Catholic Homilies 2013

(by Fr Phil Bloom)

Current Homilies

Overcoming Bitterness "A person may be totally in the right and come away bitter. Pope Francis, however, shows that it is possible to fight great battles and not grow bitter. Let me briefly mention three..." (December 29, 2013 - Holy Family Sunday)

Forgiving God "C.S. Lewis tells about how as a young man he had given up belief in God, yet he was still angry at him for all the suffering in the world and all the confusion in his own life..." (December 25, 2013 - Christmas Homily)

Model of Faith "Last Sunday I told you that I would introduce you to a woman who models all have learned about the light of faith...Some of you asked who this remarkable woman is - and some even guessed that she is Sister Barbara!..." (December 22, 2013 - Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year C)

Faith & Inclusion "If we exclude anyone, we know that the whole body suffers. John, however, does have a hard word for one group..." (December 8, 2013 - Second Sunday of Advent, Year C)

One Taken, One Left "'Not in orgies and drunkenness not in promiscuity and lust not in rivalry and jealousy, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.' When he read that verse, he made a definitive break with idols and turned to the living God..." (December 1, 2013 - First Sunday of Advent, Year C)

The Opposite of Faith "Many people think that faith is opposite of atheism, that we have two choices - to believe in God or deny his existence. The choice, however, is more complex. Pope Francis points out that the opposite of faith is not atheism...." (November 24, 2013 - Christ the King, Year C)

The Coming of the Lord "I know that sometimes we can feel 'compassion fatigue' - with so much suffering in our world, our own local community and our families. ..." (November 17, 2013 - Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: This is a major rewrite in light of the typhoon in the Philippines)

About Marriage and Broken Marriage "We have people in a variety of situations: widowed, divorced, separated, living together, single - and people who are struggling with the meaning of their sexuality. And, really, who isn't?..." (November 17, 2013 - Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Returning First Fruits "I need you to invest your time, your abilities and your financial resources in St. Mary of the Valley. I want to emphasize that this is not salvation by works..." (November 10, 2013 - Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C)

How to Pray, Part Four: Self-Emptying "William Barclay says, 'he was the most hated man in the district.' And we might suppose, the most miserable man..." (November 3, 2013 - Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

How to Pray, Part Three: Mass as the Publican's Prayer "An interviewer asked Pope Francis, 'Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?' The pope fell silent, then said..." (October 27, 2013 - Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

How to Pray, Part Two: Persistence "Cardinal Timothy Dolan observes that prayer must become like eating and breathing. We have to eat daily, not stock up on food on Monday, and then take off the rest of the week..." (October 20, 2013 - Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

How to Pray, Part One: Gratitude "Many Catholics do not know how to pray and they do not pray. Surprisingly, even some Catholics who attend Mass and are involved in the parish do not pray.." (October 13, 2013 - Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Geography of Faith: The Return from Exile "Because of their relationship with God - cult, code and creed - the Jews in Babylon were ready to return. After fifty long years the opportunity came." (October 6, 2013 - Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Geography of Faith: The Threat of Exile "We can wind up in exile - eternal separation, eternal loss, the fires of hell. No one has to go to hell. Jesus tells us that we have Moses and the prophets. Listen to them. We have heard the warnings of the prophet Amos, 'Woe to the complacent!'" (September 29, 2013 - Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Geography of Faith: The Promised Land "The violence in the Bible reminds us that we are in a life-and-death spiritual combat. Any married couple knows that - not necessarily a battle with each other - but that the demons are attacking our marriages and families..." (September 22, 2013 - Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Geography of Faith: Egypt and Sinai Desert "When God freed the people from Egypt, he gave them a different religion - not based on works but relationship. Do you remember what Moses told Pharaoh? 'Let my people go.' Yes, but why?..." (September 15, 2013 - Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Seeking God's Counsel "I cannot offer something as in-depth as the Book of Wisdom, but I would like propose a simple way of understanding God's counsel, his revelation to us. It is called the 'Geography of Faith.' I learned it from a fine bishop..." (September 8, 2013 - Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C)

Why Are We Here? "This week we begin a new school year. It's a good moment to ask a basic question: Why are we here? Or to put it another way: What does God want to accomplish by creating and sustaining the universe...?" (September 1, 2013 - Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

You Don't Have to Go to Hell "Jesus confronts us with the fundamental issue: We are either connecting with God or fleeing him. We are either growing accustomed to sin or repenting of it..." (August 25, 2013 - Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Run the Race "We can't run the race weighed down by sins and 'burdens': gambling, pornography, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual immorality, anger and bitterness..." (August 18, 2013 - Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Be Prepared "Maybe you have heard of the book Atlas Shrugged. It posits that, like Atlas, a small number of key people hold up our world. An interesting premise, but Ayn Rand got it wrong. ..." (August 11, 2013 - Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C)

Rich in What Matters to God "Pope Francis mentioned that many enjoy soccer. This brought cheers. Then he referred to the coming World Cup..." (August 4, 2013 - Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Call to Faith - Pope Francis "The pope emphasizes that the opposite of faith is not atheism, but idolatry..." (July 28, 2013 - Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Focus on Mission - Part Three "To illustrate listening to Jesus, I would like to give a remarkable example: A priest named Fr. Michael White and his pastoral associate, Thomas Corcoran. About fifteen years ago they arrived at a dwindling parish..." (July 21, 2013 - Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Focus on Mission - Part Two "The second step in mission is compassion: Recognizing that the other person needs Jesus as much as you or I do. Reaching out to that person can be tricky in a culture like ours...." (July 14, 2013 - Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C)

Focus on Mission - Part One "It is a good time to ask: Why am I here? What does St. Mary of the Valley mean to me? And - What do I expect from you? I would like to devote three homilies to those questions...." (July 7, 2013 - Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

For Freedom Christ Set Us Free "Washington's belief in freedom of religion did not come from a secular mentality, but from his Christian faith and practice. In his farewell address he spoke about the connection between religious practice and a free republic..." (June 30, 2013 - Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Look On Him They Pierced "I sometime have difficulty meditating on the Scriptures for twenty minutes, but I can spend an hour meditating on that offense and imagining my moment of vindication..." (June 23, 2013 - Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

What David Did Not Say "He didn't say, 'Well, that's the way I was made. I can't help it.' Nor did he say, 'It was her fault. She tempted me...'" (June 16, 2013 - Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

The Sin Against the Sabbath " A guy might look like he's working hard, he might even be congratulating himself on his diligence, but in reality he is lazy. He's avoiding the most important work. He's guilty of sloth - the sin against the Sabbath...'" (June 9, 2013 - Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Eucharistic Coherence "The guy stormed back into the church and confronted the priest. 'What kind of joke is this?' he demanded. St. Philip Neri said, 'It's no joke...'" (June 2, 2013 - Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ)

The Desire to be Known "He takes interest in each person and they tell him things they never told anyone else - old men, teens, housewives and even guys who drift in off the streets. His own family family members share intimate details of their lives. This man would be a great priest-confessor - except for one thing..." (May 26, 2013 - Trinity Sunday)

Even Greater Things "Fr. Damien was a man of Belgian peasant stock - humble and devout, but immovably stubborn. He did not give up. He kept pleading and praying. One Sister finally heard his plea....'" (May 19, 2013 - Pentecost Sunday)

The Way He Opened "Even if the boy lived a hundred years, his life would now be over. (He was born on March 28, 1913.) 'He is no fool who gives up things he cannot keep in order to gain things he cannot lose...'" (May 12, 2013 - Ascension of the Lord)

Why He Came "'Many Catholics no longer believe in the reality of hell, so what difference does it make if someone knows Christ?' Then the authors add, 'No matter that some people's lives are a living hell right now...'" (May 5, 2013 - Sixth Sunday of Easter)

The Greatest Good "What is the greatest thing you can will for your neighbor? We have the answer in today's reading from Revelation..." (April 28, 2013 - Fifth Sunday of Easter)

The Lamb Who Shepherds "He seemed to have everything: money, fame, admiration. But a few years ago he felt so empty that he tried to take his own life..." (April 21, 2013 - Fourth Sunday of Easter)

Tend My Sheep "We can bring people to the Lord simply by doing the right thing. An amusing anecdote from the life of Pope Francis illustrates this..." (April 14, 2013 - Third Sunday of Easter)

Overcoming Fear - A Titanic Hero "On Sunday, April 14, Fr. Byles celebrated the same Mass we have today - the Second Sunday of Easter. Speaking in French and English, he warned about 'spiritual shipwreck...'" (April 7, 2013 - Second Sunday of Easter: Divine Mercy Sunday)

Peter's Joy "Patricia Livingston relates a family story that illustrates the need for joy. After her son return from the Gulf War, he would explode unexpectedly..." (March 31, 2013 - Easter Sunday)

The Contrast of Judas and Peter "In Judas we see the perennial danger that even after a person has been enlightened, he can perish through a series of seemingly small infidelities..." (March 29, 2013 - Good Friday)

Peter's Lesson of Humility "Pope Francis, is doing something dramatic: Washing the feet of youth in a detention center...'" (March 28, 2013 - Holy Thursday)

Strengthen Your Brothers "With the election of our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, I want to invite you to experience Holy Week in the person of St. Peter...'" (March 24, 2013 - Palm Sunday, Year C)

The Breastplate "We have two events that help us appreciate the meaning of our faith: The first is the election of our new Holy Father - Pope Francis...'" (March 17, 2013 - Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year C)

I Have Sinned "Once in a while, people will tell me they don't feel forgiven. This happens especially as one gets older and the consequences of past sin become more evident...'" (March 10, 2013 - Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year C)

The Stakes Are High "When civilizations vanish, when galaxies disappear, that soul will have barely begun its existence. To just such a soul, St. Paul says, 'take care,' and Jesus says, 'repent...'" (March 3, 2013 - Third Sunday of Lent, Year C)

Home for the Homesick "If they return home, the hills would not be as green as they imagine, the family reunion will deliver the joy they hope. The country they long for is not Mexico or Poland or the Philippines...." (February 24, 2013 - Second Sunday of Lent, Year C)

Do Not Talk to the Devil "To take on the devil directly would be like me taking on a kick boxer. Even the most poorly trained kick boxer could have me on the floor, flat on my back, in a matter of seconds. ..." (February 17, 2013 - First Sunday of Lent, Year C)

Pope Benedict: How to Make a Good Lent "Along with sadness and appreciation, the pope's announcement has also brought some humor. One jokester quipped..." (February 13, 2013 - Ash Wednesday)

Like Fresh Walnuts "Origen compares the three senses of Scripture to fresh walnuts. Outside is like the green husk - bitter because the literal meaning is often difficult to grasp..." (February 10, 2013 - Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Spiritual Combat "After forty years of no legal protection for unborn children and more recently, the normalization of sodomy, it sometimes seems like we are in a hopeless situation..." (February 3, 2013 - Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

I Do Not Belong "Some Catholics have heard aspects of God's law and have become sad, even concluding, 'I do not belong.' And they express anger at what they perceive as 'the Church's teaching...'" (January 27, 2013 - Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Why Jesus Loves Marriage "Since this homily deals with marriage, I would like to begin with a joke from Fr. Vandenberg's book on that subject...'" (January 20, 2013 - Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C)

Generous Love "Jesus loaded the burden of all mankind's guilt upon his shoulders, he bore it down into the depths of the Jordan...He is, as it were, the true Jonah who said to the crew of the ship, 'Take me and throw me into the sea...'" (January 13, 2013 - Baptism of the Lord)

Price of Liberation "God is love. But love can also be hated when it challenges us to transcend ourselves. It is not a romantic 'good feeling.' Redemption is not 'wellness,'..." (January 6, 2013 - Feast of the Epiphany)

Our Debt to Mary "Pope Benedict asks, 'How did Matthew and Luke come to know the story they recount?...'" (January 1, 2013 - New Year's Day, Mary the Mother of God)


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

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The Usual Homily (A Parody)

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