Originally delivered on January 31, 1993
Readings: Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; Matthew 5:1-12a
In this homily, we remember the passing of Justice Thurgood Marshall. The first African-American member of the Supreme Court, he challenged the status quo and represented the poor and marginalized. Perhaps he was considered a thorn in the side of the establishment, just as Jesus must have been considered by His contemporaries. In this week’s Gospel, we hear Jesus from the mountain, just as Moses gave the ten commandments from the mount, giving us the Beatitudes which were so very different in nature than the straightforward ten commandments. But who are the poor in Spirit? Poverty in Spirit surely means genuine dependence on and trust in the Lord. But being poor in Spirit also may mean those with material wealth who stand with the poor, the disadvantaged, and the marginalized. In doing so, we will be rich in God’s love.
Originally delivered on February 13, 1994
Readings: Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46; Corinthians 10:31-11:1; Mark 1:40-45
The first and last readings today are about leprosy. Fr. Healy suggests that we all have leprosy from time to time. Fr. Healy surmises that leprosy is something that scares, threatens, or makes someone feel insecure. Even those with “gifts” can be ostracized as a leper. We’ve all counted another “out”, so that we can be sure that we are “in.” We are challenged to look for God in the faces of those that we’d otherwise reject, including gays, lesbians, people living with HIV/AIDS, and those of different races or ethnicities.
Originally delivered on May 6, 1990
Readings: Acts of the Apostles 2:14, 36-41; Peter 2:20-25; John 10:1-10
Again today we hear about the Good Shepherd and his sheep. Fr. Healy invites us to wonder why that one sheep might have left the flock. Could the flock have made it impossible to fit in? But in this day’s readings, we hear that Jesus is the gatekeeper. Others do not the have the right to keep some of the sheep out of the flock. Therefore, we have a responsibility to be like Jesus and always welcome others, and perhaps especially, the one sheep that has wondered off because of how the flock treats him or her.