2013 Homilies

PDF IconLectionary 2012-13-Cycle C

Date Video Speaker Feast Topic
December 29 Fr. Lawrence Feast of the Holy Family This feast, invented out of whole cloth by the Vatican less than 100 years ago, teaches us a lot about who God is, and what we may become.
December 25 Fr. Lawrence Midnight Mass
December 25
The crèche at St Vincent’s has remained as it is since Fr. Sinott-Martin’s time. But the crèche doesn’t due justice to the Incarnation mystery. It “pretties” it up too much. God’s Son “took flesh” – the messy, bodily stuff that we all deal with – and became like us. So that we can become like Him.
December 22 Fr. Lawrence Fourth Sunday of Adventy The Christman story according to Matthew. It is six verses long. The only thing he shares with Luke is the place names and the fact that Mary was a virgin – which make jesus “true God and true man.” It will take the rest of the gospel to piece out what that means.
December 15 Fr. Lawrence Third Sunday of Advent
Gaudete Sunday
John’s diciples come to Jesus, “Are you the One who is to come? Or should we look for another?” Jesus doesn’t answer directly. Rather he says, “Tell John what you have seen – the blind see, the deaf hear, the cripples dance.” Jesus answers their questions with actions.
December 8 Fr. Lawrence Second Sunday of Advent The first reading today is a classic Advent piece by Isaiah recounting what Jerusalem will be like when the Messiah comes – all sweetness and light. Today’s gospel (Matthew) presents John the Baptist who describes the present as a time of scandal and destruction. The homilist wrestles with this paradox – how can both visions be true?
December 1 Fr. Lawrence First Sunday of Advent Today is the First Sunday of the church year. It is a time of preparation – not only of “getting ready for Christmas” but to take stock of the fact that there is “progress” towards God’s goal for the earth. For instance, the Pope, in preparation for a universal synod to which all bishops are invited, has asked them and US our opinion about the relevance of church teaching on the family and sexual practices. As the homilist says, “It’s the first time in my lifetime that the Pope has asked me for my opinion.” He encourages his listeners to complete the survey that has been placed on our website.
November 24 Fr. Lawrence Feast of Christ the King
Last Sunday of the Year
Today is the Feast of Christ the King. What kind of king reighs from a cross (a sign of derision) made of wood (a common household material)? Jesus, the Lord, that’s who.
November 10 Fr. Lawrence 33nd Week in Ordinary Time The Lord says in the gospel, “By your perseveration you shall secure your lives.” “Perseverance” – is a virtue, not much esteemed at the present time. But is IS a virtue – very useful and rich in rewards. Perseverance is “putting up with what I cannot change” and “letting go of those things that will change – but not in my lifetime.”
November 10 Fr. Lawrence 32nd Week in Ordinary Time The first reading tells the story of the seven brothers who were horribly mutilated and murdered by the king who asked that they “only eat a little pork” – in violation of God’s law as given in the Torah. Their mother encouraged them to be steadfast in their decision not to break God’s law – and thus lost all seven sons.
November 2 Fr. Lawrence Feast of All Saints/Soul.

We pray with/for/and to all those who have gone before us – the great ones (like Paul and Oscar Romero and the little ones like Olga Puliafico and our mothers and fathers. They all are part of the “Communion of Saints” and deserve our prayers and petitions.
October 27 Fr. Lawrence 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time

The parable of the arrogant Pharisee who goes to the temples and says, “Thank God I am not like these other sinners.” This is in contrast to the second reading which is Paul to Timothy. Altho Paul sound similar – he doesn’t run everybody down like the Pharisee.
October 13 Fr. Lawrence 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time We teach our children “Please” and “Thank You” not only because it is polite to garnish requests and acceptance with them, but because they are basic to understand our place in the world. We are not the center of the universe but are here because God’s choses to love us.
October 6 Fr. Lawrence 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time “Faith” – what is it? The English language is deficient, according to the homilist, because it doesn’t have a verb form of “faith” as do Greek and Hebrew. “To faith” God would mean “to trust in, to be faithful to, to accept, to believe the promises of.” All of these things we are asked to do because God has already done them to us.
September 29 Fr. Lawrence 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Feast of St. Vincent de Paul
The homilist recognizes the great job members of the parish are doing to address the needs of the poor (which St. Vincent espoused) – The food basket program, the clothing give-away program, the Friday hot meals program, the Park program, the household goods resettlement program, as well as members taking part in Habitat for Humanity, Bridge, and Immigration Reform. But what of the personal level? He challenges all to “get involved” – for as the Letter to James says, “Faith without Works is dead.”
September 22 Fr. Lawrence 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time The story of the Steward who is praised for being “prudent” when he was being fired. Yes, he was “prudent” – he employed the proper methods to achieve his goal – to make money. But what if our goals are different? “You can’t serve God and mammon.” Your actions would be very much different.
September 15 Fr. Lawrence 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time The story of the Prodigal Son. The big questions – is there a God? What is He like? What does he expect me to do? Jesus had other answers to these questions than the Jews and Pharisees that he was having dinner with.
September 8 Fr. Lawrence 23th Sunday of Ordinary Time The homilist reconciles the three readings for today with contemporary theological doctrine and practice.
September 1 Fr. Lawrence 22th Sunday of Ordinary Time As Sirach says, “Conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.” Or as Luke puts in, “Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” A good piece of Jewish wisdom. But what does “humility” really mean? The homilist says it means “true honesty.”
August 25

Fr. Lawrence 21th Sunday of Ordinary Time
50th Anniversary Celebration of the “March on Washington”
The pastor, who is a veteran of the March on Washington 50 years ago, recounts the stories of the March – and of listening to M.L.King deliver the famous “I have a dream” speech.
August 18 Fr. Lawrence 20th Sunday of Ordinary Time. The homilist continue the theme of last week – “faithing” Jesus – even though he knows that his mission is to “go up to Jerusalem” to his death.
August 11 Fr. Lawrence 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time. Do we have “faith in” God? How about the unEnglish word to “faith God” – meaning to trust in, to believe in, to be respected by, to accept His presence and love, to know. That’s what not having the English word costs us.
August 4 Fr. Lawrence 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time. The first reading is from Quoheleth (Ecclesiasticus) “Vanity,vanity, all is vanity.” Pretty depressing stuff. It was chosen perhaps to give a foretaste of the gospel – the Lord’s parable of the rich man who was going to build new barns to hold his abundant crop. The homilist points out that the Lord was saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff. Be concerned about the big picture.”
July 28 Fr. Lawrence 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time.
Faith, Fun. Fellowship
The Children, during Vacation Bible School, studied Creation this past week. They acted out the story during the first reading, they sang about it at post-communion, and the homilist preached about it during the homily.
July 21 Fr. Lawrence 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time. Third week of the Summer Series (Eucharist) This week we are to think of the Eucharist not as a signpost for the future (“We remember how you loved us till you come again”), but as a memorial of the past. It is of the order of Sinai, the 10 commandments, the Covenant. Each time we celebrate the Eucharist, we re-create the events of the past.
July 14 Fr. Lawrence 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time. Second week of the Summer Series (Eucharist) The gospel is pure Luke – the man who fell among robbers on the way to Jerico. “Which of these three was the neighbor to the injured man?” “Gop and do likewise.” Jesus is the compassion of God. Just as the Eucharist, which is always there for us, is the Compassion of God.
June 30 Fr. Lawrence 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time Today is the celebration of the pastor’s 40th anniversary of his oversight of this parish. The readings are a capulized version of Fr. Dick’s pastorship – a call and a direction. “To Jerusalem!”
June 23 Fr. Lawrence 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time The second reading is from Paul’s letter to the Galatians – a long and complex piece in which Paul shows his ire with those who said “You have to become a Jew and follow the Jewish Law in order to be saved.” Not the kind of God Jesus talks about.
June 9 Fr. Lawrence 10th Sunday of Ordinary Catching up with Luke (our gospel for the year) where we left off before Christmas. Luke’s focus is compassion. Be “compassionate as your heavenly Father is compassionate.”
June 2 Fr. Lawrence Corpus Christi The miracle of the true presence – the accidents reamin the same (all test would show the bread as bread after consecration, but the substance has changed. It IS the body and blood of Christ.
May 26 Fr. Lawrence Trinity Sunday The Trinity is an uncomprehensible mystery – but one that tells us a lot about who God is and what we are in God.
May 19 Fr. Lawrence Ascension – First Communion The homilist talks the First Comminionants about the Ascension at what it means.
May 12 Fr. Lawrence Pentecost – Graduating Seniors Celebration Today is Pentecost – 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus. Today is the day on which the Holy Spirit descends particularly on our graduating seniors to give them strength to accomplish their mission.
April 28 Fr. Lawrence 5th Easter Christ gives us a command “to love one another.” Through the Holy Spirit confer on us in baptism, we are able to do this. The new font has images of the bird (a symbol of the Holy Spirit) and a fish (an early symbol of a “Christian” and the sea of Christ in which we swim.) The homilist thanks the A&A Committee which worked for 25 years in making sesquicentennial renovation happen – now concluded with the installation of the font.
April 21 Fr. Lawrence 4th Easter Good Shepherd Sunday. Christ (via Paul) is the focus of Baptism theology since St. Augustine’s theology has been made obsolete by modern science. We have been baptized “into” Christ – hence the pool of our Font. Our Font also represents some of the other “truths” (not history) of our Faith – hence the symbols on the font cover of the Seven Days of Creation plus the symbol of the Resurrection.
April 14 Fr. Lawrence 3rd Easter The third “appearance” story in the Gospel of John. They recognized him “in the breaking of broad.” Thus the church has always been a “communal” institution. Hence the communal nature of our new Baptismal Font. It is “in the way” because we need to see that it is the entry point where we become Christians and start our ministry.
April 7 Fr. Lawrence 2nd Easter Today is “Easter continued”. The liturgy considers this day as part of Easter itself. As the homilist says, the feast is too great to be contained in one day. The “liberating compassion of God’ is too great a notion to be contained in our heads. It must not only be known – it must also be BELIEVED.
March 31 Fr. Lawrence Easter The homilist summarizes the All-night vigil which we have just experienced. We read scripture from lots of sources; some of it was joyful and hopeful, some of it was not. The question is “Where is it going?” to death and entropy? The answer is in this feast. NO it is going toward the ultimate compassion of God!
March 24 Fr. Lawrence Palm Sunday The liberating compassion of God.The homilist choses to focus on a few passages from the passion told only by Luke that shows Christ as the liberating compassion of God. He conclude by admonishing his hearers to “be” the liberating compassion of God to those around them.
March 17 Fr. Lawrence 5th Lent The story of the woman caught in adultery. Which is NOT by John, the Evangelist. Why is it here? The homilist says it is too good to be lost – so the early church stuck it where they could. The story shows the infinite compassion of Christ/God. And it was an early weathervane of the church’s stance against capital punishment.
March 10 Fr. Lawrence 4th Lent Paul, in the 2nd reading, talks about reconciliation. Lenten is a time of reconciliation – we do penance and get everything squared away. Except we’ve got it backwards. Jesus in the gospel tell us what God is like; like the shepherd who left the ninety nine in the dessert to look for the lost sheep; like the woman who lights a lamp and sweeps the house until she finds the lost coin; like the father who kills the fatted calf to celebrate his son’s return. God has not turned away; we have turned away.
March 3 Fr. Lawrence 3rd Lent Abrams’ first calling. Jesus preaches. Take off your shoes – this is holy ground. You are holy ground.
February 24 Fr. Lawrence 2nd Lent The Transfiguration. Luke adds his own twist. “After 8 days (not 6 as per Mark)…” Luke is telling us that this event is about baptism and the resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection (preceded by his passion and death) and our resurrection.
February 17 Fr. Lawrence 1st Lent Jesus fasts in the desert for 40 day. The church tells us “Rend your hearts” – not your garments. “And have the courage to look inside”, the homilist adds. Taking stock – for ourselves and for the church as it looks for a new pope – is what Lent is all about.
February 10 Fr. Lawrence 5th Sun of Ordinary Time Peter is washing his nets on the seashore after fishing all night (and catching nothing). Jesus uses his boat to set off a few feet to teach the crowd and then tells Peter to lower his net for a catch. Reluctantly Peter does so and is overwhelmed with fish. He has a revolutionary conversion right there. He leaves all that he has — tools, boat, wife, and family — and follows Jesus.
February 2 Fr. Lawrence 4th Sun of Ordinary Time The continuation of the ministry (according to Luke – this year’s gospel writer. Speaking truth of power – what prophet’s do. Jesus is a prophet – so are we. We can expect what comes to prophets. They ran Jesus out of town; what less can we expect?
January 27
(partial homily)
Fr. Lawrence 3rd Sun of Ordinary Time The beginning of the public ministry of Jesus (according to Luke). The Evangelist (and Jesus) announce what they are going to do. “Bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, go restore sight to the blind, and set the oppressed free.” This is the heart of the gospel. How do our priorities fit into these objectives?
January 20 Fr. Lawrence 2rd Sun of Ordinary Time The Wedding Feast of Canna. Jesus make 130 gallons of the best grade of wine – a gallon and a half for each guest; more than they should, or could drink. Why is this story included. “The Messiah has come” says John, the writer of today’s gospel.
January 13 Fr. Lawrence Baptism of the Lord Jesus while praying after the Baptism of John hears the heavens open and a loud voice which ways, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” An echo of another voice – the Lord’s to Isaac telling him to sacrifice his beloved son, Jacob. There was an angel who told Isaac not to hurt his son; there was no angel to tell God not to hurt his Son.
January 6 Fr. Lawrence Epiphany In today’s gospel, Matthew, a trained Jewish rabbi, makes two important points: “All that is taking place (about Jesus’ birth) is done in fulfillment of God’s command” and “The Good News is available to gentiles (like the three Kings)”. Which is indeed Good News to us gentiles.