Originally delivered on November 8, 1992
Readings: Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14; Thessalonians 2:16 -3:5; Luke 20:27-38 or 20-27 , 34-38
How does our conscience shape our actions? Are we, like the seven sons and their mother from the Book of Maccabees, willing to die for what we believe? In today’s homily, we are reminded that we may have to take a stand for something which will become irrelevant at a later date. Nonetheless, in the moment, we are called to follow our conscience. We should pray dearly and act sincerely based on what our conscience tells us. On the issues of women priests, abortion, sexual orientation, divorce, and our economic systems, we must pray and ultimately follow our conscience.
Originally delivered on April 18, 1992
Readings: Acts 10:34, 37-43; Colossians 3:1-4; Corinthians 5:6-8; John 20:1-9
Fr. Healy recounts a funny story of an Easter Vigil in Newport, RI. He reminds us that we need to enjoy, laugh, hope, and bring joy to the world. Indeed, despite what is happening in our own lives, we are called to bring light the light of Christ to our sisters and brothers. Fr. Healy says hallelujah for three things: apartheid being done in South Africa; women coming into greater equality; and meeting God through human experiences.
Originally delivered on December 22, 1991
Readings: Micah 5:1-4; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45
In this week’s readings, we hear of Elizabeth and Mary both saying “Amen” to God. We are invited to try to emulate Mary in her willingness to serve God. In what way is God asking us, individually and collectively, to say Amen? That is, how might we help to make Jesus present and real in our world?
Readings: Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48, John 4:7-10, John 15:9-17
Originally delivered on May 5, 1991
In the first reading, we hear of Peter’s struggles to understand God’s vision for inclusiveness and welcomes non-Jews into the new Church. Then, in the second reading, we are reminded that we don’t need to earn God’s love. God is love and god already loves us as we are. We are asked to try to love one another as God loves us. In the Gospel, Jesus says, “there is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” and “The command I give you is this: that you love one another.” What might we need to give up in order to more fully embrace God’s calling to love one another as He loves us?
Reading: Matthew 28:1-10 (although this is the wrong Gospel for this year)
Originally delivered April 3, 1994
Through his humor, Fr. Healy reminds us of the power of laughter. We should be happy and laugh because we are Easter people. Indeed, God calls upon us to persevere in spite of whatever is going on around or to us.
Originally delivered on September 27, 1987
Readings: Ezekial 18: 25-28; Philippians 2:1-11 or 2:1-5; Matthew 21:28-32
In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to us again in a parable about a son who says he’ll do something for his father and doesn’t while another son who refuses, but eventually does what is asked. Fr. Healy suggests that we are likely more like the first son because while we say “yes” we haven’t really put that yes into action on behalf of our Father. We might look around who are saying yes to Jesus by the way that they are living their lives. Indeed, we might look to the experiences within our own country. How do we reconcile our Constitution with the fact that we had slavery for so long, waited more than a century for women to get the right to vote, or still engage in capital punishment? In our own personal lives, how do we go beyond our “yes” to doing the real work that we are called to do. Saying yes to Jesus, means risking ourselves, our wealth, and perhaps even getting into a little bit of trouble. We must get out into the field and empty ourselves for our brothers and sisters.
Readings: Genesis: 1:1-2.2; Genesis 22:1-18; Matthew 28:1-10
Originally delivered on April 11, 1993
On this Easter Sunday, we are encouraged to be a joyful people despite our human condition or frailty. We must remember that Jesus’s apostles loved Him so much and yet disappointed Him so much. There are atrocities in our world, but we must remember that there have been some Easter people in our midst and have translated their hallelujahs into deeds. We must do the same.
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 July 2, 1989
Readings: Kings 19: 16-21, Paul to the Galatians 5:1, 13-18; Luke 9: 51-62
In today’s homily, which begins with Fr. Healy singing an anthem, we hear of an oppressed people that risked everything for freedom. In today’s readings, Paul says that “It was for liberty that Christ freed us. So stand firm, and do not take yourselves the yoke of slavery a second time! My brothers, remember that you have been given freedom that give free rein to the flesh. Out of love, place yourselves at one another’s service.” And furthermore, it says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Fr. Healy passionately states that this law of love, must triumph all other laws enacted by others. Indeed, this law of freedom and love is both liberating and frightening. Through a series of present-day challenges, we are challenged to view those issues through the lens of love and personal conscience. Our freedom hinges on our faith and responsibility to others.