Social Justice

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. 

1st Sunday of Lent

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Originally delivered on February 12, 1989

Readings: Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Letter of Paul to the Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13

On this first Sunday of Lent, Fr. Healy talks about tithing and it’s importance as a practical need to care for our brothers and sisters. We are reminded by the Gospel reading that we should not be tempted by material security, desire for power over others, or relinquishing our responsibility to take action to improve our human condition. Through charity, especially when it is not just from our surplus, we show our love by caring for the poor, the needy, and the desperate.  

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on February 16, 1992

Readings: Jeremiah 17:5-8; Corinthians 15:12, 16-20; Luke 6:17, 20-26

In today’s Gospel, we are reminded of Jesus’ words “But woe to you rich, for your consolation is now.” As a member of one of the wealthiest nations, we are asked to look at our role in keeping the current arrangements that keep some people poor and hungry. We are also asked to think of marriage as an opportunity for two people to give themselves and their lives to their union as an expression of God Himself.