Family

Epiphany

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Originally delivered on January 6, 1991

Readings: Isaiah 60: 1-6; Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12

Today we are invited to reflect on how Mary felt about the shepherds and magi visiting just after giving birth to Jesus. And yet, we are reminded that though we may be strangers with some, we are all family which requires us to examine our definition or understanding of family.  Perhaps it wasn’t easy for Mary to welcome the strangers, she set an example and welcomed them.  We are called, as members of the great family of God, to share the good news that God is Love and Mercy and we are all God’s children.

 

Holy Family

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Originally delivered on December 29, 1990

Readings: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14; Colossians 3:12-21; Luke 2:22-40 or 2:22, 39-40

Through old family stories, we are invited to see justice and family in a new light. Who do we consider family? Do we extend the same actions to others that we would for our “family” members?  Aren’t we aren’t all sisters and brothers as children of the same God? We are reminded of the powerful words of Paul from the second reading today: “Because you are God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with heartfelt mercy, with kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.  Bear with one another; forgive whatever grievances you have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you.  Over all these virtues put on love, which binds the rest together and makes them perfect. Christ’s peace must reign in your hearts, since as members of the one body you have been called to that peace.”

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

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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.

Holy Family

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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.

Baptism of the Lord

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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.

Holy Family

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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.