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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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“Prayer is water for a desperate and parched world”

Last weekend, I delivered three talks to the convocation for deacons in the Archdiocese of Seattle. The theme: “Preaching with a Deacon’s Heart.” It was a great weekend, with a wonderful community of deacons and their wives. The convocation took place in Ocean Shores, WA—a couple hours from downtown Seattle, with the Pacific just a [Read More…]

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Homily for September 28, 2014: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Of all the remarkable moments that marked Derek Jeter’s last home game Thursday night, there is one that really struck me. You might call it a home run. Before leaving the field for the last time, as the crowd roared, Jeter walked to his spot where he played shortstop, crouched down, bowed his head, and [Read More…]

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“Every priest continues to be a deacon…for the Lord Himself became our minister, our deacon”

A reader sent along this homily that was delivered today by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend for the ordination of deacons who will one day be priests for the Congregation of Holy Cross.  It ties in beautifully with the feast we celebrate this day—and it offers some thoughtful insight into diakonia and [Read More…]

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Homily for September 14, 2014: Exaltation of the Holy Cross

If you want a sense of what this feast today is all about, you need to hear the story of Jim Schmitmeyer’s grandmother. Fr. Jim Schmitmeyer is a priest and writer from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and in one of his books he describes the last days of his grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s. “Everything [Read More…]

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