Grace is everywhere: a homily for December 29, 2013, the Feast of the Holy Family

From the vault: here’s my homily for this Sunday from 2007. *** [Click here for the readings.] I’m struck every year by the timing of this feast, celebrating the Holy Family. It comes on the first Sunday following Christmas, and at a time when I think most of us – after the parties and cooking [Read More...]

Homily for December 22, 2013: 4th Sunday of Advent

The other night, for the umpteenth time, they were showing “It’s a Wonderful Life” on television. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: they don’t make ‘em like this anymore. It’s hard to imagine a movie like this today, where old-fashioned virtues like sacrifice and love of neighbor and a sense of duty and loyalty trump [Read More...]

Homily for December 15, 2013: 3rd Sunday of Advent

The first thing to know is that this color is not pink. Twice a year, once during Lent and once during Advent, we wear these vestments and people routinely call them “pink.”  Just yesterday, David James, the head of our altar servers said to me before Mass, “Deacon, I’ve been meaning to tell you this [Read More...]

Homily for December 8, 2013: 2nd Sunday of Advent

Honestly, I thought it must have been a joke. When I saw the story online last Sunday, I didn’t quite believe it.  Many of you probably saw it, too: it’s Amazon.com’s proposed new delivery system.  The idea is to use small, unmanned airplanes—drones!—to pick up packages at a warehouse and deliver them to your door, [Read More...]

“Cherpumple”: Homily for 1st Sunday of Advent

Here’s one from the vault: my homily for this Sunday from 2010.  +++ Anyone looking for interesting holiday recipes may have stumbled on a new word that has entered the American lexicon: “Cherpumple.” It’s a desert, created by Los Angeles writer Charles Phoenix – a diet-destroying, gut-busting feat of cooking that seems guaranteed to induce [Read More...]

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

My parish is hosting the 25th Annual Forest Hills Interfaith Thanksgiving Service this afternoon. I’ve been asked to preach. Here’s a draft of my remarks.  + As I was preparing my remarks for today, I stumbled on an interesting essay, by Presbyterian minister Henry Brinton in Fairfax, Virginia.  Taking note of all the stores being [Read More...]

Homily for November 24, 2013: Christ the King

Most people may not realize it, but the feast we celebrate this Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King, is a very new one on the church calendar. It was added by Pope Pius XI in 1925. He created this feast as a reaction against the prevailing attitudes of his day – a way to [Read More...]

Homily for November 17, 2013: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

If it seems like the holiday season is starting earlier this year, there’s a good reason. It is. You probably noticed it. Halloween decorations still were up in the stores when they started stocking the shelves for Christmas. You had holiday wrapping paper sitting next to plastic pumpkins. Then, it started to spread. Wal-Mart led [Read More...]

Homily for November 10, 2013: 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

It could easily qualify as the picture of the week—maybe, of the year. Last Wednesday, making his way through the crowds after his general audience at the Vatican, Pope Francis caught sight of a man. This wasn’t just another face in the crowd. The man was seriously disfigured, his skin covered with tumors. It was [Read More...]

Homily for November 1, 2013: All Saints Day

This gospel, the Beatitudes, may be one of the most familiar in all of scripture. Its litany of what it means to be “blessed” can be seen as the ultimate blueprint for living the Christian life. In the context of today’s feast, it tells us: this is how you become a saint. But do we [Read More...]


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