Catholic Homilies 2005

(by Fr Phil Bloom)

Current Homilies

An Ivory Horn: "To Lucy he gave a bottle with a liquid strong enough to heal wounds. Peter received a sword and shield for the coming battle. And to Susan, Father Christmas gave an ivory horn which brings help in time of trouble." (Christmas, December 25, 2005)

The New Eve: "The child who first enters that parallel world is a little girl named Lucy. A faun asks her, “Are you a daughter of Eve?”" (Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 18, 2005)

The Secret of Happiness: "Leon Bloy said, “Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God.” The joy in question is not necessarily a bubbly feeling. In former times, they understood happiness differently than we do today." (Third Sunday of Advent, December 11, 2005)

Unmasking Sin: "After his conversion, it took him a few years to muster the courage to make an auricular confession to an Anglican priest. About his first confession, he wrote, “It was the hardest decision I have ever made.”" (Second Sunday of Advent, December 4, 2005)

Prepare Yourself: "The gunman pointed his pistol at Walker and ordered him to hand over his money. Walker responded, “Go ahead and shoot...”" (First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2005)

Howard Hughes vs. Dostoevsky: "The girl saw him and ran up to him, “Poor unfortunate men,” she said, “in the name of Christ, take this.” And she place in his hand a kopek - a small coin, one hundredth of a ruble. Dostoevsky said that he treasured that kopek for a long time..." (Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2005)

The Last Enemy: "Others know about Omaha Beach from history books or from movies like Saving Private Ryan. At an incredible cost the Allies captured a tiny piece of territory. Yet it became the beachhead for an ever expanding conquest..." (Christ the King, November 20, 2005)

Time, Energy and Money: "The amount of time, skill, pain and money expended on cosmetic surgery is enormous. Last year, we Americans spent around thirteen billion dollars on those procedures..." (Thirty-Third Ordinary Sunday, November 13, 2005)

Why They Did Not Share: "In the parable we hear about wise virgins who did not share their oil with the foolish ones. They seem a little bit selfish until we understand what Jesus is really talking about...." (Thirty-Second Ordinary Sunday, November 6, 2005)

Have We Not One Father?: "He took the money home to his mother who placed it in her lap, explaining that she would be happy if he gave a tenth of it to the Lord. He did and from that day, Rockefeller tithed every dollar he earned..." (Thirty-First Ordinary Sunday, October 30, 2005)

A Harsh and Dreadful Thing: "When Dostoyevsky says that love in action is harsh and dreadful, he means that it requires a radical giving of oneself. That gift of self was illustrated in a TV documentary on the Civil War..." (Thirtieth Ordinary Sunday, October 23, 2005)

God Owns It All: "Whatever you entrust to God will acquire a lasting value. A married couple in our diocese gave a beautiful testimony to this..." (Twenty-Ninth Ordinary Sunday, October 16, 2005)

Taste for God: "The horrible thing is that, by some process, they have built up a series of tastes which cannot be satisfied at that wedding feast. And they have failed to develop the one taste which matters..." (Twenty-Eighth Ordinary Sunday, October 9, 2005)

Have No Anxiety At All: "He felt like he had been let out of dungeon into the sunlight. He went on to found one of the most successful retail businesses in our country. You have probably heard of him. His had a somewhat funny name: James Cash Penney." (Twenty-Seventh Ordinary Sunday, October 2, 2005)

Unspeakable Love: "Oscar Wilde went to prison for a crime that the Victorians called “gross indecency.” From his trial comes the phrase: “the love that dare not speak its name.” (Twenty-Sixth Ordinary Sunday, September 25, 2005)

Day Laborers: "Often young people will ask me how they can discover their calling in life. They wish that God would slip an envelope under the door." (Twenty-Fifth Ordinary Sunday, September 18, 2005)

The Power of the Cross: "With the unflinching eye of an investigative reporter, Raymond Arroyo recounts painful details of her childhood. Rita Rizzo (the girl who would become Mother Angelica) had a wandering father who abandoned her at an early age." (Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14, 2005)

He Remembers Their Sins in Detail: A columnist, assuming that the Archdiocese was trying to mitigate the accusations, wrote, “What difference does that make? Does the fact that it happened thirty years ago excuse what was done?” ." (Twenty-Fourth Ordinary Sunday, September 11, 2005)

Love and Do What You Like: "When I was a seminary student back in the sixties, I often heard this quotation from St. Augustine, “Love and do what you like.”... However, I never met anyone who read it in context." (Twenty-Third Ordinary Sunday, September 4, 2005)

Get behind me, Satan!: "We will not receive an offer so diabolical as the one Peter proposed to Jesus. Still, temptations will come. A few weeks ago a man made an astounding offer to our nation." (Twenty-Second Ordinary Sunday, August 28, 2005)

The Two Keys: "If you examine the Vatican flag, you will observe that one key is shiny yellow while the other has a light gray hue. Why is one key gold and the other silver?" (Twenty-First Ordinary Sunday, August 21, 2005)

Culture Shock: "Cross cultural put-downs – whether intended or not – can do great damage. They have a way of entering a group’s lore; they are then brought up again and again to justify suspicion and resentment. In this case, however, the outcome was different." (Twentieth Ordinary Sunday, August 14, 2005)

Lord, Save Me, I Am Drowning: The Italians have a legend about the blackbird. When winter ends, it sings, “It is Spring now. I no longer need God.” (Nineteenth Ordinary Sunday, August 7, 2005)

Why is the United States Rich?: "Theories range from Darwinism, which posits the superiority of Northern races, to Marxism, which analyzes structures of injustice, to neo-capitalism, which seeks to remove market restraints, to old fashioned Calvinism, which identifies hard work, early rising, thrift, marital fidelity, etc. as signs of divine election..." (Eighteenth Ordinary Sunday, July 31, 2005)

The Pearl of Great Price: "His health, never great, suffered a severe blow when thieves attacked the parish, killing the sacristan and his wife. Robbing the rectory, they also threatened “Padre Giovanni” with burning him alive." (Seventeenth Ordinary Sunday, July 24, 2005)

Distinguishing Wheat from Weeds: "Basil appealed to Pope Damasus to visit them: 'I have come to see the visit of your mercifulness as the only possible solution to our difficulties.' Basil saw the pope as the touchstone of orthodoxy." (Sixteenth Ordinary Sunday, July 17, 2005)

The Word Embodied in the Church: "Was it just a coincidence that modern science developed in a largely Catholic milieu, or was there something about Catholicism itself that enabled the success of science?" (How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization Thomas E. Wood, Jr, Ph.D.) (Fifteenth Ordinary Sunday, July 10, 2005)

The Real Revolution: "With this lofty vision, Christians effectively countered the plagues which worried Augustus: divorce, abortion, infanticide, contraception and the homosexual lifestyle." (Fourteenth Ordinary Sunday, July 3, 2005)

Welcome Same-Sex Partners?: "In the bulletin of a local parish, the pastor wrote about the importance of welcoming all. Then he told about conversations with two different people who had same-sex partners." (Thirteenth Ordinary Sunday, June 26, 2005)

A Bishop's Hidden Life: "Seminarian Joe Tyson came in and began making sandwiches. At that time the future bishop was as skinny as a pole, but I knew even he could not eat that many sandwiches. “What are you doing?” I asked." (Twelfth Ordinary Sunday, June 19, 2005)

Labor Shortage: "St. Gregory the Great expressed this with a touch of humor. He told his people to pray for their pastors. Then he complained that although he had many priests in the diocese of Rome, he did not have many workers!" (Eleventh Ordinary Sunday, June 12, 2005)

The Desire for Revenge: "Actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Clint Eastwood have made fortunes from movies which follow a simple formula..." (Tenth Ordinary Sunday, June 5, 2005)

Reverence for Eucharist: "We might imagine that a drawn out Sign of Peace will attract people, especially the young, but it will not. Jesus creates community; when we try to do it on our own, it becomes hollow." (Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, May 29, 2005)

Alone Again: Aristotle...spoke about a social instinct which has been “implanted in all men by nature.” The man who has no need of others, who feels sufficient for himself, “must be either a beast or a god.” (Trinity Sunday, May 22, 2005)

The Greatest Unused Power: Once an American had a visitor from England. He wanted to show his guest the marvels of our country, so he took him to Niagara Falls. “Come,” he said, “I will show you the greatest unused power in the world.” (Pentecost Sunday, May 15, 2005)

There the Action Lies: "In the play Hamlet, King Claudius had murdered his brother so he could seize the crown – and marry his sister-in-law. At one point, he attempts to pray in order to gain forgiveness for what he has done." (Ascension of the Lord, May 8, 2005)

Why Benedict?: "He was a dropout who came from noble Roman society and did something bizarre, something that later turned out to be the ‘ark on which the West survived.’" (Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 1, 2005)

Three Kinds of Men: "These people have got rid of the tiresome business of adjusting those rival claims of Self and God by the simple expedient of rejecting the claims of Self altogether." (Fifth Sunday of Easter, April 24, 2005)

A Good Shepherd: "Alone in the world, he made the resolution to give himself totally to God. He thought he would do so by studying literature, perhaps becoming an actor. But the Lord made it clear he was to become a priest." (Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 17, 2005)

Nor Did His Flesh See Corruption: "Like the first bishop of Rome, Pope John Paul guided the Church fearlessly. The final words he addressed to the faithful were, “I am happy and you should be happy too. Do not weep. Let us pray together with joy.” He knew that, as St. Francis had said, death is our sister." (Third Sunday of Easter, April 10, 2005)

The Grandeur of God: "These facts, which science has discovered, make me wonder about the Fact which under girds them. If they are each so marvelous, what must He be?" (Second Sunday of Easter, April 3, 2005)

Transformation: "A man who made a remarkable journey from despair to hope was the famous actor and producer, Mel Gibson." (Easter, March 27, 2005)

The Conversion of Barabbas: She explained to me that they favored cloning for therapeutic purposes, but that they would never clone for reproduction. I asked her what she meant by “reproduction.” (Good Friday, March 25, 2005)

Our True Companion: "Five others were Christians and they made arrangements with the rest of the prisoners so that they could be near Bishop Van Thuan. When lights went out at 9:30, the Bishop quietly said Mass and distributed communion to the Catholics." (Holy Thursday, March 24, 2005)

A Week to Remember: "As the man’s life was drawing to an end, his family gathered around the sick bed. He knew none of them. His wife placed a small crucifix in his hand. At first he seemed puzzled..." (Palm Sunday, March 20, 2005)

Joining Body with Soul: "I walked into a somewhat large room with a table in the middle. On it was a body covered by a white sheet." (Fifth Sunday of Lent, March 13, 2005)

Seeing and Knowing: "During the February 22 episode of the NBC-TV sitcom, “Committed,” two non-Catholics are mistakenly given Holy Communion at a Catholic funeral Mass." (Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 6, 2005)

The Scent of Water: "Usually we picture the Samaritan woman as young. Considering her marital history, she was probably no spring chicken." (Third Sunday of Lent, February 27, 2005)

A Confrontation with Evil: "On Good Friday a group in Seattle will stand before a particular evil of our society: the utilization of human embryos for scientific research." (Second Sunday of Lent, February 20, 2005)

The Temptation of Sloth: "In the world sloth calls itself tolerance; but in hell it is called despair. It is the accomplice of every other sin and their worst punishment. It is the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing..." (First Sunday of Lent, February 13, 2005)

Less Noise, More Light: "Abraham Lincoln received a large amount of bitter – and often contradictory – criticism. To his critics he told a story about a traveler who got caught in a terrible thunderstorm." (Fifth Ordinary Sunday, February 6, 2005)

The Pagan vs. Christian Happiness: "while rich food, money, sexual activity, mastery over others, and so on, can lead to pleasure, those things do not necessarily bring happiness." (Fourth Ordinary Sunday, January 30, 2005)

The Kingdom Is At Hand: "What is the Kingdom of God? This Sunday I am going to tell you direct: It is the Catholic Church." (Third Ordinary Sunday, January 23, 2005)

A Painful Secret: "She was one of the finest Christian writers of the twentieth century, but, for over three decades, Dorothy L. Sayers kept a painful secret." (Second Ordinary Sunday, January 16, 2005)

With Whom I Am Well Pleased: "The tsunami pulled a woman out to sea. She managed to climb onto some floating debris and kept herself alive by chewing the branches for moisture." (Baptism of the Lord, January 9, 2005)

A Powerful River: "the message is not so much to get busy as to get relaxed..." (Epiphany Sunday, January 2, 2005)

Keep Out of His Way: "This year I received a special Christmas gift. It came from a parishioner who is a fireman...." (Mary, Mother of God, January 1, 2005)

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What is a Homily? (Four Purposes of the Catholic Homily)

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