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 Chrism Mass

March 30, 2021
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

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord and a day of vindication by our God, to comfort all who mourn; to place on those who mourn in Zion a diadem instead of ashes, to give them oil of gladness in place of mourning, a glorious mantle instead of a listless spirit.”

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Homily for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

March 28, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 21-22
Philippians 2:6-11
Mark 14:1-15:47

When you get right down to it, every death is a disaster. Death is a total and utter negation of every part of life that leads up to it. It ends friendships, it makes widows and widowers, it makes orphans, it closes the future, it ends life. Many nonbelievers, even those who enjoy life, in their more honest moments admit the unmentionable: death mocks our every action and achievement; it mocks all our hopes; it casts a shadow on everything we do in life.

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Homily for the Fifth Sunday of Lent

March 21, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15
Hebrews 5:7-9
John 12:20-33

In today’s Gospel, some Greeks approach Philip in Jerusalem and ask to see Jesus. Some scholars tell us that seeing Jesus meant that they wanted to become part of His group of disciples. So, Philip went to Andrew and Andrew brought him to Jesus. Why Philip went to Andrew first, we are not sure but at the very least it indicates the ministry of the Apostles and the importance of them working collaboratively for and with Jesus. But when they get to see Jesus, He gives a strange answer to what seems to be a simple question.

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Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Lent

March 14, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23
Psalm 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6
Ephesians 2:4-10
John 3:14-21

The author of the Book of Chronicles tries to make sense of his people’s past. Despite Israel’s unfaithfulness, God patiently endured their transgressions and sins. He often sent prophets to call them to repentance, but the people disregarded the message and mistreated the messengers. Finally, God delivered the Israelites into the hands of the Chaldeans who slaughtered young and old, burned the Temple, and destroyed Jerusalem. Those who were left alive became slaves in Babylon.

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Homily for the Third Sunday of Lent

March 7, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
John 2:13-25

We currently live in a society that is very divided on what it means to be human and what it means to be happy. These divisions in thought and word have prompted a spirit of argumentativeness in so many of us that we have cultivated dispositions of not wanting to listen to anybody else. We also simply do not want to be told what to do — even though many of us do not know what we want to do except that we want to do what we want to do. Sadly, we frequently approach our family life and our communion in the Church in the same way.

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