“Every priest continues to be a deacon…for the Lord Himself became our minister, our deacon”

A reader sent along this homily that was delivered today by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend for the ordination of deacons who will one day be priests for the Congregation of Holy Cross.  It ties in beautifully with the feast we celebrate this day—and it offers some thoughtful insight into diakonia and [Read More...]

Homily for September 14, 2014: Exaltation of the Holy Cross

If you want a sense of what this feast today is all about, you need to hear the story of Jim Schmitmeyer’s grandmother. Fr. Jim Schmitmeyer is a priest and writer from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and in one of his books he describes the last days of his grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s. “Everything [Read More...]

“We remember…”

Part of my homily for the ten year anniversary, on September 11, 2011: +++ I think perhaps that forgiveness – like conversion – is a journey.  The human heart isn’t necessarily converted over night.  We don’t all have that electrifying moment on the road to Damascus.  For many of us, it grows out of what Flannery [Read More...]

Homily for September 7, 2014: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

In midtown Manhattan, near my office, there’s a huge public school on East 56th Street. For the last two months, that stretch of the street has been a beautiful oasis—almost completely deserted. That changed this week. The kids are back in school. Around 8:30, the sidewalks are absolutely mobbed. It’s wall-to-wall kids, from grade school up [Read More...]

Homily for August 31, 2014: 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the gospels, it’s been a rough summer for St. Peter. A couple weeks ago, we encountered him climbing out of a boat during a storm, trying to walk on water. He lost faith and began to sink, and Jesus had to rescue him. Then, last week, Jesus gave him the keys to the kingdom [Read More...]

Homily for August 17, 2014: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Of all the stories that circulated last week about Robin Williams, there was one that I found especially moving.  It was from Brian Lord, who for many years was the head of a prominent speakers bureau. A few years back, he was negotiating to book Robin Williams for an event, so he was finalizing the contract. [Read More...]

Homily for August 10, 2014: 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The gospel we just heard is about many things: courage, faith, mystery. But above all, it is about trust. Trusting God in the midst of any storm, and accepting his invitation, in the middle of the storm, simply to come where he is calling us. The world right now is full of storms. Gaza. Ukraine. [Read More...]

“We are all pearls”: a deacon’s homily for this Sunday

A deacon friend sent me his homily for today. It’s extraordinary and, I think, deserves a wider audience. I post it here with his permission. I hope it will resonate with many.  ++ My good friend, Father Hilarion has a saying that goes like this… Everyone who comes into your life is a blessing. Some [Read More...]

Homily for July 27, 2014: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time—UPDATED

If you visited Facebook Friday afternoon, you would have seen on a sidebar a list of some of the stories that were trending around the world – what people were reading, sharing, talking about. High on the list was the new cast for “Game of Thrones,” Ben Affleck as Batman, a documentary about Nicholas Cage [Read More...]

“Look at that host and you look at Christ”: Homily for Corpus Christi

From the vault: my Corpus Christi homily from 2009. ++ Back in the 1970s, when there was a lot of liturgical innovation going on, Dorothy Day invited a young priest to celebrate mass at the Catholic Worker. He decided to do something that he thought was relevant and hip. He asked Dorothy if she had [Read More...]