Homily for the Vigil Mass of Christmas

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Isaiah 62:1-5 Acts 13:16-17, 22-25 Matthew 1:18-25 Tonight’s readings for the Vigil Mass of Christmas give us a small glimpse into the dilemma in which St. Joseph almost certainly found himself. Doubtless we can reasonably assume that when Mary told Joseph that she was with child and that an angel came to her and informed her that she was going …

Homily for the Second Sunday of Advent

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Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11 2 Peter 3:8-14 Mark 1:1-8 Today’s readings show us the twofold message of the season of Advent in very clear detail. Many of us are aware of the first message, because we are already preparing for the family and secular celebrations that commemorate, sometimes however unknowingly, the first part of the meaning of Advent.  We know that …

Homily for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Malachi 1:14B-2:2, 8-10 1 Thessalonians 2:7B-9, 13 Matthew 23:1-12   In the Gospel today Jesus begins a series of warnings against the practices of the Pharisees of his day. These were the religious leaders of Jesus’s time, and what is most interesting about how he handles them is that he does not tell his followers to disobey them. On the …

Homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Isaiah 55:6-9 Philippians 1:20C-24, 27A Matthew 14:22-33   Many of our separated brothers and sisters will repeat the falsehood that the Church teaches that we are “saved by works,” while some people (including not a few poorly catechized Catholics that I’ve encountered over the years) seem to believe that our works do not matter at all. We are reminded in …

Homily for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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1 Kings 19:9A, 11-13A Romans 9:1-5 Matthew 14:22-33   The prophet Elijah begins our readings today by going to Mount Horeb, also called Mount Sinai, and one of the things that we don’t see in that passage (merely because of where the text today begins) is the reality that Elijah is fleeing to the “mountain of God” in fear of …

Homily for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Homily   2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16A Romans 6:3-4, 8-11 Matthew 10-37-42   Today we are reminded afresh by Jesus in the Gospel just what the cost of discipleship truly is. When He tells us that those who love father or mother, son or daughter more than Him are not worthy of Him, He is not telling us not to love …

Homily for Sunday of the Most Holy Trinity

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Exodus 34:4B-6 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 John 3:16-18   On this Trinity Sunday, we are first reminded that in our readings for the next couple of weeks the Church is going to take us back to the Paschal mystery we have recently spent 50 days celebrating. Today we are not only reminded that God is “slow to anger and rich in …

Homily for the Fifth Sunday of Easter

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Acts 6:1-7 1 Peter 2:4-9 John 14:1-12   It is very tempting for the deacon to preach on the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, which gives us the account of the formal establishment of the Order of Deacons in the Church. I could share with you how deacons are called to be conformed to Christ the servant, …

Reflection/Homily for the Service of Tenebrae on Good Friday

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Homily   Hebrews 4:16-5:6   So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is …

Homily for Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

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First Reading: Isaiah 52:13-53:12 Second Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9 Gospel: John 18:1-19:42 It is in St. John’s account of the Passion of Jesus that we see, in stark relief, both Jesus’ humanity and his divinity. We also get a very hard look at the human nature of the men Jesus chose to be His closest confidantes and the leaders of …

Homily for the Third Sunday of Lent: In Spirit and In Truth

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Homily   Exodus 17:3-7 Romans 5:1-2, 5-8 John 4:5-42   It is noteworthy that the woman at the well in today’s Gospel was there drawing water at around Noon, the Scripture tells us. Not only are we told that this is Jacob’s well, which is mentioned in the Old Testament (so Jesus’ presence there already had a kind of heightened …

Homily for the Prayer Vigil for Life, Holy Trinity Parish in Jefferson City

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Gospel: Matthew 18:1-6, 10-11   At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever …

Homily for the Feast of Mary, the Holy Mother of God

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Homily   Numbers 6:22-27 Galatians 4:4-7 Luke 2:16-21   It is fitting to begin by wishing everyone here a Merry Christmas, and if my saying that seems strange to you, I sincerely pray that most people in their catechesis learned that the Christmas season traditionally lasts 12 days (ending on the Feast of the Epiphany, for which the traditional date …