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 May 2, 1992
Readings: Acts of Apostles 5:27-32, 40-41; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19 or 21:1-14
In this homily, we hear of the tragedy of the riots in Los Angeles in 1992 and Fr. Healy’s struggle to understand the riots in light of the Easter allelujah that he felt during the season. From the first reading, we are reminded that we, like the apostles, sometimes may get into trouble doing the work that we are called to do. In the second reading, we hear again that Jesus will triumph. Finally, in the Gospel, through the story of Jesus meeting Peter fishing, we are reminded of Jesus’ forgiveness and our responsibility to serve others. The racial riots in Los Angeles is another reason to know that we still have an unjust society and that we must confront those injustices if we say that we are true witnesses of Jesus. What are our present day events that show the injustices that remain? How are we changing societal structures and ensuring that all people are included? These are the questions that we must consistently ask ourselves as believers in Jesus’ Resurrection.
Readings: Genesis 3:9-15; Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark 3:20-35
Originally delivered on June 9, 1991
Today we are asked to let go of our excuses for our failings and sins. We are also challenged to work to transform the earth to be that envisioned by Jesus. Fr. Healy passionately urges us to consider how racism still exists and to find our voices and take action to eliminate this sin in our society.
Readings: Genesis: 11:1-9; Romans 8:22-27; John 7: 37-39
Originally delivered on May 19, 1991
Considered the birthday of the Church, today we celebrate Pentecost. Fr. Healy reminds us that ordinary people do extraordinary things, through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are called to share our beliefs in deeds, touching other people’s lives in our world. We must believe that we have the fire and gift of God within and moves us. Fr. Healy passionately reminds us that we are called to love one another, especially refugees, as Jesus loves us. Indeed, we must have a passion for peace. We must be energized by the Holy Spirit to use our individual talents to serve the community because we are one body in Christ.
Originally delivered on February 20, 1994
Readings: Genesis 9:8-15; Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:12-15
In today’s first reading, we hear about God’s use of the rainbow as a sign that God’s promise to always be there for us. God is promising us that we will never be abandoned. We are challenged to recognize that perhaps the rainbow is a symbol of God’s plan for our diversity and that we are called to be the face of God to our sisters and brothers. Like Jesus in the desert, we will face hardship, but God’s promise will see us through those times, just as Jesus endured the 40 days.
Originally delivered on May 6, 1990
Readings: Acts of the Apostles 2:14, 36-41; Peter 2:20-25; John 10:1-10
Again today we hear about the Good Shepherd and his sheep. Fr. Healy invites us to wonder why that one sheep might have left the flock. Could the flock have made it impossible to fit in? But in this day’s readings, we hear that Jesus is the gatekeeper. Others do not the have the right to keep some of the sheep out of the flock. Therefore, we have a responsibility to be like Jesus and always welcome others, and perhaps especially, the one sheep that has wondered off because of how the flock treats him or her.
Originally delivered on April 4, 1993
Readings: Isaiah 50: 4-7; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14-27, 66
How can we ever understand the people’s choice of releasing Barabbas over Jesus? Fr. Healy challenges us to see similar situations in our lives where we, the people, choose Barrabas. Indeed, when we live in a society that maximizes a right or benefit for a few at the expense of the many, we are living in a time when the people still choose Barabbus. Indeed, the Passion is still with us today. We are encouraged to recognize, acknowledge, and repent for our collective sins, when we chose Barabbus, even in our complicity. Jesus, the Son of god, is in the most desperate person among us. The choice is ours how we will respond.
Originally delivered on December 10, 1989
Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12
In this homily, we hear of the death of Fr. Healy’s sister, Sally, and Pope John Paul II’s warning of the impending ecological crisis. Animated about the issues of racism, refugees from Central America, and Haiti, Fr. Healy shares his struggle about which issues to address with the people of God. We are asked to hear the words of John the Baptist, as if he was speaking directly to each of us when he say’s “prepare ye the way of the Lord. Make straight His path.” May we make a resolution to not be content to enjoy any of the blessings of God’s creation without a daily consciousness of how our use of God’s gifts affects the lives of our sisters and brothers.