Homilies for August 2012

For Sunday Liturgies and Feasts
August 2012 

“I am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to me will never hunger.”

Less grumbling, more trust
Purpose: To invite our congregations to an examination of conscience in which they ask themselves where it is they still trust the world’s powers, over and against the humble Lord, and where it is they still “grumble” against the Lord’s providential—albeit oftentimes mysterious—care for each of their lives.

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time—August 5, 2012
Readings: Ex 16:2-4, 12-15 Eph 4:17, 20-24 ● Jn 6:24-35  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/080512.cfm

The first verb of the readings today is all too familiar to most of our parishioners, as well as to ourselves: grumble!  We grumble that the country is “slouching toward Gomorrah,” that the Church has failed to offer courageous leadership. We bemoan how the modern family and culture are being redefined in outlandish ways.  And, each of us has broken and sinful parts of our lives that diminish the joy God longs to give us.  There is in fact much to “grumble” about, but the aim of the readings this Sunday is to emphasize, not our discontent, but God’s fidelity, fidelity to a very broken people.  So broken are we, in fact, that we oftentimes prefer the bondage of Egypt to the promises of Israel, the teeming “fleshpots” of the world to the glories of the cross.  The pitiful paradox of such sinfulness is that in Egypt our bellies were at least filled. While our bodies may have been subject to the lashes of Pharaoh, he never demanded sovereignty over our souls.  Yet, Yahweh brings us into a new type of freedom by demanding a new type of submission, a freedom where he alone wants to be God. He, therefore, asks us to offer every part of our lives to him—both on the natural, as well as the supernatural planes—and we find ourselves constantly rebelling, grumbling, against such surrender.  Many today also wish to remain “spiritual” but never “religious,” never allowing themselves to be led truly and fully, but rather opting for a form of discipleship always on their own terms.  Perhaps in our homily today we could gently ask those in our congregations where it is they still trust the world more than they do God, where they still prefer the material security of “self” more than living their lives as “gift” for Christ and his Church.

Most Christians do not actually believe that the Father wills to console them, to bring them comfort, to be with them in every trial and circumstance.  Most believe that if God really loved them, their lives would have no suffering, no cross.  It is hard to reconcile the perfect love of God with the ways we are often asked to encounter that love: in hunger, in testing, in adversity.  We, therefore, oftentimes find ourselves running away from God, seeing those trials in our lives simply as projects we ourselves must accomplish.  St. Ignatius of Loyola was quite fond of depicting God as “one who labors,” a busy God who uses every experience in each of our lives to unite us closer to his very own life. The God of Exodus is likewise a very active Lord, going ahead of his people to ensure their prosperity.  Even despite their own unhappiness and seemingly incessant dissatisfaction, Yahweh remains true to his promise of healing and uniting.

Slowly, God’s people come to embrace their trials as a sign of his love. Ultimately, the Christian people will come to see the cross of Jesus Christ as the truest sign of divine love, a love that longs to suffer and to redeem every aspect of human living, and death.

This covenantal commitment is stressed, in today’s readings, in terms of sustenance, both in bodily sense, as well as spiritual sense.  In the old covenant, God fed the Israelites in a new way with a new substance—manna—and, slowly, not only wins over Israel’s trust, but prepares the whole world for his own coming as “the true bread from heaven”.  Do we know how to detect the Divinity’s laboring around us?  Do we give our people the tools with which they are able to sense God’s activity in their lives?

While today’s Psalm repeatedly celebrates this “bread from heaven,” the Epistle focuses on the continual newness of this life. We can no longer live as we used to, but are to be renewed by putting on Christ, “created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.”  As such, a fitting homily today would do well to help our congregations move into a very concrete examination of conscience, inviting them to assess where they still live in, and for, the world; where they sense true sanctity and surrender.  Is it in their finances; or the way they choose to recreate; or in what they eat and drink; or the jokes they tell and words they use; or the websites they visit; or shows they watch; or their sexual temptations; or their family size; or in their Mass attendance; or in their prayer regimen?

Where do they attend to God’s presence?  Is it in their desire to love their families, working hard to provide for their children? How about making time for prayer and adoration, or saying a daily rosary? Do they have an explicit commitment to the poor, or possibly working on behalf of the unborn?  Where is it they find life, joy, peace, and quiet of soul, creativity and excitement?  On the other hand, where do they still freely embrace division, torpidity of soul, desolation, embarrassment and regret?  In asking these questions, or sets of questions, it would be good to offer (though this may feel awkward) ten or so seconds of silence after each, thus providing the time and space for each parishioner to examine his or her own self.

Finally, since every Sunday this month keeps us in the Eucharistic Discourse of John 6, we have four different opportunities to preach about the Eucharist (which I shall do on the 20th Sunday, August 19th).  Today, it might be good to set the stage, to help others see how they do, in fact, long for the absolute and perfect love of Christ, but will never realize this on their own terms, but only once they have handed all over to him.  He continually “comes down” from heaven so as to unite us to himself, to unite our very selves.  A sinful heart Jesus must always love, but never a divided one.

The Grace of Pilgrimage
Purpose: To emphasize our role as homines viatores—people still in a foreign land—but on the way to our true home. We are all on pilgrimage, but this world still matters, for it is here we are fed by the Eucharistic Lord so as to meet him in our brothers and sisters around us.

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time—August 12, 2012
1 Kgs 19:4-8 • Eph 4:30-5:2 • Jn 6:41-51

While the 18th Sunday presented the Lord’s graciousness as feeding his people and stilling their complaints, today’s readings both continue this motif of feeding those on a journey (viz., Elijah), but also stresses the need to listen attentively and intimately to the Father (“Everyone who listens to my Father…”).  A homily for the 19th Sunday could, accordingly, focus on the competing voices in each of our lives.  Do we listen to the Father, or to another source of supposed guidance and truth?  How do we know the difference, and what can we do about the constant tension within our souls?  Furthermore, are we able (with Elijah) to see how, even in our limitations and emptiness, the Lord bids us ever closer?  Do we allow God to lead us where he wills, or are we always conforming God’s own will to our own?

After defeating Baal’s prophets on Mount Carmel (cf. 1 Kings 18), Elijah is totally exhausted, enervated, depleted and simply wants to die (great prophets are usually men of great extremes!).  Instead of granting his plea for death, however,Yahweh brings Elijah to Mount Horeb.  It is a solid theological principle to realize that God delegates whatever he can to creatures, inviting us to collaborate with him, as much as possible, in the economy of our salvation. As angels fed God’s people (cf. Psalm 78), and ministered even to God himself (cf. Mk 1:13), God again sends creatures to assist creatures.  Notice, too, how the angel never gives up on the stubborn prophet, but goes to him, again and again, until he finally recognizes the Lord’s voice through this heavenly messenger.  This is helpful for others to hear, that usually God speaks to each of us through one another, and not usually as a “one off” (happening only once), but continuously and repeatedly, until we are finally still, or humble enough to listen.

There are at least four components to every pilgrim’s journey.  Everyone on his or her way needs: (1) water, (2) food, (3) encouragement, and (4) a final destination.  While the destination may be the last thing actually realized, it must be the first thing decided upon.  No other decision makes sense until we realize where we are going; only then are we able to intelligently plot a plan of action.  And so it is with the Christian journey, as all four components of a journey are the same. But for the Christian, there is one essential difference:  Jesus Christ.  At the waters of baptism, Christ makes us members of his own sacred body. At every Eucharist, he continually feeds his pilgrim people. By the virtue of hope, he literally dwells within the soul, spurring us on. He himself is, of course, our goal and purpose of this earthly journey—not only the final end but the daily way, as well (cf. Jn 14:6).

The modern mind has a very difficult time on pilgrimage.  We want everything now—instant food, instant communication, instant gratifications.  The central casualty of the Enlightenment has been any sense of teleology, which, in this case means we have lost the importance of what a thing is for, what a creature’s purpose is.  That is, we no longer ask why something exists, but now we rather focus on what it can do, on its power and potential.  Without a sense of purpose, then, any life is as good as any other.  Without an ultimate goal, built into human living, every choice is as good as any other.  But it is not this way with God’s people, who have been stalwartly oriented to heaven.  We still “grieve the Holy Spirit of God,” and we still “murmur about Jesus,” because part of us does not want to be made for heaven, which still struggles against the idea of becoming a saint.

Today’s Gospel thus invites us to ask for the mind and heart of a mystic, who understands that the Lord is continually at work in ways we cannot see with earthly eyes. The Jews, however, simply saw “the son of Joseph.” They discounted the Lord’s dominical claims because he was too ordinary.  This is almost always a trick of the enemy: to relegate the divine only to the realm of the heavenly and extraordinary.  But this is not how God chose to save us. Instead, in order to save the world, he took on the flesh of our flesh, the nature of our humanity—the very stuff we all take for granted because we are completely surrounded by it: our flesh, our bones, our blood, our minds, our souls, our relationships, our experiences, our careers, our families, our very lives.

This continues today: just as the Eucharist “looks” like ordinary bread, our mystical eyes see the Lord, and all his people gathered into his saving unity.  Just as our neighbors may look like ordinary people, they are God’s own.

Hail, Holy Mother!
Purpose: To see in Mary a taste of whom we, too, shall become; to introduce, at least, the nature of August’s Marian feasts.

Feast of the Assumption (and Queenship of Mary, August 22)—August 15
Readings: Rev 11:12a; 12:1-6a, 10b • 1 Cor 15:20-27 • Lk 1:39-56

The closer any Christian soul is to God, the closer that one will also be to God’s people.  There is an inescapable overlap between how we are with God, and how we are with one another.  No Christian, we are told repeatedly in the scriptures, can truly think he loves God while hating his brother or sister. No Christian can possibly refuse the forgiveness of others, while expecting God to forgive him.  This is our great dignity: God chooses to treat us as we choose to treat ourselves, and one another.  And, so it is with our Lady.  Because she is so intimately close to God, she is inevitably close with every one of God’s children, who are now made to be her children in the perfect sacrifice of her Son.  In this regard, the Holy Father is often quoted on this day, as Benedict once proclaimed, that: “Precisely because Mary is with God and in God, she is very close to each one of us.  While she lived on this earth, she could only be close to a few people.  Being in God, who is actually ‘within’ all of us, Mary shares in this closeness of God.”  The readings this feast day point us in this direction, in the direction of love.

My mother is suffering from cancer right now. One of my teenaged nephews commented that: “Don’t you think it’s weird that Grammy is in the hospital, so sick, and she is worrying only about us.  She apologized for ‘ruining’ my summer and was worrying that I was spending too much time visiting her.” I listened, struck by his youthful wonder, and replied: “Don’t you see?  Love is always other-directed, always looking out for the other.”

Today’s Feast of the Assumption of Mary is commemorated through her Magnificat, spoken during her visit to Elizabeth.  As the “perfectly beloved,” Mary knows that this feast is not ultimately about her, but about her in union with Jesus.  St. Augustine confessed that, alone, we have only our sins; but in union with Christ, we have everything, everyone!  This is why Mary’s soul reflects not herself, but the Lord.  This is why Mary does not stay home, reveling in this new way of God in the world, but rushes outward into the world, bringing him to all who open their homes and hearts to her.

This Feast of the Assumption is followed by the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, a week later (Aug 22: Ez 34:1-11 • Psalm 23 • Mt 20:1-16).  Both of these celebrations were developed over the centuries of the Church. However, both are based, of course, on the work of Christ in Mary’s life, and her single-hearted acceptance of her Son, and Savior.  While today is Mary’s great feast, nothing of her passing from this world is taught definitely by the Church.  The first definitive claim we have of her bodily assumption into heaven is by St. John Damascene in the first half of the 8th century, although many earlier fathers hinted at it, and brought the possibility to light.  The theology is, of course, that the separation of body and soul is the “unnatural” punishment of our sinful rebellion, If one was, in fact, conceived and lived without sin, this indecorous division between one’s body and one’s soul would prove unfitting.  Thus, today, Mary enjoys what all the elect will one day experience: the eternal reunion of body and soul. As such, Mary is, once again, the foretaste and promise of the whole Christian body.

There is a pious tradition, in the early and medieval Church, that suggests that the reason Christ is not readily apparent at the empty tomb on Easter morning, is due to the fact that he was out visiting his Mother, the first human to know of the resurrection, the first Easter Christian. This captures perfectly the “proper order” of our faith: from Jesus through Mary to us (“Christ, the first fruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end…”).  She is, therefore, not only the first to witness the Resurrection, but the first after Christ to become it, and, therefore, the first to bring this new life from Christ to us.  Or in the word’s of the Solemnity’s Collect: “… grant, we pray, that, always attentive to the things that are above, we may merit to be sharers of her glory.”  By sharing in Mary’s glory, we participate in Jesus’ glory; through the grace of Jesus Christ, she opens herself up entirely and wholly to him, and necessarily to the whole of Christianity.  More perfectly than any other disciple, Mary is sent out to witness to the power of love, witnessing to the ecstatic nature of eros—going out of herself so as to come into union with another, first with Christ, and then with you and me.

In this way, today’s feast is not a lamentation, bemoaning the absence of Mary, but a celebration of her new way of being the perfect Mother to her scattered children.  Just as the Ascension of Our Lord is a time of his new presence with us in his Spirit, today’s “departure” is really testimony to how Our Lady can now be with every sanctified soul, regardless of place or time.

Christ’s ascension does not mean that he has left us to our present condition, since he has gone only to prepare a place for us, that where he is we also may be; no more does Mary’s assumption mean her separation from us.  As her son is represented in the letter to the Hebrews as always living to intercede for us, so she remains, as the constant belief of the Church assures us, at his side, the interceder par excellence.  Already her blessedness is perfect, present, as she is, with God who has placed in her his delight.  But, more than ever, the contemplative prayer which raises her above the angels, in the bliss of an eternal eucharist, carries an irresistible intercession, on her part, that sinners, all of us countless children of hers, may come to be united with her Son (Louis Bouyer, The Seat of Wisdom, 202).

Given such intimacy between Mary and God, today’s feast must then give way to her Queenship.  Our Lord did not remain content in simply restoring to Mary what was due originally to Eve, but wanted to elevate his own mother even higher. No longer daughter and mother only, but now she is Queen.  It was not enough to restore what is every rational creature’s due, but the Lord also longed to elevate Mary, recognizing her, before all, as his the covenanted regnant and mediatrix of all his graces.

Jesus, the Food and Elixer of Life
Purpose: Wisdom opens today’s readings, with the Collect praying for the warmth of God’s love, and the ability to love all things in him.  There is much to focus on today: the beauty of human relationship, the necessity of using created goods rightly, and the Eucharistic challenge of the Lord to consume his living flesh.  Where all of these themes coalesce is in the human heart. Accordingly, today’s homily could highlight what it is that each of us truly desires. That is: do we really want to live lives oriented fully to Christ, or only when it is convenient? Are we content with a bread which perishes, or will we finally let the Lord become our single-hearted love?

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time—August 19, 2012
Readings: Prov 9:1-6 • Eph 5:15-20 • Jn 6:51-58

Wisdom longs to feed us, to bring us into herself and sustain us, making her our only true lifeline.  As Christians, we understand such sapientia, not as mere knowledge which has the full and proper data, but rather as a love that seeks to understand others, living in right relationship with God by living charitably as others.  Scriptural wisdom is thus depicted as inviting us to a meal, entering us, nourishing us, being transformed into us.  The house she has built is a training in relationships, more than it is instruction in religion.  Think of the three inscriptions at Delphi: “Know Thyself,” “Nothing in Excess,” and “Commitment brings Agony.”  These are maxims for the strong man, for the one who seeks to live his life aloof from others.  The Christian, on the other hand, is called to delve deeply into humanity, to become a member of the mystical body, where he shares the pains and the joys of his brothers and sisters.

This is why Paul calls the Catholic community at Ephesus to recognize the needs of others, and to live lives exemplary to those around them.  Christian virtue is never for the self, never just a means for personal improvement, but always an exercise in charity.  And how does Paul proclaim this message?  The apostle travels around the Roman Empire in order to help foster the first Christians’ new way of life, stressing their need to know the psalms, and to sing unto the Lord…and to drink wine properly.  Foreshadowing Chesterton, Paul seems to advise: “Praise God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them.”  This may be solid advice, but it is surely no plan for a parish’s long-term growth!  Yet, from time immemorial, men and women have imbibed so as to enjoy one another, and to taste the good fruits of their land and labors. Men and women have sung as a sign of life, a sign that we creatures burst unless we can give melodious voice to our desires and our depths.  In embracing such primal and “worldly” pursuits, what is Paul teaching all Christians?

Today, I would surely preach on the goodness of this world and that, although these “days are evil,” as Paul warns, this is still the only place where the God-Man, Jesus Christ, can be met.  This, I believe, is why this beautiful passage from Ephesians takes us into John 6. Eating and drinking, community and shared experience, laughter and tears, can be very holy events in the lives of Jesus’ followers.  If they are done without any mind of the Lord and his way of living, they are in the end “evil.” If they are done with gratefulness for where these gifts come from, as well as the intention of using them for the Lord’s greater glory, this world becomes the beginning of heaven.  For this to happen, both Paul and John stress that all Christian disciples must be bound in unity by the Holy Spirit. But such unity is never merely “spiritual.”

The Eucharist demands visible and concrete, practical and “local,” participation.  God is no longer just spirit, is no longer “out there,” but now, in Christ, he dwells here and now, literally and visibly, as the essence of the Incarnation.  That is why the imagery of these readings is so earthly, so carnal, so material. The Gospel is centers around a Greek verb which has caused generations of non-Eucharistic Christians many problems—trogo, meaning to chew or munch upon.  Unlike the everyday Greek term used for eating (phago), this verb literally means to gnaw down upon, to grind one’s teeth into, what has been taken into the mouth.  This is a challenge to Jesus’ interlocutors. In selecting such a very sinewy verb, he is responding strongly to their accusation that eating another’s flesh, and drinking a Messiah’s blood, is “quarrelsome.”

Love draws the beloved into itself for ever-growing union.  This is what Christ is doing today. He is trying to elicit our love by appearing before us, asking to be noticed, to be wanted, to be consumed, freely and lovingly, by each of us.  “Love draws its object into itself; we draw Jesus into ourselves; Jesus draws us into himself.  Then carried above ourselves into love’s interior, seeking God, we go to meet him, to meet his Spirit, which is his love, and this love burns us, consumes us, and draws us into unity where beatitude awaits us” (Elizabeth of the Trinity).  Are there not really three moments of love: that initial awareness of the other, the desire to be in union with each other, and that final longing to become the other?  This is the sole purpose of our Lord’s instituting the Eucharist: to be adored, to be consumed, and to transform men and women into his own Mystical Body.

To close, allow me to share a quote that was coming to my mind while praying over the readings for today.  Why don’t you, too, pray over this selection from one of C.S. Lewis’ most quoted sermons (“Weight of Glory”). Ask the Spirit to show you a line, or an image, here that he might be inspiring you to preach on, and to emphasize this Sunday?

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may, one day, be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities [indeed one or the other is an eventuality], it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another… all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.

There are no “ordinary” people.

You have never talked to a mere mortal.

Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.

This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind), which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.

And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling {that is, heartbreak} for the sins, in spite of which, we love the sinner—no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love, as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to {God Himself}, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ “vere latitat”(truly hidden)—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.

A Father Feeds His Children
Purpose: Among all the stories of Jesus being rejected in the New Testament, today’s is, in some way, the most poignant.  Some possible saints turn their backs on their Lord because they find his teaching nonsensical, too absurd for assent.  How similar our own day is in that everyone wants Jesus to “make sense,” to use religion to look pious, and socially virtuous, but “return to their former way of life” when doctrine and discipline ask too much.  Today’s homily could address the issue of the “Cafeteria Catholic” mentality. But possibly even more fruitful might be to focus the minds of our congregation on Peter’s profession: “Master, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.”

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time—August 26, 2012
Readings: Jsh 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b • Eph 5:21-32 (Eph 5:2a, 25-32) • Jn 6:60-69

The readings today open at Shechem, a holy place in Palestine.  It was close to Samaria. It was a fitting place for the Jewish people to reject all alien deities, declaring formally that, now chastised and renewed, they would “serve the Lord, for he is our God.”  They came to this point only by first reviewing their history (“…it was the Lord, our God, who brought us and our fathers up and out of the land of Egypt…He performed those great miracles…protected us along our entire journey…”).  Perhaps we could allude to how a very concrete review of our day, our year, our lives, results in gratitude for God’s goodness to us. Our responsibility is to take the stillness and the silence to recognize those gracious deeds.

The best of spiritual growth is rarely accomplished alone.  It is almost always fashioned within community—between a spiritual director and his or her directee, between a wise confessor and a penitent, between friends in the Lord.   Today, Paul challenges us with one of his many household codes. He teaches that Christian marriage is no longer simply a human institution, but is now to be a community of Christian growth in insight and charity.  It is a school of love, above all, because husband and wife are now ultimately bound together as Christ and Church. Here, all the foreshadowing and promise of Yahweh to espouse himself to Israel comes to fruition.  It is telling that the option to skip over language of subordination is possible.  Are we able to articulate the Church’s teaching on “mutual subordination,” and the fact that the husband must listen and submit to Christ above all?  Are we able to invite couples before us to see in scripture a taste of their own love for each other, a love where pomposity, misogyny, bickering, and nagging have absolutely no place?  Do we conform our lives to the Scriptures, or do we ignore the challenges of these inspired words?

For, at this point, those who assume they know better than Jesus, leave him.  The particular reason for this (reverse) exodus is not altogether clear.  What “word” did they find difficult:  the discourse as a whole, or the crescendo when Christ identifies his own flesh with the sustenance of all true life?  Either way, the crowd’s rejection of Christ affords Peter the opportunity to speak on behalf of all those entrusted to him (note how this singular man speaks in the plural “we” in both statements—no other Apostle assumes to speak for the rest).

Striking is the fact that this Gospel leads to the Prayer Over the Offerings, where we today pray: “O Lord, who gained for yourself a people by adoption through the one sacrifice offered once for all…”  Christ lives and dies, teaches and instructs, for this one aim—to form a people grafted on to his own body and blood, a people he adopts unto the Father.  Therefore, we could stress, in today’s readings, how the purpose of Catholicism is not simply to avoid sin (as important as that is); nor is it simply to “do” the right thing (that is the old way of being saved, the Law); but it is to allow, and cooperate, with God’s desire to make us his own children, enjoying the same filial love and care by the Father as Jesus Christ himself has.  Not content with only one Son, the Father longs to make a myriad of sons and daughters by grace.

We could, perhaps, use this to expound on a term people now find problematic, “consubstantial.”  That is, we could bring to people’s minds the weekly creed by preaching on how we may believe “in the one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God…begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father.” He is not the only child of God.  Through the adoption we celebrate at every Mass—when we implore God as Father, praying as his children in the Spirit—we acknowledge that the Unigenitus (“the only son”) is the only “begotten” Son of God, while the faithful are “made” sons and daughters of the same Father.  The “DNA” may be different, but like any loving family who has adopted, the love of the parents does not discriminate between the naturally born, and the adopted children. All gather at the same table. All share the same inheritance. Each enjoys the same right to be heard, listened to, and loved.  This is the heart of our faith, to become adopted into the very “family” of the Trinity and the saints. Never are we able to be “consubstantial” with God, but share in his substance, and thus be enabled to imitate him, to manifest his love, care, and mercies while on earth.  This process begins, however, by admitting that Jesus knows infinitely more than we do, and that he alone can bring us “true gladness” (Collect).

David Vincent Meconi About David Vincent Meconi

David Meconi served as editor of Homiletic & Pastoral Review from 2010 to 2022.


  1. born 1948 n ordained as a diocesan priest dec.15,1974 in archdiocese of makassar – south sulawesi – indonesia.I am very thankful and appreciate u for the Mass u offers for readers of HPR, I’m impressed to do the same. just last month i met this great website esp.through homilies n articles, very helpful and inspiring for me.Viva hpr. AveMaria.

  2. Avatar Fr. Edward J. Molumby, S.T. says:

    Today is September 2 and I came looking for a Homily for tomorrow. I didn’t find it!

  3. Avatar Fr. Edward J. Molumby, S.T. says:

    OOpps!, My mistake! Today is September 1, and I can’t find a homily for tomorrow! OK, Come Holy Spirit!