Life on the Chrism Trail

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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Homily for the Twenty-fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

September 19, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Wisdom 2:12, 17-20
Psalm 54: 3-4, 5, 6, 8
James 3:16-4:3
Mark 9:30-37

The reading from the Book of Wisdom today lets us hear the thoughts of the wicked. They devise ways to attack and persecute the just person for opposing them and bringing to light their wickedness; so, they torture and condemn the just to see if God will protect them. “Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training. Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him.” The just one is a cause for their own insecurity and fear and they resent him as an adversary.

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Homily for the Mass for the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church

September 18, 2021
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church
Cisco, Texas

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 4-15
Psalm His Steadfast Love Endures Forever
1 Peter 2:2-9
John 2:1-12

There are two Greek words for the word “time.” There is chronos and there is kairos. Chronos refers to time as it is measured by history and recorded in the way that a wristwatch, schedule, stopwatch, or calendar does. Kairos refers to time as the point where circumstances and needs converge for the right human decision or intervention by God into human affairs.

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Homily for the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Monday, September 13, 2021
Theological College
Washington, D.C.

1 Timothy  2:1-8
Psalm 28:2, 7, 8-9
Luke 7:1-10

The Gospel today offers us an important distinction for our reflection. It offers us the distinction between the religion born of culture and religion born of faith. First, the Gospel tells us this story, “A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he built the synagogue for us.”

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Homily for the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 5, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah  35:4-7a
Psalm 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10
James 2:1-5
Mark 7:31-37

Today’s reading from the Gospel of Mark recounts for us how, somewhere in the vicinity of the Greek cities in Syria known as the Decapolis, or Ten Cities, Jesus heals a deaf man who because of his inability to hear had not learned to speak properly. Curiously, the route that Mark tells us Jesus took to get to the Decapolis is not geographically possible. Also curious is the way that Jesus healed this man. His actions, putting fingers in the man’s ears, spitting, touching the man’s tongue and looking at the sky and groaning, are typical of Greek and Jewish healers, but not the usual way Jesus healed. People watching Jesus do this would have seen nothing out of the ordinary, but we know that it was a miracle.

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