Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for Thanksgiving Day

November 25, 2021
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Sirach 50:22-24
Psalm 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Luke 17:11-19

Amidst the violence and destruction of the American Civil War in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation establishing Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday. He wrote, “No human counsel hath devised nor any mortal hand worked out these great blessings. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.”

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Homily for the First Sunday of Advent

November 28, 2021
Good Shepherd Catholic Church
Colleyville, Texas

Jeremiah 33:14-16
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Today we begin the season of Advent by hearing the words of Jesus that speak of the last things that are imminent signs before His second coming at the end of the world. “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” We begin with the end and end with the beginning in entering into the mystery of our redemption won by Christ who is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. In Advent, the second coming is considered first and the first coming is considered second.

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Homily for the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 7, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

1 Kings 17:10-16
Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44

This Sunday begins National Vocation Awareness Week, an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States dedicated to fostering vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and consecrated life through prayer and education. It is an opportunity for us to renew intentionally our prayers and support for those who are discerning one of these particular vocations. It is an opportunity for each of us to ask God for the grace to invite young men and women with leadership qualities to pray for fortitude to listen for God’s call and to respond with confidence to it by saying “yes.”

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Homily for the Memorial and Promotional Mass for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem

October 16, 2021
Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church
Arlington, Texas

Sirach 2:1-11
Psalm 23
1 John 3:1-2
John 14:1-6

Today the Lord has gathered and summoned us as His People to offer and to celebrate this Mass for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jesus. We pray for the repose of the souls of those Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher who have died during the past two years. We also pray for those members who are to be promoted within the ranks of our order for the sake of the mission entrusted to us.

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Homily for the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Opening Mass of the Diocesan Synodal Process

October 17, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 53:10-11
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22
Hebrews 4:14-16
Mark 10:35-45

Synod is a word from Greek that means a meeting of people. In 1965, as a means of the continuing implementation of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Saint Paul VI created a new structure of the Holy See called the Synod of Bishops, and he planned for that standing office to organize regular meetings of bishops from around the world who would be given a topic to address by the Pope and then make recommendations based on their deliberations.

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Homily for the Memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Diocesan In-Service for Teachers

October 15, 2021
Nolan Catholic High School
Fort Worth, Texas

Romans 8:22-27
Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11
John 15:1-8

Today in our life as the Church we celebrate the memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus also known as Saint Teresa of Avila, the great Carmelite Reformer and Doctor of the Church. Saint Teresa writes, “Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you, everything passes but God remains. Patience attains all, he who possesses God lacks for nothing; God alone suffices.”

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Homily for the Mass for Babies who Died before Baptism

October 9, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 25:6-10a
Psalm 23
Mark 10:13-16

The Rite for Baptism of Infants calls for two anointings. The first anointing is to be administered by the priest and deacon with the Oil of Catechumens applied to the chest of the infant. This anointing is to take place before the Baptism is administered with the pouring of water. Then Baptism is administered by the priest or deacon by pouring the water over the head of the infant while saying simultaneously the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” There soon follows the second anointing with the Holy Chrism applied by the priest or deacon on the crown or forehead of the infant which signifies the newly baptized infant’s being anointed into the common priesthood, the prophetic office, and the kingship of Christ. Two anointings. One takes place before Baptism and the second one takes place after Baptism. Why?

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Homily for the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 25, 2021
St. Michael Catholic Church
Bedford, Texas

Numbers 11:25-29
Psalm 19:8, 10, 12-13, 14
Daniel 10:10-21
Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

The book of Numbers recalls how God bestowed the gift of prophecy on 70 elders of Israel, or at least on 68 of them as Medad and Eldad were busy outside of camp. These elders were appointed by God at Moses’ request to assist Moses in his work as leader, however Joshua was upset and jealous at God’s generosity.

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