Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

July 25, 2021
St. Benedict Parish
Fort Worth, Texas

1 Corinthians 10:6-13
Luke 19:41-47

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. The account of the weeping over Jerusalem is unique to the Gospel of Luke. Luke utilizes it to lead into the account of the cleansing of the temple by Jesus. It also occurs after Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. So, we read that Jesus experiences several very different emotions in rapid succession: from joy, praise and celebration (19:37-40) to weeping and sadness over what awaits the City and her people (19:41-44), to righteous anger in the cleansing of the Temple (19:45-46).

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Homily for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 4, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Ezekiel 2:2-5
Psalm 123:1-2, 2, 3-4
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Mark 6:1-6

In the first reading, God sends Ezekiel to prophesy to a rebellious people to announce God’s displeasure with the Israelites who rejected Him and His desires for them and instead follow their own desires and designs of selfishness. Pride is their downfall, yet Paul, in the second reading, recognizes his own pride as a weakness that opens him to God. Because of this recognition, he can let go of his pride so that the power of God can work through him.

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Homily for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 27, 2021
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Seymour, Texas

Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13
2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
Mark 5:21-43

Today’s Gospel records two miracles.  While Jesus is in route to visit the dying daughter of a synagogue official, a woman touches His cloak.  She had suffered for twelve years, exhausting all her money on doctors who were unable to help her.  She is in the same category as a leper, an outcast from the community, and in her desperation, she will try anything that offers her hope.  Her physical illness is also symbolic of the effect of evil and sin on the entire human person — body and soul.

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Homily for the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; Thanksgiving for Our Lady of Victory Catholic School

June 12, 2021
Our Lady of Victory Catholic School
Fort Worth, Texas

Second Corinthians 5:14-21
Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12
Luke 2:41-51

Today we celebrate the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As we celebrate this memorial in communion with the Church throughout the world, we come together to give thanks for the fulfillment of the mission of Our Lady of Victory Catholic School. We gather within the structure and enclosure of these brick walls, walls of a building that have stood for well over one hundred years. We might be tempted to sit and imagine what these walls would say if they could give testimony to all the events and experiences of so many people who taught and who were taught within them. We might be tempted to become nostalgic for what we would consider to have been a simpler time in the life of the Church, the life of our country, or even in our own lives.

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Homily for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 20, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Job 4:32-34, 39-40
Psalm 107:23-26, 28-31
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Mark 4:35-41

Our first reading from the Book of Job presents a dialogue between Job and the Lord God in which the Lord conveys to Job that He, the Lord God, has power over the elements of the sea. The sea carries with it the symbolism of chaos and disorder that are randomly at odds with human beings. The Lord conveys to Job that He, the Lord, says to the chaos of the sea, “Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled.” In our Gospel, Jesus manifests His Divinity to His disciples by exercising such power over the sea. Yet, Jesus reveals more concerning the nature of the Father’s sovereignty over creation, a sovereignty that belongs also to Jesus as the Son of God.

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Homily for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 13, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Ezekiel 17:22-24
Psalm 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16
2 Corinthians 5:6-10
Mark 4:26-34

Saint Paul tells us that while on this earth, we walk by faith and not by sight.  The gift of the theological virtue of faith enables us to see the things of this world as gifts of a loving God and not just human productions.  If we just look at the events of our lives with human eyes we see isolated situations, accidental encounters, and things happening without a reason.  But when we look at the events of our lives with the eyes of faith, the things that happen to us and the people we encounter are not just by accident but are the designs of a wise God. 

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Homily for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

June 6, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Exodus 24:3-8
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18
Hebrews 9:11-15
Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

The chalice is the central image used in the Gospel of Mark to connote the sacrificial suffering of Jesus. In the tenth chapter of this Gospel, Jesus asks the sons of Zebedee — the Apostles James and John — who have asked to sit at His right and His left: “Can you drink the chalice that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” The chalice connotes the suffering that Jesus will experience. Yet, even more than symbolizing existential suffering, the chalice specifically signifies the unconditional love by which Christ conquers sin and death in the free and willing sacrifice of His life in obedience to the Truth of the mission entrusted to Him by His Father. The chalice offered to us by Christ is a share in the ability and willingness to love as Jesus loves.

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Homily for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

May 30, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
Psalm 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22
Romans 8:14-17
Matthew 28:16-20

Walker Percy, a doctor turned novelist and a Catholic convert, wrote what he called the last self-help book, and entitled it Lost in the Cosmos. In it he muses about us who spend huge amounts of money to attempt to communicate with animals and who spend even more money on equipment to attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial beings. Meanwhile, we spend little or no time communicating with God or with each other, even if we consider ourselves faithful believers. We might even ask if we have anything meaningful to say to one another. Our relationships with each other, not to mention God, are impoverished.

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