Christmas 2016 Homily

“Sometimes I think accessibility is the name of the game. You can’t construct a new building without making it accessible to one and all. When we need a ride, we expect an Uber car to pick us up in a matter of minutes. When we go on the internet or use an app, we expect to access the information we need almost instantly. Access and accessibility have woven their way not only into our vocabulary but also into our way of thinking and our expectations.

So, let us ask: Is God accessible to us? Sometimes God is portrayed an impersonal force incapable of relating to us. And sometimes God is seen as far removed from our everyday lives and struggles. Many people have concluded that the search for God is futile.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

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4th Sunday of Advent, St. Mark Parish Homily

“Many years ago, when I was a newly ordained and inexperienced priest, I visited a parishioner in the hospital. She was suffering terribly, and to tell you the truth, I was lost for words. I think I stammered something about trying to find God in the midst of her suffering as I fumbled around for the Oil of the Sick and the ritual so that I could anoint her.

“Sensing my discomfort, this wonderful woman of faith, smiled at me, took my hand, and she said to me, “Oh, Father, don’t you worry about me. I’m not trying to find God in this hospital bed; he’s trying to find me. And you know what? I think he’s finally got me!” It was a “eureka” moment in my life as a Christian and as a priest. a thought I’ve returned to hundreds of times over the years in my prayer: Yes, we search for God but not half as much as God searches for us.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

4th Sunday of Advent; Installation of Fr. Colin Postin Homily

“It is a joy to be with all of you so near to the feast of Christmas and on this joyful occasion of the installation of Fr. Collin Postin as your pastor. Thank you for warmly welcoming him as he began his pastoral service here at St. Anthony’s and at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. And thank you, Father Collin, for your pastoral generosity in embracing both of these parishes as a good and loving shepherd of souls.

“It turns out that today’s Scripture readings for the 4th Sunday of Advent offer us real insight into Father Collin’s role as your pastor. That role has two main components: first is pointing out the presence of God in our midst and being the instrument of God’s presence; and second is helping us to acknowledge and respond to God’s presence with an obedient faith in every aspect of our lives. Let us reflect on these two points for a few moments.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

3rd Sunday of Advent, “Gaudete” Sunday Homily

“From time to time, we may find ourselves alone, even isolated, perhaps cooped up at home or hospitalized. When we are alone and isolated for long periods, so many thoughts and emotions crowd in upon our minds and hearts. Questions come into our minds, questions we normally block out when we are otherwise occupied or distracted. And after we’ve been alone for a while, don’t we looking for reassurance when someone we love and trust comes to visit? We want to know how our loved ones are doing and all the latest news. And if there’s something we worried about – well, we want to know about that too.

Perhaps this common experience helps us understand the surprising question which the imprisoned John the Baptist asked of Jesus: ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’ That question is surprising because, only a short time before, John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah, had recognized Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. Now he asks, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect another?’ Crouched in his dark prison cell, isolated and alone with his thoughts, John the Baptist perhaps began to wonder about Jesus. Was Jesus the sort of Messiah that the people of Israel had been waiting for? Was Jesus really the Savior who would deliver his people from oppression?”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Second Sunday in Advent; Memorial Mass for Helen Marikle Passano Homily

“Gathered together for this Birthday Celebration Mass for Helen in this chapel, so beautifully restored in honor and in memory of her parents, I wish to greet first Msgr. Rick Woy, Rector of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, together with the President of the University of Notre Dame in Maryland, Dr. Mary Lou Yam, and immediate past President, Mary Pat Seurkamp. I warmly greet Mac Passano, Helen’s loving husband of 44 years, and her daughters, Tammy, Catherine, and Sarah, as well as Helen’s many grandchildren, family, and friends. Please know that you have our love and support as we celebrate Helen’s birthday— her birth into this world and her birth into everlasting life. And let us do so by focusing on her life through the lens of the season of Advent and Christmas and this evening’s Scripture readings.

Advent is a wonderful time in the life of the Church. As we know, it marks the beginning of a new liturgical year, a time when we are called to open our hearts more widely to Christ as once again we remember and re-live the events of his life – his coming into the world, his teaching and miracles, his death and resurrection. And it is a time of heightened spiritual awareness when the Scripture passages we read reminds us not to be anxious about the future or so caught up in our pursuits and pleasures that we will fail to prepare our hearts to receive Christ – at Christmas, in our daily lives, and, indeed, at the end of our lives. Advent teaches us that, even amid the passing things of this world, we can draw closer to Christ and live more deeply in his love.”

Read the complete homily HERE.