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 February 28, 1993
Readings: Genesis 2:7-9, 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-19 or 5:12, 17-19; Matthew 4:1-11
We all struggle with a God who is love and mercy who also permits pain, suffering, and evil within His creation. But through Jesus, we know that we are redeemed. In spite of and in the midst of all the meanness, madness, and idiocy of human behavior, we are loved and forgiven for our shortcomings.
Originally delivered on October 12, 1986
Readings: Kings 5:14-17; Paul to Timothy 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19
There is no doubt about it — God can cure all human suffering, but His use of power is limited to opportunities to encourage our faith. The Scripture tells us that for the foreigners, God was willing to heal them, in order to help us to increase our faith and believe more in the Lord. We are called to grow in faith each day. We are reminded that in 1986, the similarities between lepresy and AIDS were so evident. Then, and now, we are called to be loving to all people just as Jesus loved the ten lepers in today’s Gospel. Our God is not merciful, but rather God is Mercy. In His image, we are called to bring love and compassion to all those suffering with human afflictions.
Originally delivered on October 5, 1986
Readings: Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2, 2-4; Paul to Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14; Luke 17:5-10
We hear in today’s homily that we should not look for appreciation and gratitude from others, but rather take actions based on the Gospel. Our faith can give us strength and courage even when others oppose and undermine us. Furthermore, we must love those opponents as Jesus loves each of us, even giving HIs life for us. The Eucharist is our thanks, the perfect thanks,from God the Creator. If we can remember to give thanks to God, we can find the strength to carry on as Christian people, whether or not anyone else ever appreciates us. Let us be faithful not for reward, but because faith is its own reward.
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10; Hebrews 12:1-4; Luke 12:49-53
Originally delivered on August 20, 1989
In today’s gospel we hear from an angry Jesus who proclaims, “I have come to light a fire on the earth. How I wish the blaze were ignited!” He then goes on to speak of the divisions that will exist in our society because of Him. Fr. Healy preaches that God is angry because of what we have done with God’s plan for us to love and share with all of God’s children, our brothers and sisters. We are reminded that even Jesus’s crucifixion was legal. That is, we cannot stand behind what is the law as protection from what is God’s law of love that we are called to follow. Even our acts of silence, participation by inaction, or approval by passivity hurt others and we are challenged to examine ourselves and seek God’s ways, even if that means that we will create divisions, as today’s gospel states.
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 19, 1995
Readings: Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15; Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12; Luke 13:1-9
In this week’s homily, Fr. Healy talks about the role of the preacher to be a messenger of Jesus’s message. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us not to do the simplistic thing of blaming people for their struggles. We are called to love each and every person. We must stop blaming God and take responsibility for our collective circumstances.
1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23; 1 Corinthians 15:45-49; Luke 6:27-38
Originally delivered on February 23, 1992
We are called and anointed to make peace, forgive our enemies, and do good to those that would persecute us. In the Gospel today, Jesus says, “To you who hear me…” Are we hearing Him? Indeed, we must hear with our hearts. In the second reading, Paul tells us that we are natural beings before being divine. We are reminded that we are called to bring the Kingdom of God and His love and forgiveness to our sisters and brothers in the here and now. We know that Jesus told us to love our enemies, have we heard it in our hearts? Have we translated that love into deeds? Will we seize this sacred moment and make something of it?
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.