21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Isaiah 66: 18-21; Hebrews 12: 5-7, 11-13; Luke 13: 22-30
Originally delivered on August 27, 1989
Fr. Healy begins his homily with a funny story about the Holy Ghost Fathers. He reminds us that in today’s gospel, we are called to see everyone as part of the family of God. This is the vision of Jesus. Everyone is in, especially those that perhaps we would want to count out. Fr. Healy then brings the message to the current time by discussing the issues and laws that seem to count some people out. As followers of Jesus, therefore, we must stand up against those things that hurt our brothers and sisters.
Originally delivered on December 31, 1989
Readings: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14; Colossians 3:12-21; Matthew: 2:13-15, 19-23
We celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. As we gather each week, it’s truly a family reunion as everyone is together as one family of God. We are called to reflect on what the world would be like if we treated others truly as our sisters and brothers. Family is loving, learning, sharing, and caring deeply for one another while keeping a treasured tradition which is renewed and celebrated together when we gather. But most importantly, being family, is to be forgiving of the faults and failings of our brothers and sisters. We are also called to recognize the family resemblance in the spirit of every person on earth.
Originally delivered on January 12, 1992
Readings: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7; Acts 10:34-38; Luke 3:15-16, 21-22
A Sacrament of initiation, Baptism, is more than a welcome to the Church. Baptism is an initiation into the family. In today’s homily, we are asked to acknowledge Baptism as a commissioning outward to share in the spirit of our family. Everyone is family, and as such, we are asked to hold a world vision based on Jesus, who taught us tenderness toward each other and justice for all. As a family, we must embrace all people, without exception, and especially immigrants, refugees, and strangers. All are welcome and all are one. Although we are baptized in water, we are also baptized in fire and spirit. May God set us on fire to make the spirit of family alive in our world.
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.