Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 20, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Job 4:32-34, 39-40
Psalm 107:23-26, 28-31
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Mark 4:35-41

Our first reading from the Book of Job presents a dialogue between Job and the Lord God in which the Lord conveys to Job that He, the Lord God, has power over the elements of the sea. The sea carries with it the symbolism of chaos and disorder that are randomly at odds with human beings. The Lord conveys to Job that He, the Lord, says to the chaos of the sea, “Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled.” In our Gospel, Jesus manifests His Divinity to His disciples by exercising such power over the sea. Yet, Jesus reveals more concerning the nature of the Father’s sovereignty over creation, a sovereignty that belongs also to Jesus as the Son of God.

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Homily for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Ezekiel 17:22-24
Psalm 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16
2 Corinthians 5:6-10
Mark 4:26-34

Saint Paul tells us that while on this earth, we walk by faith and not by sight.  The gift of the theological virtue of faith enables us to see the things of this world as gifts of a loving God and not just human productions.  If we just look at the events of our lives with human eyes we see isolated situations, accidental encounters, and things happening without a reason.  But when we look at the events of our lives with the eyes of faith, the things that happen to us and the people we encounter are not just by accident but are the designs of a wise God. 

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Homily for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

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

Exodus 24:3-8
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18
Hebrews 9:11-15
Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

The chalice is the central image used in the Gospel of Mark to connote the sacrificial suffering of Jesus. In the tenth chapter of this Gospel, Jesus asks the sons of Zebedee — the Apostles James and John — who have asked to sit at His right and His left: “Can you drink the chalice that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” The chalice connotes the suffering that Jesus will experience. Yet, even more than symbolizing existential suffering, the chalice specifically signifies the unconditional love by which Christ conquers sin and death in the free and willing sacrifice of His life in obedience to the Truth of the mission entrusted to Him by His Father. The chalice offered to us by Christ is a share in the ability and willingness to love as Jesus loves.

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Homily for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

May 30, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
Psalm 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22
Romans 8:14-17
Matthew 28:16-20

Walker Percy, a doctor turned novelist and a Catholic convert, wrote what he called the last self-help book, and entitled it Lost in the Cosmos. In it he muses about us who spend huge amounts of money to attempt to communicate with animals and who spend even more money on equipment to attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial beings. Meanwhile, we spend little or no time communicating with God or with each other, even if we consider ourselves faithful believers. We might even ask if we have anything meaningful to say to one another. Our relationships with each other, not to mention God, are impoverished.

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Homily for Pentecost Sunday

May 23, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Acts 2:1-11
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13
John 20:19-23

Our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles begins with the words, “When the time of Pentecost was fulfilled.” Pentecost was the second of three major feasts in Israel. The first was Passover or the feast of Unleavened Bread, recalling God’s rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt; and the third was the feast of tents and booths on the occasion of the harvesting of grapes and olives. Pentecost, or the feast of weeks, celebrated the first cutting of the grain harvest, thanking God for His abundant generosity in providing food for His people.

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Homily for the Priestly Ordination of Rev. Joseph Moreno, Rev. Thomas Jones, Rev. Brett J. Metzler, Rev. Samuel Maul, Rev. Jason Allan, Rev. Linh Nguyen

May 22, 2021
Vietnamese Martyrs Church
Arlington, Texas

Jeremiah 1:4-9
Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3
Acts 20:17-18a, 28-32, 36
John 15:9-17

Prophecy. Pastoral leadership. Sacrificial love. These are three points that the readings and liturgy offer us today for our reflection as we are called together as the Church to celebrate the ordination of these six men, our relatives and friends, to the priesthood of Jesus Christ.

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Homily for the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ

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

Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Ephesians 4:1-13
Mark 16:15-20

As we liturgically celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord today, we hear the proclamation of the conclusion of Mark’s Gospel. In our Gospel reading, Jesus makes an unusual claim for those who believe: they will be able to drive out demons; they will speak new languages; they will handle serpents without harm; they will drink deadly poison without effect; and they will heal the sick. It seems strange that Mark would report these predictions of Jesus since we might be tempted to misunderstand our religion as if it were our introduction to powers.

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Homily for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 9, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48
Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
1 John 4:7-10
John 15:9-17

The readings that the Church offers us in today’s liturgy involve call and command, transparency and friendship, love and sacrifice. Our second reading is a passage from the first Epistle of John that encourages us to love one another because that unites us with God. He goes on to tell us that love consists not in any activity on our part, but in the fact that God first loves us. This love consists in the gift of His Son who brings us forgiveness of our sins. God is the primary agent in love, and we are the recipients. Jesus says, “it was not you who chose Me but I who chose you and appointed you.”

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