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.
Originally delivered on July 2, 1989
Readings: Kings 19: 16-21, Paul to the Galatians 5:1, 13-18; Luke 9: 51-62
In today’s homily, which begins with Fr. Healy singing an anthem, we hear of an oppressed people that risked everything for freedom. In today’s readings, Paul says that “It was for liberty that Christ freed us. So stand firm, and do not take yourselves the yoke of slavery a second time! My brothers, remember that you have been given freedom that give free rein to the flesh. Out of love, place yourselves at one another’s service.” And furthermore, it says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Fr. Healy passionately states that this law of love, must triumph all other laws enacted by others. Indeed, this law of freedom and love is both liberating and frightening. Through a series of present-day challenges, we are challenged to view those issues through the lens of love and personal conscience. Our freedom hinges on our faith and responsibility to others.