Homilies

Fifth Sunday of Easter Homily

Posted on May 17, 2017 in Homilies

Fifth Sunday of Easter Homily

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER 14 May 2017 Homily I didn’t intend to wake up to watch John Paul II’s funeral in the middle of the night. I did though.  Accidently. Like many people I was moved by the simplicity of his casket sitting there on the ground in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. This man used to be the most powerful person in the church. There he was, in a simple wooden box, on the ground. His funeral in the end, even though it was attended by the great and powerful, was really not much different than the funeral that anyone of us might have. There is a lesson there. It’s a hard lesson for...

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Fourth Sunday of Easter Homily

Posted on May 12, 2017 in Homilies

Fourth Sunday of Easter Homily

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER 7 May 2017 Homily I have a friend who moved into a “gentrified” neighborhood in St. Paul. It was one of those areas of the city which had basically fallen apart, the government came in and claimed the houses for back taxes and then sold them cheaply. One catch.  You had to live in them. My friend who is a college professor bought one of these homes. It was still a “bad” neighborhood when she moved in and started fixing up her home. It was an attractive place when she got through with it. And it was the perfect place for her to display the art she had collected all her...

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Third Sunday of Easter Homily

Posted on May 4, 2017 in Homilies

Third Sunday of Easter Homily

THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER 30 April 2017 First Eucharist I am always struck by how the scriptures can come alive– How something that happens in my life, the life of those around me, can suddenly make sense. Several years ago I got a letter which made me see the gospel today in a way I’d never seen it before. Two things to notice about this familiar story: First, these two disciples had really given up on two things–Jesus and the community of believers. They were running away from both. Second, once the two disciples had decided to leave the community it was very hard for them to recognize...

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Second Sunday of Easter Homily

Posted on Apr 25, 2017 in Homilies

Second Sunday of Easter Homily

SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER 23 April 2017 Homily Thirty Five years ago this spring I buried by great Aunt. She was the last of her generation. All of us who gathered for her funeral were very much aware that with her death we lost our last living link with the “Old Country.” My grandfather, his brothers and one sister all came here from Poland. They were the ones who kept alive for us our connection with Poland. As a young child I remember sitting through family gatherings hearing stories of the Old Country. Stories about fruit trees that lined the way into town, about the faith of...

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Palm Sunday Homily

Posted on Apr 11, 2017 in Homilies

Palm Sunday Homily

PALM SUNDAY 9 April 2017 Homily Several years ago, weeks before Christmas, a friend brought over two packages for me. She said, “These two go together. Be careful with them.” Dutifully I put them aside until Christmas. Christmas Day evening, I sat by myself and suddenly remembered the two packages. I went and found them and opened them up. The first was a crude antique wooden sculpture of Jesus. I studied it and decided, I didn’t like it. Jesus was ugly at the worst, at the best, he was so plain-faced– without character, or whatever it is we look for in great people. I want my Jesus to look...

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Fifth Sunday of Lent Homily

Posted on Apr 5, 2017 in Homilies

Fifth Sunday of Lent Homily

FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT 2 April 2017 Homily In the gospel we hear Jesus say a very curious thing. “Jesus said clearly, Lazarus has died. And I am glad for you that I was not there, that you may believe.” It sounds so cold-hearted. We should live through something painful, saddening, hard, just to come to belief? Is this the picture of a God we could love? I think the deeper truth here is this: That everyone of us here will live through difficult days and long nights. Everyone of us here will have some trauma, some tragedy, some despair which we will face, and the question will always be: “Will...

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Fourth Sunday of Lent Homily

Posted on Mar 28, 2017 in Homilies

Fourth Sunday of Lent Homily

FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT 26 March 2017 I have been very fortunate in my life. Other than the usual childhood ailments I’ve come this far pretty well intact. I say all this because by and large I’ve known very little personally, of what can be called “structural evil”–that is evil where choices are not made. Things or situations that from the very root are “wrong.” In other words, I don’t know what it is like to be born blind. to watch the death of my child, to be caught in a vicious circle of poverty, to lose someone I love in an earthquake or...

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Third Sunday of Lent Homily

Posted on Mar 22, 2017 in Homilies

Third Sunday of Lent Homily

THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT 19 March 2017 Homily It’s a short but curious line which has remained the same in this story of the Samaritan Woman across several translations, and which has always stuck in my mind: “Come and see a man who told me everything I have done.” Now another story. Once there was a very pious husband and wife. When they gave birth to their first, and only child, they hoped more than anything this child would grow up to be a lover of God. When he reached the age of reason, and just able to read and write, they gave him a blank book and told him, every time you sin, write your...

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