“What is a parish?”: a homily for September 15, 2013

Today, traditionally the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, is also my parish’s feast day. Late yesterday, the parish administrator said, “You wanna throw together a few words for the 11:30 Mass?”  Okay, I said.  Here they are.  Yesterday, as I do every month, I met with families to schedule baptisms. And I’m always surprised [Read More...]

At the cross, her station keeping: reflections on the Queen of Martyrs

My parish, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, marks its feast tomorrow. Below is a homily I delivered for the occasion in 2008, with some reflections on the cross and Mary:  This Sunday, marks the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. And like we do at every Sunday mass, we began this celebration with a [Read More...]

“To be a Christian is to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven it in us…”

From two years ago:  It is difficult to capture what this anniversary means to us as Americans, as New Yorkers, as Catholic Christians.  The things we feel are almost beyond words.  We are still, in many ways, groping in the dark, struggling to find a way to deal with what happened, and how much our [Read More...]

Homily for September 1, 2013: 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s scripture readings are about something we don’t hear mentioned very much. Humility. If you go to “Google” and type in the word “humility,” you’ll get about 13 million entries. But if you then go and type “fame,” you’ll get 208 million – about 15 times the amount for humility. That about sums it up. [Read More...]

Homily for Mass of Transferral for Rev. Msgr. Joseph A. Funaro

Bishop Chappetto, Bishop Sanchez, my brother clergy, family and friends from near and far… As we gather together tonight, I want to begin by letting Msgr. Funaro’s family know how much we at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs share your loss.  There have been a lot of tears in this rectory this week. We offer [Read More...]

Homily for the Vigil of the Assumption

[From the vault: here's my 2010 homily for the vigil of tomorrow's feast.] Years ago, a friend gave me a holy card with an unusual depiction of the Blessed Mother. She is visibly pregnant, and reading from a book – praying from scripture. As my friend explained to me: it’s a great image for a [Read More...]

Homily for August 11, 2013: 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings.] Years ago, a song asked the romantic question: “What are you doing the rest of your life?” Last week, an item in the New York Times put that into sharp focus.  It was a story about a website called “DeathClock.com.”  At the site, you enter your birth date, your general personality [Read More...]

Homily for July 28, 2013: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings.] When I was four or five years old, my mother took me Wheaton Plaza Shopping Center, in Wheaton, Maryland, to see Santa Claus. Any four-year old will tell you: this is a very big deal. And it was even more so for me, because I wanted a new two-wheel bike, with [Read More...]

Homily for July 21, 2013: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

  [Click here for readings.] I’m not scheduled to preach this weekend, but here’s a homily adapted from one I delivered three years ago. The original version was preached to a gathering of deacons in Ohio and focused on the notion of the deacon as servant—how we are too often Martha, not Mary. Three summers [Read More...]

Homily for July 14, 2013: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

If you visit the Holy Land, there is a museum that is getting a lot of attention. It stands on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho – the very same road mentioned in today’s gospel. The museum holds various religious artifacts and mosaics. But what may be most intriguing is that it sits atop an [Read More...]