Social Justice

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Readings: Jeremiah 23: 1-6; Ephesians 2: 13-18; Mark 6: 30-34

Originally delivered on July 21, 1991

In today’s Gospel, we hear a continuation of last week’s mission.  Jesus welcomed back the disciples from their mission as messengers of the Gospel. We hear about two recent deaths – one young person taken due to violence and another elderly member of the parish. Fr. Healy challenges those marginalized, particularly black Americans, to stand up and not take the blame for their oppression, but demand leadership. We hear in the first reading from Jeremiah, “Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture.” In the second reason, we hear that Jesus calls us to unity with one another. Our greatest gift is to be the family of God. We cannot rest until we become a family with all of our sisters and brothers. Indeed, we are called to be the bearer of this message.

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Readings: Wisdom: 1:13-15, 2:23-24; Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15; Mark 5: 21-43 or 5: 21-24, 35 – 43

Originally delivered on June 30, 1991

In today’s Gospel, we hear of Jesus bringing back a little girl from the dead.  Indeed, we are asked to believe in God as the one that can restore us to life.  And yet, in the end of the Gospel story, Jesus tells her family gathered to feed the girl.  In essence, we, like the little girl’s family, are called to care for our sisters and brothers. In the second reading we also hear, “The relief of others ought not to impoverish you; there should be a certain equality.  Your plenty at the present time should supply their need so that their surplus may in turn one day supply your need, with equality as the result.  It is written, ‘He who gathered much had no excess and he who gathered little had no lack.’” Fr. Healy reminds us that the key is in our sharing.

2nd Sunday of Advent

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Originally delivered on December 6,1987

Readings: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8

Are we too busy or preoccupied to be called to level mountains and fill valleys? Will we be spectators or will we, in fact, work to ensure justice and fairness?  We are called to prepare the way of the Lord.  We hear in today’s readings we hear that “In the Lord’s eyes, one day is a thousand years and a thousand years are as a day.”  That is, justice may not be done in our time, but in God’s time which is a mystery to us.  The only question is if we will work to be part of God’s plan for justice on earth.

 

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on September 23, 1990

Readings: Isaiah 55: 6-9; Philippians 1:20-24, 27; Matthew 20: 1-16

In today’s Gospel, we hear the parable of the vineyard owner who gave the same pay to the workers that came late in the day as those that worked a full day.  Perhaps, like the vineyard owner, God loves each of us equally, regardless of talents, what we’ve done, or how hard we’ve worked.  God loves us all and therefore we must not be envious, but rather full of joy that the “last one” among us has “made it.” But Fr.Healy goes further in this homily.  He challenges us to look at the fact the vineyard owner paid the “usual wage” which was, in fact, a low wage, a wage that the market would bear.  We are invited today to reflect on the unjust structures, and furthermore, the practice of dividing the workers by the powerful so that the workers after each other rather than unjust structures that keep them all in poverty.

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on September 20, 1987

Readings: Isaiah 55: 6-9; Philippians 1:20-24, 27; Matthew 20: 1-16

In today’s Gospel, Jesus proclaims that “the last shall be first and the first shall be last.”  This may lead some of us to be envious of those that figuratively came late, but received the same as we did, despite our full day’s work. Perhaps it’s in our DNA to compete, but Jesus is challenging us to think differently with the parable in today’s Gospel. Indeed, Isaiah tells us in the first reading that “God’s thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways God’s ways.”  Are we willing to learn His ways or are we more interested in what’s fair?  Indeed, we are called to live in a manner consistent with Jesus’s teaching in this parable such as we celebrate others that join us, even at the last minute, and share our riches without thoughts of ourselves.

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on July 29, 1990

Readings: Kings 3:5, 7-12; Romans 8: 28-30; Matthew 13:44-52 or 13:44-46

Fr. Healy begins this homily with a few favorite Healy family stories. We are encouraged to treasure those things that are really valuable in the eyes of God. In the first reading, Solomon asks for understanding.  In the Gospel, we hear that “the reign of God is also like a dragnet thrown into the lake, which collected all sorts of things.”  We are challenged to think about whether we care more about people and human relationships over things, success, or fame? Do we subscribe to structures and agreements that keep some of our sisters and brothers marginalized?

4th Sunday of Lent

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Originally delivered on March 21, 1993

Readings: Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 19-13; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41

In this day’s Gospel, we hear that Jesus singles out a blind man to be the most favored by God’s love and power.  Indeed, Jesus wants us to have a new vision and to see things very differently.  We are called to see that we are part of a large family of God. Fr. Healy challenges us to re-examine the US role in central America and the role men in keeping women marginalized.