Social Justice

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.

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. 

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. 

Christ the King

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Readings: Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 1:5-8; John 18:33-37 

Originally delivered on November 24, 1991

We cannot value power and prestige and be followers of Jesus.  Indeed, we are reminded on this day that the last will be first and first will be last.  We are challenged in this homily to stand up to injustices and the abuse of power. This Feast of Christ the King is a call for us to renounce kingship.  Rather we are reminded that king to Jesus meant serving the poor, marginalized, and outcast.  To be king is to be servant of our sisters and brothers.  Today’s feast then is about re-ordering things.  Every person is called to be in full harmony with one another, other creatures, and our Earth. 

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Readings: Jeremiah 31:7-9; Hebrews 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52 

Originally delivered on October 27, 1991

In the first reading, we hear an expression of hope among the Jews for the coming of the Messiah.  In the gospel, we heat that the Messiah has come in Jesus. Through Him, we are asked to renounce money, comfort, possessions, things, power, prestige, place, etc. We are called to give up security, give to the poor, and follow Jesus.  We should long to be a servant and friend to the poor and marginalized. Indeed, we must see and act as every other person is our sister or brother. Do we really want to see as Jesus sees?

 

23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

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Readings: Isaiah 35: 4-7; James 2: 1-5; Mark 7:31-37

Originally delivered on September 4, 1988

In this week’s homily, we are challenged to be open to hear the cries of the poor, hungry, or otherwise marginalized.  These are our sisters and brothers.  In the Gospel, Jesus tells us to be open to the saving wisdom of God. We must ask ourselves what we might be blind to see.  Are we participating in a system that keeps some of our sisters and brothers in a more difficult state and the impression that some are better than others? Jesus calls us to be open to a new vision of faith, to hear the cry of the poor, to have the courage to speak out.

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Readings: Isaiah 35: 4-7; James 2: 1-5; Mark 7:31-37

Originally delivered on September 8, 1991

We are reminded today to be open to the gifts that God brings to us that are willing to receive. Furthermore, we are called today to embrace the vision of Jesus that says that the last will be first.  We hear of the hope for a newly emerging Russia in this homily, but are cautioned to remember that a narrow focus on the individual can lead astray from Jesus’s message. Let us be a liberator of others because, like Jesus, we let go of desires for ourselves.