Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

January 16, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
John 2:1-11

The wedding at Cana in Galilee probably involved a friend or relative of Mary and Jesus since they were invited.  Either the details of this wedding were not well-planned, or perhaps there were unexpected guests.  In any event, it doesn’t surprise us to find out that Mary was the kind of person who paid attention to details, who thought of others with compassion, and who wanted to prevent embarrassing situations, especially the type of embarrassment that culturally this young couple would always feel as shame thereafter. 

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Homily for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

January 9, 2021
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11
Psalm 104: 1b-2, 3-4, 24-25, 27-28, 29-30
Titus 2: 11-14, 3: 4-7
Luke 3: 15-16, 21-22

If Jesus was God, why was He baptized? This has always been a perplexing question frequently asked in catechism class. If John’s baptism was one of repentance, this seems to imply falsely that Jesus was a sinner. In fact, John the Baptist tries to prevent Jesus’ being baptized, but Jesus insists. Instead, the Baptism of Jesus is an essential part of His work of the redemption of each human person. Jesus enters into solidarity with all men and women; He becomes one with each of us to share all the aspects of our lives. He even takes upon Himself the condition of our sinfulness, even though He Himself never sinned.

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Homily for the Solemnity of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

December 26, 2021
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

1 Samuel 1: 20-22, 24-28
Psalm 84: 2-3, 5-6, 9-10
1 John 3: 1-2, 21-24
Luke 2: 41-52

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The Church offers us this feast on the first Sunday immediately after Christmas because this mystery of family life is so important and very much essential to the mission of redemption of humanity given to Jesus by His Father in Heaven — a mission that He further entrusts to all of us as the Church to proclaim and to bring to fulfillment under the guidance of the Holy Spirit whom we first receive at Baptism.

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Homily for the Nativity of the Lord

Mass at Midnight

December 25, 2021
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 9: 1-6
Psalm 96: 1-2, 2-3, 11-12, 13
Titus 2: 11-14
Luke 2: 1-14

We listened moments ago to Saint Paul’s Epistle to Titus, “The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.”

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Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 19, 2021
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish
Keller, Texas

Micah 5: 1-4a
Psalm 80: 2-3, 15-16, 18-19
Hebrews 10: 5-10
Luke 1:39-45

We began the season of Advent by listening to the words of Jesus that speak of the last things that are imminent signs before His second coming at the end of the world. “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

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Homily for the Third Saturday of Advent

Mass for the Saint John Paul II Shepherd’s Guild

December 18, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Jeremiah 23:5-8
Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19
Matthew 1:18-25

In Sacred Scripture, we see several instances where God chooses to reveal Himself and His plan for salvation through the dreams of human beings as visions of light amidst the cloudy darkness of the night: Joseph and his coat of many colors, the call of Samuel, the prophet Daniel, and in our Gospel today, Saint Joseph the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Jesus.

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Homily for the Third Sunday of Advent

December 12, 2021
St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church
Mansfield, Texas

Zephaniah 3:14-18a
Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:10-18

Three groups of people ask John the Baptist the practical question about what they should do to prepare the way of the Lord for the coming of the promised Messiah. John addresses each of these groups specifically. His first response is to the crowd. He instructs them, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” His second instruction is to the tax collectors who are Jews but work as bureaucrats for the Roman Empire: “Stop collecting more than what is proscribed.” His third admonition is addressed to the Gentile soldiers of the Roman Empire: “Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.”

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Homily for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

December 8, 2021
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Psalm 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Luke 1:26-38

The Liturgy of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception takes us to the beginning of human history when original innocence was lost by our first parents through the sin of Adam induced by the temptation of the serpent and the collaboration of Eve.

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