Originally delivered on December 9, 1990
Readings: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8
Today, we are asked to look at why we might characterize or dismiss the prophets? In the readings, we hear of two prophets, Isaiah and John the Baptist. Both give us a message to “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” We are called to examine ourselves and see if we are an obstacle to God’s plan of peace. Are we willing to pay the price for being peacemakers? If we take Isaiah and John the Baptizer seriously, we must acknowledge the radical call to nothing less than conversion as things as they are and a turning around to be as God wants them to be. Indeed, we are confronted, through this homily, to be like Christ in our responses to the troubles and evils in our world. That is, we are called to love and not avenge. We must bring peace where there is war; kindness and understanding where there is blindness to the truth. We may be sinners, but we are called to be prophets.
Originally delivered on July 1, 1990
Readings: Kings 4:8-11, 14-16; Romans 6:3-4, 8-11; Matthew 1-:37-42
Prophets will always be like us, frail sinners. today’s first and third readings, we hear about welcoming prophets. Indeed, in Matthew’s Gospel, we hear that “he who welcomes a holy man because he is known as holy receives a holy man’s reward. And I promise you that whoever gives a cup of cold water to one of these lowly ones because he is a disciple will not want for his reward.” But what about when God sends a prophet that challenges us? Will we welcome that prophet in our midst? We are always in a struggle to understand what God is telling us through these prophets. But, finally, we must remember that we are each, in all of our human weakness, called to be prophets.
Originally delivered on January 17, 1993
Readings: Isaiah 49:3, 5-6; 1 Corinthians 1:1-3; John 1:29-34
We are a frail people, and yet, we are asked to walk in the likes of John the Baptist and the other prophets, and be a light to all. We are reminded that there are prophets in our time as we celebrate the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Despite all of our faults, just as the prophets before us, we can speak the truth of Jesus. Each of us must take action, in whatever we can, and not leave it up to others to change the order of things that keep many of sisters and brothers suffering. God has placed the incomprehensible burden of freedom in our hands. To embrace Jesus means that each of us must embrace everyone as a child of God.
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.
Originally delivered on December 17, 1989
Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6, 10; James 5:7-10; Matthew 1:2-11
Today we are reminded to Rejoice! Rejoice for our being prophets to bring Jesus’ Gospel to our sisters and brothers here on Earth. We are each called to be prophets despite our frailties, doubts, and even our sins. It is in our infirmity that the Glory of God becomes more evident. So, today as we rejoice in the Good News, we are each challenged to be true prophets in our actions.
Originally delivered on January 23, 1994
Readings: Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20
This week we hear the story of Jonah as an illustration of God’s way of communicating with us and His love and mercy. Fr. Healy encourages us all to learn from the story of Jonah and be compassionate and understanding of our sisters and brothers, especially those that think and act differently than we do. We should not judge others believing that we have the real truth. God did not call us to be each other’s judge. We are called to be a prophetic people living out the love of God to our sisters and brothers, regardless of their beliefs even about controversial issues, such as abortion, birth control, homosexuality, and the ordination of women priests. Finally, we are reminded that Jesus was never judgmental, but poured out His love for all.
Originally delivered on January 17, 1988
Readings: Samuel 3: 3-10, 19; Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20; John 1:35-42
We are each challenged to be witnesses of Christ and have our words and deeds be in harmony with God’s calling of us to be His prophets. But we also must use of gift of discernment to recognize the authentic word of God spoken by our sisters and brothers and distinguish it from the pretense of some who actually speak in their own name. Originally delivered on the eve of the celebration of the national holiday honoring Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are reminded that some try to question the credentials of those that preach the message of Jesus. But we are reminded that the measure for true prophecy is whether the preacher echoes the Gospel of love for all people, without exception.