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2016 Homilies

The relationship in the doing is important (12/25/2016) - It was my day off and I planned to go home and help mom with her spring garden. My plan of attack was to edge the garden then lay down a bed for the flowers. I was going to buy top soil compost, and peat moss. Then I would plant the annuals, water then it […]
Who are real Christians? (12/4/2016) - John the Baptist wore camel hair. Why? It protected him from the scorching desert sun and the Sirocco winds that sand blasted his body. He wore a leather belt. Why? Because his camel coat was oversized. Why was it oversized? So he could use it at night as a blanket or a tent. It was […]
Begin you prayer with thank you. (11/27/2016) - Every letter (except one, Galatians) Paul begins with a thank-you to God. This is true with the letter we just read to the Corinthians. Paul is happy, ecstatic, in fact, at the gifts that God will bestow on his Corinthian church. But right after the thank you to God, the fireworks begin. He digs right […]
Begin your prayer with a thank-you to God (11/20/2016) - Every letter (except one, Galatians) Paul begins with a thank-you to God. This is true with the letter we just read to the Corinthians. Paul is happy, ecstatic, in fact, at the gifts that God will bestow on his Corinthian church. But right after the thank you to God, the fireworks begin. He digs right […]
What’s your sign? (11/20/2016) - When our Lord carried His cross on the way to Calvary, He wore a sign around His neck.  The sign told the reason He was going to be crucified. At that time, everyone who carried a cross had to wear such a sign.  When He arrived to be crucified, they removed the sign and affixed […]
No matter what we are loved and wanted (11/13/2016) - Every year I go to a fly-fishing show. True, you can see newest technology and the latest gizmos and gear, but I go for the knowledge. Every expert will be there and I want to tap their brains.  One year I went over to the fly tying table of my friend.  When I got there […]
How did the Saints do it? (11/6/2016) - Moses life was threatened at infancy by a king: Jesus’ life was threatened by a king. Moses left Egypt: Jesus left Egypt with his parents. Moses entered the desert for forty years: Jesus entered the desert for forty days. Moses went up the mountain to deliver the law: Jesus goes up a mountain to deliver […]
He is ever listening – whatever is in our minds is also in our hearts. (10/30/2016) - I was scheduled to say Mass at a nursing home. I got my Alb, draped it over my arm and went to the back door to check out the car situation.  I opened the door to see what was available and there was nothing in the lot.  I forgot to sign out a car.  I […]
Waiting is part of our life of faith (10/16/2016) - What do you do when you have to wait for our Lord? You build character and greatness. One day my father asked me if I knew where the closest Registry for Motor Vehicles was located.  He had some plates to return.  I told him I would do it for him.  My father thanked me and […]
Daily Miracles (10/9/2016) - Our Lord is about half a football field away. I want to run up to Him and show Him my leprosy so He can cure me, but there is a law that states that I must stand far away.  There is no chance He is going to hear me asking for help.  What do I […]
Give Him a reason to help. (10/3/2016) - Pharisee or tax-collector: pick one. Let’s see. The tax-collector will not steal, will not kill, he goes to church, and gives to the poor. The tax-collector will steal from his grandmother. The logical choice is the Pharisee, No? Okay. He is can be arrogant but I can take arrogance. When Jesus picks the tax-collector we […]
The lowly weed. (10/2/2016) - In the seminary, I had to take an oral ethics exam. The professor asked, “What is the difference between patience and perseverance?”  I thought to myself, “The difference between patience and perseverance…I haven’t a clue.” I started to rub my arm. I do that when I am nervous, and said, “Well, patience is an important […]
Keep your Compass close (9/25/2016) - What did the rich man do wrong?  He didn’t have Lazarus arrested, beaten and thrown in jail for trespassing, or spit on him, or tell him how he ought to get a job and work for a living like everyone else. I think I know. As the rich man was coming and going through his […]
The wicked steward (9/18/2016) - The wicked steward gets caught stealing and then he becomes the hero of the story. How does that happen? Bible people have been scratching their heads for centuries trying to figure out how a bad guy becomes a model of behavior for Christians. I am glad your interest is peaked. Let me try to explain. […]
Infinite containers (9/11/2016) - Happiness means fulfillment.  We are happy when we are complete.  Now we have a problem.  We have containers within us that we can’t fill. Take my brain, for example.  It is smaller than a football but it is an infinite container.  I can’t fill it. A few years ago, I got my licentiate which I […]
Christ asks us to do some pretty hard things (9/4/2016) - To think that one of the most important human achievements in history was done in a Roman prison.  Paul wrote a letter and we are still reading it two thousand years later.  Paul’s base camp was Ephesus.  If you happen to stand on the shore at Ephesus and look directly across the sea you will […]
The Haves and the Have-nots (8/28/2016) - Let’s suppose I was invited to a banquet.  I walk in and someone generously invites me to sit at their table.  I walk to the front of the hall and sit down. The man next to me turns out to be Billy Gates. Seeing my collar, Mr. Gates asks me how things are going at […]
The Narrow Gate (8/21/2016) - I want you to picture an ancient city, high thick walls and narrow doors.  Why would a big city in the ancient world want to have narrow doors? Because an invading army could knock down the doors and be in the city in less than a minute. If they had to go one by one […]
All things are vapor (8/14/2016) - A guy successfully climbs up the mountain of success.  He has more money than he will ever spend. He is like a king who rules over many nations. He has power, wisdom and knowledge.  I am at the bottom of the mountain.  I look up and I ask, “How’s the view up there?  He tells […]
The Happy Place (8/7/2016) - My friend took me fly fishing to Pennsylvania because it is the best place in the country—perhaps the world—to catch trout.  Fly fish in Pennsylvania, are you putting me on? Should not the best trout fishing be in found from a bush plane into the remote area of Canada or Alaska. Should we not consider […]
How valuable are we? (8/1/2016) - I was with one of my confreres while he was unpacking his belongings. He pulled out a bottle of liquor and said, “A parishioner gave me this as a going away gift; this is very good stuff.” I asked, “If I were to order a shot at a restaurant, how much would it cost?”  He […]
Why does God give us gifts, talent, skills, and material wealth? (7/31/2016) - A guy successfully climbs up the mountain of success.  He has more money than he will ever spend. He is like a king who rules over many nations. He has power, wisdom and knowledge.  I am at the bottom of the mountain.  I look up and I ask, “How’s the view up there?  He tells […]
Our Father (7/24/2016) - If you ask St. Dominic how to pray, he will give you a rosary. If you ask St. Ignatius of Loyola, he will give you the Ignatian exercises.  If you ask Mother Teresa, she will tell you to pray from the heart. If you go to a workshop on prayer, they may teach you the […]
I Am is with us through it all (7/17/2016) - In the parable of the Good Samaritan, a priest and a Levite pass by a man who was left-half dead by robbers. What? Why didn’t the priest and the Levite, two reputable members of the community, not help the poor man? I’ll tell you what I think. They each go over to help the man. […]
As yourself (7/10/2016) - I was in the hospital emergency room and the receptionist asked me, “What happened?”  I said, “I fell.”  She asked me to take a seat. I sat there for five hours. It cost me seventy-five dollars for the paper work, one hundred and fifty for the nurse to take my temperature, three hundred for the […]
Do not hold back with God. (7/3/2016) - It had snowed all weekend. When it finally ended, Sunday afternoon, I decided to clean off the cars and shovel the driveway so I wouldn’t have to get up early in the morning to do it.  I finished the job, said Mass, got something to eat and just before I went to bed, I stuck […]
Personal representative. (6/19/2016) - You are about to be baptized in the first century. The first thing you had to do was take off your clothes. Most likely they were rags, if you were poor. You then went into moving water. A constant flow of fresh water carried away all the dirt and sweat of your hard work. After […]
Let God finish the story. (6/12/2016) - Let me share with you my metaphor for love. I went to the garden one day and I saw weeds growing everywhere. They were the shape of a bush. I grabbed a weed by the head and pulled it, hoping to pull up the roots. It snapped at the top of the root. That will […]
Excellence is the bar to set (6/5/2016) - There was a man who came to mass every Sunday and put a one thousand dollar check in the collection—every Sunday. This went on for two months until he started to write checks for one thousand two hundred dollars. I thought this is wonderful. After mass one Sunday this successful business man came over to […]
How is abundance handled? (5/29/2016) - There I am sitting on the grass with a half-loaf of bread. I am so full that I can’t eat another bite. Yes, I am one of the five-thousand that just ate from the two loaves and fish that our Lord blessed and multiplied.  I am thinking that perhaps I can pocket this bread and […]
The one source of peace. (5/22/2016) - I used to have my own office.  I had a picture on the wall: Madonna and Child.  Whenever I had an appointment or met with a couple, I brought them from the front door to my office and they always noticed the picture. Everyone would smile and say, “What a nice picture.” They noticed the […]
The resurrected breath (5/18/2016) - After I was accepted in the doctorate program, I met with my director and he asked me if I could read German. I told him I could not. So he said, “You need to learn.”  Here was my strategy. I made hundreds of German flash cards, made stacks of fifty and put a rubber band […]
The power of prayer should not be underestimated (5/8/2016) - When Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane, He was weak, tired and very much alone. He did not look like the Savior of the World. When He left the garden, under arrest, He was resolved to be strong and looked like the Savior. What happened in the garden that caused Him to be transformed? Prayer. […]
He is always watching out for us. (5/1/2016) - When I realized I might have a vocation to the priesthood, I knew I had to select a seminary. This is how I went about it. I found the holiest, humblest, most dedicated, hard-working, faithful, happy priest I could find and made an appointment to meet with him. I took a plane to Philadelphia and […]
He sends us as His replacement (4/24/2016) - After the resurrection, Mary saw Jesus and thought He was the gardener. Later, Jesus ate with some friends. A week later, He had breakfast on the beach with His friends after they caught a boat load of fish. Jesus is a man on vacation. He did not work after the resurrection. No more long discourses […]
The brochure or truth. (4/17/2016) - When my brother was about eight years old, maybe nine, my mother gave him a set of charcoals, the variety that is used for drawing.  He took them into the woods with a sheet of paper.  When he came back, there was a drawing of a beautiful landscape.  If I remember, the charcoals did not […]
If we stay connected with God we will be fine. (4/10/2016) - The disciples catch 153 very large fish. What does 153 mean? Scripture scholars have scratched their heads for years trying to figure out the meaning. If you ask a fisherman, he’ll say, “It means, you are having a really good day.” I was engaged in a conversation about fishing one day with my father and […]
Wow! (4/3/2016) - On the day of the resurrection, Jesus walked through locked doors.  The apostles were frightened. They probably thought it was the angel of death coming to wipe them out for being such lousy apostles.  Jesus had a small panic attack on His hands. The first thing Jesus did was to show them His hands. Why? […]
Happy Easter (3/27/2016) - My parents had the most unfriendly cat I ever met. All I had to do was say, “Here kitty, kitty,” and she would bolt and just before she’d turn the corner, she would look back at me as if to say, “No touching. Keep your hands off, Bucko.”  One day I went into the house and […]
Our merciful Father will always exceed expectations! (3/13/2016) - There I am in the deliberating room with the evidence in the trial. In my right hand is a very heavy pistol. In my left, a plastic bag from Shaw’s. The defendant is charged with possession of a gun. His defense is: “My friend gave me a bag. I didn’t know there was a gun […]
Live as we are called to be – His child (3/6/2016) - I lost a sheep. I am not going to go looking for him because I know what will happen. I’ll return and now two sheep are missing. Then I’ll go after the two and while I am gone, five sheep will wander off.   I can’t risk losing more than one sheep.  I stand there thinking […]
No one needs You more than I (2/28/2016) - I went to the hospital and met a man with his dying wife. He told me with unyielding pride that they had been married for sixty years. I am always interested to know the secret for such a commitment. “Well,” he said, “Let me tell you. When we were married, I had a low paying […]
Do others see Him? (2/21/2016) - When I first started fly-fishing, I took a fly-casting lesson from a certified professional (they do exist).  The instructor said, “Let’s see what you got.”  I took the fly rod and pulled off a good amount of line that I thought I could cast. It coiled at my feet.  I then took my rod and […]
Are you ready for success? (2/14/2016) - In sixth grade, for gym we played floor hockey.  It was the girls against the boys.  To balance the teams, the teacher pulled me aside and asked if I would play on the girls’ side. I reluctantly said, “Yah, I guess.”  Sure enough, there I was standing on the side with the girls and the […]
Be His friend to all (2/7/2016) - Just before I was ordained, a guy called my brother asked him if he would work in his computer company.  He told my brother the pay wasn’t great, but the stock options were fantastic.  He thought about it, but declined.  Later, my brother told me, “Do you remember the guy that offered me a job […]
To be a clone (1/31/2016) - I was invited by my friend to a private fly fishing trout club. When I got there, I was introduced to one of the members named Jerry. In the next sixty seconds, I learned that he was a Catholic, went to Mass every day, and spent his retirement assisting his handicapped son – the love […]
Decisions and choices (1/24/2016) - My dentist gave me a lecture at my last visit. Not about my teeth. They are in great shape, so the subject was not my teeth but my diet. No meat, he said is better than less meat. He gave me compelling statistics, showed me web sites, and he even quoted the bible. He told […]
Listen and do (1/17/2016) - After I was ordained, I presided at a wedding and the couple insisted that I go to their reception. Naturally, I didn’t know anyone there except the bride and the groom. I couldn’t hang out with them because they were busy. I sat at a table with people I met for the first time. After […]
Get out of the boat! (1/10/2016) - A sand flea – it sounds harmless. It is so small you can hardly see it with the human eye. The problem is they have very sharp teeth.  I was fly-fishing one summer evening, and the sand flees came out in full force. They had no mercy – they were all over me.  I only had two […]
It’s not for me. (1/3/2016) - My uncle parks the farthest from the entrance as possible, so when he gets out of his truck he can scan the ground for loose change.  When he finds something like a penny or a nickel he gets very excited.  People have been known to look out a restaurant window to see what the commotion […]
When He speaks, something always happens (12/18/0201) - I used to go to work with Dad when I was younger. That is when Dad talked to me – going to work with him. He gave me all kinds of advice that he learned from life. It was going to work with Dad when he told me the secret places to fish along the […]