Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Knights of Columbus Board Meeting

“As a newly ordained priest serving in Prince George’s County, Maryland, I was helping an engaged couple to plan their wedding liturgy. Among other things, we discussed their choice of Scripture readings. The bride-to-be quickly chose St. Paul’s inspired hymn on love —today’s second reading from First Corinthians. Leading with my chin, I asked her why she chose that reading. “Because,” she replied, “it’s like a Hallmark card right there in the Bible!” “Oh good,” said I, checking off the appropriate box on the planning sheet and fuming that she had confused St. Paul for Helen Steiner Rice, Hallmark’s poet laureate.

“Especially for us, as members and leaders of the Knights of Columbus, St. Paul’s ode to love has nothing to do with mere sentimentality. Founded as we are on the principle of charity, this hymn ought to be our Magna Carta, our divine charter, our raison d’etre. In our culture, of course, love is often reduced to a fleeting emotion and charity is thought of solely as an activity. Of course, there is more than a grain of truth in both descriptions. For no one loves without engaging the emotions and no one is charitable without doing good things for other people. Yet, the emotional appeal of love and the attractiveness of doing good, do not take us to the heart of what love really is; they do not lead us to love’s interior. But in today’s second reading, St. Paul does just that. He gets to the root of the matter and thus to the root of why our Order exists.”

To read the complete homily click HERE.

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Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

First let me say how happy I am to return to St. Jude Shrine to offer Sunday Mass, and to thank you, Fr. Sal, as well as the Pallottine Fathers for your service to this Shrine, this beacon of hope in our city. Let me also thank all of you who are part of the St. Jude Shrine community. St. Jude’s, of course, welcomes many pilgrims who come here for Mass, Confession, and devotional prayers. They come seeking the powerful intercession of St. Jude amid the difficulties of life, all those many things that are so difficult to resolve or even to cope with.

Indeed the St. Jude Shrine is a holy place where prayers of petition and intercessory prayers are offered to God. In a prayer of petition we present to God our own special needs and intentions. Often these are very personal – for example – seeking God’s help in overcoming a sinful habit or in mending a broken marriage. When we present to God the needs of others, we offer a prayer of intercession. We intercede for those we love and those who have asked our prayers. And sometimes we simply pray for people who are in need – people all around us who are homeless, unemployed, addicted to drugs, victims of racism, violence and so much more. And these days we pray in a special way for the Church herself, asking that it be healed, purified, and strengthened in this time of crisis. As we offer those prayers for ourselves and for others, we enlist the intercession of the saints, the friends of God, asking them to pray with us and for us in our time of need.

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Vespers, Baptism of the Lord, Priestly Renewal

It is always a wonderful blessing when we gather to pray, for prayer is at the very heart of our vocation both as baptized members of God’s Holy People and as priests ordained for their service. We pray not only because we are obliged to do so, as if prayer were some mere professional responsibility. Rather, we pray because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Spirit. We pray because we’ve been touched in the depth of our being with Christ’s love of which we are to be the credible representatives and living instruments. We pray to be renewed in our vocation, to discern what we should say and do, to intercede for the people we are privileged to serve, to support and heal the Church in a time of crisis, to further its mission, and to support one another in the challenges of ministry.

Yes, it is always good to pray together but never more so than on this Feast of the Lord’s Baptism and in the presence of the relic of St. John Vianney’s priestly heart, St. John Vianney who is our patron as parish priests. We are especially blessed to have with us today the present-day Cure of Ars, the successor of St. John Vianney, Fr. Patrice Chocholski. We welcome you most warmly to the Presbyterate of Baltimore!

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Feast of St. Martin de Porres; Knights of Columbus Mid-Year Meeting

“Last night we focused on ‘Faith in Action’ – on what it should mean to us as leaders and members of the Knights of Columbus. This morning we have a saint who exemplifies faith-in-action, namely, St. Martin de Porres.

“The beginnings of his life were not promising. Martin de Porres was the son of Spanish nobleman and a Panamanian ex-slave, living in Lima, Peru. His father at first denied that Martin, who was dark-skinned, was his son. And, needless to say, Martin did not enjoy the advantages that his father’s nobility and affluence might otherwise have provided. What young Martin did have was faith, a strong and active faith, a faith that was centered on the Person of Christ. Like many saints, Martin was, we might say, ‘precocious in holiness’.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 50th Anniversary St. Isaac Jogues

“When a new parish is founded, demographic studies are done, needs are assessed, and projections of future growth are gathered. Next a temporary place of worship is identified and soon thereafter plans are made for a church structure designed to meet the needs of the emerging parish community. A similar process was followed, some fifty years ago, when your founding members, drawn from St. Ursula’s and Immaculate Conception, gathered under the direction of your first pastor, Fr. Norman Gies to make plans for a new parish to be named after St. Isaac Jogues. Among us today are some of those pioneers, those founding parishioners – I wonder if you would stand so that we might recognize and thank you!

“Those who founded this parish had a lot of vision as they identified priorities and established committees to address major pastoral ministries, such as liturgy and faith formation. Your founders were thinking, not only about the present moment, June 1968. No, they were seeing far into the future, seeking to provide not only for themselves but for those of us who would follow them in the decades ahead. Through the years, this process of looking ahead continued with active lay leadership and participation under the guidance of visionary pastors such as Fr. J. J. Cronin, Fr. Hammond, Fr. Roth, and now Fr. Brian Nolan, as well as the many priests who, now and in the past, have assisted at this parish. Let us express our appreciation to these, our spiritual leaders!”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Annual White Mass

“One morning I was making my usual holy hour in the little chapel located in my residence, right next door. During that rather fitful prayer session, my mind wandered. I found myself looking around at the beautiful things in the chapel, including a lovely statute of the Blessed Mother that Cardinal Hickey gave me when I became a bishop many years ago. I found myself thinking, ‘This chapel is the best thing I have!’

“Next thing I know, I’m praying a Psalm about a man who loses everything. The psalmist grows embittered over his bad fortune as contrasted with the good fortune of evildoers. But suddenly coming to his senses, he asks: ‘Whom else have I in the heavens but you, O Lord? None besides you delights me on earth’ (Ps. 73:25). Reading those words, I was shaken out of my torpor and was wide awake spiritually. I realized that my greatest possession is not my chapel or my books or my position. In the end, they will count for little or nothing. Only the Lord is my life and my salvation (Ps. 27:1).”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Charleston, WV

“During the past few days I have been making my way around West Virginia, holding meetings in Wheeling, visiting Catholic educators in Morgantown, holding further meetings here in Charleston, and now offering Holy Mass here in the Basilica Co-Cathedral dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Although I am officially designated by the Pope as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, I shall strive simply to be your ‘interim pastor’ as you await the appointment of a new bishop. And even if the circumstances that brought me here are indeed difficult, it is a pleasure to serve you and the Catholic community in the State of West Virginia, and let me thank you for the warm welcome I have received everywhere I have gone.

“Among the things you should expect of me as your ‘interim pastor’ is that I would take to heart your ‘hopes and joys’ as well as your ‘grief and anguish’. Indeed, there is never time when we who follow Christ should be without hope. There is never a time when who center our lives on the Eucharist lack hope, hope that we will grow in holiness, hope that our lives will serve God’s purposes, hope that we will someday see God face to face in heaven with all the saints. Nor can a Christ-centered life ever truly be lacking in joy. For even in difficult times, the Holy Spirit who unites us to Christ and to one another, offers us the gift of joy, a joy that is convinces us that God’s love will never deserts us; a joy that repeats what St. Paul taught, ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?'”

Read the complete homily HERE.