Life on the Chrism Trail

Introduction of Governor Greg Abbott

April 19, 2023
Nolan Catholic High School
Fort Worth, Texas

Governor Abbott, it is my privilege and joy as the Bishop of Fort Worth to welcome you as the Governor of Texas to Nolan Catholic High School for you to address the faculty, students, and parents of Nolan, and of our other Catholic schools here present.

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Homily for the Easter Vigil

April 8, 2023
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Genesis 1:1-2:2
Exodus 14:15-15:1
Isaiah 55:1-11
Romans 6:3-11
Matthew 28:1-10

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.’”  Jesus speaks these words to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, His friends and followers who had experienced the pain and trauma of the last several days of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion. Furthermore, they have arrived at the tomb, and it is empty. In their fear they then encounter an angel who announces to them that Jesus has risen from the dead. The angel then directs them to go to Galilee where they will see Jesus who has gone before them. On their way to tell the disciples, Jesus appears to them, accepts their homage, and tells them not to be afraid. Jesus also tells them to tell His disciples that He is risen and that they are to return to Galilee where they will see Him.

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Homily for Good Friday, Celebration of the Passion of the Lord

April 7, 2023
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
John 18:1-19:42

“Though He was harshly treated, He submitted and opened not His mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, He was silent and opened not His mouth.” Jesus does not say a lot in this Passion account; He speaks less as the Passion account moves more closely to His death. He is silent amid the angry screams and accusations made by the crowds; He is silent amid the scheming casuistry of the high priests; and He is mostly silent before Pilate.  At one with Him in His silence is His mother, Mary.  She stands with Him at the foot of the cross with the Beloved Disciple with an immaculate love that surpasses even the naturally powerful bond between a mother and her son. 

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Homily for Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper

April 6, 2023
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
John 13:1-15

One of the bitter fruits of the sin of our first parents in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, was the rejection of the capacity of human beings to trust God. Closely following this loss was the loss of a trusting relationship between man and woman and among human beings in general. Eve, taken by God from the side of the sleeping Adam, listens to the evil one and convinces Adam to disobey God and to eat the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This original sin produced in man and woman a destructive suspicion of God as an adversary towards human freedom instead of humble recognition of God’s sovereignty as the source of human freedom.

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Homily for Chrism Mass

April 4, 2023
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 61:1-3, 6a,8-9
Psalm 89:21-22, 25, 27
Revelation 1:5-8
Luke 4:16-21

“To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his Blood, who has made us into a Kingdom, priests for His God and Father, to Him be glory and power forever and ever.” Christ has freed us from our sins by His Blood. He has made us a Kingdom and His priests for His God and Father. These words of the Book of Revelation concisely reveal the mystery of our redemption won for us by Christ in His suffering and His love.

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Homily for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

April 2, 2023
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22
Philippians 2:6-11
Matthew 26:14-27:66

Throughout Lent we have been following Jesus on His journey to Jerusalem. We have done so like the first disciples but with the difference being that we know and are confident of His victory. Yet, even with this confidence born of faith we have traveled with Him to the heights in the shadow of the cross – His cross and our share in the cross. Perhaps we have struggled with our Lenten resolutions. Perhaps we have not tried very hard to maintain them. Perhaps we have approached them in a spirit of self-improvement and have failed in the face of what seems to us to be the futile inevitability of sin and selfishness. Nonetheless, we stand here today with an unavoidable decision to remain with the initially enthusiastic but eventually fickle and defeated crowd, or to proceed with Jesus to the victorious culmination of His Passion and Resurrection.

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