Social Justice

2nd Sunday of Advent

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Originally delivered on December 6, 1992

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

In today’s homily, we are invited to take a mountain view.  We are challenged to go from the comfortable to someplace new from which to gain a new perspective. We hear in the the first reading of Isaiah’s vision of what might be although it seems as if his vision can never happen.  We are reminded that this vision can only be possible after we hear, respond, and commit ourselves to justice among our sisters and brothers. Are we waiting for God or others to do justice before we commit and act for justice?  What if people, because of us, stop dreaming?  Today, we’re invited to go to the mountaintop, get a new perspective, and then bring about a little less injustice in our world through our actions.

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.

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on September 20, 1992

Readings: Amos 6:1, 4-7; Paul to Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31

We all have the same dilemma.  That is, if we really listen to the words of Jesus, it sounds impossible to follow him.  We are all probably, at our best, silent co-conspirators that keep poor people in their poverty. If we take today’s Scripture readings seriously, they are both challenging and somewhat frightening in their ramifications for how we live our lives. We are called, once again, not to be complacent when our sisters and brothers around the world are still hungry.  God is speaking to us today to not sit back and be complacent.  We should get restless and feel the frustration, as Jesus did, when he saw that some were cast aside and trampled on.  But, the sin in today’s Gospel is not being rich, but rather, being rich and indifferent to those around us.  

5th Sunday of Easter

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Originally delivered on May 17, 1992

Readings: Acts of the Apostles 14: 21-27, Revelation 21:1-5, and John 13:31-33, 34-35

In this week’s Gospel, we hear the story of the Last Supper, and specifically, how Judas missed it because he was too interested in the money that he was to receive for betraying Jesus. At each Eucharist, we are invited by Jesus to dedicate ourselves to others, just as Jesus dedicated Himself to us. We are asked how we are loving our sisters and brothers, just as Jesus loved us.  We are challenged to ask ourselves how are we helping the people of Haiti, what are we doing to stop the continuation of capital punishment, or how we are changing the lives of anyone in need. 

4th Sunday of Easter

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Originally delivered on May 10, 1992

Readings: Acts of the Apostles 13:14, 43-52, Revelation 7:9, 14-17, and John 10: 27-30

Fr. Healy begins by explaining his belief about the two basic elements of a homily: an eternal, unchanging truth that runs through the Scriptures, and the marriage between that message and the immediacy, or contemporary application, to our present reality.  From the day’s reading, we know that Jesus loves us, we will triumph if we follow Him, and living the Gospel can get us into trouble. In the current reality of 1992, we hear how Fr. Healy deals with understanding the Los Angeles riots.  We are reminded that there are no “throw away” people in Jesus’ family and that we must confront the system that holds some down for the advantage of others, even if this means that we will get in trouble for doing so.

2nd Sunday of Lent

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Originally delivered on February 19, 1989

Readings: Genesis: 15:5-12, 17-18; Letter of Paul to Philippians 3:17-4:1 or 3:20-4:1: Luke 9:28-36

In this Gospel, Jesus goes up the mountain with Peter, John, and James.  On the mountain, Jesus appears in all HIs glory accompanied by Moses and Elijah. On this second Sunday of Lent, through this Gospel reading, we are reminded of the glorious future to come. But we are reminded to be a people profoundly grateful to God for every great memory that we have, but we also should be determined to make the dream of Jesus come true for tomorrow.