Readings: Genesis: 18:22-32; Colossians 2:12-14; Luke 11:1-13
Originally delivered on July 30, 1989
In this week’s readings, we hear about Sodom and Gomorrah. Through this story, we learn that we can talk to God, despite our sins. In the today’s Gospel, Jesus says tells us how to pray. Indeed, He wants us to forgive, just as He has forgiven us already. That’s the spirit in which we should pray and the spirit in which we should live. But, we must embrace this in our lives and make the message our own.
Originally delivered on June 17, 1989
Readings: Sm 12:7-10, 13, Gal 2:16, 19-21, Lk 7:36—8:3
We are sinners, but God is love. His love is the air we breathe. His forgiveness is the atmosphere in which we exist. That is what we learn from today’s scriptures. In the first reading, David, the king, is a sinner for having stolen another man’s wife. Additionally, he sent the woman’s husband, Uriah, off to battle so that the husband would be sure to be killed. And yet, we hear that the Lord forgave David after he admits his sin. From the Gospel, we hear that God forgives regardless of the greatness of the sin itself. It is through our very weakness that God’s mercy becomes even more obvious. Our task is, as sinners, is to welcome others with forgiveness and then to be agents of compassion and forgiveness of others, rather than their judges. As Paul reminds us, Jesus shows us that our faith in the power of His forgiveness will save us.
Originally delivered on September 17, 1989
Readings: Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14; Paul to Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-32 or 15:1-10
In the first reading, we hear of God’s anger toward the people of Egypt for their sinfulness. But in the Gospel reading, we learn, through the story of the Prodigal Son, of Jesus’ forgiveness and love for all of us, despite our sinfulness and shortcomings. We are forgiven and loved as we are, not as we might be, because God is love, mercy, and forgiveness. As forgiven people, we need only believe that we are forgiven. But perhaps before we can believe that we are forgiven, we need to forgive others.
Originally delivered on March 5, 1989
Readings: Joshua 5:9, 10-12; Corinthians 5:17-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
In this famous parable of the Prodigal Son, we hear that Fr. Healy depends on this story because of it reminds us of God’s immeasurable and unconditional love, always forgiving, and always accepting us as HIs children. We can reflect on this story and see which son we might be, but we should also remember that God’s love is infinite and He bestows it on each of us. We don’t need to be perfect, but only willing to accept God’s forgiveness, compassion, and love. Jesus laid down His life for us, as the fatted calf, to celebrate our return to the Father.
Originally delivered on March 22, 1992
Readings: Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15; Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12; Luke 13:1-9
In this passionate homily, Fr. Healy discusses his vision of what preaching is or should be. He says that “like the Eucharist, it is both consolation and comfort while also being confrontation and challenge to bring about the conversion to God.” He goes on to explain that the task of the homilist is to take the eternal truth and give it a contemporary context — an immediacy for us each Sunday. From the first reading, we are reminded that God is beyond our imagination, but also present with us each day, as He was for Moses in the burning bush. But we are reminded that each people hear God’s words from their own perspective, a perspective that we would do well to consider, even if it is not our own perspective. We are asked to make a new effort to reject easy interpretations of God’s words and to honor our diversity in hearing others’ perspectives. From the Gospel, we are reminded through Jesus’ parable of the fig tree, that God always loves us, always forgives us, and always has hope for us.