Catholic Homilies 2004

(by Fr Phil Bloom)

Current Homilies

The Most Diverse Family: "Almost all of our children have read the Harry Potter books or seen the movies about his adventures. For sure, they attract children because they describe an enchanted world where a boy gets back at those who bully him. But on a more fundamental level..." (Holy Family Sunday, December 26, 2004)

A Christmas Poem: "The young priest kept the poem to himself for two years. Shortly before Christmas, he showed it to a friend named Franz Guber. Franz provided a melody. You have no doubt heard of the poem..." (Christmas, December 25, 2004)

Joseph, Do Not Be Afraid: "Modernity assumes it was because he thought her guilty of adultery, but the typical view in antiquity understood the text to mean he was afraid of her sanctity — as a pious Jew would be afraid to touch the Ark of the Covenant." (December 19, 2004)

The Messenger: "We have a problem this year. The Third Sunday of Advent – Gaudete Sunday – falls on December 12, which is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe." (December 12, 2004)

A Perfect Game: "If Mary’s life were a golf game, you would have to say her score is eighteen." (Feast of Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2004)

The Leopard, the Lion and the Wolf: "Dorothy Sayers explains that these categories of sin were associated with the three stages of life – lust with youth, pride (self-conceit) with the middle years and avarice with old age." (December 5, 2004)

The Night is Advanced: With a picture of a smiling man holding a lovely child, the ad invites co-eds to give the “precious gift of life.” (November 28, 2004)

To Sneer or Not to Sneer: "Typically the sneer will not only insult the other person’s intelligence, but also their motivation. In our post-election animosity we have heard plenty of sneers. For example..." (November 21, 2004)

Facing the End of Life: "The Holy Father has clarified that food and water cannot be considered extraordinary means and that they should not be withheld from a dying person. Dr. Janet Smith has explained this papal teaching very clearly, but has also discussed the kind of dilemma it presents in modern medicine." (November 14, 2004)

Take Courage: The great English evangelist, John Wesley, stated it starkly, “When I die if I leave behind me ten pounds...you and all mankind [may] bear witness against me, that I have lived and died a thief and a robber.” (November 7, 2004)

Astonished Gratitude: "Cardinal Ricardo Vidal told a touching story about a priest who recognized that unparalleled gift." (October 31, 2004)

Be Merciful to Me, a Sinner: "Those who have participated in a Twelve Step recovery program know the importance of examining ones conscience. The fourth step involves making “a searching and fearless moral inventory” of oneself..." (October 24, 2004)

A Significant Battlefront: "The candidate in question went even further. He claimed that the United States Constitution guarantees the right to abortion, that is, the taking of the life of an unborn child. Therefore, he said, it is okay to take public funds and use them to pay for abortions." (October 17, 2004)

Two Classes of Men: "a movie came out which humorously depicted that division of humanity. Titled What About Bob?, it stars Richard Dreyfuss as a psychologist who has everything..." (October 10, 2004)

The Greatest Power: "Some of you have probably toured the Oregon Caves National Monument. The guide leads visitors through a narrow passage which opens into an enormous cavern. From the roof of the cavern dangles something that looks like twisted branches with no leaves." (October 3, 2004)

He Dined Sumptuously: "Gluttony is a sin we avoid talking about. This is unfortunate because it is a particular temptation for us today - and I am not just referring to those who are overweight." (September 26, 2004)

Is the Pope Naïve?: "the young man's reaction - when you think about it - was almost comical. Here you have someone reared in a comfortable U.S. surburb saying that the pope is naïve." (September 19, 2004)

A Veneer of Forgiveness: "Everyone admired his humble confession and the story inspired millions of people. However, over the summer he was accused of a sin the public just could not stomach." (September 12, 2004)

Who Can Know God's Counsel?: "People have often asked me how I received my vocation to the priesthood. I will recount it to you today because it relates to our Old Testament and Gospel reading." (September 5, 2004)

Arrogance and Vainglory: "When Christians speak of pride as the head and root of all sin, they are referring to arrogance and vainglory. It is against this sense of pride that Sirach and Jesus are fighting in today's readings." (August 29, 2004)

Wide Road to Hell and Narrow Path to Life: "As is the case in today's Gospel, Dante helps clear up a misconception about who winds up in Hell or Heaven. Many suppose that Hell contains the sinners, the bad people, while Heaven has those who do good." (August 22, 2004)

An Introduction to Mary: "Io’s incredible energy comes not from itself, but from its proximity to Jupiter. Likewise, Mary’s wellspring of grace come from her closeness to Jesus." (August 15, 2004)

No Hurry: "In America a very high percentage of us believe that God exists. And a majority also believe that the devil exists. What we don’t seem to believe in is our own mortality." (August 8, 2004)

Midsummer Day's Wake-Up: "Holocaust suvivor Victor Frankl attested to this in his book Man's Search for Meaning. And Peter Kreeft notes that depression and suicide are more common in countries like Sweden and Denmark where citizens are well provided for." (August 1, 2004)

Persistence Pays: “Well, I can understand Father Bloom giving in to a persistent request. But is God so easily swayed? Is he swayed at all? Doesn’t he know exactly what we need even before we ask?” (July 25, 2004)

Five-Legged Dogs: "Who has time for Jesus if they focus their whole attention on reheating leftovers? But no matter how busy one gets, those things will never satisfy." (July 18, 2004)

Oil and Wine Over His Wounds: "The U.S. Senate will debate the Federal Marriage Amendment this week and might vote as early as Wednesday. The best short statement I have read was by Fr. Richard Neuhaus. " (July 11, 2004)

The Wealth of Nations: "We are in an election year – and according to the polls, most people will make their decisions on the basis of how the economy is doing. Our bishops are telling us something different..." (July 4, 2004)

Two Approaches to Jesus: "Christianity is not just a book of culture or an ideology, nor is it merely a system of values or principles, however lofty they may be. Christianity is a person..." (June 27, 2004)

Take Up Your Cross Daily: "People today have a harder time communicating with each other. Instead of really trying to listen, they often just react..." (June 20, 2004)

Communion for Kerry?: "Should John Kerry receive Communion? And, if he comes forward, should a priest give the Sacrament or just a blessing? " (June 13, 2004)

I Was There: "With the passing of Ronald Reagan this weekend it seems an era has come to an end..." (June 6, 2004)

A Man Open to the Holy Spirit: "If Stephen Langton had only written this one hymn, he would deserve remembrance. However, he did something more..." (May 30, 2004)

Forgiveness - In His Name: "Her smile was not innocent, but sadistic. She was participating in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners." (May 23, 2004)

An Intimate Conversation: "The restaurant gradually became quieter and quieter until the two men were the only ones talking..." (May 16, 2004)

Necessary to Undergo Many Hardships: "On January 11 a car struck Fr. Benedict Groeschel, throwing him about ten yards. Sustaining multiple injuries, he spent nearly two months on a respirator. A reporter asked him what it was like." (May 9, 2004)

The Father and I Are One: "In his book The Holy Reich (Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945) Richard Steigmann-Gall argues persuasively that the Nazis did not reject Christianity, but reinterpreted it to fit their own ideology." (May 2, 2004)

Obey God Rather Than Men: "He can espouse these positions with equanimity – and still claim to be Christian - because he has the same understanding of conscience as a dissenting theologian, a follower of Archbishop Lefebvre or a pro-abortion Catholic politician. In the final analysis, each one is obeying men rather than God." (April 25, 2004)

God Loves Honest Skeptics: "A recent case in point is The Da Vinci Code. The novel is great fun. I enjoyed it immensely. However, the problem is that some people (including the author) have taken seriously its account of Christian origins." (April 18, 2004)

Ready for Combat: "I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who has not yet seen it, but I can say this: Gibson has an understanding very similar to that of Melito - the Risen Jesus is ready for combat." (Easter Sunday, April 11, 2004)

Why Did Jesus Have to Die?: "Newspapers reported that some even went to the police to confess crimes of burglary and murder. A Norwegian neo-Nazi named Johnny Olsen, after watching the Passion, admitted to bombings he had done in the 90’s." (Good Friday, April 9, 2004)

A Girl's Heroic Holy Hour: "The girl came back each night, spent an hour in prayer and received Jesus by picking up a sacred host with her tongue. The thirty-second night, after consuming the final host, she made an accidental sound, awakening a soldier..." (Holy Thursday, April 8, 2004)

The Passion of the Christ: "The early Christians would not have gathered a passion narrative if they thought everything ended at the tomb. It would simply have been too heartbreaking – like remembering a parent’s final agony." (Palm Sunday, April 4, 2004)

Filled With Joy: St. Thomas Aquinas said, “No man can live without joy. That is why one deprived of spiritual joy goes over to carnal pleasures.” (March 28, 2004)

The Reproach of Egypt: "At the height of the clergy sex abuse scandal, Fr. Corapi was in an airport. Recognizing him as a priest, someone came up and spit on him." (March 21, 2004)

Primary Purpose of the Church: "On March 1, the California Supreme Court ruled that Sacramento’s Catholic Charities must offer prescription contraceptives in its employee health insurance. If this judgment is upheld, the Church will face this dilemma: What comes first – her teachings or her works of charity?" (March 14, 2004)

They Spoke of His Exodus: "The movie also shows devils in the guise of young boys. To see innocence suddenly change into hideous cruelty is a shocking depiction of evil. I advise parents to see it first themselves and then decide if they wish to take their children." (March 7, 2004)

The Temptation of Spirituality: "The Nazis saw themselves as elite, spiritual men – and so they were. The devil is a pure spirit, much more spiritual than us, but he is always ready to assist those who wish to enter the higher realms of spirituality...grace pulled Mel Gibson back from the brink. He produced The Passion as a personal testament..." (February 29, 2004)

Dealing With Guilt: "The Bible presumes we come to God with a burden of guilt, like a condemned man walking to the gallows." (Ash Wednesday, February 25, 2004)

You Will Not Be Judged: "Confused and hurt, Maria Giuseppa kept an embarrassed silence. Some townsfolk brought to her rumors against Padre Pio’s accusers." (February 22, 2004)

Invisible Cats: "For us as Christians, same sex marriage has no more reality than an invisible cat. The people of course are real, but what they believe in simply does not exist." (February 15, 2004)

Not Worthy: "Jennie Bishop has written a children’s book called The Princess and the Kiss. It is not about changing a frog into a prince, but rather the great value of the first kiss." (February 8, 2004)

Love is a Decision: "Martin Luther King dreamt of the day when people would judge others not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." (February 1, 2004)

God’s Weak Ones: "Since then some forty million unborn children have been put to death. If we were to observe a second of silence for each one of them, it would last fifteen months." (January 25, 2004)

We’re Eating Grass!: "A Far Side cartoon shows a group of cattle grazing in a field. Most of them have their heads down, munching away. However, one cow has her head lifted up, eyes wide open in a startled expression..." (January 18, 2004)

Most Shocking: "As director of movies such as Edward Scissorhands, Bettlejuice and Mars Attacks, Tim Burton knows something about weirdness. However, he had an experience which topped anything he depicted in his films..." (January 11, 2004)

The Last Man: "C.S. Lewis noted that if this process develops to its logical conclusions, we would eventually arrive at a point where one generation could perfectly determine the characteristics of the next." (January 4, 2004)

Signs of Hope Among Teenagers: A recent Gallup Poll showed that young people are significantly more pro-life than adults. According to the poll, “most U.S. teens (aged 13 to 17) do not consider abortion to be morally acceptable, and most also believe that it should only be legal under specific circumstances, if at all.” (January 1, 2004)

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