Homilies

Homily for Easter Sunday

Father Tom’s Homily
Easter Sunday
March 27, 2005

In Judges 16 we read the story about Samson. When he entered the city of Gaza, his enemies locked the city gates and waited in ambush to kill him. “Tomorrow morning we will kill him.” But when Samson rose in the morning, he tore the city gates off their hinges. “He hoisted them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the ridge opposite Hebron.”

Homily for Easter Vigil, 2005

Father Tom’s Homily

Easter Vigil

March 26, 2005

During these 40 days of Lent, we have been following Jesus to
Jerusalem where he will reveal himself to us as our Risen Messiah.
Along this Lenten journey we have met several persons in our
gospel readings.

On the 3rd Sunday of Lent we met the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s
well who was thirsting for living water. Jesus quenched her thirst with
the gift of faith in him.
We realized when we met her that we too thirst for truth and the
life that Jesus gives.

On the 4th Sunday of Lent we met the blind man who wished to

Homily for Good Friday, 2005

Father Tom’s Homily

Good Friday

March 25, 2005

In conducting exorcisms, Jesus often forced the demons to name
themselves.
Isaiah (49:9): “Say to those in darkness, show yourself.”

As he approached his arrest, torture and cruel death on the cross,
Jesus said: “Now is the hour of judgment.”
It would be the naming of evil, when evil, hidden by darkness
would be shown to the world and judged.

Nothing shows and judges evil as clearly as the destruction of
innocence.
Editorials and sermons may condemn evil at work in the world.
But they can never name the demon as powerfully as innocent victims do.

Homily for Holy Thursday, 2005

Father Tom’s Homily

Holy Thursday

March 24, 2005

Jesus was in trouble because of his bad table manners.
The righteous religious leaders complained that he “ate with sinners.”
For Jesus, eating with sinners was not a ritual of rebellion.
It was his inclusive sense of friendship. He enjoyed the company of
the poor and the outsiders.

In response to the accusation that he “ate with sinners,”
Jesus told his accusers the story of a father who celebrated the return
of his runaway son with a festive banquet.
And when the other son stayed away from the banquet because of

Homily for March 20, 2005

Father Tom’s Homily

Palm Sunday

March 20, 2005

The gospel account of Jesus’ suffering and death does not dwell
on the awful suffering involved in what we call The Passion. The account
has a purpose. It is to show Jesus’ passage through death to life.
The resurrection is what gets the attention.
When Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ was released
in theatres last year, many were troubled by the explicit depiction of
Jesus’ torture by excessive beating with flesh-tearing whips and being
spiked to the cross. Was this sensationalism without a religious purpose?

Homily for March 12, 2005

Father Tom’s Homily

Remember Romero

March 12, 2005

What do you say to someone who is suffering great pain, great loss,
great poverty and a future of more pain and losses and poverty.
You say (and you mean it): “I am with you.”
To be with someone suffering is the meaning of compassion.
It means “suffering with.”

It is what Jesus says to us. His life and ministry was compassion.
The figure on our cross reminds us of Our Compassionate Companion God.
It is the essence of the Good News. That God is with us and will
never abandon us.

This was the message of Archbishop Oscar Romero to his suffering

Homily for March 6, 2005

Father Tom’s Homily
5th Sunday of Lent
March 6, 2005

Today’s gospel story contrasts the physical blindness of the
central character in the story with the spiritual blindness of the
Pharisees.
Although they could see that the man born blind had been given
sight by Jesus, they were unwilling to accept this troublesome Jesus as
a healer.
That would mean that they would have to give up some of their bitterness
toward Jesus.

They appear in this story to be more severely handicapped by their
pride and disbelief than the blind man.
There is a saying: “There is none so blind as those who do not

Homily for February 27, 2005

Father Tom’s Homily
3rd Sunday of Lent
February 27, 2005

This gospel reading is a story about thirst. Jesus needs to
quench his thirst for water in the midday heat. But more than this,
the woman he meets at the well needs to quench her thirst for God.
In spite of her tattered reputation as a woman married and divorced
several times, she is a person eager to find God.

It is also a story about the risks that Jesus is willing to take
to have this encounter with this stranger. In speaking with the woman,
Jesus disregards a double taboo.
The first taboo: he is speaking with a Samaritan, and secondly,

Homily for February 20, 2005

Father Tom’s Homily
2nd Sunday of Lent
February 20, 2005

According to the first book of the Bible, the history of the human
race began with an act of disobedience. We read of Adam’s story of
disobedience to God in last week’s first reading from the 3rd chapter
of Genesis.

Today’s first reading (chapter 12) tells the beginning of
Abram’s story. (later to be called Abraham) God said to Abram: “Go
forth…” (to a place that I will show you). “Abram went as the
Lord had directed him.”
Human history began with Adam’s story of disobedience. Now with

Homily for February 13, 2005

1st Sunday of Lent
February 13, 2005

In Matthew’s gospel, we get our first glimpse of the adult Jesus
at his baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan River.
At his baptism we heard a voice from heaven identify Jesus as
“my Beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.”
In the very next scene Jesus is led by the Spirit (the Good Spirit)
into the desert which was considered to be the normal habitat of spirits.
In the desert, Jesus is tempted by an evil spirit.

In these first two episodes where we first meet Jesus, he has
encounters with spirits. Throughout his life he is often in contact with

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