Readings: Amos 7: 12-15; Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:7-13
Originally delivered on July 14, 1991
We are reminded today that it’s easy to miss the full meaning of repentance beyond being sorry. It means expressing one’s sorrow, regret, and shame for having done something wrong, and also turning oneself around. In today’s Gospel, we hear several important considerations from Jesus to his disciples. Those are that He sent them out in pairs, told them to go without many things, and to trust in Him to provide through those they would meet. In the first reading, we also hear about the challenges faced by the prophet Amos. He was an ordinary person, a shepherd, just as we are ordinary people called to a prophetic ministry of challenge and confrontation to those that victimize others. Like Amos and Jesus, as we heard in last week’s reading, as prophets, we will be challenged and rebuked. Nevertheless, we are called to challenge the comfortable notions of those that make the arrangements that leave some of our sisters and brothers marginalized. When confronted and asked who sent us, like Amos, we can be confident that God called us to be prophets.
Readings: Ezekiel 2:2-5; Corinthians 12: 7-10; Mark 6:1-6
Originally delivered on July 7, 1991
Fr. Healy reminds us today that we are each called to be a prophet. And yet we must sort out what we think and believe with what is truly God’s. We hear in the second reading that our humanity (sinfulness) does not excuse us from this calling of prophecy in the name of Jesus. In the gospel, through Jesus’s own experience, we know that prophets are not that well received at home where they are known. We are also reminded that our most important ministry is to serve the needs of our sisters and brothers. We are asked to make personal the words in the first reading, “But you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord God! And whether they heed or resist – for they are a rebellious house – they shall know that a prophet has been among them.”
Readings: Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Corinthians 7:32-35; Mark 1:21-28
Originally delivered on January 31, 1988
In the first reading, we hear that God will speak to us, His people, through the prophets. And to the prophets, God makes it clear that the prophets but speak for Him and not for themselves or someone other than God. In the Gospel then, we hear that Jesus spellbound those in the synagogue with his teaching with his ability to recognize and drive out evil. In the second reading, Paul speaks to the Corinthians about serving the Lord and dealing with life as married people. Fr. Healy explains that Paul, who believes that God’s kingdom is near, was offering his thoughts but that others since have used his words beyond what Paul may have intended. We are implored to be discerning followers of Christ. (note that unfortunately, the tape of this homily is incomplete.)
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.
Originally delivered on December 16, 1990
Readings: Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-12; Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28
Today we are challenged with the question: “Who are you?” We are called today to answer, like John, by saying “I am nobody; just a Christian trying to prepare the way for the Lord.” Indeed, Isaiah, John the Baptist, and Paul all paid the greatest price for their beliefs. The Church asks us to rejoice, even in the midst of injustices, because of the kind of God we have. In Jesus, God is forever calling us to let go of our fear and selfishness and to embrace our sisters and brothers in all their pain and sorrow. We are anointed to give our whole being to the poor and oppressed.