Fr Phil

Homily – 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 14th, 2022

I have always believed this to be true of my life, and I suspect it’s true of everyone life—that whatever is good, worthwhile, and enduring came to us through hard work and sacrifice, either our own or the sacrifice of someone who came before us. Let’s of course not dismiss, for one moment, God’s grace which is always part of everything we do. Without hard work and sacrifice, we appreciate very little, and life becomes an easy-come-easy-go affair. Again, if ...

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Homily – 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 7th, 2022

All Scripture stories, on some level, have to do with faith, but these three scripture readings, given to us today, clearly speak to me of faith. Faith isn’t just saying, “I believe this or that.” Faith asks us to be much more risk-takers than that. Faith is never something I feel I have much of until a test comes or a “leap of faith” is required of me. And if I come through the test, and I’m still standing on ...

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Homily – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 31st, 2022

I’m sure you have all heard the expression, “We don’t fully appreciate what we have until it’s gone.” Or, as Benjamin Franklin said, “We will not appreciate water until the well runs dry.” The three scripture readings, we have today, are basically saying, “You don’t have to wait for that day; start appreciating things and cherishing people now!” To put it another way, “Don’t lose sight of what’s really important in life.”

The author of that first reading we had, the ...

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Homily – 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 24th, 2022

Jesus taught his disciples only one prayer, but more importantly he taught them how to pray. How he wanted them to pray, and how he wants us to pray, is with the confidence of a child before a parent. 

When you were really young, and if you had half-decent parents, for all intents and purposes, in your mind your father was God and your mother was the queen of heaven and earth. (Take a look at them now and try not ...

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Homily – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 17th, 2022

The couple we heard about in that first reading, Abraham and Sarah, welcomed three men to their desert tent not knowing they had welcomed God. And because they had shown such wonderful hospitality to these travelers, God—in the disguise of these strangers—promises them they will have a child. In time they did have a child and were delighted. It’s not quite that way in the gospel story of Mary and Martha that we just heard. Martha seems to be offering ...

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Homily – 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – June 26th, 2022

A pig and a chicken were walking down the road. As they passed a church, they notice that a potluck charity breakfast was under way. Caught up in the spirit, the pig suggested to the chicken that they each make a contribution. “Great Idea!” the chicken cried. “Let’s offer them ham and eggs!” “Not so fast.” said the pig. “For you, that’s just a contribution, but for me, it’s a total commitment.”

The Scripture readings today are all about commitment, total ...

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Smile. It won’t kill you.

Every weekend an elderly man sits through the entire Mass at the back of the church with his arms folded across his chest and a scowl on his face.  He doesn’t open his mouth to sing nor pray, not even the “Our Father.”  I’m sure if I did a little digging, I would find Oscar the Grouch, from Sesame Street, adorning his family coat of arms.  There is also a woman, a bit younger than the Grouch, who, out of ...

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Homily – The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – June 19th, 2022

There must have been something important about this story of Jesus feeding the multitude, because it is repeated six times in the four gospels. I don’t think the point of it was to be a one-off, a one-time miracle that happened 2000 years ago never to be repeated again.  Nor do I think Jesus was out to prove that, as the Son of God, he and he alone had the power to pull this off. Like all miracles, it was meant ...

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Homily – The Most Holy Trinity – June 12th, 2022

Throughout the world Catholics, in particular, and Christians, in general, are celebrating the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. To define the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is only somewhat helpful for our spiritual development. It’s nice to have an analogy like the three lobes of a clover, like St. Patrick was supposed to have used, but what I really want to know is how Trinity functions in my life and in the life of the world. That would ...

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Homily – Pentecost Sunday – June 5th, 2022

Pentecost is traditionally called the “birthday of the Church.” Something definitely came to birth on that first Pentecost. What can we say about the Holy Spirit, especially as it relates to how we try to live our faith?

One of the things the Spirit did at Pentecost, and has not stopped doing ever since, is create intimacy. I remember being at Mass 30 years ago at the L’Arche community where I was spending a summer. The late Fr. Henri Nouwen was ...

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