Capital Punishment

3rd Sunday of Easter

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Readings: Acts 5:12-16; Revelation 1:9-11, 12-13, 17-19; John 20:19-31

Originally delivered on April 17, 1994

In this homily, we are reminded that our sins are always forgiven.  Indeed, God is Mercy and Redemption.  It’s so amazing that it’s difficult for many of us to believe.  Nonetheless, we must try to reflect God’s forgiveness in how we treat one another.  We must love one another, just as God loves us.

 

2nd Sunday of Lent

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Originally delivered on February 27, 1994

Readings: Genesis 22:12, 9, 10-13, 15-18; Romans 8:31-34; Mark 9:2-10

In this homily, Fr. Healy focuses on the first reading from Genesis about God’s commandment to Abraham to kill his son, Isaac.  Fr. Healy contends that the point of the story is that God would never ask us to kill, but rather, that God would send His own Son, Jesus, to be the scapegoat for us all.  He passionately preaches that we must not ever kill our sisters and brothers, despite any rationale that is given. We, as followers of Jesus, must always choose life.

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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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.

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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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.

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on September 27, 1987

Readings: Ezekial 18: 25-28; Philippians 2:1-11 or 2:1-5; Matthew 21:28-32

In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to us again in a parable about a son who says he’ll do something for his father and doesn’t while another son who refuses, but eventually does what is asked. Fr. Healy suggests that we are likely more like the first son because while we say “yes” we haven’t really put that yes into action on behalf of our Father. We might look around who are saying yes to Jesus by the way that they are living their lives. Indeed, we might look to the experiences within our own country.  How do we reconcile our Constitution with the fact that we had slavery for so long, waited more than a century for women to get the right to vote, or still engage in capital punishment?  In our own personal lives, how do we go beyond our “yes” to doing the real work that we are called to do.  Saying yes to Jesus, means risking ourselves, our wealth, and perhaps even getting into a little bit of trouble.  We must get out into the field and empty ourselves for our brothers and sisters.

 

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on September 12, 1993

Readings: Sirach 27: 30-28:7; Romans 14: 7-9; Matthew 18: 21-35

In this week’s homily, we hear of the atrocity of a supporter of Haitian President Aristide being dragged out of a Mass being said by Fr. Antoine Adrien and murdered.  We are also reminded of the history taking place in Yugoslavia.  Despite these global injustices, and even with our personal pains and grievances, we are, as Christians, called to forgive, just as God forgives us.  Indeed, the message is clear: God is forgiveness.  What about you?

14th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on July 4, 1993

Readings: Zechariah 9:9-10;  Romans 8:9, 11-13; Matthew 11:25-30

What does it mean to be a citizen of God’s Kingdom?  From the fist reading of Zechariah, we hear that God would put an end to war, jealousy, and human competition. In the second reading, Paul reminds the Romans and us today, that we must walk in the spirit. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us to learn from Him just as children learn.  That is, we are to be gentle and humble of heart.  We are challenged to reflect on how capital punishment fits with our being citizens of God’s Kingdom. If we really believe in the unconditional, all-embracing forgiveness of Jesus, we cannot harbor vindictive, hostile dispositions toward anyone. Let us all learn from Jesus and forgive others. Only in this way, will be truly free, in the way that Jesus talks about freedom, and find rest in our hearts.