Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Second Sunday of Lent

February 28, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Psalm 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
Romans 8:31b-34
Mark 9:2-10

“Abraham, Abraham … take your son Isaac, whom you love … go to the land of Moriah and on a height that I will show you, you shall offer him up as a sacrifice … you shall slaughter him.”  What kind of God would make such a demand?  How could God want such a thing?  Isn’t God wise and loving, not whimsical, vengeful and blood-thirsty?  This misses the point that Abraham was ready to kill his son because he lived in a culture of death in which life was cheap and children were expendable. The request is made by God not to torment the innocent but to put an end to all human sacrifice and replace the culture of death with the new life of grace by sacrificing His own Son, Jesus.

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Homily for the First Sunday of Lent

February 21, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Genesis 9:8-15
Psalm 25:4-9
1 Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:12-15

The covenant between God and Noah symbolized by the rainbow foreshadows the covenant between God and the Church; the waters of the flood indicate the waters of Baptism. They bring life not death. The Ark symbolizes the Church. A covenant is a personal binding that brings about fusion of persons that is not simply a coexistence of convenience. A covenant is initiated by God and transforms human beings who are part of the covenant.

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Homily for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

World Marriage Sunday

February 14, 2021
Saint Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46
Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 11
1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1
Mark 1:40-45

The first reading from Leviticus and today’s reading from the Gospel of Mark are related in that they both involve leprosy and its effects on participation in the community. Leprosy in the Bible is not always the condition known to us as Hansen’s disease, but it is always a visible skin defect. Leprosy in the Bible is presented as an exterior blemish, a disorder of surfaces, a superficial disfigurement, and it never seems to go away.

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Homily for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Job 7:1-4, 6-7
Psalm 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
Mark 1:29-39

Shakespeare’s character Edmund in King Lear says, “when we are sick in fortune, often the surfeit of our own behavior, we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as if we were villains by necessity, fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves and treachers by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by enforced obedience of planetary influence.”

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