Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for Holy Saturday at the Easter Vigil

April 3, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Genesis 1:1-2:2
Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35
Exodus 14:15-15:1
Exodus 15:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 17-18
Isaiah 54:5-14
Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-2, 13
Romans 6:3-11
Mark 16:1-7

When the Sabbath was over, three women gathered the ingredients necessary to bury the body of Jesus. They went to the tomb early and thought of a few practical points they had overlooked. What about the heavy stone sealing the tomb? What about the guards? What about the official seals that had been put on the tomb? But when they arrived, the soldiers were gone, and the stone was rolled away.

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Homily for Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

April 2, 2021
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

“In the days when Christ was in the flesh, He offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered; and when He was made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.”

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

April 1, 2021
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

In the liturgical life of the Church, the usual practice is for the priests of a diocese to assemble with the bishop and to concelebrate Mass on the morning of Holy Thursday, to bless and consecrate the Holy Oils that will be used at the Easter Vigil and throughout the year, and to renew their promises made at ordination. Because of the geographical expanse of our diocese, we do that as priests and bishop on Tuesday of Holy Week. The Lord has blessed me as your bishop because He gives me the opportunity to renew the promises of my priestly and episcopal ordinations here in this Cathedral where I made my initial promises, where I was ordained a priest, and where I have ordained priests who have made those same promises. Holy Thursday is about promises.

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Homily for the Baptism of the Lord

January 10, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 55:1-11
Isaiah 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6
1 John 5:1-9
Mark 1:7-11

“Peace is order, in relation to God and in relation to human beings; it is wisdom, it is justice, it is civilization. Whoever loves peace loves humanity, without distinction of race or of color.” These words were preached by Pope Saint Paul VI in a Mass offered on October 4, 1965, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, in Yankee Stadium during the first visit of a pope to the United States of America.

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Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 15, 2020
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
Matthew 25:14-30

The Book of Proverbs speaks about the value of a wife as being of an eternal character that points to the coming of Christ and the character of His relationship with His wife, the Church. This Scripture also points to the character of a sacramental marriage. Such a wife is worth more than many pearls. She provides both for her own family and for the needy and poor. She may be charming and beautiful, but more important is her fear of the Lord, or her sense of awe and reverence of God’s power in her life which is reflected in the way she graciously and selflessly treats those entrusted to her. She does not look for any reward, but recognition and honor should be given her for her loving care.  Such is our supernatural vocation as the Church, the Bride of Christ. The Church is a supernatural and graced communion, not a political collective.

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Homily for the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 4, 2020
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 5:1-7
Psalm 80:9, 12, 13-16, 19-20
Philippians 4:6-9
Matthew 21:33-43

We usually think of atheists as people who firmly do not believe in God.  Father Thomas Halik, a Czech priest and author offers a different consideration, “Atheists are people who cannot be patient enough to wait for God.”  I think that this is an apt description of many of us, even those who are formal believers but who live life as if they do not really believe in God. I think that it also offers us an entrance into a reflection on today’s readings.

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