Archive for the ‘Homilies’ Category


Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 23, 2016


In our first reading, the priest gathers an assembly around him so that they may listen to the Torah; so that they may listen to their own story; their ancestry. They listened so that they would not forget who they are. In fact, we are told they stood and listened from dawn until noon. (and you thought you had to endure a long homily!)

But there is a reason for this: you see the people had just returned to Jerusalem after the exile. When they left, their city was a thriving place – their home, but now they have returned to a city destroyed by war. We are told that Ezra read from the place that WAS the Water Gate, but it is no longer there.

It would be as if you went home tonight and found your home burned by fire. . . actually, if you went home and found your entire neighborhood. . . this entire city destroyed to mere shambles.

The Hebrews had lost their identity. All they had were stories. And what did those stories tell them?

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Nehemiah 8:2-4, 5-6, 8-10; Psalm 19; I Corinthians 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4, 4: 14-21)


The Baptism of Our Lord

January 10, 2016


What does it really mean to belong to and with God? What does the decision to belong say not only about me, but about the One who calls me to belong? What does it say about God’s power, God’s mercy, God’s excess?

It seems so impossible to imagine how you can be loved so completely. . . without lessening the love of anyone else. And yet that is what God says to us – just as God say to Jesus: “You are my beloved, in you I am well pleased.”

And if we can possibly comprehend this. If we can imagine what it is like to balance our lives on such an immense swell of power and life. . . how do we respond?

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Baptism of Our Lord (Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7; Psalm 29; Acts 10:34-38; Luke 3:15-16, 21-22)


The Epiphany of Our Lord

January 3, 2016


Beyond the images and personalities of three wise men from the east who come to pay Jesus homage is the narrative that every nation of earth will come to adore Jesus. “That nations shall walk by his light and shall be radiant and their heart will throb and overflow.”

And yet we live in a world that goes about its way, while we – a simple few in comparison – gather here; and I wonder why can’t they see what we see? How do they just miss this?

Of course, it isn’t a new problem – after all – it was only three wise men who came out of the many who could have.   Still, it seems to me that this feast gives us reason to consider two questions: what lights our way? And what gifts we bring?

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Epiphany of Our Lord (Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72; Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6; Matthew 2:1-12)


The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

January 1, 2016


There is a line in the Memorare prayer that says, “Never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored they help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided.”  They are some of the most beautiful words that we pray for Mary has been the one – more than any other – who been a model for compassion.

But as you have heard plenty of my words this season, I would like to elaborate on Mary’s compassion with a story told through the lines of Untie the Strong Woman written by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. The story you will hear from this book is a story told in her own family by a woman “who hands smell of bread dough and roses” – according to her the two fragrances are the scents of heaven.

It is a story with a little levity and a little more colour – after all Mary’s grace is never offended by those who call to her and humour is certainly one of the more important attributes to the spiritual life.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (Numbers 6:22-27; Psalm 67; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:16-21)


The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

December 27, 2015


12 years old. Our Gospel describes Jesus when he was 12 years old. And this is important because it reminds us that he did not necessary go off into the temple simply because he had extraordinary knowledge or some level of profound holiness, but because he is an adolescent! Of course he is going to run off on his own away from his parents!

Too often, I think we idealize Joseph and Mary as the ideal parents and Jesus as the ideal child – even if we know in our mind, they were not. We literally, put them on pedestals, which is good – but we need to understand why.

Today we celebrate the feast of the HOLY family, which is not the same as the ideal or good family.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Feast of the Holy Family (1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28; 1 John 3:1-2; 21-24; Luke 2:41-52)


Christmas 2015

December 25, 2015


As many of you know, Pope Francis has declared this year an extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. This past week he said that Christmas is truly the feast of God’s infinite mercy, qouting Saint Augustine of Hippo who tells us: “Could there have been any greater mercy shown to us than that which led the Creator of the heavens to come down among us, and the Creator of the earth to take on our mortal body?

That same mercy led the Lord to assume the nature of a servant, so that, being himself bread, he would suffer hunger; being himself power, he would know weakness; being himself salvation, he would experience our woundedness, and being himself life, he would die.  All this he did to ease our hunger, alleviate our longing, strengthen our weaknesses, wipe out our sins and enkindle our charity”.

For the full text of the Pope’s Homily, click here

CLICK HERE for the readings for Christmas (Isaiah 9:1-6; Psalm 96; Timothy 2:11-14; Luke 2_1-14)


Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 20, 2015


The fourth candle has now been lit – we are almost there.

Almost to that night when Micah’s praises once again ring true – the promise and praise of Bethlehem we hear in our first reading – a city once known as the city of David shall not give rise to one king – but now two.

We are almost that moment when God’s promise would be fulfilled: David’s lineage would last forever – a king who united Israel and established peace for Israel will soon give rise to a king who would unite and establish peace throughout all space and time.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Micah 5:1-4; Psalm 80; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45)