Homily stories

24 Sep 2017

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Seat of honor

It was a hot summer day, and the family had spent the afternoon at the swimming pool and then made a quick trip to the grocery store. It was time to get home and prepare dinner. As the family walked to the car, Mom was figuring out how she was going to get home, unload the car, put away groceries, and get dinner made on time.

17 Sep 2017

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

The forgiveness question

“Do you want to be right or do you want to be in relationship?” That was a question Catholic psychologist Sidney Callahan said a friend posed after an extended feud. It was a lesson in forgiveness. 

10 Sep 2017

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Your end of the bargain

It was more than two or three gathered in his name—seven to be precise—but it was the smallest gathering for Mass that I had ever attended, in the smallest chapel I’d ever seen, and I was struck by how intimate it was, how much it felt like a real meal, how strong Jesus’ presence in our midst seemed. After all, the priest assured us, “God keeps his promises.”

3 Sep 2017

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Beyond the lament

Waiting in line at the funeral home to talk to the young parents who had lost their child of 11 in a tragic bicycle accident, I listened as those ahead of me offered their condolences.

27 Aug 2017

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

It starts with a name

In the spring of 1934, Margaret Mary McNulty died at the age of 18. She had lived with kidney disease nearly her entire life. It was a condition that perhaps could have been cured in our own time, but in the 1930s there was no hope of such a miracle. Margaret Mary was the beloved second child of Bill and Molly McNulty, the child they worried about, the little girl on whom they doted.

20 Aug 2017

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Mother knows best

It started at dinner with rude behavior to the waiter and to all of us sitting at the table. Then it was the refusal to join us on the boat ride as we toured the lake we had come to spend a long weekend enjoying. It escalated to surliness and sniping later that evening as we all tried to watch a movie together.

13 Aug 2017

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

All wet

Waterskiing is probably the closest anyone but Jesus is ever going to come to walking on water. That’s what crossed my mind the first time I tried it because it seemed nearly as difficult, and as thrilling.

6 Aug 2017

Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, Cycle A

Surprising sight!

The old man leaned heavily on his cane. The coach saw him. He couldn’t understand the words he was speaking so animatedly to the youngster who must have been his grandchild. The coach knew that the child was a good player, but shy, unwilling to risk taking a shot.

30 Jul 2017

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary, Cycle A

Just ask!

A young boy was out with his grandma one day at a shopping center. They walked past a toy store and the boy saw a toy detective set in the window. It had a little gun and a holster and little plastic handcuffs and a magnifying glass—everything you need to be a young detective.

23 Jul 2017

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Dig deep and grow strong

Urban farming has taken the country by storm, as Indiana Public Media reports. Across the nation, people are taking back the land one acre and one project at a time. A shuttered shopping mall in Cleveland with atrium lighting is being transformed into a giant indoor farm thanks to a project called “Gardens Under Glass.”