Homily for January 11, 2009

Father Tom’s Homily
Baptism of Jesus
January 11, 2009

At Christmas we celebrate the Incarnation, which says that in Jesus, God has joined the human race. “He dwelt among us – He pitched his tent with us.” Our faith tells us that Jesus is truly God and also truly a human. This is one of the most puzzling mysteries of Christianity.
Instead of beholding this mystery with simple faith and a sense of wonder as did the shepherds at Bethlehem, some early Church leaders and teachers tried to make the mystery fit into human logic.

Homily for Epiphany, 2009

Father Tom’s Homily
January 4, 2009

Today’s story of the three wise men in search of the Saviour is a reminder that Jesus was born, not just for Christians, but for everybody.
In today’s first reading, Isaiah speaks of the Messiah in these words: “Nations shall walk by your light.”
This idea of an inclusive religious community is at odds with familiar theologies about a God who saves the few and ignores the majority. Most faith traditions have fallen into this heresy at one time or another.

Homily for Holy Family, 2008

Father Tom’s Homily
Holy Family
December 28, 2008

In today’s readings, we are told about two pairs of people, each a man and a woman advanced in age, and about the fulfillment of a divine promise.
The first and second readings are about a husband and a wife, Abraham and Sarah, to whom the Lord made a promise. The promise was that even though Sarah was quite old, she would bear a son. And that promise was fulfilled.

Homily for Christmas, 2008

Father Tom’s Homily
December 25, 2008

The reading we have just heard from Luke’s gospel is a story we all love to hear. It is the story of a baby born at Bethlehem long ago.
His name is Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” Yes, Mary’s infant son is God who has come to live with us.
This is the mystery of God’s wondrous love for us.

In this gospel reading we have traveled with Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and we have heard the angels invite us to search with the shepherds for the newborn son of Mary. To worship Emmanuel.

Homily for Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 12, 2008

For almost 20 years St. Mary Church has had a sister relationship with five very poor settlements in the eastern mountains of El Salvador. There are no roads or electricity in their area. In those early years of our relationship we could not visit them because they were in a war zone where bombings and massacres were taking place.

Homily for December 14, 2008

Father Tom’s Homilies
3rd Sunday of Advent
December 14, 2008

On this 3rd Sunday of Advent we continue our journey to Bethlehem. We honor in a special way Mary, the mother of Jesus, as we continue to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
We are lifted up by her words to the humble peasant Juan Diego, “I am the Mother of God. I am also your mother.”

The memory of Mary’s visit to the downtrodden poor of Central America is a beautiful story. It is retold each year on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12.

Homily for November 30, 2008

Father Tom’s Homily
1st Sunday of Advent
November 30, 2008

In Charles Dicken’s classic tale, A Chistmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is led on a night-time excursion by the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future.
On this mysterious journey, the miserly and self-centered Scrooge gains a new vision about himself, others and the true meaning of Christmas.

Homily for November 23, 2008

Father Tom’s Homily
Christ the King
November 23, 2008

This is the last Sunday of the Church year, also called the liturgical year. Next week, the First Sunday of Advent, we begin a new liturgical year.
During this past liturgical year we have been receiving instruction from the gospel of Matthew. Each week we have entered into the stories that Matthew was telling about the teachings, parables and miracles of Jesus – so that we could experience Jesus’ presence and listen to him and receive healing from him.

Homily for November 16, 2008

Father Tom’s Homily
33rd Sunday
November 16, 2008

Today’s gospel is taken from the 25th chapter of Matthew’s gospel. Chapters 24 and 25 in this gospel contain Jesus’ final teachings. Chapters 26 and 27 give an account of the events of Jesus final days, including the Last Supper, Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion.
Matthew wrote his gospel around the year 80 in part to offer advice to his community about how they were to prepare themselves while they were awaiting Jesus’ second coming. Many of them thought that it was going to happen in their lifetime.

Homily for November 9, 2008

Father Tom’s Homily
The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
November 9, 2008

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the birthday of its mother church – St. John Lateran in Rome. Let us briefly consider the history of this church.
The first three centuries of Christianity were extremely difficult, especially in Rome. Throughout the Roman empire, Christianity was a forbidden cult. There were periods of intense persecution when many Christians were arrested, tortured and executed in cruel ways.

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