Homily stories

28 Nov 2021

First Sunday of Advent, Cycle C

Worrying doesn't stop the rain

When our first-born daughter was ready to celebrate her sixth birthday, we promised she could have a party and invite all of the girls in her kindergarten class. From the beginning, I worried about hosting a party for 20 in our small home.

28 Nov 2021

First Sunday of Advent, Cycle C

Dance before the Lord

It had been a very difficult day at work, a day filled with anxieties and conflicts and much uncertainty. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. All I wanted to do was go home, lie on the couch, and watch TV. Maybe I’d pull a blanket up over my head and go to sleep.

21 Nov 2021

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Cycle B

Know where you're going

Baseball legend Yogi Berra, who died at the age of 90 after a long and storied career, was revered for his wisdom-filled malapropisms as much as his baseball prowess. Among his more memorable observations: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else.”

21 Nov 2021

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Cycle B

Enlisted in God's kingdom

Jermaine was brought up in a devout Catholic family and went to Catholic schools all the way through high school. He knew that killing was wrong. He also knew that violence is not the way to peace.

14 Nov 2021

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Timing is everything

No one knows the day or hour—of a betrayal, of a diagnosis, of a hurricane, of upheaval that changes everything. We go about our lives, sometimes kidding ourselves that we’re in control, until we’re dramatically reminded that we’re not.

14 Nov 2021

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Nothing else measures up

It wasn’t hard for Susan to make a lot of money. She had the education and the skills to get a top-paying job anywhere. She liked the money and the things the money could buy, like a nice apartment, a really cool car, and fun vacations.

7 Nov 2021

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Quiet generosity

I found myself in Southern Italy at the altar of a small church in the farming village of Correggio, concelebrating Mass with an Italian priest who had been pastor there for decades. The women came early to pray and were sitting together to my left with their children.

7 Nov 2021

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Two cents' worth

When I took classes for RCIA, there was another candidate, Mabel—a woman in her late 30s—who could never make it to class on time, sometimes arriving only for the final prayers.

31 Oct 2021

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Could it be magic?

Like the people in Jesus’ time, we have heard the commandment to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength many times. The question is: “What does that mean exactly?”

31 Oct 2021

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Less can be more

As the dean of formation of the high school seminary, every summer I joined in rewriting the student handbook based on what we had learned from the previous school year.