Homily for September 18, 2011: 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for the readings.] This Sunday, we mark Catechetical Sunday – an opportunity to celebrate, pray for and bless those men and women who use their time, their talent and their love to teach the faith. If you think you have a good idea of who these people are, think again. About 10 years [Read More...]

Homily for September 11, 2011: 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for the readings] Anyone who saw the 2002 Super Bowl saw something unforgettable. And it had nothing to do with sports. It was held in New Orleans, in the Super Dome.  The half time entertainment was Bono and U-2. There must have been 100-thousand people in the stadium, cheering wildly.  Bono stepped onto [Read More...]

Homily for September 4, 2011: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for the readings] Not long ago, I read a short essay by a Protestant minister named Lillian Daniel.  She described an experience that a lot of us in the clergy have had at one time or another: being on an airplane, striking up a conversation with a stranger, and then hearing that person [Read More...]

Homily for August 28, 2011: 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

You may have heard: we’re about to get a little rain. I’ve been following the stories in the paper and on TV.  They’re encouraging people to be prepared.  I made the mistake of going to Walgreens last night.  It was packed with people.   Stores around the area report that they have run out of batteries, [Read More...]

Homily for August 14, 2011: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Sunday’s gospel is a perfect companion piece to the one we heard last week.  Each gospel manages to show us two sides of the same coin. Last week, you’ll remember, we found ourselves in the Sea of Galilee, and heard the account of Peter attempting to walk on water, and sinking.  It was the [Read More...]

"When people deride their bishops and priests, they undermine the Church…"

“Bishops, priests, and deacons are too often weak and sinful. They need to be held to high standards. Some deserve to be chastised. The clergy’s leadership in the Church should always be marked by humility and service, and never by a sense of entitlement. But men and women didn’t found the Church, they don’t own [Read More...]

Homily for July 24, 2011: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The gospel we just heard has some surprising comparisons to the Kingdom of God – a kingdom that isn’t measured in acres, or miles, or limited by any kind of geography we might imagine.  It is a kingdom, in fact, whose size could be small enough to hold in your hand, or bury in a [Read More...]

Homily for July 10, 2011: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“A sower went out to sow…” Those simple words begin one of the most memorable parables in the gospel – a story that has much to teach us not only about gardening and growing, but also about listening.  Listening to the Word of God.  Being receptive to it.  Being open to it. That can be [Read More...]

Homily for July 3, 2011: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

If you leave St. Patrick’s Cathedral by the front door, on Fifth Avenue, you can’t help but be jolted by the figure greeting you as you leave. It’s Atlas: a mammoth, four story high statue of the Greek titan, cast in bronze, his arms spread wide has he carries the universe on his back. He [Read More...]

Homily for June 26, 2011: Corpus Christi

On Palm Sunday, a woman approached me between masses with an unusual question.  “Excuse me,” she said, “but do you mind if I kneel when I receive communion?” I was in a hurry, and a little surprised at the question.  But I quickly told her no, that wasn’t a problem, and she thanked me.  And [Read More...]