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 January 8, 1995
Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12
Today we are reminded that there are strangers waiting to be welcome by us. They, the strangers, are also waiting to share their gifts with us. To what extent are we living in celebration of one another?
Originally delivered on February 13, 1994
Readings: Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46; Corinthians 10:31-11:1; Mark 1:40-45
The first and last readings today are about leprosy. Fr. Healy suggests that we all have leprosy from time to time. Fr. Healy surmises that leprosy is something that scares, threatens, or makes someone feel insecure. Even those with “gifts” can be ostracized as a leper. We’ve all counted another “out”, so that we can be sure that we are “in.” We are challenged to look for God in the faces of those that we’d otherwise reject, including gays, lesbians, people living with HIV/AIDS, and those of different races or ethnicities.
Originally delivered on December 2, 1990
Readings: Isaiah 63: 16-17. 19; 64:2-7; Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37
At the beginning of Advent, we are, in effect, saying thank you Jesus and come again among us. He comes and renews us in each Eucharist and when two or three are gathered in His name. Advent is a time to acknowledge God’s presence in our lives which gives us strength to carry on. But it is also a time to remember that we should be on guard and ready for HIs coming again. At the time of the original delivery, the US was weighing the possibility of the Gulf War. We are asked to consider how our political enemies are also people of God.
Originally delivered on October 10, 1993
Readings: Isaiah 25: 6-10; Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20; Matthew 22: 1-14 or 22:1-10
We are reminded today that we are all invited to the wedding banquet. Today, we are asked, just as a bride and groom, to let go in order to more fully receive Jesus’ promise. Each and every one of us is invited to the banquet of our Lord, without exception and without conditions, and yet, we are equally called to serve the fellow guests, our sisters and brothers.
Originally delivered on August 19, 1990
Readings: Isaiah 56:1, 6-7; Romans 11:13-15, 29-32; Matthew 15:21-28
In this week’s Gospel, a Canaanite woman addresses Jesus and asks for His help. Through her persistence, despite being a non-Jew, Jesus recognizes her faith and heals her daughter. But first, Jesus, in his humanity, rebuffed the woman and, in fact, asked his disciples to get rid of her. In this homily, Fr. Healy invites us to reflect on the humanity of Jesus reflected in today’s Gospel from Matthew. In the first reading, Isaiah tells the Jews, and us today, that salvation is for all peoples. All people are God’s people. We are asked to examine our own lives to see how we’ve practiced exclusion, but then rise to the challenge of overcoming our sins, in the spirit of Jesus’s example.
Originally delivered on August 5, 1990
Readings: Isaiah 55: 1-3; Romans 8:35, 37-39; Matthew 14:13-21
This week’s Gospel is the famous story of five loaves of bread and a couple of fish. In this account, his disciples suggest that Jesus disperse the crowd of 5,000 because they couldn’t feed them. But Jesus objects and says, “There is no need for them to disperse. Give them something to eat themselves.” All were fed and many of us, over the years, have marveled at the miracle. But in today’s homily, Fr. Healy asks us to consider the possibility that Jesus was showing us that if we share what we have with our brothers and sisters, there will be plenty for all.