Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 2nd Sunday of Advent

“Good morning! I’m delighted to return to Transfiguration Catholic Community to celebrate a Sunday Mass, especially in this beautiful season of Advent, when we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ at Christmas and at the end of time.

“Before reflecting with you on today’s Scriptures, I would like to take a moment to thank all of you for your being a light brightly visible in this part of Baltimore City. By your zeal for the Word of God, by your vibrant and heartfelt worship, and by the missionary and charitable outreach of this parish, you show the possibility of a way of life that is transfigured by the goodness and beauty of Jesus – and for that I sincerely thank you. This community of faith will continue to play an essential role in the evangelization of the City of Baltimore and I look forward to the work we will do together now and in the years ahead.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

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Merry Christmas from Archbishop Lori

Dear Friend in Christ,

There is a popular expression often heard this time of year urging people to “Keep Christ in Christmas,” a not-so-subtle reminder to focus on the true meaning of the holiday as we are rushing around trying to complete a seemingly endless to-do list in the run-up to the Big Day. The Archdiocese has taken a similar page from this familiar slogan in its annual Christmas radio ad campaign inviting people to “Make time for Mass” this Christmas.

While it may, at times, seem difficult to add even one more thing to our schedules this month, when we take time to pray–either alone, with our family, or during Mass, we experience a kind of spiritual “rejuvenation” that helps us to remain focused on Jesus’ birth and strengthens us with the closeness to Christ that comes from prayer. Whether you attend Mass regularly, a few times a year or not at all, please consider attending Mass at a parish near you this Christmas.

Another way we can keep Jesus at the center of our Christmas celebration is by bringing hope into the lives of those less fortunate. I was grateful once again to participate in the Knights of Columbus’ annual Coats for Kids campaign earlier this month. I helped my brother Knights hand out 1,100 warm winter coats to needy children in West Baltimore. The joy on the faces of the children was greater than any gift I could receive and reminded me how blessed we are when we share the gift of God’s love with those around us. Whether volunteering at a Catholic Charities program or making a donation to one of the many programs and ministries supported by our Archdiocese, we have many ways of sharing God’s love with those in need, a true Christmas gift for those we help, but even more so for us!

With joyful anticipation of the birth of our Savior, I pray that you and your loved ones will have a blessed Advent and a very Merry Christmas.

Faithfully in Christ,

Most Reverend William E. Lori
Archbishop of Baltimore

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Solemnity of Christ the King

“On this feast of Christ the King, let me begin with a very “un-king-like” figure. His name was Solanus Casey and, like Fr. Paul, he was a Franciscan priest, a Capuchin Friar.

“I’m told that all Franciscan Friars are good and humble men but when it came to being good and humble Fr. Solanus was the best. But his path to the priesthood and to religious life wasn’t easy. Born in Wisconsin in 1870, he was given the baptismal name of Bernard Francis but mostly he was called ‘Barney’. He grew up on the farms where he his father worked but moving from place to place it became clear that young Barney was not a star student. So he dropped out of school and went to work. He was a lumberjack, a hospital orderly, and street car conductor and prison guard. In prison he witnessed a brutal murder and that experience changed his life. Deep down he had always desired to be a priest but for him the only path to the priesthood was to find a religious order that would accept him. In God’s Providence he found his way to Detroit where he entered the Capuchins and was given the religious name of ‘Solanus’. To be sure, he struggled with his studies and barely made it to ordination and even then was not allowed to preach, at least at first, nor was he given any major responsibility in the Capuchin Order. After a few assignments, he was sent to St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit and for many years he was the porter, the doorman, at the monastery.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Senior Leadership Retreat Day

“This morning we celebrate a beautiful feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary namely, the Feast of Mary’s Presentation in the Temple. It is an event which illumines our Christian imagination: that wonderful and grace-filled moment when Saints Joachim and Anne presented their daughter, Mary, in the Temple. Let us remind ourselves why Mary’s Presentation is exceptional and what this event in salvation history has to do with us and our ministry.

“Joachim and Anne, Mary’s parents, were part of a remnant of God’s People who looked forward with eager anticipation to the coming of the Messiah. Their hope and trust in God’s promises of deliverance were undimmed by the catastrophes that befell the people of Israel – whether it was exile, or the desecration of the Temple, or suppression and conquest by foreign powers. Through it all, the faith of this holy remnant—far from fading— grew ever more vibrant and ever more expectant.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Mass for Deceased Priests

“November is a month when we lovingly remember our beloved dead and commend them to the Lord in the Masses we celebrate and in the prayers we offer in the silence of our hearts. So it is fitting that we gather tonight to commend to the Lord of life and love our brother priests who have gone before us in faith. Ours is a solidarity of faith and prayer that spans time and eternity and thus, what we do here tonight, is of benefit to our brother priests even as we trust that they are praying for us in eternity.

“For that reason, our Scripture readings this evening have Eucharistic overtones for the Eucharist, the heart of our vocation, is the meeting place of earth and heaven, of time and eternity. It is a sacred time and space in which we accompany with our prayers both the living and the dead. In this Mass, we are praying for brother priests who, like ourselves, accounted the celebration of the Eucharist as the source and summit of their lives of faith and their ministries. Let us see what these readings say to us, beginning with the Gospel.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time; Knights of Columbus Mid-Year Meeting

“As we approach the end of this current liturgical year, the Scripture readings at Mass call us to reflect on the final judgment when Christ will come ‘to judge the living and the dead.’ The tale of the three servants in today’s Gospel is a case in point. The Master of the household is Jesus and the household in question is the Church. Each of us is represented by the servants to whom the Master entrusted a portion of his wealth. Just so, through the Holy Spirit, the Lord has given each of us ‘talents’ and has given us a lifetime to develop and use those talents One day, however, the Lord will return in glory to ask us what we did with them. This is the question the Gospel poses to you and me: What am I doing with the ‘talents’ God gave me?

“Now, the word ‘talents’ means that share of God’s own goods, the inheritance, if you will, that he has entrusted to each of us. And so it might refer to the natural talents God has given us and we need to ask if we developing and using our talents or wasting them. The word ‘talent’ can also refer to the material blessings bestowed on us. Are we using those blessings not only for ourselves but also for the good of others? Above all, the word ‘talent’ refers to the spiritual blessings which God, in his mercy, has poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Among those spiritual blessings is the call to be a leader in the Knights of Columbus, and the many opportunities for spiritual growth through charity the Order offers us. What are we doing with all these wonderful gifts?”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Knights of Columbus Mid-Year Meeting, Chaplain’s Remarks

“First of all, it is always a pleasure to be with, my brother Knights, to gather in the midst of the fraternal year to encourage one another in fulfilling the aims and goals of the Order. Please accept my thanks for your service to the Knights of Columbus and know of my daily prayers for you and for your intentions.

“On occasions such as the Mid-Year meeting, we always take time to reflect on the principles at the heart of our Order, most especially our foundational principle, which is charity. But today I would like to spend a little time reflecting on our third principle, viz., fraternity, for we are indeed a fraternal order. The question is, what does it mean to belong to this fraternal order, the Knights of Columbus – and what distinguishes membership in the Knights from membership in other fraternal orders, worthy though they be?”

Read the complete homily HERE.