Homily for December 21, 2014: 4th Sunday of Advent

We hear it again and again this time of year: “I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas.” It actually started before Thanksgiving. You’d hear staff here in the rectory saying, “I can’t believe it’s almost Advent.” And here we are, four weeks later. Where did the time go? It seems like it gets shorter every year. [Read More...]

“Rejoice always!” A homily for Gaudete Sunday

I’m on the road this weekend and won’t be preaching about this Sunday’s readings. But from the vault, here’s part of my homily for Guadete Sunday from 2008:  +++ This Advent many of us are waiting with an expectation and an anxiety that we have not known for a long time. And right about now, [Read More...]

WWMD: What Would Mary Do?

“The Annunciation” by James Tissot From the vault, my homily for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in 2007:  +++ His name was Charles Sheldon – and he is one of the most influential preachers in American history. Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of him. Until I started looking into this, I hadn’t [Read More...]

Homily for December 7, 2014: 2nd Sunday of Advent

If you want to understand what Advent is about, it helps to know the story of Mike Wise. Mike Wise is a sports columnist for the Washington Post. On a January night six years ago, he was jogging along the C&O Canal in downtown Washington with his dog, a golden Lab named Looly. The canal [Read More...]

Homily for November 30, 2014: 1st Sunday of Advent

Fittingly, as we begin Advent, my wife and I spent much of the last few days waiting. We waited at the airport to go to Washington for Thanksgiving. We waited at my in-laws for the dinner to be ready. Friday, we all went to a Chinese restaurant and waited about 45 minutes for a table. [Read More...]

Homily for November 23, 2014: Solemnity of Christ the King

I’ve been reading some of the obits about the director Mike Nichols over the last few days, and one of the most remarkable stories of this truly remarkable life is about how he came to America. Mike Nichols was born in Germany. In 1939, when he was eight years old, his family managed to book [Read More...]

Homily for November 16, 2014: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“The Samaritan” by Eric Fischl The gospel this Sunday is familiar to a lot of us. We tend to think it’s all about ability, or talent — what special gifts God has given you. Certainly, that’s a big part of it. But I think there is more to the parable of the talents than just [Read More...]

Homily for November 9, 2014: Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

This is one of the more unusual feasts on the Church calendar. It is one of those rare feasts, in fact, in which we honor not a person or an event or a theological idea, but a building. The building has a long name: its official title is the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior [Read More...]

Homily for November 2, 2014: All Souls

Many of you may remember something Msgr. Funaro used to say when he was celebrating Mass at this altar. During the Eucharistic Prayer, he always made a point of praying for those in purgatory—and he never failed to ask us to pray for those who had no one else to pray for them. I cannot [Read More...]

Homily for October 12, 2014: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Last weekend, I was in Seattle, Washington, to speak to a group of deacons from the Archdiocese of Seattle. It was my first visit to the Pacific Northwest. Seattle is a beautiful city, cradled between the Pacific and the mountains. It’s also a stable city. It’s been more or less insulated from the economic downturn. [Read More...]