1998 Homilies

(by Fr. Phil Bloom)

Current Homilies

Baptism of the Lord" "Baptism is the sacrament of welcoming. It says, 'you belong to us--and we belong to you.' At the same time we do not absorb you; we respect your dignity." (January 11, 1998)

Historic week: "The Holy Father's visit to Cuba was overshadowed by events here in our own country. In them too we can see the difference between the world's way and God's way. For the world the only question is, Did Clinton do it? Is he guilty?" (Jan 25, 1998)

Catholic Schools Week: "This is a slow process and sometimes we have to play catch-up ball, even on fundamentals. I was talking to a high school teacher who noticed that many of her students had not learned the basics of respect, good manners and courtesy." (Feb. 1, 1998)

"Unclean Lips": "We could care less about Canada even tho it is our main trading partner. But we love gossip. We all know a lot about Monica Lewinski." (Feb. 8, 1998)

"Woe to You Rich": "What I remember most was Fr. Mike's simplicity of heart--and simple life style. He drove an old car, wore plain clothes and had very few possessions. He served people who were poor and he lived poorly himself. Right now he faces the ultimate poverty, a disease which makes him totally dependent on God." (Feb. 15, 1998)

Do Not Harm The Lord's Anointed: "once St. Francis of Assisi was passing through a village preaching the Gospel. The townspeople told him, "our priest is very bad. Please go and rebuke him." Francis went to that priest, but instead of condemning him, Francis knelt down in front of him, asked him for a blessing." (Feb. 22, 1998)

The Hidden Sin of Gluttony: "We don't talk much about the sin of gluttony any more. It's not just eating till we burst..." (March 1, 1998)

Enemies of the Cross: "We can sense that things aren't completely right. There's nothing like getting up the courage to go to confession." (March 8, 1998)

"You Stink!": "Now the sacrament of penance is like that--a washing away of our sins so we can return to the complete communion of the Church. Our problem is that we have gotten so used to each other's smell..." (March 15, 1998)

Who is the Prodigal Son?: "On the deepest level--and this is going to surprise many of you--the prodigal son is Jesus himself!" (March 22, 1998)

The Human Body & Burial Rites: "In our society we have gotten used to diminished funeral rites. But let me ask you this. Don't you feel something sad inside when you hear or read, "At the request of the deceased, there will be no funeral services"? (March 29, 1998)

The First Letter of God's Alphabet: "This week I asked our school children if they know the first letter of the alphabet. They all responded "A." "But do you know," I asked, "What is the first letter of God's alphabet?" (Palm Sunday, Apr 5, first try)

An Honest Thief: "One of the prisoners said, "Padre, you have to give that rosary to me." "Why?" I asked. (April 5, 1998 Passion Sunday)

Holy Thursday Homily: "For us Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are one. Tonite as we celebrate the Last Supper, we know that the Mass is at the same time the sacrifice of Calvary and the real presence of the risen Jesus in the bread and wine." (April 9, 1998)

He Took Our Place: Hearing that cry Fr. Kolbe stepped forward. He said to the guard, "I am a Catholic priest. I have no family like this man. Allow me to take his place." (April 10, 1998)

Easter Vigil Homily: "I once had the opportunity to be present at the birth of child. Next to my ordination, it was the most emotional experience of my entire life." (April 11, 1998)

Do Not Be Afraid!: "There was a man alone in his apartment. He was so discouraged he was thinking of ending it all. On the table in front of him was a half bottle of whiskey and some sleeping pills." (April 19, 1998)

Annual Catholic Appeal: "This symbolism of the boat representing the Church is so appropriate for the Annual Catholic Appeal." (April 26, 1998)

The Lamb Will Shepherd Them: "Some people are dismayed when bad things happen. They ask "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Well, first of all don't assume you are all that good" (May 3, 1998)

Mothers Day: Reasons to Honor: "God didn't say: Honor your father and mother if they are perfect parents. Or--Honor your father and mother till you turn eighteen." (May 10, 1998)

"I Am Going Away": "This week I was with a dear friend who is "going away." Many of you have heard me talk about Fr. Mike Holland who last November was diagnosed with incurable cancer of the liver." (May 17, 1998)

Ascension Sunday: Jesus' Rule vs. Cafeteria Catholicism (May 24, 1998)

Pentecost "The Church seemed all but dead, but by some great miracle young people started flocking back to her." (May 31, 1998)

Trinity and Communion "Scientists tell us the universe began with the Big Bang. The question is who lit the fuse?" (June 7, 1998)

This is My Body "For Zwingli communion was a mere symbol of Jesus presence. Luther responded by writing Jesus words on the floor, Hoc est enim corpus meum."(June 14, 1998)

Father's Day "If you hope one day to marry a man who is responsible, tender, protective there are two important things you yourself can do right now." (June 21, 1998)

"Don't Look Back" "We are by nature promise makers. But unfortunately we are also promise breakers." (June 28, 1998)

Political Involvement and Discipleship "I realize that religion and politics are two subjects which evoke strong emotions and that to bring them together is particularly risky. Still..." (July 5, 1998)

What is Compassion "Jesus warns against a false and destructive compassion by situating his story of the Good Samaritan in the context of the ten commandments." (July 12, 1998)

The Better Part "I have to admit it was the longest thirty days of my entire life. I did discover what Pascal wrote about in his Pensees..." (July 19, 1998)

Prayer of Intercession "This past week I had a powerful experience of prayer. With three other priests I spent a day by the deathbed of Father Michael Holland. His voice was barely audible..." (July 26, 1998)

The Rich Fool and Wise Poor Man "In his last will and testament, Fr. Michael Holland insisted that people not speak about his 'few good deeds' which he considered would be 'boring to all." (August 2, 1998)

Love is Strong as Death "As co-executor of Fr. Mike Holland's will, I had the melancholy duty of sorting thru some of his personal possessions. They consisted mainly of books, pictures..." (August 9, 1998)

I Have Come for Division "Operation Rescue created a storm by demonstrating at some local high schools. They carry placards showing aborted fetuses and attempt to engage students about the reality of abortion." (August 16, 1998)

I Do Not Know You "I can run a soup kitchen in Seattle or give my life as a missionary--and still be lost. The most frightening words in the Bible are 'I do not know you.'" (August 23, 1998)

Saved by Grace Alone "Jesus makes it clear that we cannot get to heaven by our so called 'good works'. The fact that you were a good mother or that you worked hard to send your kids to college will not get you into heaven." (August 30, 1998)

Jesus First, Family Second "But Jesus is different from Bill Gates--or any other human being. He alone has a right to make such a total requirement. The reason he can do it is simple..." (September 6, 1998)

Why God Became Man "they were people (like the abusive policemen, the sexual predator or the abortion purveyor) who really did deserve to be despised. Jesus' goal could not have been to reassure them that everything was OK, just keep on abusing people..." (September 13, 1998)

The Purpose of Money "What makes someone valuable is not his money, but his relation to God. These past few weeks we have been made aware of how illusory money really is." (September 20, 1998)

The Abyss Between Heaven and Hell One of Jesus' hardest teaching is about heaven and hell. He makes it clear that even tho things are muddled in this life, one day there will be a sorting out. (September 27, 1998)

Increase Our Faith "God may have arranged this to break thru President Clinton's defenses... God will go to great lengths (really to any length short of robbing our free will) to breach our ramparts, to cut thru the equivocations, to expose the false self-assurance." (October 4, 1998)

Gratitude for Life and Gifts "Something happened these past ten days which brought home to me how precious each human life is, even if that life is very brief. I was with a family in our parish who suffered the death of their child: only five months old--from conception." (October 11, 1998)

All Scripture is Inspired... "St. Paul joins Scriptural inspiration to what we Catholics call Tradition. In the preceding verses he tells Timothy to remain faithful to what he has learned from his teachers (2 Tim 3:14-15)." (October 18, 1998)

The Choice is Yours "The girl replied, 'then kill me.' They took the pistol from her hand and murdered her. The bishop then told the confirmation candidates that this girl died because of her belief in God and her fidelity to his commandments." (November 15, 1998)

The Great Secret "Jesus constantly spoke about the Kingdom, but strangely he never precisely identified who the King was...In fact, it is only on the last day of his earthly life that Jesus let's out the great secret." (November 22, 1998)

Thanksgiving 98 "our last elections...showed how far we have gone as a country in guarding what is mine--and protecting it from people perceived as a threat. Ironically we have become fearful of the weakest and most defenseless members of our society..." (November 26, 1998)

The Time is Late "We can certainly hope that will happen--altho to be honest, things do not look so positive in our society. I think that is the reason why so many people are speculating that the year 2000 might be the Second Coming of Christ." (November 29, 1998)

Holy Spirit and Fire "We are going to have a preparation for our confirmation candidates as well. It may not involve fasting and swimming in an icey river, but it will call for a transformation of life." (December 6, 1998)

Do Not Grumble, Brothers "One of the sins the Bible singles out for condemnation is grumbling. This might surprise us, especially today when complaining has become such a standard part of our lives." (December 13, 1998)

Iraq & Virginal Conception of Jesus "I want you to be aware of the concerns of our Holy Father. You may have heard that he was quite critical of the strikes. Not that he does not realize the menace of Saddam & his weapons, but for two principal reasons:" (December 20, 1998)

Christmas '98 Homily "Christmas has become known as a time of gift giving. But I would like to begin tonite with something much more important, that is receiving a gift." (December 25, 1998)

Obey Your Husband "At this point some men might be thinking, 'Right on, Father! My wife should listen to me more. She thinks she is always right.' But St. Paul also has a word for husbands." (December 27, 1998)


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