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...]

I Thought That Name Sounded Familiar…

The other day, I posted the remarkable story of Rev. Thomas Vander Woude, and his passionate plea on Facebook to save an unborn child with Down syndrome. It turns out that one of Fr. Vander Woude’s brothers was born with Down syndrome.   That brother nearly died in a horrible accident a few years back. [Read More...]

Homily for July 7, 2013: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings.] If you’re still feeling drowsy this Sunday morning, here’s something to wake you up. Last year, the world got a lot richer. According to the World Wealth Report, released just two weeks ago, the combined wealth of the world’s richest people climbed 10 percent … to a grand total of 46.2 [Read More...]

Homily for June 23, 2013: 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I spent most of last week in Denver for a conference, and flew home late yesterday afternoon. Approaching New York, our plane took a path up the Hudson, to circle around toward LaGuardia. As we began our descent, we swept over parts of New Jersey, and then turned toward Manhattan. Looking out my window, I [Read More...]

Homily for June 16, 2013: 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings.] In the 1950s, one of the most popular shows on television every Sunday asked the question: “What’s My Line?”  A panel of celebrities would have to guess what someone did for a living by asking a series of simple yes-or-no questions. The show was a sensation.  It ran from 1950 to [Read More...]

Homily for June 9, 2013: 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings] A few years ago I got an unexpected e-mail from a guy in Virginia who was studying to become a deacon in the Diocese of Richmond. His name was Joe Marotta.  Joe had discovered my blog and wanted to ask me some advice about his formation.  One e-mail led to another, [Read More...]

Homily for June 2, 2013: Corpus Christi, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

[Click here for readings] Last week, my wife and I traveled to California. One of the places we visited for Mass was the cathedral in Los Angeles: Our Lady of the Angels, now marking its ten-year anniversary.  It’s truly an amazing place: a fortress, really, designed to withstand the strongest California earthquake. As such, it [Read More...]