Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sacrament of Confirmation

August 14, 2022
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Fort Worth, Texas

Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10
Psalm 40:2, 3, 4, 18
Hebrews 12:1-4
Luke 12:49-53

At the end of this Sunday, by the grace of God I will have administered the sacrament of Confirmation to 2185 young adults since November of last year. It is by God’s grace alone that I have become familiar but not complacent with the rite and catechesis of this vital sacrament of Initiation. One of the practices that I have noticed with more attention is the choice of a patron saint and accompanying Confirmation name. What I have noticed is that in this custom I can learn a little about the interests of the candidate for Confirmation simply by the name of the saint that they have chosen.

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Homily for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 7, 2022
St. Peter Catholic Church
Lindsay, TX

Wisdom 18:6-9
Psalm 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20-22
Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
Matthew 12:32-48

The Letter to the Hebrews tells us that faith is confident assurance that our hopes will be answered and conviction about the things we do not see. We do not hope for what we see; faith is a not a matter of mathematical certainty nor is it a command for us to become gullible or naive. We have hope because God, who can do all things and who knows and loves us completely, has promised to be with us always in His love. Faith is believing God and in God’s promise, but we need someone to tell us about the promise.

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Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Sixtieth Anniversary of Priestly Ordination of Monsignor Raymund Mullan

June 28, 2022
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, TX

Amos 3:1-8; 4:11-12
Psalm 5:4b-6a, 7, 8
Matthew 8:23-27

“They came and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us!  We are perishing!’ He said to them, ‘Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?’ Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm.”

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Homily for the Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

June 26, 2022
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
Galatians 5:1, 13-18
Luke 9:51-62

The Gospel finds Jesus resolutely turning toward Jerusalem where He knows that He will face His death. Luke makes it clear that Jesus is fully aware of the mission His Father had set for Him and what that mission will entail. This mission is not ultimately about Jesus’ death but about the Father’s mercy and forgiveness offered through Jesus for our salvation. On the way to Jerusalem, the Sons of Thunder become enraged at being mistreated and want a Samaritan town destroyed for its lack of hospitality, but Jesus corrects this desire of James and John. In so doing He draws them more deeply into His mission of love and compassionate mercy. One admirer of Jesus eagerly promises to follow him, and Jesus reminds him that this decision will result in his being without a home. To be without a home means that our ultimate sense of belonging cannot be met here in this world. A second individual is invited to follow Jesus, and a third volunteers to do so, but they cannot let go of their previous commitments and prior lives and they remain admirers of Jesus but decide not to belong to Him or His mission.

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Homily for the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 27, 2022
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Sirach 27:4-7
Psalm 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16
1 Corinthians 15:54-58
Luke 6:39-45

The Book of Sirach advises us to attend to our speech.  There is an old saying that “Speech is silver, but silence is golden.” The writer of Sirach doesn’t tell us what he thinks about silence, but speech isn’t going to be silver unless it comes from silver. Our speech reveals who we are — not just our thoughts and feelings, but also our character with its virtues and its faults. What we choose to speak about and the way we present things indicates what we think is important and whether we are thoughtful or thoughtless. Speech also precedes action.

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Homily for the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

Dedication and Consecration of the Church of St. Philip the Apostle

February 22, 2022
St. Philip the Apostle Parish
Flower Mound, Texas

Nehemiah 8:1-10
Psalm 19B:8-9, 10-15
1 Peter 2:4-9
John 4:14-24

Fifty years ago in 1972, this parish was established by my predecessor of happy memory, the founding Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Bishop John Cassata, with the assistance of a financial grant from the Extension Society. The Extension Society requested that the parish be initially established under the patronal name of Saint Philip Benizi. There is very little known of this saint or for the reasons offered for this request. Yet, Bishop Cassata was confronted with a recently established diocese that had inherited a lot of debt and with a growing need for new parishes and priests to minister in them, so it was convenient and expedient to name the parish under the patronal title of Saint Philip Benizi.

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Homily for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 20, 2022
Holy Family of Nazareth Catholic Church
Vernon, Texas

1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23
Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13
1 Corinthians 15:45-49
Luke 6:27-38

David refuses to be guided by the worldly or human understanding of “enemy” but instead sees Saul as God’s anointed. The presence of God is real in the world which He created and in which we live. David recognizes God’s presence in daily matters. Jesus underscores David’s perception by declaring not exactly that there are no enemies but that the category of enemy does not merit a different response than the response we offer to those whom we love. Pope Saint John XXIII was quoted as frequently stating, “There are enemies of the Church, but the Church has no enemies.”

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Homily for the Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

World Marriage Sunday

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

Jeremiah 17:5-8
Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20
Luke 5:17, 20-26

Last week in Luke’s Gospel, we listened to Jesus’ call of Peter and the sons of Zebedee to follow Him.  This week, we listen to Jesus’ further instructions for discipleship in which He cautions us that prestige, power, and complacency can prompt us to lose our way with Him.  To be a disciple of Jesus involves our dying to these selfish preoccupations so that the life of Jesus can exist in us that we might rise with Him from the dead in the last days. 

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