Homilies 2001

(by Fr. Phil Bloom)

Current Homilies

The Holy Family in Egypt: "All of us are interconnected in a great global struggle. Victory will not come by economic power or military might..." (December 30, 2001)

The Abundance of God: Archbishop Oscar Romero spoke these words: 'No one can celebrate a genuine Christmas without being truly poor...'" (December 25, 2001)

The Virgin Shall Conceive: "Islam from the beginning has had a high regard for the Mother of Jesus. The Koran contains over thirty references to the Virgin Mary. No other woman's name is even mentioned..." (December 23, 2001)

Waiting in Joyful Hope: "He did what men often do when they are lonely. He picked up the remote and started channel surfing. When he saw the image of a nun in full habit, he stopped." (December 16, 2001)

Am I Not Your Mother? (Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12, 2001)

Change Your Life!: "My favorite self-help course was Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In it Stephen Covey focuses not on techniques, but character." (December 9, 2001)

The Noise Stopped: "But one night an accident shut down a major mill. The pounding noise stopped. Everyone woke up." (December 2, 2001)

Jesus, Remember Me: "When he was dying, St. Augustine asked one of his monks to write in large letters the seven penitential psalms so he could pray them from his deathbed. For sure he remembered the sins of his youth such as fathering an illegitimate child." (November 25, 2001)

The Coming Catastrophe: "Before the hijackers attacked the World Trade Center, there were similar warnings. On November 30, 1998, Peggy Noonan wrote a columm predicting that kind of strike on Manhattan." (November 18, 2001)

Reasons for Belief in Afterlife: "Some afterlife if seven husbands have to fight over a single wife! Jesus easily deflates their reductio ad absurdam because he has a more complex view of the human person." (November 11, 2001)

An Ocean of Mercy: "When people tell me they could never confess their sins to priest, I tell them not to worry. Begin with a full, direct admission to God. Allow his ocean of mercy to flow over you. Confession and reparation will follow as it did for Zacchaeus." (November 4, 2001)

Loneliness and Lasting Communion: "I asked her about her dreams. She said what she was most looking forward to was retiring! For sure, she was not thinking about retirement as the elderly experience it..." (November 1, 2001)

A Lesson in Humility: "These past three days, I accompanied members of the Mary Bloom Center to deliver some assistance to a remote community affected by the June 23 earthquake. On the way we ran into an elderly lady who lives alone in a small hut." (October 28, 2001)

Such a Home Is Prayer: "Fr. Pete Peterson made a list of various priestly duties such as celebrating the sacraments, preaching, etc. However, the number one duty surprised some." (October 21, 2001)

Show Yourselves to the Priests: "As we begin the Twenty-First Century, we find ourselves in a new kind of war. It's objective is not the conquest of territory, but of human hearts." (October 14, 2001)

Increase Our Faith: "The events of September 11 show that humans can deceive in monstrous ways. Because of such sad experiences, as we grow older, we become more circumspect and tend to have less friends. If we are not to wind up completely isolated, we have to deliberately cultivate trust." (October 7, 2001)

An Eternally Unbridgeable Chasm: "Although Jesus’ teaching is difficult, the alternative is worse. It means believing that evil is just a point a view, that there is no ultimate difference between Mother Teresa cradling a dying man and a hijacker driving a plane into a building filled with workers." (September 30, 2001)

A Response to Terrorism: "How could fellow human beings conceive and carry out those acts of mass murder? There are no easy answers. To me the one who said it best was Rev. Billy Graham." (September 23, 2001)

He Welcomes Sinners - And Dines With Them: "As the canonization process for Mother Teresa moves forward, the media have reported some surprising revelations. She apparently received an exorcism while in a hospital..." (September 16, 2001)

Redemptive Suffering and Moral Confusion: "Deal Hudson, editor of Crisis Magazine, wrote an incisive article, The Dearth of Tragedy. Much of modern moral confusion, he maintains, comes from the loss of the 'tragic sense' of life." (September 9, 2001)

The Guest List: "by the time they turn twenty, ¾ of young Catholics will not attend Sunday Mass or in any visible way practice their faith. The study indicated the reason was not that they had stopped believing." (September 2, 2001)

Will Only A Few Be Saved?: "He then paints a frightening picture of some, who thought they were doing just fine, standing on the outside begging to get in. Meanwhile, people they despised are inside, enjoying a great feast." (August 26, 2001)

I Have Not Come To Establish Peace: "In other words, it is OK to have moral convictions but, please, keep them to yourself. That restriction did not apply to the editorialist because what she expressed, apparently, were not beliefs, but conventional wisdom..." (August 19, 2001)

An Introduction to Mary: "He replied that, as a Pentecostal, he knew about Mary – that she was a Virgin, that she suffered great hardships and that she was a very holy woman – but still he needed a more formal presentation." (August 15, 2001)

Life Is Unfair: "We do not accuse the lion – or any mere animal – of injustice. Nevertheless, we judge our fellow men by different criteria. A human predator - especially the one who preys on the defenseless - is scorned by all, including the most cynical. Where does our standard of fair play come from?" (August 12, 2001)

What Matters to God: Gilbert Meilaender challeged that utilitarian philosophy with a delightful essay: I Want to Be a Burden to My Children! People chuckle when I mention the article, but it contains a deep truth." (August 5, 2001)

“Lord, Teach Us To Pray”: "What I would like to do this morning is help you understand what prayer is. Today’s Gospel follows immediately upon Jesus’ praise of Mary for choosing the “better part.” In the subsequent verse..." (July 29, 2001)

Hospitality – First Principle of the Moral Law: "After years of in vitro fertilization, we have amassed many frozen embryos. As a source of totipotent stem cells, researchers want to use them to seek cures for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and other terrible afflictions. Since their owners will eventually disposed of the embryos, why not utilize them for this important research?" (July 22, 2001)

"He Approached the Victim": "It's much more likely one of your relatives will lose his life by surgical abortion than by heart attack. Those statistics are stark, but perhaps, like the priest and Levite, nothing shocks us any more. The Samaritan did have a capacity to be jolted." (July 15, 2001)

What We Need: “Jesus told his disciples to take no money bag, no sack, no sandals, (Lk 10:4) and here I am arriving at my new parish with a U-Haul!” (July 8, 2001)

The Paradox of Jesus: "The Gospel writer could not have invented such words. Much more likely, the demand so shocked the original hearers that the words were unforgettable. But then we must pose the logical question..." (July 1, 2001)

God is Gracious: "I have talked with teenagers who came so close to committing suicide. They had everything ready – the razor or the pills – but then thought about their father..." (June 24, 2001; Birth of John the Baptist)

The Eucharist Makes It Through: "To different degrees the capital sins plague us all. We come to Mass wounded – and having hurt others." (Corpus Christi, June 17, 2001)

An Image of the Trinity: "Still, they cannot engage understanding and will as we do. Thus we create – and pass on – culture. As Chesterton pointed out, 'a history of cows in twelve volumes would not be very lively reading.'" (Trinity Sunday, June 10, 2001)

Hateful Comparisons & Precious Gifts: “All comparisons are odious.” They breed hate. One of the cruelest (and stupidest) things a husband can do is compare his wife to another woman... (Pentecost Sunday, June 3, 2001)

Submission to Jesus: "Sometimes people ask me why they have to suffer such horrible things. I often hedge from telling the full truth. But Saint Paul had no such reticence..." (Ascension 2001)

Praying for Timothy McVeigh: "Like McVeigh, he seemed unrepentant as the day of death neared. While most French people prepared to cheer Pranzini’s execution (he had brutally killed two women and a little girl) Therese saw something more." (May 20, 2001)

"Love One Another": "Scott eventually became a Protestant minister. During his seminary years and as a young pastor, he studied the Bible and the teachings of early Christians. Little by little he began to realize the singular role to Mary..." (May 13, 2001)

Between Scylla and Charybdis: "How do we steer a course between the Scylla of pre-destination and the Charybdis of universalism? Fortunately we have a navigation chart." (May 6, 2001)

Do You Love Me?: "He’s not seeking reassurance like some insecure spouse. Rather he does so as a great leader. Consider history’s mightiest generals: Alexander, Caesar and Napoleon..." (April 29, 2001)

Doubting the Doubts: "In discussing faith with non-believers, I have heard three common objections to Christianity: 1) Christians are simply wishful thinkers..." (April 22, 2001)

A New Identity: "When Jesus forgives, it's not just a change of legal status, but a new identity. St. Paul says..." (Easter Sunday; April 15, 2001)

Blood From His Side: "When the pelican lacked other food she tore her own breast so drops of blood would nourish her young. She is an image of Christ..." (Good Friday; April 13, 2001)

Super-Abundance of Mercy: Fr. Karl Rahner’s words surprised them: “You people,” he said, “expect everything from a priest. Everything, except the one the one thing he was ordained to give you..." (Holy Thursday, April 12, 2001)

An Honest Thief: "He smiled, revealing his crooked teeth, then took the crucifix of the rosary in his hand, raised it to his lips and kissed it." (Palm Sunday; April 8, 2001)

Misery and Mercy: "We can consider conscience to be an irrational holdover and try to extinguish it, but conscience always has its revenge. As Chesterton observed..." (April 1, 2001)

Return of the Prodigal Son: "Modern man does not want to face his sin. Much easier to attack Jerry Falwell or Cardinal Ratzinger or 'those hypocrites.'" (March 25, 2001)

"If You Do Not Repent...": "After Seattle's earthquake, some preachers speculated it may have been a punishment for Mardi Gras' atrocities. Others ridiculed the idea God would make such use of natural disasters." (March 18, 2001)

Voice from the Earthquake: "But he does not give up on us. To illustrate I'd like to tell a story - a true one. After the Ash Wednesday earthquake, I'm sure you can readily identify with it." (March 11, 2001)

How Satan Operates: "while some modern Christians doubt the devil exists, a huge number outside the Church are convinced otherwise. Perhaps they have seen evidence in their own lives..." (March 4, 2001)

Rotten and Good Fruit: "Because of his intellectual acumen they wanted him to join the Hitler's elite SS. But he balked at the oath - essentially a pagan creed..." (February 25, 2001)

Stop Judging: "It appears to many that our condemnation of abortion, premarital sex, homosexual activity, etc. goes against Jesus clear statement not to judge others." (February 18, 2001)

Beatitudes, Miseries & The Priest: "As Bishop Sheen said, we have souls at our fingertips. Because of that many people pray for us. Last year I ran into a lovely college girl who told me she was a Little Flower..." (February 11, 2001)

Do Not Be Afraid: "Most of us trudge along, trying to give God a decent amount of attention and to avoid a complete rupture with him. A few, however, have seen the truth." (February 4, 2001)

Standing Against the Culture: "If we lift up our head, we do risk being cut down. Today's culture has at least three characteristics that can never be reconciled with the message of Jesus." (January 28, 2001)

Returning to Our Roots: "People like Senator Kennedy, who present themselves as passionate defenders of the vulnerable, kept referring to "a woman's right to choose." Being a simple man I could not help asking myself, Choose what?" (January 21, 2001)

Like A Bridegroom: "The intensity of His love can only be compared to the moment the young man sees the bride and realizes she is his. Today it is harder to appreciate that intensity. Pornography has become a tidal wave and casual sex the staple of prime time TV." (January 14, 2001)

Together With His Mother (January 7, 2001)

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