Poor

1st Sunday of Lent

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Originally delivered on February 12, 1989

Readings: Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Letter of Paul to the Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13

On this first Sunday of Lent, Fr. Healy talks about tithing and it’s importance as a practical need to care for our brothers and sisters. We are reminded by the Gospel reading that we should not be tempted by material security, desire for power over others, or relinquishing our responsibility to take action to improve our human condition. Through charity, especially when it is not just from our surplus, we show our love by caring for the poor, the needy, and the desperate.  

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on January 19, 1992

Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5; Corinthians 12:4-11; John 2:1-12

How will Isaiah’s words, “I will not be silent” propel us into action? In likely his most passionate homily, Fr. Healy reminds us to add our voices on behalf of the poor, especially those in Haiti, to bring about justice. We are reminded in this powerful homily of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s words: “We know through painful experience, that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, but demanded by the oppressed…the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be…”  We are asked to use our unique gifts from God, whatever those gifts might be, to be extremists to ensure that everyone will have a place at the table, making the prophesy of the Gospel come true.  We are each called.  How will we respond to that calling?

2nd Sunday of Advent

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Originally delivered on December 4, 1988
Readings: Baruch 5:1-9; Philippians 1:4-6,8-11; Luke 3:1-6

In anticipation of the coming of Jesus, a herald’s voice cries “Make ready the way of the Lord.” While recognizing that we live within an increasingly global village, we must start preparing the way by transforming our own neighborhoods. But we mustn’t stop there.  To “topple the mountains and fill in every valley,” we must look at the economic and political arrangements in our world that keep some poor and others wealthy, even if it makes us uncomfortable.

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on January 31, 1993

Readings: Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; Matthew 5:1-12a

In this homily, we remember the passing of Justice Thurgood Marshall.  The first African-American member of the Supreme Court, he challenged the status quo and represented the poor and marginalized.  Perhaps he was considered a thorn in the side of the establishment, just as Jesus must have been considered by His contemporaries. In this week’s Gospel, we hear Jesus from the mountain, just as Moses gave the ten commandments from the mount, giving us the Beatitudes which were so very different in nature than the straightforward ten commandments.  But who are the poor in Spirit? Poverty in Spirit surely means genuine dependence on and trust in the Lord.  But being poor in Spirit also may mean those with material wealth who stand with the poor, the disadvantaged, and the marginalized. In doing so, we will be rich in God’s love.

 

3rd Sunday of Advent

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Originally delivered on December 13, 1992

Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:37-44

In this week’s homily, Fr. Healy argues that Bible is a revolutionary message on behalf of the poor. In the first ready, Isaiah is picturing the glory of our Lord.  We are asked to consider the plight of the poor, such as a Somali woman, hearing those words. Would we feel abandoned or swindled by our sisters and brothers? Perhaps for this reason it was dangerous to have slaves or the poor learn to read for fear of them reading the Bible.  It is meant to be an energizer to the the poor and oppressed to stand up to claim their rightful place as God’s children. Indeed, this could be an historic moment for each of us, to decide to give the message to the poor and then to work to make that message come true for our marginalized sisters and brothers.

5th Sunday of Lent

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5th Sunday of Lent

Originally delivered on April 1, 1990

Readings: Ezekial 37: 12-14; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45

In today’s readings, we are reminded that God can restore life. We are reminded that through Jesus, there are no human experiences from which God can’t restore us.  He reflects on the life of Sr. Thea Bowman whose example shows us how to answer the call for new life. Furthermore, Fr. Healy reflects on the events in Sri Lanka and South Africa.  He urges us to risk our own lives so that life may be more full, more real for our sisters and brothers in our communities and around the world. But first, we must believe.

 

4th Sunday of Lent

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Originally delivered on March 25, 1990

Readings: Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 19-13; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41

If only we could see as Jesus sees.  In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals the blind man due to his faith.  Though he used the example of physical healing, in this reading, we are shown that Jesus has already given us the gift of vision to see the world as God sees.   In our own time, we have prophets, such as Archbishop Oscar Romero, who have had the vision, in the depths of their beings, to experience the plight of the poor.

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on November 16, 1986

 

Readings: Malachi 3:19-20; Thessalonians 3:7-12; Luke 21: 5-19

 

In today’s Gospel, we are once again reminded that we must follow Jesus, despite the fact that many obstacles will confront us precisely for what we believe and do based on those beliefs.  We, in a sense, bear a burden as Christians.  We are reminded of the 1986 Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy, Haiti, and affordable housing as current day happenings (then and now) that challenge us to act on behalf of our sisters and brothers, the poor.

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on October 26, 1986

Readings: Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18; Paul to Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; and Luke 18:9-14

In this week’s Gospel we hear the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. We are reminded today that everything that we do should be done in a Christian spirit and in the name of Jesus.  Through the parable, we are invited to examine the prayerfulness of our own lives.  In Jesus’ time, the Pharisees were seen as the most righteous and the tax collector was seen as the lowest, greediest kind of person.  And yet, the tax collector asks for and receives God’s mercy. We hear about Bishop Hunthausen’s courage, despite the institutional church, to stand up for social justice. Through this homily, we are reminded that although we belong to the Church, only adhering to the rules of the institutional structure, like the Pharisee in the parable, doesn’t justify us in the eyes of God.  But rather, we must try everyday to be a people devoted to Jesus, make mistakes, but know that we can ask and receive God’s mercy. If we’ve made the choice to follow Jesus, then we’ve committed ourselves to be a struggling people – a people devoted to helping the poor.

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on February 16, 1992

Readings: Jeremiah 17:5-8; Corinthians 15:12, 16-20; Luke 6:17, 20-26

In today’s Gospel, we are reminded of Jesus’ words “But woe to you rich, for your consolation is now.” As a member of one of the wealthiest nations, we are asked to look at our role in keeping the current arrangements that keep some people poor and hungry. We are also asked to think of marriage as an opportunity for two people to give themselves and their lives to their union as an expression of God Himself.