Homily for October 11, 2009

Father Tom’s Homily
28th Sunday
October 11, 2009

This Sunday morning, October 11th, Damian De Veuster was canonized a saint in an elaborate ceremony in St. Peter’s Square by the pope. 110 years after his death, he is now to be known as St. Damien of Molokai,.
In 1864. as the Civil War was raging in the U.S., young 24-year-old Damien arrived from Belgium to serve as a missionary priest in Hawaii. Nine years later, he volunteered to serve the lepers on the island of Molokai.

Homily for October 4, 2009

Father Tom’s Homily
St. Francis of Assisi
October 4, 2009

In an annex to the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, there is a small museum that contains some important relics of the saint. The most important one is the worn and patched robe that Francis wore. It is a poor man’s clothing that demonstrates his commitment to poverty.

Homily for August 9, 2009

Father Tom’s Homily
19th Sunday
August 9, 2009

One of the frequently reoccurring themes in the scriptures is being homeless and receiving hospitality.
For example, our ancestors, Adam and Eve, became homeless when they were exiled from paradise.

The story of Christmas tells of Joseph and Mary in search of lodging to stay for a brief spell. They had to be content sharing space with a couple of cows and a donkey in an animal shelter. Because they were homeless.

Homily for August 2, 2009

Father Tom’s Homily
18th Sunday
August 2, 2009

Today’s gospel from 6th chapter of John is obviously a Eucharistic gospel. This is a reading that was intended to be a reflection for the early Church about the meaning of the Eucharist.
In this reading Jesus says to us: “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”

As a commentary, I want to consider another gospel reading, the parable in Luke’s gospel about the poor man named Lazarus and the anonymous rich man.

Homily for July 11, 2009

Father Tom’s Homily
15th Sunday
July 11, 2009

In the heart of the city of Rome there is the very large terminal, the hub of the public transport systems of the city.
The trains from the airport and from any other place in Italy arrive here. The buses to all points in the city come and go from this central station.
So visitors arriving by air, train or bus pass through this terminal. As a result, there are thousands of travelers here at any time of the day.

Homily for July 5, 2009

Father Tom’s Homily
14th Sunday
July 5, 2009

The word “gospel” means literally “the good news.” Today’s scripture readings are good news for nobodies. For people who are nobodies to themselves and to others.
And what we read in today’s readings, nobodies are often God’s instruments to give the “good news” to others.

The pope has declared this to be the Year of St. Paul to honor him on the 2000 year of his birth. St. Paul is considered to be one of the greatest saints.

Homily for June 28, 2009

Father Tom’s Homily
13th Sunday
June 28, 2009

When our delegations drive out to the mountains to visit the five settlements we call Calavera, they are driven out to the town of Corinto where dozens of people from the settlements greet them. The people accompany our delegation into the first community, carrying our backpacks, the first of many gestures of their gracious hospitality to us over the days we are with them.

Homily for June 21, 2009

Father Tom’s Homily
12th Sunday
June 21, 2009

I began to consider today’s gospel reading during the fierce wind and rain storm that swept through here on Friday afternoon.. It provided a vivid commentary on today’s story of the storm on the Sea of Galilee that drove the apostles, all experienced fishermen on that large inland sea, to despair over their survival.

Along with this gospel story I want to consider another confrontation with the fury of angry seas. It was the voyage of the James Caird across 800 miles of the Antarctic Ocean 83 years ago.

Homily for June 14, 2009

Father Tom’s Homily
Corpus Christi
June 14, 2009

In today’s gospel reading Jesus tells a few of his disciples where they were to prepare for the Passover meal.
He said, go into the city (Jerusalem) and follow a man carrying a water jar. Such a man would stand out in the crowds on the city streets, because carrying water was always a woman’s task. Women carried water on their heads each day from community wells to their homes. It would be an unusual sight to see a man carrying water. It may have been that his wife was sick.

Homily for June 7, 2009

Father Tom’s Homily
Trinity Sunday
June 7, 2009

Last Sunday I spoke about the images associated with the Pentecost story. I suggested that the calm and tidy look of the disciples at the coming of the Holy Spirit in much of religious art does not seem to jibe with the story.
One can imagine that the experience of a fierce wind and mighty noise and the fire that accompanied the arrival of the Spirit would certainly leave the disciples in that upper room a bit bewildered and disheveled.

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