Readings: Isaiah 42: 1-4, 6-7; Acts: 10:34-38; Mark 1:7-11
Originally delivered on January 10, 1988
On this Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Fr. Healy invites us to reflect on what it means to us to be initiated into an exclusive club of some type. What about our initiation into the Church? Indeed, everyone is welcomed into the Body of Christ. To be a member of Christ’s Church, we are called to look outward, embracing our sisters and brothers. To be a Catholic is to be a part of the world. We are called to work to bring the vision of Christ to our world.
Originally delivered on November 8, 1992
Readings: Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14; Thessalonians 2:16 -3:5; Luke 20:27-38 or 20-27 , 34-38
How does our conscience shape our actions? Are we, like the seven sons and their mother from the Book of Maccabees, willing to die for what we believe? In today’s homily, we are reminded that we may have to take a stand for something which will become irrelevant at a later date. Nonetheless, in the moment, we are called to follow our conscience. We should pray dearly and act sincerely based on what our conscience tells us. On the issues of women priests, abortion, sexual orientation, divorce, and our economic systems, we must pray and ultimately follow our conscience.
Originally delivered on July 18, 1993
Readings: Wisdom 12:13, 16-19; Romans 8:26-27; Matthew 13:24-43 or 13:24-30
In the first reading from the book of Wisdom, we are reminded of God’s unconditional forgiveness and compassion for us. How much do we hold onto the hurts that we’ve experienced? But today, through the infusion of the Holy Spirit, we are asked to let go of these hurts, as God forgives us. In the Gospel, Jesus challenges us to think of people as crops and weeds — the good and bad — and to pour our energy not into pulling weeds. We should focus on ourselves and let God sort out the wheat from the weeds. We are called, therefore, to be loving, compassionate, and forgiving as Jesus is to us. We are reminded of the courage of the six Jesuits killed in El Salvador in 1989, the debate of gays in the military, and the situation in Haiti as current events happening in 1993 that challenge us to not judge others lest we, one day, be judged by others to be a weed rather than the wheat.
Originally delivered on April 2, 1995
Readings: Isaiah 43: 16-21; Philippians 3: 8-14; John 8:1-11
This week’s Gospel is the John’s account of the adulterer. Fr. Healy invites us to reflect on whether sexual issues are highlighted in our society, perhaps as they were in Jesus’s time, to deflect our attention from other issues. We are reminded that Jesus speaks to us today when he tells the woman, “Nor do I condemn you. You may go. But from now on, avoid, the sin.”
Readings: Deuteronomy 4: 1-2, 6-8; James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Originally delivered on September 1, 1991
In this week’s homily, Fr. Healy speaks about the law. In the first reading, Moses tells the Israelites that the law is the law and not meant to be changed. We are challenged then to determine what we should do with the “eye for an eye” and other such laws stated later in Deuteronomy. So, by what means must we look upon the law with great reverence and other parts as outdated? Luckily for us, Jesus gave us the answer: Love the Lord with all we have and our neighbors as ourselves. That is, there is but one law – the law of love. It takes boldness and courage to stand up for what we see as man-made laws that are contrary to Jesus’s law of love and we are called to do so.
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 May 6, 1990
Readings: Acts of the Apostles 2:14, 36-41; Peter 2:20-25; John 10:1-10
Again today we hear about the Good Shepherd and his sheep. Fr. Healy invites us to wonder why that one sheep might have left the flock. Could the flock have made it impossible to fit in? But in this day’s readings, we hear that Jesus is the gatekeeper. Others do not the have the right to keep some of the sheep out of the flock. Therefore, we have a responsibility to be like Jesus and always welcome others, and perhaps especially, the one sheep that has wondered off because of how the flock treats him or her.
Originally delivered on April 25, 1993
Today we hear the homily on the Prodigal Son. In the first reading, we hear of a vindictive God, ready to send fire down to the sinners. But in the Gospel, we hear from Jesus that God is indeed love and mercy. How many times must we hear this parable to let it sink in? How differently might we see ourselves if we trusted Jesus? If we were set free of our self-doubt and fear, how different we would be to our brothers and sisters. Delivered on the eve of the 1992 election, Fr. Healy speaks of the importance of the parable for that time where some were raised up by putting others down. In light of this parable in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, how do we rationalize our actions that hurt others?
Originally delivered on July 2, 1989
Readings: Kings 19: 16-21, Paul to the Galatians 5:1, 13-18; Luke 9: 51-62
In today’s homily, which begins with Fr. Healy singing an anthem, we hear of an oppressed people that risked everything for freedom. In today’s readings, Paul says that “It was for liberty that Christ freed us. So stand firm, and do not take yourselves the yoke of slavery a second time! My brothers, remember that you have been given freedom that give free rein to the flesh. Out of love, place yourselves at one another’s service.” And furthermore, it says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Fr. Healy passionately states that this law of love, must triumph all other laws enacted by others. Indeed, this law of freedom and love is both liberating and frightening. Through a series of present-day challenges, we are challenged to view those issues through the lens of love and personal conscience. Our freedom hinges on our faith and responsibility to others.