2012 Homilies

PDF Icon Cycle B Readings – Mark

Audio Video Speaker Feast Topic
December 30 Fr. Lawrence Holy Family Luke tells a classic “Jesus story”. He tells it because it shows the young Jesus figuring out what his special relationship to God means. He is testing his role and mission. He is LEARNING. Jesus, like us, needs the time to maturity to understand what his role really is.
December 23 Fr. Lawrence 4rd Advent Today’s gospel is about two mothers having tea. The women of course are Mary and Elizabeth. They are discussing events that will shape the course of the rest of their (and our) lives.
December 16 Fr. Lawrence 3rd Advent Today is “Gaudete” Sunday. The Church’s view, to rejoice because Christmas is coming soon, is counter-cultural to the American way – which extorts panic at this point. We should rejoice because “God chooses to rejoice with us” as at festivals.
December 9 Fr. Lawrence 2nd Advent The surveyor uses “precise traverse” points to pinpoint an exact location. Luke does the same thing – only in time, giving the governors of the area and the high priests of the temple. It was at this precise momement that God intervened in our history. A cross between a dream – and reality.
December 2 Fr. Lawrence 1st Advent Advent is the season of hope. But what is hope? The homilist distinguishes it from “optimism.” There are good times for our church and our country – times in which we can connect the dots and they are all trending upward. It is easy to be “hopeful” or “optimistic” then. It’s when times are tough that we say, with Jeremiah, “God will prevail.” That is hope.
November 25 Fr. Lawrence Feast of Christ the King Christ Our King has come “to serve, not to be served” – a lack of triumphalness which his followers at the time (and maybe us, too) were quick to dismiss.
November 18 Fr. Lawrence 33rd Ordinary The last days. “This generation will not pass away until all these things have come to pass.” But this generation (and many others) have passed away and these last things have not come to pass. Was Jesus wrong. The homilist say “Yes” – Jesus could have been wrong.
November 11 Fr. Lawrence 32nd Ordinary Mark “bookends” his gosepel with stories of poor, anonymous women who give of their substance – this widow and from Chapter 1, Peter’s mother-in-law. Both women “get it” – who Jesus is and what his mission is. Unlike the scribe and his own disciples who don’t “get it.”
November 4 Fr. Lawrence Feast of All Saint/Souls On this feast, we remember the great things the canonized saints did — we tell stories about them to our children so that they have good role models. We also remember, and light a candle to help us remember, our loved ones who have passed away. They are saints, too. We pray with, for, and to ALL the saints – the great ones as well as those we know.
October 14 Fr. Lawrence 28th Ordinary Mark 10, “Go. Sell what you have and give to the poor.” A commandment, a council? Perhaps it’s a goal toward which we strive…
October 7 Fr. Lawrence 27th Ordinary The homilist explicates the second reading – the “Letter to the Hebrews.” He states the theme of the first section of this epistle (which we will read for the next seven weeks) as “Christ, who is the Son, become Priest, who makes the covenant, to which we are faithful.”
September 30 Fr. Lawrence Feast of St. Vincent
On this Feast, we are reminded that our patron, St. Vincent de Paul, formed communities based on Word – he preached the gospel – and the Sacraments. We, too, are to be community to one another and to those around us. The communities we build are to serve.
September 16 Fr. Lawrence 24th Ordinary Mark Continued – the miracle story of the man who regains his sight. The homilist describes the architecture of Mark’s gospel, citing this infrequently heard story as a bookend to the story of Barthomeus who regains his sight instantly (unlike this man who initially sees people “as trees walking around.”) He also cities its relevance for us – who are called to be “poured out” as disciples of Christ.
September 2 Fr. Penge, S.J. 22nd Ordinary –
Labor Day weekend
Contuation of the Gospel of Mark. What is outside is of no matter. What is in one’s heart is what matters. The homilist asks, “Are we sensitive to the needs of those we meet?”
August 26 Fr. Lawrence 21st Ordinary John 6 continued. “And what do you say – are you still with me?” Their (our) response can be either “This is hard. Who can believe?” or “Where else shall we go?”.
August 19 Fr. Lawrence 20th Ordinary “I am the Bread of Life” – stanza two. Last week the “Bread of Life” was the Word of God. This week the “Bread of Life” is the Eucharist. Word and Sacrament – the twin pillars of our faith. We need to “marinate” in both to understand who God is and who we are to become.
August 12 Fr. Lawrence 19th Ordinary John 6 continued. “I am the Bread of Life.” The structure is the same for both parts of this sermon. In this half, “Bread of Life” is the Word of God – the Scripture. In the second half, “Bread of Life” is the Eucharist. So Word and Sacraments are the twin pillars of our faith – which we are just now regaining post-reformation.
August 5 Fr. Lawrence 18th Ordinary John 6 continued. The church spends five weeks on this chapter – a focused spotlight that draws attention to it. The homilist suggests the “lectio divina” approach; 1) READ the chapter – two or three times, perhaps aloud; 2) THINK about it – what does it mean; 3) PRAY over it – i.e. talk to God about it; 4) BE QUIET with it.
July 29 Fr. Lawrence 17th Ordinary The Sunday after Vacation Bible School. The children enact the gospel, which is Jesus feeding the multitudes – from John 6. The homilist speaks to the children about their week of studying the Olympic training table. This is “God’s training table” – He gives of himself to make us strong.
July 22 Fr. Lawrence 16th Ordinary
2nd Maccabees
This concludes our 12-year cycle of reading the books of the Old Testament – the Tenak, and the Apocrypha. Today’s book is 2nd Maccabees which tells of the root of the belief in the resurrection of the body, as well as the early Christian veneration of the martyrs who “gave up their lives rather than giving up their faith.” The homilist compares this book to turnips at Thanksgiving – not a big time favorite but very tasty and nourishing.
July 15 Fr. Lawrence 15th Ordinary
The Book of Sirach
The second Sunday of the Summer Series. This year we continue to read the Apocrypha – this week the Book of Sirach which was composed only 200 years before the birth of Christ. Sirach, used extensively by the early church for instruction in morality for Cathecuments, is like the Book of Proverbs. It is short sayings that are to be thought about and savored, all 51 chapters of them. The homilist suggests that one read the Book yearly and slowly as the map for spiritual growth.
July 8 Fr. Lawrence 14th Ordinary
The Book of Judith
The first Sunday of the Summer Series. This year we continue to read the Apocrypha – this week the Book of Judith, or “everywoman” in Hebrew. Judith is a short story told to be a role model for Jewish girls. Women are to be strong, courageous, beautiful, and smart – like Judith. God often raises up unlikely people to deliver His people – like Judith.
July 1 Fr. Lawrence 13th Ordinary The anonymous woman and the prominent official. Both appeal to Jesus for healing – she to cure her hemorrhaging and he to cure his daughter. She acts privately (by touching the tassel of His prayer shawl) and he acts publicly (by words). Both are very fearful. Both have great faith. “Go, your faith has saved you.”
June 24 Fr. Lawrence 12th Ordinary Mark shows us that Jesus in powerful in word and in work. Chapter 5 of Mark’s gospel begins a string of miracle (powerful in work) stories. No matter how bad the storm is, Jesus is there for us. Maybe asleep in the stern, but active.
June 17 Fr. Lawrence 11th Ordinary The Parable of the Mustard seed. “What amazing seed that is” is the focus of Chapter 4 of Mark’s gospel. The seed is liken to the Kingdom – the Word – of God. It, like the seed, is powerful.
June 10 Fr. Lawrence Corpus Christi St. Thomas says that the Eucharist is a sign of the Unity of the Church. We have always had fights – but for the Christian the object is to “solve the problem” not “defeat the opponent” in order to maintain the Unity of the Church.
May 27 Fr. Lawrence Pentecost
High School Seniors Liturgy
There are many gifts from the Spirit. Each of us has been given some. How do we use them?
May 13 Fr. Lawrence 6th Easter First Communion Fr. Lawrence talks to the communicants about the readings – especially the gospel, John 15, in which Jesus says “Love one another as I have loved you.”
April 29 Br.Schofield 4th Easter Brother Schofield will lead the parish retreat in a few weeks. He offers some thoughts on this mornings readings, especially the gospel. Good Shepard Sunday. God loves us enough to lay down His life for us. Are we prepared to lay down our lives for others?
April 22 Fr. Lawrence 3rd Easter “You are witness to all these things.”
April 15 Fr. Lawrence 2nd Easter Thomas confirms the covenant – “My Lord and my God.”
April 6 Fr. Lawrence Good Friday God’s covenant is reenacted by Jesus’ death on the cross.
April 5 Fr. Lawrence Holy Thursday God’s commitment to us, his covenant, is “insane.” It is beyond reason.
April 1 Fr. Lawrence Palm Sunday The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark. The passion narrative has clues that reveal Mark’s two themes – who is Jesus Christ, and what does it mean to be a disciple.
March 25 Fr. Lawrence 5th Lent Jeremiah “You shall be my people, you shall be my God.” The covenant re-expressed.
March 18 Fr. Lawrence 4th Lent II Chronicles – God continues to honor the covenant and let the people “go home” from Babalon even after all the bad things they did. Because God is faithful to the covenant.
March 11 Fr. Lawrence 3rd Lent The yoke of the 10 Commandments is a “wedding gift” from God.
March 4 Fr. Lawrence 2nd Lent The covenant made to Noah is expanded. It is renewed to Abraham has he prepares to sacrifice his “beloved son.”
February 26 Fr. Lawrence 1st Lent The covenant – the first week of lent features the Jona story. God made his covenant with EVERYTHING – everything that came off the ark – plants, animals, humans – the whole world. What does it mean to be faithful to that kind of covenant?
February 19 Fr. Lawrence 7th Ordinary Another cure story from Mark adding to his theme of “Who is this Jesus of Nazareth?” The paralytic’s four buddies had the chutzpah to de-thatch somebody else’s roof. We are to have that same level of chutzpah for evangelization.
February 12 Fr. Lawrence 6th Ordinary Mark, the consummate literary architect, is explicated – Christ, who cures the leper, takes on the leper’s “outside-ness”. We also celebrate Jeanne Patterson who is going home soon.
February 5 Fr. Lawrence 5th Ordinary Themes that run thru Mark’s gospel – “who is this Jesus Christ?” and “what it means to be a disciple”. The widow in the temple who gave not from her extras “but her life” and Peter’s mother-in-law are true disciples. Are we?
January 29 Fr. Lawrence 4th Ordinary In today’s gospel we hear again the call of the first “disciples”. But they don’t “get it.” It’s Peter’s mother-in-law that get’s it – what it means to be a disciple. Be like her.
January 22 Fr. Lawrence 3rd Ordinary Today we begin reading the Gospel of Mark – our Gospel for the year. Mark’s whole program is contained in his first sentence, “The Good News of Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God.” The rest of the Gospel is a spelling out of what it means to be “The Christ, the Son of God.”
January 15 Fr. Lawrence 2nd Ordinary Today’s readings are about “the call” – which is very different for different people. Samuel was called in a dream; Andrew was pointed in the right direction by John the Baptist; Peter was called by Jesus and given a different name; Phillip and Nathaniel were called by Jesus as well, but very differently. How do we respond? Listen – discern – respond.
January 8 Fr. Lawrence Epiphany Today we celebrate Christ’s “Coming Out” to the gentiles as He is manifest to the Three Kings. He “Came Out” as a penniless undocumented alien in foreign country – Egypt. How do we think about and treat the undocumented aliens in our midst?
January 1 Fr. Lawrence Mary, Mother of God New Year’s (in church!). This feast provides an opportunity to savor the mystery of the Incarnation. To ponder what it means that God’s own son took on our human flesh so that we could be adopted sons and daughters of God. And call Him Abba – dad.