Homily for February 14, 2010

Father Tom’s Homily
6th Sunday
February 14, 2010

Anytime we hear the words of Jesus, we ought to listen to them as the words of a God who loves us dearly. The messages of Jesus are like Valentines from a Lover. Jesus’ words in today’s gospel are good news for his beloved.
Let us consider Luke’s version of the Beatitudes and how they can be considered a Valentine’s Day message.
Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor, the hungry, the weeping and the hated.” What kind of crazy valentine can this be?

Homily for February 7, 2010

Father Tom’s Homily
5th Sunday
February 7, 2010

In today’s three readings, three men are called to do the Lord’s work. They are Isaiah, Paul and Peter. Each of the three expresses his unworthiness.
In the first reading, Isaiah says he cannot be a spokesperson of the Lord (a prophet) saying, “I am a man of unclean lips.”
In the second reading, Paul says, “I am not fit to be called to be an apostle, because I have persecuted the church of God.”
In our gospel reading, Peter says to Jesus, “Depart from me for I am a sinful man.”

Homily for January 31, 2010

Father Tom’s Homily
4th Sunday
January 31, 2010

Today’s gospel reading begins with the same sentence that concluded last Sunday’s gospel. The scene is at the synagogue in Nazareth on the Sabbath where the hometown young man, Jesus, gives the commentary on a passage from Isaiah.
Today’s reading notes that the people at the synagogue “all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that he spoke.” But then something happened to completely change their attitude toward Jesus. They ended up kicking him out of town in a rather violent way.

Homily for January 24, 2010

Father Tom’s Homily
3rd Sunday
January 24, 2010

In our gospel reading, a young man, a laborer – by our standards, a poor man – went to his small town synagogue on the Sabbath as was his weekly custom.
Our reading from the gospel of Luke says that this time Jesus “was impelled by the Spirit” to offer a special message to the people. He asked for the scroll of the writings of Isaiah. Then he unrolled it till he found a certain passage which he then read aloud.

Homily for January 17, 2010

Father Tom’s Homily
2nd Sunday (Wedding Feast at Cana)
January 17, 2010

I recall the time I entered Cana of Galilee. It was on a pilgrimage for priests 16 years ago. Father Remm and I were on the pilgrimage together.
As you enter the small town you can see a sign: “Kfar Kanna,” meaning town of Cana. We visited the Church of the Miracle of Cana built in the 6th century on the ruins of a destroyed 4th century. Much of the mosaic floor of the 4th century church has been preserved. It is a lovely church.

Homily for January 10, 2010

Father Tom’s Homily
The Baptism of Jesus
January 10, 2010

The Feast of the Baptism of Jesus was a grand and popular celebration in Egypt many centuries ago. It was called the Feast of the Immersion. As described in a tenth century document, it was a kind of carnival atmosphere as thousands lined the shores of the Nile River.

Homily for January 3, 2010

Father Tom’s Homily
January 3, 2010

Our gospel story tells about “magi from the east who arrived in Jerusalem” in search of “a new born king of the Jews.”
Scholars tell us that “magi” were from Persia (present day Iran). They were teachers and priests, regarded as wise and holy men. They were also astrologers who sought important clues from the gods by observing closely the movement of the stars.

Homily for January 1, 2010

Mary, the Mother of God
January 1, 2010

Today we celebrate the story of Mary, the young, small-town peasant girl being given the greatest role in all of history. As a teen-aged spouse of Joseph, she gave birth to her son in an animal shelter. He was Jesus, the Messiah.
It was a very private birth that gave her the deepest satisfaction and made her very tired as she lay back on the straw with her tiny baby sleeping in a feed trough on the floor at her side.

Homily for December 27, 2009

Father Tom’s Homily
Holy Family
December 27. 2009

Here’s another story from the book, What They Taught Us, in which Maryknoll priests tell about the ways that the poor and often illiterate people in the third world often evangelize the missionaries.
This is told by Father John Conway serving in Nairobi, Africa.
He taught religion classes to the children, but a little African girl taught him a valuable lesson from her culture.

Homily for Christmas, 2009

Father Tom’s Homily
Christmas 2009

In a book about the experiences of Maryknoll missionaries in far-off places (What They Taught Us), a young missionary named Father Edward Davis tells about his first Christmas in Tanzania.
He went to a Christmas play presented by the youth of the parish before the midnight Mass. These Nativity plays have been a tradition in many African parishes.
When he arrived, the church was already full with standing room only. He squeezed through the crowd and found a place to stand against the back wall.

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