Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for Priestly Ordination

of Fr. Randolph Ed Hopkins, Fr. Brandon LeClair, and Fr. Austin Hoodenpyle

May 20, 2023
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Numbers 11:11b-12, 14-17, 24-25 (English)
Psalm 116
1 Timothy 4:12-16 (Spanish)
John 10:11-16 (English)

El evento real de la ordenación sacerdotal ocurre en silencio en la imposición de las manos.  Es un gesto sencillo pero lleno de significado.  Por medio de este gesto silencioso, una comunión ocurre entre el Señor y el que va a ser ordenado por medio del obispo, el presbiterado y toda la iglesia.  Es decir que el Señor los agarra a ustedes; acepta su disponibilidad que acaban de expresar.  Es como si esté diciendo, “Tú eres mío.  Y tus caminos deben llegar a ser mis caminos.  Esta comunión se expresa tan radicalmente que la persona de Cristo—su “Yo”—se identifica por medio de la persona del sacerdote: “Este es mi cuerpo.”  “Yo te absuelvo de tus pecados.”

“Do not neglect the gift you have, which was conferred on you through the prophetic word with the imposition of hands of the presbyterate.” This gesture of the imposition of hands enjoys a great deal of emphasis in the pastoral epistles of Saint Paul. We have just heard it proclaimed in Spanish in our second reading whereby Paul speaks to Timothy of this great gift that Timothy has received through the imposition of hands of the presbyterate. Paul will return to this focus when he writes to Timothy in the first chapter of his second epistle, “I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God: that you have through the imposition of my hands.”

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Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Easter

Good Shepherd Sunday

April 30, 2023
Holy Family Parish
Fort Worth, Texas

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
1 Peter 2:20b-25
John 10:1-10

Today we celebrate the fourth Sunday of Easter that is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday. Part of our celebration incudes the administering of the sacrament of confirmation to eighteen young men and women of your parish. This is a day dedicated not only for prayer for priestly vocations but also to pray for our ordained priests and bishops that we continue to grow in configuration to Christ the Good Shepherd.

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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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Ordenación de Eric Flores y Benjamin Grothouse al diaconado transitorio

Solemnidad de la Anunciación del Señor

25 de marzo de 2023
Parroquia de St. Philip the Apostle
Flower Mound, Texas

Números 3:5-9
Salmo 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11
Hechos de los Apostoles 6:1-7b
Lucas 1:26-38

Estimados amigos, familiares y hermanos, Eric Flores y Ben Grothouse serán ordenados hoy al diaconado transitorio. Como diáconos de la Iglesia serán ministros del Evangelio, ministros de los Sacramentos y ministros de la Caridad. Estos tres ministerios conferidos en la ordenación estarán entrelazados en sus almas con el amor de Dios. Como diáconos ustedes han de prestar atención a estas sagradas obligaciones que sólo se pueden nutrir con la oración; con su propia oración y la de los demás, la oración de la Iglesia. Cada uno de estos ministerios está intrínsicamente vinculado con el otro. Descuidar uno de ellos constituye descuidar los tres ministerios y dejar de hacer lo que Cristo los llama a hacer.

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