’s courage, despite the institutional church, to stand up for social justice. Through this homily, we are reminded that although we belong to the Church, only adhering to the rules of the institutional structure, like the Pharisee in the parable, doesn’t justify us in the eyes of God.  But rather, we must try everyday to be a people devoted to Jesus, make mistakes, but know that we can ask and receive God’s mercy. If we’ve made the choice to follow Jesus, then we’ve committed ourselves to be a struggling people – a people devoted to helping the poor.

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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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. 

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.  

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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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.