Homily for January 20, 2013: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for the readings] Every year on the anniversary of 9/11, I find myself thinking of 9/12: September 12th, 2001. The day after. Waking up. Looking out the window. Seeing the beautiful late summer sky that morning, just like the morning before. From all appearances, nothing had changed. But, in fact, everything had changed. [Read More...]

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Homily for January 13, 2013: Baptism of the Lord

[Click here for readings.] At home, I have a little green book that someone gave me as an ordination gift: it’s the Rite of Baptism for Children, with all the prayers and readings for the sacrament. In the back, there’s a notation I scribbled on the inside cover: “Margaret Flanagan.  July 1, 2007.  First baby [Read More...]

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Homily for January 6, 2013: Epiphany

This time of year, a lot of us are sending and receiving Christmas letters – those detailed accounts of how we’ve spent the last year. As interesting as they sometimes are, they are basically intended to tell the reader three things: 1. Our kids are smarter 2. Our dog is cuter 3. Our vacation was [Read More...]

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Homily for December 30, 2012: Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

[Click here for readings] I’m struck every year by the timing of this feast, celebrating the Holy Family. It comes on the first Sunday following Christmas, when a lot of us have started to overdose on family.  In fact, after the parties and cooking and visiting and obligations and expectations and disappointments, some of us [Read More...]

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“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...]

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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...]

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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...]

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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...]

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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...]

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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...]

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