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Archive for the ‘Homilies’ Category

Dayenu on the Way to Emmaus

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Homily preached the Third Sunday of Easter, May 8, 2001 at the Church of the Good Shepherd

You may have noticed that the banners outside the front door of our church have a Hebrew word at the bottom. Probably a lot of you figured out that the Hebrew is a sort of subtitle to the word above it: “Alleluia.” If that’s what you think, you’re right. Alleluia is a Latin transliteration of the Hebrew hallelujah, which means “Praise the Lord.”

Like hallelujah, this season of Easter and Passover is also associated with another important Hebrew word that has a special significance for today’s Gospel reading.

That word is dayenu. (more…)

Making Peace by the Blood of His Cross

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Homily preached at the Church of the Good Shepherd November 21, 2010, Solemnity of Christ the King

Did you know that today’s celebration is one of the newest on our liturgical calendar? The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pius XI in 1925. In church years, that’s practically yesterday.

In his letter establishing this celebration, Pius XI carefully laid out his reasons as to why he thought this feast was necessary. His primary reason was to highlight the fact that our modern societies needed to be reminded that only by following the Gospel will true justice be achieved. Only the commandments of Christ the King can bring true peace and social cooperation. (more…)

The Trial of the Steward

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Homily preached September 19 at the Church of the Good Shepherd

“I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth.”

Did Jesus really say that? Apparently so. And that’s why the parable in today’s Gospel reading (Luke 16:1-13) is probably one of the most debated passages in all of the gospels.

On a quick read, it seems that Jesus is endorsing dishonesty. But there are a few things that make this parable an excellent way to understand all of the parables of Jesus by examining one of the most difficult parables.

First of all, this is a great example of why we shouldn’t quote lines from scripture without context. Even a parable must be interpreted in context. That means not only what comes before and after in the gospel, but also the culture of the times.

Then, we must understand that a parable is not an allegory. A parable is a story based on nature or human relationships, with an unexpected twist, that is open to more than one interpretation.

So based on that, let’s see if we can unpack what this parable has to say to us today. And to do that, we have to remember the passages from Luke we heard over the past few weeks and what is coming up. (more…)

Ask and You Will Receive

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Homily preached at Good Shepherd Church, July 25, 2010

Ask and you will receive.

The simplicity of this statement is astounding. And yet it is at the same time so full of meaning that we have spent 2,000 years trying to understand it.

We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, great teachers of prayer: Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Therese of Lisieux, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, and so many others. We travel prayerful roads with them and with others we know in our own lives as we unravel the mystery of prayer. We learn, we practice, we seek, and yet the wonders of prayer are never exhausted.

Still, there is the stark simplicity of Jesus’ words: “Ask and you will receive.” But what do we receive? Ah, there is the mystery.

But before we tackle that, let’s take a look at some of the basics of prayer we can learn from today’s Gospel. (more…)