Homily for July 27, 2003

Father Tom’s Homily
17th Sunday
July 27, 2003

The visit of our delegation to the five settlements in the mountains
of El Salvador each year is a big event. It is obvious that the people
are very happy to have us visit them.
They spent weeks organizing the welcome at each settlement.
The school children prepare special posters for us. They sing for us
and prepare special dances for us.
The band, where there is one, serenades us at our meals and
then plays at the Mass. Community leaders offer an official welcome.
When these are persons who have not spoken before a group before, their

Homily for June 22, 2003

Father Tom’s Homily

Corpus Christi

June 22, 2003

Muddy Waters, the great black blues musician, lived in a shack in
rural Mississippi. He was a dirt farmer, a share-cropper.
One day someone from the Library of Congress came to visit him,
to record his music. This visitor was a white man.
Muddy suspected that he was from Internal Revenue, a “revenuer,”
because Muddy made moonshine on the side. That’s why Muddy didn’t
trust him.

The visitor asked for a drink of water. When the visitor drank
from the same cup that Muddy used, Muddy knew he could trust him.

Homily for June 15, 2003

Father Tom’s Homily

Trinity Sunday

June 15, 2003

As you approach the old city of Jerusalem, the most prominent
structure you see, bright and gleaming above the rest, is the golden
dome of Haram Esh-Sharif.
This is the great shrine of the Muslims also called the Noble
Sanctuary or the Dome of the Rock.

It was built in 691 by the Caliph Abd el-Malik. He used
architecture to express the superiority of Islam over Judaism and
Christianity. This great Islamic Temple was built over the ruins of
the Jewish Temple which had been destroyed in 70 by the Roman army.

Homily for Pentecost, 2003


June 8, 2003

We are called to life in the Spirit. Today we thank God for the
presence of the Spirit in our lives. We pray that we may be aware of
this divine guest who accompanies us. We pray that we may allow the
Spirit to endow us with gifts that can enrich our lives.
One of these gifts that we especially need today is the gift of
tongues that enables us to speak and listen to those who speak entirely
different spiritual languages than we do.
These are people of other faiths who may feel hostility to us
because of our differences. Perhaps we have returned the hostility.

Homily for May 25, 2003

Father Tom’s Homily
6TH Sunday of Easter
May 25, 2003

Our 1st reading begins: “And Peter entered the house of
When Peter stepped over the threshold of Cornelius’ house, he
was making the longest journey of his life – he was going where he
had thought he would never go. And he was bringing the Church with him.

This is a very significant passage in the story of the early Church,
a story told us in the Acts of the Apostles. Stepping over the threshold
of Cornelius’ home marked a significant new direction for the Church
of which Peter was the leader.

Homily for May 11, 2003

4th Sunday of Easter
May 11, 2003

Jesus was a storyteller. He told us the great truths about
God and about the meaning of our lives by using images and parables.
He was a teacher would could reach everyone because he understood the
power of images and parables.
Our imaginations are the doorway to religious understanding.

The scriptures are filled with images and stories that repeatedly
reinforce the great truths by which we believe and live.
Today’s scripture readings give us several images. The 1st tells
of a rejected stone. The 2nd speaks of a beloved child. The gospel

Homily for April 27,2003

Father Tom’s Homily
2nd Sunday of Easter

April 27,2003

A recent visitor to China recounted the Chinese version of Easter.
She said that the Chinese tour guide said that Easter has become a
favorite time in China because it offered baskets of chocolate candies
brought by the Easter Bunny.
The guide had no idea of this holiday’s connection to
Christianity. It is understandable that China, primarily Buddhist
or atheist in belief, might hold this superficial view of this most
important of Christian holy days.
The faith of Christianity has yet to take hold in China.

Homily for March 30, 2003

4th Sunday of Lent (Sacrament of Anointing)
March 30, 2003

We read in Matthew’s gospel (chap 9 & 10) that Jesus cured every
sickness and disease as he made his way from one village to the next.
To his twelve disciples he said: “Heal the sick, cleanse the
lepers and expel demons. The gift you have received (the gift of healing)
give as a gift.”
From this text it is obvious that Jesus, the healer, intended to
continue his healing ministry through his followers.

In a letter St. James describes the ritual of healing in the
early Church. It was the laying on of hands and the anointing with oil

Homily for March 23, 2003

3rd Sunday of Lent
March 23, 2003

A couple of years ago there was a book at the top of the best
seller list that promised material prosperity through prayer.
The title of the book was The Prayer of Jabez. It was based on
a one- sentence prayer from a seldom read book of the Old Testament.
The prayer of Jabez began: “O God, that you would enlarge my
territory and that your hand would be with me…”

According to the author, Rev. Bruce Wilkinson, this prayer worked.
His book with the prayer was marketed as a surefire recipe for personal
success (“Do you want to be extravagantly blessed by God?”).

Homily for March 2, 2003

Father Tom’s Homily
8th Sunday
March 2, 2003

The most tragic figure in the Old Testament stories is God.
God is the reckless lover forsaken time and time again by those he so
ardently loves.
The phrase “God forsaken” is reversed to become “the forsaken

Hosea, the Old Testament prophet, understood the meaning of the
forsaken God from his own dysfunctional marriage.
In his own painful experience of an unfaithful wife whom he
continued to love in spite of her infidelities, Hosea became deeply
aware of the reality of Israel’s sin.
Hosea used his continued pursuit of his wandering spouse to teach

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