Extreme Makeover: homily edition

[After cobbling together this week's homily -- which is much shorter than usual, because the Mass will include the 15-minute-long Rite of Welcome in my parish -- I realized that I also need to preach at another Mass Sunday morning.  D'oh.  I decided to revisit my original homily, revising and expanding it.  The results are [Read More...]

Homily for December 4, 2011: 2nd Sunday of Advent/Rite of Welcome

[Click here for the readings] “Prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!” That passage from Isaiah is one of the most gripping pieces of scripture that we hear during Advent – a call to get busy and start building.    It foretells what sounds like a massive [Read More...]

Homily for November 27, 2011: 1st Sunday of Advent

[Click here for the readings.] If I had to name the most inspiring hour of television I’ve seen this past year, it would be no contest: it was Diane Sawyer’s interview earlier this month with Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. To see and hear Gabby Giffords, to see how alive she was after so many had literally [Read More...]

“By the goodness of God, we are so far from want”

A lot of us know the story. It was the autumn of 1621. In Plymouth, Massachusetts, after a rich harvest, the men, women and children who had survived the first year in the New World gathered for a feast to offer thanks. One of the pilgrims wrote at the time: “By the goodness of God, [Read More...]

Homily for November 1, 2011: All Saints Day

If you find yourself in Los Angeles, in between going on tours to see the homes of the stars or dining at Spago, take a side trip to 555 Temple Street.  There, in a corner of the city that’s a little off the beaten track, you’ll find a home for some other stars – the [Read More...]

Homily for October 22, 2011: Blessed John Paul II

[Note: my parish is celebrating a special "high" mass Saturday to mark the first Feast of Blessed John Paul II.] [Click here for the readings] By a happy coincidence, this gospel touches on a theme that was so vital to Pope John Paul.  In the parable, a tree is given one more chance to bring [Read More...]

Homily for October 16, 2011: 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

For the last several days, we’ve been hearing a lot about the demonstrations being staged in lower Manhattan and around the country: Occupy (Fill in the Blank) – Occupy Wall Street, Los Angeles, Washington…thousands of people taking to the streets to express their frustration over the economy and anger at Wall Street.   It remains to [Read More...]

Homily for October 9, 2011: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This past Wednesday, the world lost a giant. But I don’t mean Steve Jobs. In all the news coverage given to his passing, all the accolades about his life, much of the media overlooked another life that didn’t get as much attention. But I want to give it that attention this morning. I’m speaking of [Read More...]

Homily for October 2, 2011: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings] Since this is Respect Life Sunday, and the beginning of Respect Life month, I wanted to talk about one woman who did respect life – and her choice has made a difference in the life of virtually every person in this church. Her name is Joanne Schiebel.  In 1954, she was [Read More...]

Preaching to children

Thursday night, I got a call from a classmate and  friend, the DRE in my parish, Deacon Bill, explaining that his mother-in-law had died after a long illness.  As a result, he would not be attending or preaching at the special mass for third graders in our parish Sunday.  He asked: Could I fill in [Read More...]


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