Homily for September 16, 2012: 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[This weekend, we mark the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, which serves as the feast day for my parish, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs. We are in the middle of a centennial celebration for the parish, so we're marking that feast in a special way at all the weekend Masses. Below is my homily [Read More...]

For 9/11: “We pray, very simply, in remembrance…”

“It is difficult to capture what this anniversary means to us as Americans, as New Yorkers, as Catholic Christians.  The things we feel are almost beyond words.  We are still, in many ways, groping in the dark, struggling to find a way to deal with what happened, and how much our lives and our world [Read More...]

Homily for September 9, 2012: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings] Reading this miracle story in Mark’s gospel this week, the first person I thought of was Sarah Churman.  Sarah Churman was born 30 years ago completely deaf.  All she could hear was something that sounded like a chain saw. Hearing aids didn’t help, but she was sensitive to vibrations. If someone [Read More...]

“This does not seem right to me”: when a priest uses someone else’s homily

I received the following e-mail this morning: Dear Deacon Greg: Today during Mass our pastor read your homily for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, with hardly a word changed and without acknowledging that someone else had written it. This is at least the third time this has happened, and it appears to me that [Read More...]

Homily for September 2, 2012: 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings] “From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts…” In the gospel we just heard, Jesus speaks of the roots of sin – and even goes on to list some examples.  He accuses the Pharisees of hypocrisy for worrying more about how they cleanse their hands, but not how they cleanse [Read More...]

Homily for August 26, 2012: 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings] Last month, the Wall Street Journal took note of something most people may not be aware of.  It reminded the world of the story of Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. Nadarkhani was born in Iran 35 years ago.  His family was Muslim but, at a young age, he converted to Christianity.  He [Read More...]

Homily for August 19, 2012: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings] In the fall of 1930, America was sinking deeper and deeper into the worst economic crisis in its history, the calamity that became known as the Great Depression. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers found themselves suddenly out of work – eventually one in six people in New York, some 300,000, [Read More...]

Homily for August 15, 2012: Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

[Click here for readings] Last weekend, I was talking with someone in the sacristy and said that that, in my opinion, this is the best time of year to be in New York. The last two weeks of August may be hot, humid, mobbed with tourists. But: during rush hour, you can always get a [Read More...]

Homily for August 12, 2012: 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings.] A few weeks ago, the Columbus Dispatch newspaper in Ohio printed a story about a First Communion – but it’s one unlike any other you may have heard. It says something beautiful, I think, about the power of the Eucharist, the “bread of life.” But it is also a story of [Read More...]

From the archives: a homily for 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Originally posted in August 2009 “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one He sent.” This week, I read about a man who did believe – and who spent his life doing the work of God. His name was William McCarthy. But countless people knew him as just “Father Bill.” He died last [Read More...]


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