Homily for May 27, 2012: Pentecost Sunday

[Click here for the readings] If you had to name one of the most quoted speeches of the 20th century, one near the top of any list would be the inaugural address of John F. Kennedy in 1961, with his call: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do [Read More…]

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Homily for May 20, 2012: 7th Sunday of Easter — UPDATED WITH AUDIO

[Click here for readings.] For audio of this homily from the 10 am Mass, click the green arrow below [audio:http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs/deaconsbench/files/2012/05/HOMILY052012.mp3|titles=HOMILY052012] Do you notice something unusual in the gospel we just heard? One word recurs again and again and again: “world.”  Jesus utters it no less than nine times, in one brief passage.  I think this [Read More…]

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Homily for May 17, 2012: Ascension Thursday

[Click here for readings] It’s tempting to see the Ascension, the conclusion of Christ’s earthly ministry, as an ending. But to think of it that way is to see it backwards. What we celebrate today is really a beginning. As we heard in Matthew’s gospel, moments before his Ascension, Jesus told his followers very simply: [Read More…]

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Homily for May 13, 2012: 6th Sunday of Easter

[Click here for readings.] Last Saturday, the New York Times introduced the world to a couple named Michael and Ruth French – and introduced the world, as well, to a remarkable story of enduring love, a love that reflects in many ways the message of this Sunday’s gospel. Their story began about a decade ago. [Read More…]

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Homily for May 6, 2012: 5th Sunday of Easter

[Click here for readings.] To hear audio of this homily, click the green arrow below. [audio:http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs/deaconsbench/files/2012/05/HOMILY050612.mp3|titles=HOMILY050612] This past week, I had a chance to preside at a wedding here at the parish.  As many couples do, the bride and groom selected for one of their readings the famous letter from St. Paul to the Corinthians [Read More…]

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Building God’s kingdom: a homily for the 4th Sunday of Easter

‘The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.’ Peter – “The Rock” – knows what he is talking about. The fact is, Christianity wasn’t just something in the air, passed on like a microbe. No, the belief in Christ Jesus was something that was built. Stone by stone. Person by person. And it [Read More…]

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Homily for April 29, 2012: On Vocations

My parish is hosting its annual vocations fair this weekend, to coincide with the 49th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations, so my homily focuses on that. +++ For audio of this homily as it was delivered, click the green arrow below. [audio:http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs/deaconsbench/files/2012/04/VN810048.mp3|titles=VN810048] “We are all God’s children…what we shall be has not yet [Read More…]

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Homily for April 22, 2012: 3rd Sunday of Easter — UPDATED with audio

[Click here for readings.] For audio of this homily as it was delivered, click the green arrow below. [audio:http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs/deaconsbench/files/2012/04/0422HOMILY.mp3|titles=0422HOMILY] Three years ago, on the 3rd of July 2009, 33-year-old Scott Fedor was vacationing with his wife at Coldwater Lake in Michigan.   It was a place they’d visited often, and loved.  But the weather had been [Read More…]

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Reboot: A revised homily for April 15, 2012, 2nd Sunday of Easter

You never know how the Holy Spirit will work.  After posting this weekend’s homily, I got a number of comments from people who said that the man I’d used as a springboard for a reflection on conversion and mercy had, in fact, renounced his conversion.  (I couldn’t find any evidence of this from Googling, but [Read More…]

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Homily for April 15, 2012: 2nd Sunday of Easter/Divine Mercy

[Click here for readings.] Every year on the Sunday after Easter, the greatest celebration of faith, we encounter the gospel’s most famous story of doubt:  the story of Thomas, who demands proof before he will believe. We live in an age when we are surrounded by Thomases – not only doubters, but disbelievers. Atheists, agnostics, [Read More…]

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