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.
Readings: Isaiah 22:15, 19-23; Romans 11:33-36; Matthew 16:13-20
Fr. Healy tells us that he always wanted to be parish priest, despite signing up for the Holy Ghost Fathers who are dedicated to missionary work. He recounts that he had doubts about his ability to remain a priest within the institutional Church. He lets us know that priests and other religious people are often put up on pedestals thereby making it difficult for many religious to deal with their humanity. In these stories, he challenges us to reflect on the role of Peter in today’s Gospel. It is the same Peter who Jesus said, “You are a rock and upon this rock I build my Church” that also denied him three times. He suggests that the religious should come down from the pedestals and be with the people to create the Church.