Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 27, 2022
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Sirach 27:4-7
Psalm 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16
1 Corinthians 15:54-58
Luke 6:39-45

The Book of Sirach advises us to attend to our speech.  There is an old saying that “Speech is silver, but silence is golden.” The writer of Sirach doesn’t tell us what he thinks about silence, but speech isn’t going to be silver unless it comes from silver. Our speech reveals who we are — not just our thoughts and feelings, but also our character with its virtues and its faults. What we choose to speak about and the way we present things indicates what we think is important and whether we are thoughtful or thoughtless. Speech also precedes action.

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Homily for the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

Dedication and Consecration of the Church of St. Philip the Apostle

February 22, 2022
St. Philip the Apostle Parish
Flower Mound, Texas

Nehemiah 8:1-10
Psalm 19B:8-9, 10-15
1 Peter 2:4-9
John 4:14-24

Fifty years ago in 1972, this parish was established by my predecessor of happy memory, the founding Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Bishop John Cassata, with the assistance of a financial grant from the Extension Society. The Extension Society requested that the parish be initially established under the patronal name of Saint Philip Benizi. There is very little known of this saint or for the reasons offered for this request. Yet, Bishop Cassata was confronted with a recently established diocese that had inherited a lot of debt and with a growing need for new parishes and priests to minister in them, so it was convenient and expedient to name the parish under the patronal title of Saint Philip Benizi.

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Homily for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 20, 2022
Holy Family of Nazareth Catholic Church
Vernon, Texas

1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23
Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13
1 Corinthians 15:45-49
Luke 6:27-38

David refuses to be guided by the worldly or human understanding of “enemy” but instead sees Saul as God’s anointed. The presence of God is real in the world which He created and in which we live. David recognizes God’s presence in daily matters. Jesus underscores David’s perception by declaring not exactly that there are no enemies but that the category of enemy does not merit a different response than the response we offer to those whom we love. Pope Saint John XXIII was quoted as frequently stating, “There are enemies of the Church, but the Church has no enemies.”

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Homily for the Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

World Marriage Sunday

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

Jeremiah 17:5-8
Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20
Luke 5:17, 20-26

Last week in Luke’s Gospel, we listened to Jesus’ call of Peter and the sons of Zebedee to follow Him.  This week, we listen to Jesus’ further instructions for discipleship in which He cautions us that prestige, power, and complacency can prompt us to lose our way with Him.  To be a disciple of Jesus involves our dying to these selfish preoccupations so that the life of Jesus can exist in us that we might rise with Him from the dead in the last days. 

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Homily for the Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

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

Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8
Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Luke 5:1-11

Pope Saint John Paul II observed prophetically in 1993 that in our culture, “A distorted sense of freedom…is lived out as a blind acquiescence to instinctive forces and to an individual’s will to power. Therefore, on the level of thought and behavior, it is almost natural to find an erosion of internal consent to ethical principles. On the religious level, such a situation, if it does not always lead to an explicit refusal of God, causes widespread indifference and results in a life which, even in its more significant moments and more decisive choices, is lived as if God did not exist.

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