Life on the Chrism Trail

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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Homily for the Second Sunday of Lent

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

Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Psalm 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
Romans 8:31b-34
Mark 9:2-10

“Abraham, Abraham … take your son Isaac, whom you love … go to the land of Moriah and on a height that I will show you, you shall offer him up as a sacrifice … you shall slaughter him.”  What kind of God would make such a demand?  How could God want such a thing?  Isn’t God wise and loving, not whimsical, vengeful and blood-thirsty?  This misses the point that Abraham was ready to kill his son because he lived in a culture of death in which life was cheap and children were expendable. The request is made by God not to torment the innocent but to put an end to all human sacrifice and replace the culture of death with the new life of grace by sacrificing His own Son, Jesus.

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Homily for the First Sunday of Lent

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

Genesis 9:8-15
Psalm 25:4-9
1 Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:12-15

The covenant between God and Noah symbolized by the rainbow foreshadows the covenant between God and the Church; the waters of the flood indicate the waters of Baptism. They bring life not death. The Ark symbolizes the Church. A covenant is a personal binding that brings about fusion of persons that is not simply a coexistence of convenience. A covenant is initiated by God and transforms human beings who are part of the covenant.

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