Readings: Deuteronomy 4: 1-2, 6-8; James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Originally delivered on September 1, 1991
In this week’s homily, Fr. Healy speaks about the law. In the first reading, Moses tells the Israelites that the law is the law and not meant to be changed. We are challenged then to determine what we should do with the “eye for an eye” and other such laws stated later in Deuteronomy. So, by what means must we look upon the law with great reverence and other parts as outdated? Luckily for us, Jesus gave us the answer: Love the Lord with all we have and our neighbors as ourselves. That is, there is but one law – the law of love. It takes boldness and courage to stand up for what we see as man-made laws that are contrary to Jesus’s law of love and we are called to do so.
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.
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.
Originally delivered on August 22, 1993
Readings: Isaiah 22:15, 19-23; Romans 11:33-36; Matthew 16:13-20
In this week’s readings, we hear about authority, but it’s not equivalent to power, when Jesus gives authority to Peter. We are reminded that those who positions of authority, are bound by conscience, where one is alone with God. When Jesus speaks, He calls each of us to be one with God by seeking out His will. Then, we must follow Him by our actions in our lives. Fr. Healy passionately explains that God doesn’t want us to always be right, but rather, we must be sincere, driven by our deep connection with God through our conscience. Indeed, we must struggle with those that have reached a very different view of an issue of today through their own conscience. The ultimate measure of truth, goodness, and beauty, is the person of Jesus. We must constantly ask ourselves what Jesus would say or do. Living according to that principle makes us Christian.
Readings: Ezekial 37:12-14, Romans 8:8-11, John 11:1-45
Originally delivered on March 28, 1993
In this Gospel of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus is speaking to us in his encounter with Martha, that we are givers and takers of life. Perhaps, we are being challenged today to be there to help our sisters and brothers in need. It is our responsibility, as Christians, to breathe new life into others. The priorities of the Gospel must be our priorities in life. Current events call us to be moved to tears, as Jesus was, and then to act on behalf of the poor and marginalized. The shame of our past silence and the guilt of our past conspiracies, demand of us that we take the place of Jesus to be bearers of life, where people are free and live without oppression. We must involve ourselves in others’ struggles, just as Jesus did with Martha.
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.