Fr. George Rutler Homilies
Catholic Talk >
2017-01-14 Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
14 January 2018 Second Sunday in Ordinary Time John 1:35-42 + Homily 15 Minutes 37 Seconds (From the parish bulletin) The romantic soul of William Wordsworth thrilled over the French Revolution: “Oh! Pleasant exercise of hope and joy! . . . Bliss was it in the dawn to be alive. But to be young was very heaven!” He crossed the Channel to see it in action, but when the Terror began he fled in horror. Then there is the story of Beethoven tearing up the first page of his Sinfonia Eroica,...
7 January 2018 The Epiphany of the Lord Matthew 2:1-12 + Homily 19 Minutes 48 Seconds From the parish bulletin When The New Yorker magazine was peerless for its combination of erudition and wit, it ran a cartoon of Lilliputians contemplating Gulliver, whom they had fastened to the ground with ropes: “Either he’s very big or we are very small.” That is what we might say of the Creator when Epiphany directs our eyes to the stars. But while man must be humbled by the size beyond measure...
2017-12-31 - Holy Family
31 December 2017 The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Luke 2:22-40 + Homily 18 Minutes 23 Seconds From the Bulletin [This week the regular pastor’s column yields to Saint Gregory Nazienzen, whose feast is January 2.] The very Son of God, older than the ages, the invisible, the incomprehensible, the incorporeal, the beginning of beginning, the light of light, the fountain of life and immortality, the image of the archetype, the immovable seal, the perfect likeness, the...
2017-12-24 Christmas Mass During the Night
24 December 2017 Christmas Mass During the Night Luke 2:1-14 + Homily 12 Minutes 27 Seconds
2017-12-24 - Advent IV - Luke 1:26-38 + Homily 16 MInutes 47 Seconds
From the Bulletin - 24 December 2017 Saint Paul was converted by the risen Christ, who appeared as a blinding light. Later, he would meet Peter and James who had seen the actual risen body, which had changed from the way it appeared during Christ’s three years with them. The body of the resurrected Christ had four characteristics. First, it could no longer feel pain. This “impassibility” was a triumph over the horrors of the Passion. Second, by “subtlety” the body was no longer subject to...
2017-12-17 - Advent III - John 1:1-8, 19-28
Saint Catherine of Siena said that all the way to Heaven is already Heaven for those who love the Lord. To keep Advent is to peek into Heaven especially on “Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday,” when we rejoice at what is about to happen. This glimmer of light prefiguring the Light coming into the world has exquisite poignancy. Let us not be selfish: Christmas is for the faithful departed as well as for those still in time and space. There need be no sadness at Christmas when we remember our forebears...
2017-12-10 - Advent II - Mark 1:1-8
As a chaplain in a state mental hospital, I quickly learned two things. First, sometimes it was easy to mistake a psychiatrist for one of the patients. Second, and more importantly, the mentally ill can be highly intelligent. If one begins with an illogical premise, one may convincingly make a fallacy seem cogent. An unfortunate man in a locked ward who thinks he is Napoleon Bonaparte can almost convince a visitor that he is there because he lost the battle of Waterloo. Insanity is not a...
2017-12-03 - First Sunday of Advent - Mark 13:33-37
The explanation for your sense of expectation is that you have an imagination. Unlike animals guided by instinct, we can imagine past and future. Advent is the time of expectation. Since Christ is not limited by time, he can be born again in our lives at every Christmas. Expectation requires thinking about the four most important matters of existence: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. These are the primary mysteries that arrest the attention of minds awake, more compelling than holiday...