Originally delivered on July 25, 1993
Readings: Kings 3:5, 7-12; Romans 8: 28-30; Matthew 13:44-52 or 13:44-46
In this Gospel, we hear the parables about the Kingdom of God. Specifically we hear about the treasure buried in the field and the man who sold all that he had to buy the field. We are challenged to see ourselves as the treasures that God so cherishes. Perhaps we’ve been led to believe that only the great leaders, priests, or others in high positions are treasures. But in this homily, Fr. Healy invites us to see the important role that each of us plays in carrying out God’s plan.
Originally delivered on January 14,1990
Readings: Isaiah 8:23-9:3; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17; Matthew 4:12-23 or 4:12-17
We are the light of Jesus in the world today. We are each called to bring that light, through our own unique gifts and talents, to make this world the Kingdom of God. In this Gospel, Jesus reaches out to the fishermen, Simon and Andrew, to be fishers of men and women. Jesus didn’t go to those in power. Instead, he went to the ordinary people, like us, to bring forth His message, just as we are now called. In the second reading, however, we are reminded that in being the light, we must not get caught up in our inevitable squabbles that have more to do with us than in following Jesus. Paul reminds us that we cannot give ourselves over to jealousness and mean spiritedness. Paul did mean uniformity, but rather unity around Christ’s message to be His light in the world.
Originally delivered on January 26, 1992
Readings: Nehemiah 8:2-4, 5-6, 8-10; Corinthians 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21
In this week’s homily, we are asked to imagine that we are a Jew waiting for the Messiah in order to fully comprehend the power of the Gospel story where Jesus announces that he is the Messiah for whom the Jews had been waiting. We are asked to think about the part of us that wants the responsibility of living The Good News to be for someone else, but not ourselves. Today, in the second reading, we are reminded that we are part of the body of Christ. There is no insignificant part of the body. As such, we must be the living Christ to our sisters in brothers around the world. We are anointed. We are called. We will never have the perfection of Jesus. We will be misunderstood, rejected, ignored, or even stopped in our attempts, but we must continue to try.
Originally delivered on February 28, 1988
Readings: Genesis 22:12, 9, 10-13, 15-18; Romans 8:31-34; Mark 9:2-10
In today’s Gospel, we see a glimpse of God’s glory. Like the three apostles with Jesus, we’re already believers and yet sometimes we need to be restored by God in order that we might continue carrying out the Good News. But today we are also reminded that in various challenges that face us, we can find glimpses of God there in our midst, especially as we reach out and help or console one another.
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.
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.
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.
Originally delivered on May 31, 1992
Readings: Acts of the Apostles 7: 55-60; Revelation 22: 12-14, and John 17: 20-26
God is love. Our loving, parental God sent His Son, Jesus, to all the people of the earth to lead them back to His Father’s house to celebrate together forever. So simple, yet our challenge is to find its meaning for us in our hectic, challenging lives. Stephen understood this message and gives witness of this understanding to others. We, as Christians, are called to be like Stephen, to love one another as our God loves us. Like Stephen, our witness may cost us our lives, but we are called to give witness by showing our passion for people, our brothers and sisters, especially those we might call our enemies.