Homilies 2003

(by Fr. Phil Bloom)

Current Homilies

The Key to Family: “I will pray that God sends you the right man – someone who will love you deeply, but something even more important than that.” “What?” she asked. (December 28, 2003)

The Weakness of God: "J.R.R. Tolkien did not write Lord of the Rings with an explicit Christian message. However, he was a devout Roman Catholic – and his Christian vision shines through the story." (December 25, 2003)

How Does This Happen to Me?: "Elizabeth says something similar to what David said when the Ark came to Jerusalem: How does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (December 21, 2003)

Perfect Joy: " This morning the world rejoices with the news of Saddam Hussein's capture. .." (December 14, 2003)

"Am I Not Your Mother?": This image of our Lady is the Gospel in picture form. She is, as Apocalypse 12 describes, "a woman clothed in the sun, with the moon at her feet." (December 12, 2003)

A Pregnant Woman's Dream: "When his mother, Blessed Juana of Aza, was pregnant with him she had a strange dream. In it she gave birth to a dog carrying a torch..." (December 7, 2003)

Vigilance and Prayer: "The new technology in communication, entertainment and medicine is so dazzling that few people see the underlying rot." (November 30, 2003)

He Accepted Jesus as King: "The man told his father about the terrible dream. His dad spoke some profound, powerful words..." (November 23, 2003)

Purpose Driven: "Steve saw that any lifestyle which makes sexual fulfillment its prime object would inevitably have certain traits: consumerism, pornography, drugs, alcohol, promiscuity and the shelving of those who no longer have beautiful bodies.." (November 16, 2003)

I Saw Water: "Today’s feast honors a specific church, not the largest, not the most beautiful in Christendom..." (November 9, 2003)

Sister Death: As a priest, I have been with families as they face difficult decisions regarding terminally ill loved ones. In most cases they tend to err on the side of what the Catechism calls “over zealous treatment.” (November 2, 2003)

Awkward Moments: I feel like Golde in Fiddler on the Roof. Out of the blue, her husband Tevye asks, “Do you love me?” (October 26, 2003)

Victims of Envy: "Envy eats at the heart. It destroys the soul - and tries to take others down with it. I had a terrible experience of envy when I was a young priest..." (October 19, 2003)

You Know the Commandments: "Has anyone told you how much better off the world would be if the Catholic Church would just stop imposing guilt trips? The constant harping on the evil of abortion, homosexuality, sterilization..." (October 12, 2003)

Nuptial Meaning of Human Body: In his book The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins expressed the idea most favored by our culture. (October 5, 2003)

Giving and Taking Scandal: "What went on was not so much sexual abuse of children as widespread cases of homosexual behavior with young men. The latter, often involving alcohol, pornography and drugs, more precisely fits to what Jesus refers to as 'causing others to sin.'" (September 28, 2003)

Text in Context: "A friend of mine had to give a deposition in a clergy sex abuse case." (September 21, 2003)

The True Stigmata: "The movie contains two glimpse of Mel Gibson. In one you see his hand placing the stake of Christ’s palm." (September 14, 2003)

Lord, Cleanse My Lips: "He notes that while liberals often unite to promote a common agenda, conservatives will sometimes take an all-or-nothing approach – and in the process wind up dividing into bitter factions." (September 7, 2003)

The Walking Dead: "While in Peru, I mentioned to a priest what had happened in the U.S. Episcopal Church: that a man who abandoned his wife and two children for a gay lover was elected bishop. He mulled it over, asked a few questions, then said..." (August 31, 2003)

Intimacy and Submission: "Have you ever wondered why God made us male and female? It is far and away the most interesting aspect of our existence, but also very problematic. Why did God do it? St. Paul gives us the answer." (August 24, 2003)

Intimacy and Submission: "According to Bonhoeffer cheap grace is 'the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner.' Such false grace abounds today." (August 24, 2003)

Full text homily of Bishop Jenky at Erin Feis "the pervasive culture of 21st century America is basically at war with Jesus Christ and living in direct opposition to the truth of his Gospel and is aggressively hostile to his Church...Following the lead of the great masters of religious suspicion -- Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche -- they promote the idea that this world has no intrinsic purpose or any significant meaning." (August 24, 2003, Peoria, IL)

Two Approaches to Sexual Morality: "Today there are two different approaches which not only divide Christians from the world, but also divide Christian from Christian. A twenty-five cent piece can illustrate the difference." (August 17, 2003)

What is a Jew?: For sure, those who claim the title must ultimately answer that question. Still, those of us who are “wild branchs” grafted onto the Jewish “olive tree” (Rom 11:17) cannot ignore the issue. (August 3, 2003)

A Large Crowd Followed Him: "That of course is a caricature of Anglicanism. Still some denominations – and let’s face it, some groups within the Catholic Church – desire to treat religion like belonging to a club." (July 27, 2003)

I Will Appoint Shepherds: "Since then, in the Archdiocese of Seattle, we have had no new case of sexual abuse of a child or young person by a member of the clergy." (July 20, 2003)

No Money in Their Belts: "Sometimes when people come to me with financial troubles, after looking at what can be done practically, I will ask what is the worst that could happen." (July 13, 2003)

They Had Him Figured Out: "Many think they have the Church figured out. I once ran into a guy who seemed to know every scandal, past and present. According to him, the Church is the most corrupt institution in the history of man..." (July 6, 2003)

Insults and Persecution: History professor Philip Jenkins has written an insightful book titled The New Anti-Catholicism. Not a Catholic himself, he analyzes what has become the “last acceptable prejudice.” (July 6, 2003)

What Peter Meant to Paul: "Like Adam and many men after him, Peter tried to duck responsibility, but Jesus came back, “Feed my sheep.” That charge set Peter on a trajectory, first to Antioch (today southern Turkey) then to Rome itself where he would fulfill Jesus’ words..." (Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul; June 29, 2003)

To Worship His Body and Blood: "Some of you have visited the other Washington – Washington, D.C. No doubt you saw what many people consider the most valuable object in the world. Exhibited in the Smithsonian Museum..." (Feast of Corpus Christi, June 22, 2003)

The Name: "Richard Nixon continues as one of the great enigmas of American politics: How a poor boy from rural California, painfully shy, could rise from a double defeat to become twice-elected president..." (Trinity Sunday, June 15, 2003)

To Drink of One Spirit: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince, said, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” (Pentecost Sunday, June 8, 2003)

What Does "He Ascended" Mean?: "C.S. Lewis tells about a lecturer who described evolution as the 'very formula of the whole universe.' By evolution he meant..." (Ascension of the Lord, June 1, 2003)

God Shows No Partiality: "a misunderstanding of God's impartiality has crippled our evangelization efforts. It cannot mean that all religions are equal..." (Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 25, 2003)

Ask Whatever You Want: "Suppose that Bill Gates said to me, 'Fr. Bloom, ask me whatever you want.' If I were smart, I don't think I would ask him for stock option over even for a hundred million dollars..." (Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 18, 2003)

The Shepherd's Crook: Monsignor Ronald Knox said: “The Catholic Church really does have to get on by hook or crook. That is, by the hook of the fisherman and the crook of the shepherd...” (Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 11, 2003)

The Other: "When Jesus appeared to the apostles they thought he was a phantasm. However, it turns out he is the real one – and in relation to him we are like pale ghosts." (Third Sunday of Easter, May 4, 2003)

The Truth Is Out There: "The goal of the Catholic Church is the salvation of souls, not to get everyone to agree with us." (Second Sunday of Easter, April 27, 2003)

Something To Live For: "If someone complained, “my life just doesn’t seem worthwhile. I am tired of it all. I wish I could just die,” Chesterton would pull out his pistol, point it at the man and say..." (Easter Sunday, April 20, 2003)

The Host: "If I may dare the biological image, God is a 'host' who deliberately creates His own parasites; causes us to be that we may exploit and 'take advantage of' Him. Herein is love." (Good Friday, April 18, 2003)

Do This!: "Tonight we hear how Jesus both participated in an ancient ritual and instituted a new one." (Holy Thursday, April 17, 2003)

He Breathed His Last: "After calling Paul, Jesus does not tell him he will be a great preacher or that he will write magnificent letters, but rather 'how much he will have to suffer for my name.'" (Palm Sunday, April 13, 2003)

Now is the Time of Judgment: "The current war on Iraq is not only about winning, but about judgment." (April 6, 2003)

No Refuge from the Love of God: "As Christians we are not pacifists..." (March 30, 2003)

Responsible for Their Own Demise: "Although we are supposedly smarter than our simian cousins, we have a similar tendency to hold on to things – even to our own destruction. Bernard Goldberg gives a contemporary example in his book Bias." (March 23, 2003)

Exposing a Modern Myth: "I call this a myth because it is untrue in two basic ways." (March 16, 2003)

Lent with C.S. Lewis: "With typical bluntness, Lewis explains why such a desperate search ultimately disappoints us." (March 9, 2003)

The Desert & Liturgical Changes: "A week from today, here in the Archdiocese of Seattle, we will implement some liturgical changes." (March 2, 2003)

Who But God?: "A popular myth about Jesus runs along these lines: The original Jesus was a kindly man who wanted to help people face their problems, feel good about themselves and get along with each other..." (February 23, 2003)

Show Yourself to the Priest: "Today's Gospel gives us another glimpse of the Jewish priesthood being transformed by Christ." (February 16, 2003)

What a Lot of Work!: The strangeness of it struck me - myself, a country boy brought up in the 50's, in front of these people of such a different culture. What united me so deeply to them? (February 9, 2003)

The Fortieth Day of Christmas: "as far as I know, only the Catholic Church keeps track of the days since Christmas." (February 2, 2003)

The Third Luminous Mystery: "Shakespeare got it right. Repentance requires more than words." (January 26, 2003)

Rabbi, Messiah, Cephas: We are used to the name, but originally it must have provoked surprise, even amusement. Imagine a young mom cradling a baby in her arms and you ask her the name. She replies, “Oh, we decided to call him ‘cement.’” (January 19, 2003)

Membership: "A couple of those accused here in Seattle were my contemporaries in the seminary. Exposed in the media, they feel a shame which has brought them to the brink of bitterness, even despair." (January 12, 2003)

The Materialist and the Magicians: "Since their only interest is power (“whatever works”) their own ears perk up when they hear about the possibilities of magic. This atmosphere has been captured quite well by the Harry Potter books." (January 5, 2003)

A Tradition Worth Fighting For: "Recently a mom told me how her college age son came home with a sweatshirt saying Bad Religion. On the back was a circle enclosing cross with a slash mark over it. " (January 1, 2003)

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