“Do not be afraid”: a Christmas homily

From Midnight Mass, 2007, here’s my first Christmas homily.  While the references are dated, I hope the message still resonates.  For so many this year, the central theme —Do not be afraid—is more urgent now than ever.  – Dcn. G. + Like a lot of people of a certain age, I remember well the first [Read More...]

“Come, then, let us observe the Feast”: the first known Christmas sermon

It comes to us from the great St. John Chrysostom, from 386.  (Source).  Stuck for something to say on Christmas?   Try this on for size: BEHOLD a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn.  The Angels sing.  The Archangels blend [Read More...]

Homily for December 23, 2012: 4th Sunday of Advent

[Click here for readings] A few weeks ago, I saw an ad on the subway for Cole Haan shoes that was a little out of the ordinary: there were no shoes, no pictures of people wearing shoes.  There was just a phrase, printed on a dark background.  It said: “No great story starts with: ‘It [Read More...]

Homily for December 16, 2012: 3rd Sunday of Advent

As some of you know, my office is located in the Catholic Center in Manhattan, on First Avenue.  On Friday they were decorating the lobby for Christmas – trimming trees and hanging lights and assembling a small wooden stable, the Nativity scene. As I was leaving work, I stopped to take a look. This Nativity [Read More...]

Homily for December 9, 2012: 2nd Sunday of Advent

[Click here for readings.] Last week, the music world lost a giant: jazz legend Dave Brubeck.  He died Wednesday, the day before his 92nd birthday.  He was the first jazz artist to sell a million records; he was only the second one, after Louis Armstrong, to make the cover of TIME magazine. He was also [Read More...]

Homily for December 8, 2012: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

[Click here for readings.] In his new book about the infancy of Jesus, Pope Benedict mentions one powerful detail in the gospel we just heard—and it’s something that I have to agree is striking. It is Mary’s aloneness. The pope wrote: “I consider it important to focus on the final sentence of Luke’s Annunciation narrative: [Read More...]

Homily for December 2, 2012: 1st Sunday of Advent

[Click here for readings.] If you wanted to sum up the meaning of Advent, this beautiful and haunting season of waiting, you could do it with just one question: What are you waiting for? Most people, I suspect, would say, very simply, we’re waiting for Christmas, the birth of Jesus. But the gospel this Sunday [Read More...]

Homily for November 25, 2012: Solemnity of Christ the King

[Click here for readings.] This Sunday, on the Solemnity of Christ the King, I was preparing to preach about how royalty is really alien to us Americans, how the concept of a King is something foreign to our sensibilities. But an experience Friday proved me wrong. I made the mistake of going to the mall [Read More...]

Homily for November 18, 2012: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

[This Sunday, my parish is celebrating the closing of its centennial. Bishop DiMarzio will be on hand, along with several priests who have close associations with the parish, for a massive concelebrated Mass at 12:30.  Also in the mix: a horde of altar servers, plus drums, timpani and a full choir.  According to the program, [Read More...]

Homily for 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

[I'm not preaching this weekend, but here's my homily from the same Sunday in 2009. -- DGK] We hear this gospel story, about the widow’s mite, and tend to think of it as a lesson in giving, and great sacrifice. And that is true.  It’s a lesson we need to hear, especially in these hard [Read More...]


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