For Trinity Sunday: the Sign of the Cross

“This morning, mass began with something that most of us probably take for granted, and hardly think about. We do it so often. It’s the sign of the cross. In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. It’s not just a gesture that we use to punctuate prayer. It’s not [Read More...]

Homily for June 12, 2011: Pentecost Sunday

This Sunday, we celebrate the arrival of the Holy Spirit, and the great birthday of the Church, Pentecost.  It may be one of the most neglected of the church’s feast days.  We don’t hang lights, as we do at Christmas, and we don’t wear fancy hats or eat lots of candy, as we do at [Read More...]

Homily for June 5, 2011: 7th Sunday of Easter

In April of 2005, an Army captain by the name of Scott Smiley found himself where most people would not want to be: in Mosul, Iraq, confronting a man in a car who fit the description of suspected car bomber.  Captain Smiley knew what to do.  He told the man to get out. The man [Read More...]

"Why are you standing there looking at the sky?"

“In Matthew’s gospel, before Jesus ascends, he tells them, very simply, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.’ He urges them to baptize, to teach, to carry on the work that he has begun. But his first direction is so clear: ‘Go.’ The world is waiting. Act on what I have taught you. And [Read More...]

Homily for May 8, 2011: 3rd Sunday of Easter

The writer Amy Welborn lives in Alabama, near Birmingham, and she spent part of this past week volunteering at a call center, helping people whose lives had been turned upside down, literally, by the tornadoes that tore through the region.  She wrote about her experience on her blog, and described what people were doing for [Read More...]

Homily for May 1, 2011: 2nd Sunday of Easter

With all the attention focused on the royal wedding the last few days, it would be easy to overlook another global event this weekend: the beatification of Pope John Paul. I wanted to spend a little time this morning talking about him – and, in particular, about a key part of his life that I [Read More...]

Homily for April 23, 2011: Easter Vigil

Several years ago, the PBS series “American Masters” decided to profile a true American master, Don Hewitt, the creator and executive producer of 60 MINUTES.   And the reporter asked him, what is the secret of the show’s success?  How has it endured for four decades as one of the top rated shows in America? And [Read More...]

"Here is where you see the true image of Christ…"

For a Holy Thursday meditation, a blast from the past … A few nights ago, The History Channel showed a documentary in which scientists attempted to create what may be the most realistic 3-D image of the face of Christ. They spent many months on the project, using sophisticated computer technology to craft the image [Read More...]

Homily for April 10, 2011: 5th Sunday of Lent

Every now and then, you’ll find a film critic who bemoans the state of Hollywood movies by pointing out that there are too many sequels. Last year, a writer noted that in 2010 there were 86 sequels in various stages of development.  Just this year, we have “Scream 4″ about to open,  along with “Underworld [Read More...]

Homily for April 3, 2011: 4th Sunday of Lent

Today’s gospel begins with an encounter between Christ and a blind beggar.  So I want to start off with a story of another beggar – a story, in fact, involving Pope John Paul. Several years ago, a priest from the Archdiocese of New York was visiting Rome. As he was walking into a church to [Read More...]