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2018-06-24 - Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

24 June 2018 The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist Luke 1:57-66, 80 + Homily 19 Minutes 20 Seconds (from the parish bulletin) The recent dedication of our parish’s shrine of Our Lady of Aradin for persecuted Christians evoked a powerful response. We heard the Our Father prayed in our Lord’s native Aramaic, which is still spoken in northern Iraq along the Nineveh Plain. When the ISIS militants finally were driven out from that area, 1,233 houses of Christians had been totally destroyed,...


2018-06-17 - Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

17 June 2018 Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Mark 4:26-34 + Homily 20 Minutes 8 Seconds (from the parish bulletin) Our Lord was probably a teenager when the Roman general Publius Quinctilius Varus impaled himself on his own sword in despair for having lost three legions in combat with Germanic tribesmen. Thirty years earlier Mark Antony had killed himself the same way in Egypt. The Celtic queen Boudica poisoned herself in Britain some sixty years later, and then, if the historian...


2018-06-10 - Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

10 June 2018 Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Mark 3:20-35 + Homily 18 Minutes 7 Seconds (from the parish bulletin) The Internal Revenue Service would not be impressed by someone who paid taxes not in the formal way, but in a spiritual sense. Yet the equivalent of that has be come an esoteric mantra among many who identify as Catholics but reject Catholicism as their religion. The Pew Research Center found that 13 percent of those surveyed, who regard themselves as “indelibly Catholic by...


2018-06-03 - Corpus Christi

3 June 2018 The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ Mark 14:12-16, 22-26 + Homily 15 Minutes 58 Seconds (from the parish bulletin) At each Mass in our parish we recite the Prayer to Saint Michael, which was written by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 when the temporal sovereignty of the Holy See was under attack. While it used to be prayed universally after Low Masses, we continue it here since our patron is Saint Michael, and our neighborhood of “Hell’s Kitchen” historically has...


2018-05-27 - Trinity Sunday

27 May 2018 Matthew 28:16-20 + Homily 15 Minutes 33 Seconds (from the parish bulletin) An MRI scan gives more details about someone than a portrait, but it is the portrait that conveys personality. Dating agencies ask for photographs, not X-rays. So it is with using diagrams and natural analogies to explain the Blessed Trinity. They are inadequate for conveying the oneness of threeness. For instance, to compare the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to water, which can be liquid, ice and...


2018-05-20 - Pentecost

20 May 2018 Pentecost John 20:19-23 + Homily 16 Minutes 40 Seconds (from the parish bulletin) The poet W.H. Auden once lectured me about the wrongness of modern translations rendering Holy Ghost as Holy Spirit. His frail case was that there are certain drinks, too, that can be called spirits. This made no sense. “Spirit” is a Latinism far older than “Ghost,” which goes back no further than the Old English “gast” and the German “Geist.” As a matter of taste, preference for “Ghost” is as...


2018-05-13 - Seventh Sunday of Easter

13 May 2018 Seventh Sunday of Easter John 17:11B-19 + Homily 15 Minutes 29 Seconds (from the parish bulletin) I think the heroic nineteenth-century archbishop in Cuba, Anthony Mary Claret, was off the mark when he disapproved of laughter because Jesus is not known to have laughed. I might be a bit glum, too, if I had barely escaped fifteen assassination attempts. But Ignatius of Loyola said, “Laugh and grow strong,” and John Bosco protested, “I want no long-faced saints.” Philip Neri...


2018-05-06 - Sixth Sunday of Easter

6 May 2018 Sixth Sunday of Easter John 15:9-17 + Homily 17 Minutes 20 Seconds (from the parish bulletin) The exotic concept of spontaneous generation was taken seriously by astute thinkers for a long time before the invention of microbiology. Of course, they knew about the proximate process of birth, but the biological source of life itself exercised such minds as Anaximander six hundred years B.C. and Saint Augustine, Shakespeare, and the philosopher of fishing Izaak Walton, and was...


2018-04-29 - Fifth Sunday of Easter

29 April 2018 Fifth Sunday of Easter John 15:1-8 + Homily 15 Minutes 58 Seconds (from the parish bulletin) It occurred to me this past week, celebrating Saint George the Martyr (or “Mega-Martyr” as he is known among the effervescent Byzantines), that friendship with a patron saint, on one’s name day—or “onomastico”—is a practice that needs revival. There are friends and acquaintances, but it is a special privilege to have a heavenly friend as a companion and encourager. It is...


2018-04-22 - Fourth Sunday of Easter

22 April 2018 Fourth Sunday of Easter John 10:11-18 + Homily 14 Minutes 25 Seconds (from the parish bulletin) The Funeral Oration of Pericles, the statesman who helped make Athens great, honored the soldiers who died in the first phase of the Peloponnesian War, during which Athens took on Sparta. (If you will pardon the prejudice, that was like New York taking on Chicago.) Given in the winter of 431 – 430 B.C., Pericles’ oration extolled Athenian civilization at its height on the...


2018-04-15 Third Sunday of Easter

15 April 2018 Third Sunday of Easter Luke 24:35-48 + Homily 18 Minutes 56 Seconds (from the parish bulletin) While it is easy to identify bold personalities that enjoy a good fight, and others that shrink shyly from any kind of confrontation, psychologists do not find it easy to define the middle type that tries to control without seeming to do so. If it is hard to define “passive aggression,” you can recognize the indirect expression of hostility when you see it at work: sullen,...


2018-04-08 - Second Sunday of Easter

8 April 2018 Second Sunday of Easter or Sunday of Divine Mercy John 20:19-31 + Homily 19 Minutes 19 Seconds (from the parish bulletin) In the thirteenth century, Pope Gregory IX wrote that “the evening of the world is now declining,” and he thought that time itself would soon end. But the setting of the sun is prelude to its rising, and in the darkness of Good Friday was a rumor of expectation. Even our national lore links dawn with promise: “… by the dawn’s early light . . . at the...


2018-04-01 - Easter Day

1 April 2018 Easter Day John 20:1-9 + Homily 16 Minutes 12 Seconds (From the parish bulletin) We know directly from Saint Paul that Greek philosophers thought the Resurrection was a curious absurdity. Politicians more pragmatically feared that it would upset the whole social order. One of the earliest Christian “apologists,” or explainers, was Saint Justin Martyr who tried to persuade the emperor Antoninus Pius that Christianity is the fulfillment of the best intuitions of classical...


2018-03-31 - Easter Vigil Homily

31 March 2018 The Easter Vigil Mark 16:1-7 + Homily 11 Minutes 44 Seconds


2018-03-30 - Good Friday - The Passion According to John

30 March 2018 Good Friday - The Passion According to John John 18:1-19:42 23 Minutes 58 Seconds (Note: There is no homily on Good Friday.)


2018-03-30 - Good Friday - Meditations on the Seven Last Words

30 March 2018 Good Friday - Mediations on the Seven Last Words 2 Hours 10 Minutes


2018-03-29 Holy Thursday

29 March 2018 Holy Thursday - Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper John 13:1-15 + Homily 13 Minutes 5 Seconds


2018-03-25 - Palm Sunday

25 March 2018 Passion (Palm) Sunday The Passion According to St. Mark 14:1-15:47 + Homily 27 Minutes 12 Seconds [Note: The brief homily begins around 25:23.] (From the parish bulletin) Ralph Waldo Emerson had moments more perceptive than his vague religiosity: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” He spoke not of consistency itself, but of a “foolish” consistency. As True God and True Man, Christ was...


2018-03-18 Fifth Sunday of Lent

18 March 2018 Fifth Sunday of Lent John 12:20-33 + Homily 19 Minutes 4 Seconds (from the parish bulletin) There are those of us who remember how as schoolboys, the clever use of rhythmic dactyls in Virgil’s metrical Latin verses made unforgettable the sound of horses galloping. And one of my schoolmates gained fleeting fame when our French teacher announced that, as our classmate was recovering from an appendectomy, the first words he whispered as he came out of the anesthesia were...


2018-03-11 Fourth Sunday of Lent

11 March 2018 Fourth Sunday of Lent John 3:14-21 + Homily 16 Minutes 6 Seconds (from the parish bulletin) The tears of our Lord gazing on Jerusalem, cannot be separated from his violent whipping of the moneychangers in the Temple the next day. Both were acts of love, for he saw how the Holy City had been profaned, and he saw that profanation most glaring in the House of God itself. The word “profane” means to be “outside the holy place.” Distancing oneself from holiness is at its worst...