Homilies

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

When I was ten years old, I was helping my dad work on the car.  Half way through the job my dad got very flustered because he had lost his screwdriver.  He was looking around all over the place and I noticed that there was a screwdriver in his back pocket.  I asked him, “Dad, is that the screwdriver that you are looking for?”  My dad sheepishly agreed that it was in fact the screwdriver he was looking for.

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28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

For man it is impossible, for God all things are possible.

A politician dies and upon his arrival at the pearly gates he is told he has the choice of going to heaven or to hell, and that he will spend one day in each in order to help him decide. Upon his visit to hell, he is greeted by some of his fellow politicians who take him to a fancy golf club, where they spend their day golfing, drinking champagne and eating caviar. During his visit to heaven, he spends his day floating on clouds, playing harps and singing. When asked by St. Peter where he wants to spend eternity, he chooses hell. So, St. Peter escorts him down to the gates of hell, where he sees his fellow politicians now dressed in rags as they slave away for the devil. The politician is confused and asks the devil what happened, it all was so wonderful yesterday. The devil responds: “Yesterday we were campaigning. Today you voted.”

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25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

In 1989, an 8.2 earthquake almost flattened Armenia, killing over 30,000 people in less than four minutes.  In the midst of utter devastation and chaos, a father left his wife securely at home and rushed to the school where his son was supposed to be, only to discover that the building was as flat as a pancake.  After the initial traumatic shock, he remembered the promise he had made to his son: "No matter what, I'll always be there for you!"  Tears began to fill his eyes.  As he looked at the pile of debris that once was the school, it looked hopeless, but he kept remembering his commitment to his son. He rushed there and started digging through the rubble.  Other well-meaning parents tried to pull him off of what was left of the school saying: "It's too late!" "They're dead!" "You can't help!" "Go home! “Come on, face reality, there's nothing you can do! “You’re just going to make things worse!"  To each parent he responded with one line: "Are you going to help me now?"   And then he proceeded to dig for his son, stone by stone.

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26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

If your eye causes you to sin.

In today’s Gospel we hear very radical statements about being cast in the water with a millstone, cutting off legs and arms and plucking out eyes. Is it ever permissible to mutilate ourselves?  The answer is yes, when the situation is life and death. We would mutilate to stay alive, as the brave fellow did who cut off his arm because it was caught behind a rock and his only hope of survival was to cut it off so he could then walk to safety.

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