Homily stories

26 Mar 2023

Fifth Sunday of Lent, Cycle A

Open graves

I once heard a TV commentator say, "The difference between a rut and a grave is only about 5 and a half feet." I thought of that this week when I was reading the bold and amazing promise that Ezekiel delivers: Thus says the Lord God, "I will open your graves and have you rise from them."

26 Mar 2023

Fifth Sunday of Lent, Cycle A

Death no longer proud

A mother came up to me with her second-grade son at her side. She told me that he had something he wanted to ask me. He held on to her hand tightly. The words clearly were difficult for him to formulate.

19 Mar 2023

Fourth Sunday of Lent, Cycle A

Beginner's mind

I was at a friend's house, and his young son was doing a school project on a topic I happen to know something about. I offered my assistance, and at first the son seemed to welcome any help he could get.

19 Mar 2023

Fourth Sunday of Lent, Cycle A

Beyond appearances

When my niece was about 12 years old, she brought some friends with her to visit her grandma. While there, she showed them the pictures of her uncles on my mother's dresser, commenting on each of them.

12 Mar 2023

Third Sunday of Lent, Cycle A

Come to the water

When I think about the immigrants that came to North America over the centuries, I wonder if I would have had the courage to be one of them. Sure, they were escaping desperation, but their attempts to build new lives sound scary and hard too.

12 Mar 2023

Third Sunday of Lent, Cycle A

Tell me about myself

A young manager signed on to run a fundraiser at his parish. He asked for 10 volunteers to help pull all the plans together. Then he set them to work during the day; at night after his regular job, he'd stop by the parish to see how things were going.

5 Mar 2023

Second Sunday of Lent, Cycle A

Poppa Treats

Somewhere in his college years Mark found himself branded with the nickname “Gramps.” I did not know him then. Years later, when we started working together and I first heard him called that name, I smiled. Somehow it seemed to me to fit him.

5 Mar 2023

Second Sunday of Lent, Cycle A

You're not in Oz anymore

I always felt sorry for Dorothy at the end of The Wizard of Oz. She tried so hard to share the wonders of her adventure, and all she got from her Auntie Em and others were bemused stares. "Sure, sure," they said. "You got bumped on the noggin and your imagination went wild."

26 Feb 2023

First Sunday of Lent, Cycle A

Get going

The novel The Last Temptation of Christ has been criticized because the author saw Jesus tempted not only at the beginning of his ministry but all through his life, even when dying on the cross: to escape and lead a normal life as a husband and father.

26 Feb 2023

First Sunday of Lent, Cycle A

Regaining balance

Flat on my back for three weeks, fighting an infection that ravaged my body and attacked both legs, leading to surgery and talk of possible amputation of one or both, I awoke intact but with a grueling regimen of physical therapy three times a day.