Posted on Jul 10, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

11 July 2021 Last weekend you may remember the gospel ended with: “And he was amazed at their lack of faith.” Actually a better translation might be “pained, hurt.”  Hurt.  He was hurt. Part of what we missed there last weekend was the fact not just that they didn’t have faith in him. That’s a mild interpretation on what went on there. What went on there was they ridiculed him. They called him names.  “Son of Mary.” In that culture to be referred to by your mother’s name was a grave insult. He was pained, hurt, and that is how we left him last weekend. He’s hurt and he’s...

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Posted on Jul 3, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

4 July 2021 I’ve had a pretty good life. I’m betting most people here can say that. Oh, we’ve all had broken legs and broken hearts. We’ve been sick, or buried people we’ve loved. We’ve not understood why something bad happened to us or someone we loved. We’ve all had those downers. But few of us have lived with constant pain–Some have, but few of us. Most of us have had pretty good lives. And, at least according to dour old Paul in the second reading today, a pretty good life is dangerous to the soul. In fact Paul says that he was given an affliction, “A thorn in the flesh,” to keep him...

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Posted on May 8, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

9 May 2021 Several years ago I drove to the Cities to meet a former student and his wife to go house-hunting. They had flown in from out East with their two children. We had made plans for this several months earlier. We would house hunt during the day, and that evening go out to dinner. When I got to the hotel to meet them and the realtor, I first of all wanted to spend a little time with their two children–aged 1 and nearly 3. That’s when their father said: “Ah, George, there’s been a slight change of plans.” “Really?”  I said.  I panicked internally.  I thought, “ I am...

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Posted on May 1, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

2 MAY 2021 Today we have a rather straight-forward announcement of the Good News: Because of Jesus, all of us are bound together. More than a collection of people who just happen to be in the same room doing the same thing, we are each a part of each other. Now, the announcement of that news may seem neither true, nor necessarily good to us. It may not seem true because there may be people here that we don’t even know, much less feel a part of. It may not seem good because there might be people here that we want no part of. Like the early Christian community looking at Paul–they...

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Posted on Apr 24, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

25 April 2021 A story. Leonardo da Vinci, when he prepared to paint “The Lord’s Supper” had to find thirteen models who would portray the apostles and one to represent Jesus. It was hard to find just the right people. He went for years in between finding the right model for some particular apostle. One Sunday da Vinci was at a Cathedral Mass, he saw a particular man in the choir he thought had just the right qualities to be Jesus. His face spoke of compassion, insight, an inner light of guidance, tenderness, strength. The man sat for the painting and he was exactly right. Years went by...

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Posted on Apr 17, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

18 April 2021 While I was at Newman we always had two priest until the last six years. My ass. pastor was in charge of the RCIA—the process of introducing people to the Catholic faith.  When he was pulled and I was alone I had to find someone to do that job. I asked a parishioner to help us out by doing some teaching–and run the program. She was an incredibly good and bright and gifted teacher. And yet, when I asked her, she hesitated. Her first reaction was, “No, I can’t do that.” She went on, “It’s not that I won’t do that, I can’t do that.  This is important, people’s souls are...

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Posted on Apr 10, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

11 April 2021 Shortly after I was ordained and came to my first assignment at St. Patrick’s Parish I realized that one of the toughest things I did was to preach these Sunday homilies. It was tough not because I didn’t like to speak publicly, but because I –and I know this would be hard to imagine– I had been fairly critical of priests’ preaching in my youth. It was tough because I realized that I could never stand up here and say something, I really didn’t believe.  I just can’t do that. It was tough because I realized that I couldn’t say something here to everyone, that I wasn’t...

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Posted on Mar 27, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

28 March 2021 I was very young, a child, when I learned that the crowd’s choice of Barabbas over Jesus was a symbol of our fickleness, our inability to love long and well. And in my child’s mind I remember pledging that I would not be this way– I think every child probably does that.  Every child’s heart goes out to this innocent man and promises with Peter:  “Even if I have to die, I will not desert you.” I wanted to see myself that way, and believe it could be that way. It was a childish pledge, a promise that didn’t know the harsh...

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