Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Confirmation

January 22, 2023
Holy Family of Nazareth Parish
Vernon, TX

1 Kings 3:4-13
Psalm 127
Romans 13:8-10
Matthew 5:1-12

The prophecy of Isaiah is meant to be a consolation for the people of Galilee who were conquered by the Assyrians and sent into exile. It expresses hope that God will bring light to their darkness and return them from slavery to freedom.  Saint Paul also speaks about the darkness that the Corinthians face, which is their inability to find unity and harmony. They contribute to this darkness by placing their personal opinions above the truth of the faith that unites. They have rejected the Communion and fellowship of the Church and have replaced them with factions and cliques.

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Homily for the Mass for the Blessing of Elected Officials of State Government

January 16, 2023
St. Mary’s Cathedral
Austin, TX

1 Kings 3:4-13
Psalm 127
Romans 13:8-10
Matthew 5:1-12

“Give your servant, therefore, a listening heart to judge your people and to distinguish between good and evil. For who is able to give judgment for this vast people of yours?” This is the prayer that King Solomon prayed to God when in a dream God prompted him to realize the immense and overwhelming responsibility that the Lord had entrusted to him in succeeding his father, David, as King of God’s Chosen People. It is a prayer of humble self-awareness on the part of Solomon and of humility and honesty before the Lord. In praying it, Solomon acknowledges that he needs God.

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Homily for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

November 20, 2022
St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church
Prosper, Texas

2 Samuel 5:1-3
Psalm 122:1-5
Colossians 1:12-20
Luke 23:35-43

To reveal the exact nature of the Kingship and sovereignty of Jesus, Saint Luke presents the last moments of Jesus life as He is dying on the cross. The religious leaders, most of whom rejected Jesus during His earthly ministry, were mocking Him as He is dying. They believe that they have overcome Him by their political maneuvering and will be rid of Him as a nuisance. Jesus always spoke with them directly and honestly about God and their need for conversion, and now they were publicly degrading Him, rejecting Him as the Messiah sent by the Father to save them.

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Homily for the Funeral Mass for Jennifer Pelletier

November 15, 2022
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, TX

Revelation 21:1-5a, 6b-7
Psalm 103
Romans 14:7-9, 10c-12
John 11:17-27

We have read the passage from the Gospel of John, in which Jesus speaks to Martha, just before He restores life to her brother Lazarus who has died. In Luke’s Gospel, we read that Jesus restores life to the son of a widow from the village of Naim. In each of the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, we read that Jesus raised the daughter of the synagogue leader named Jairus.

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Homily for the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 5, 2022
St. Michael Catholic Church
Bedford, TX

2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14
Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15
2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5
Luke 20:27-38

The gift of our faith reveals and provides in Christ a unity between our life on earth and our future destiny. Today, in our readings we have two different considerations of what follows for human beings after death. First, we see illustrated in our first reading from the second book of Maccabees the martyrdom of seven brothers. Seven brothers with their mother were arrested because they would not disobey God or His Covenant by eating pork. Reverent and obedient to God’s law in this life, they had confidence in Him that they would share in His life in the next. They valued God even more than the great gift of their lives and they did not want to reject Him even under great suffering.

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Homily for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Altar of Saint John Paul II

October 23, 2022
Saint Peter’s Basilica
Vatican City

Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18
Psalm 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23
2 Timothy 4:6-8; 16-18
Luke 18:9-14

Our first reading from the Book of Sirach reveals that the Lord is just, and, in His justice, He does not play favorites. His justice entails His hearing the cry of the poor and oppressed and is especially attentive to the prayers of the humble. The special place that the poor enjoy in God’s esteem is not due to their material poverty, but to their fundamental trust and reliance upon God for everything. Poverty in and of itself is not a virtue. Rather, God esteems the poor in His love because there is no one else except God who cares for them, and they know that without Him they are lost.

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Homily for the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

50th Anniversary of Deaf Ministry in the Diocese of Fort Worth

October 2, 2022
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, TX

Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:3-4
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
Luke 17:5-10

“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” Amidst being taken captive by the Babylonians, Habakkuk the prophet cries out to God asking why God is allowing this violence and ruin. The vision God sends the prophet is that the faithful and just will live, but God works in His own time and the people must wait for fulfillment of God’s plan. Waiting for its fulfillment means living focused on making God’s love and faithfulness a reality. Jesus brings and is that fulfillment promised to Habakkuk and proclaimed by Paul to Timothy.

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Homily for the Memorial of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face

Blessing of Blessed Imelda Convent

October 1, 2022
Fort Worth, TX

Nehemiah 8:1-6, 8-10
Psalm 19B
Ephesians 2:19-22
John 2:13-22

“Today is holy to the LORD your God. Do not be sad, and do not weep.”

Fifty-seven years ago, Perfectae Caritatis, the Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life of the Second Vatican Council, advocated for “the constant return to the sources of all Christian life and to the original spirit of the institutes and their adaptation to the changed conditions of our time.” In so doing, the Council enumerated five principals for the advancement of the authentic renewal of religious life.

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