Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Knights of Columbus Board Meeting

“A deeply Catholic organization with patriotism as one of its principles would have a special interest in today’s Gospel passage, where Jesus says,  ‘…repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.’ So, is it possible to love and serve both God and country? What can we possibly give to our government that does not already belong to God? Let’s try to answer to this question by taking a second look at this Gospel reading.

“Well, it’s never a surprise, is it, to find the Pharisees trying to trap Jesus? Sometimes, I think, the Pharisees are like the cartoon character, Wile E. Coyote… but I will not complete that thought in reference to our Savior! The point is that they never could catch him because the Pharisees took the low road and Jesus took the high road. The Pharisees used their ingenuity and energy to trap Jesus so that, in the name of religion, they might retain their power. Jesus, on the other hand, came to do the will of the Father. His were the words of the Father who sent him. His will conformed to the saving will of the Father. Thus Jesus lived on a plane entirely different from those who used religion for their own purposes.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

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Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Our Lady of the Rosary; Maryland Women’s Conference

“I am delighted, once again, to offer Mass for the Maryland Women’s Conference. For this year retreat, you’ve chosen the theme: ‘Fire Within’. It is weekend when you gather in prayer, reflection, and fellowship so as to open your hearts more widely to the fire of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who ignites in our hearts an ardent love of Jesus. That love is fanned into flame by prayer, by a life of discipleship, and by sharing the Gospel with our family, our loved ones, our friends & colleagues.

“In the Gospel reading from St. Luke, we meet the Lord’s earliest disciples. After spending time with Jesus and after being formed by him, a fire was lit in their hearts and they went out to proclaim the Gospel. Their first missionary venture was a resounding success. They returned to the Lord and told him with great excitement, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.'”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary Annual Alumni Reunion

“Thinking of this event many months ago, I thought that perhaps the big news we’d all be rejoicing over is the fact that Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary is the only seminary in the United States to have an accredited ESL program. This is big news and welcome news and it came about due to the hard work of many. Then, as I watched Msgr. Baker working hard to increase enrollment and succeeding, I thought perhaps the big news of the Alumni Reunion might be the fact that we now have 146 seminarians enrolled, a tremendous increase from last year, with much hope for the future. And that’s wonderful news for us all to celebrate this evening. So too, as I anticipated this event, I thought we might be celebrating the fact that our seminary soccer team again captured the Vianney Cup – and so we did! Let’s offer our team heartiest congratulations.

“However, one might say that even these three very positive developments have been overshadowed by the beatification of one of our own, Fr. Stanley Francis Rother, Seminary Class of 1963, a priest of Oklahoma City, the first diocesan priest in the United States to be beatified and indeed the first priest in the United States to be declared a martyr. Msgr. Baker and I, along with 16 seminarians, traveled to Oklahoma for the beatification ceremony. The seminarians formed a wonderful schola who sang at the beatification Mass, a Eucharistic celebration that overflowed with grace and joy. How we should rejoice that the seeds of priestly virtue planted in our seminary germinated and yielded a great harvest of holiness, even as we now redouble our prayers for Bl. Stanley Francis Rother’s canonization. ‘Santo subito,’ as they say in the old country!”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Annual Pilgrimage for the Sea Services

“I must confess that I travel by sea rarely, if ever. But when I do travel, whether on a domestic or an international flight, my mother – now in her late 90’s – is pretty worried. Mom is, of course, always interested in the reasons for my trips but she is even more interested in knowing when I’m leaving and returning, what airline I’m flying, and when I’ve landed safely. And while I am in transit, you can be sure Mom is storming heaven with prayer. Once safely on the ground, I give her a call and she is relieved. But Mom also asks, ‘So where else are you planning on going?’

“In her concern for my safety as a traveler, my Mom is not too different from St. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton – who, until the end of her life, remained concerned about the whereabouts and safety of her two seafaring sons, William and Richard, both of whom served in the United States Navy. Sometimes Elizabeth gently chided them for not writing her often enough or for not keeping her fully apprised of their travels. In fact, Elizabeth had good reason to be concerned as also good reason to be proud! Her son, William, spent 34 years as a commissioned officer of the Navy. His service brought him to Cape Horne, the Mediterranean Sea, costal Africa, and the West Indies. Her son Richard was a captain’s clerk on the first USS Cyane,  that, among other places, brought him to the coast of Liberia where he was involved in fighting off pirates and preventing slave trade. While on duty, he contracted a severe fever and died.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Talk: Reflections on Church and State

“Thank you so much for inviting me to offer the annual Red Mass. It is a pleasure to be with Bishop Olson whose courageous, cogent, and loving pastoral leadership I greatly admire. Thank you, Bishop, for your leadership – locally, nationally, and beyond.

“I am also grateful to Robert Gieb, for leading the committee that organized this wonderful Red Mass and our present gathering.  And thanks to all of you, dear friends, who are kind enough to take the time to listen to me not once but twice in one day. You will have a high place in heaven, I assure you! May God reward your efforts to live your faith and bear witness to it!”

Read the Archbishop’s complete remarks HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Red Mass, Diocese of Fort Worth

“Let us suppose that some fine morning you walked into your law office or your chambers, sat down at your desk, began looking at your emails when suddenly the walls began to shake violently, and flames were seen darting about your person. Suppose further that, after this event occurred, you went out on a balcony and began to address passersby down below – shouting in a loud voice the words of the Gospel. I think it’s fair to say that, when you came in from the balcony, your colleagues would tiptoe around you and someone would probably call security!

Yet, something not unlike this happened to the Apostles and the Virgin Mary when they were gathered in the Upper Room to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit came upon the Apostles, they emerged as bold and fearless witnesses to the Good News of Christ’s Resurrection and spent the remainder of their lives preaching the Gospel & building up the Church, expending even their lives for the sake of Christ. Listening to this evening’s reading from the Acts of Apostles, we were reminded that we too have received the Holy Spirit. In that conviction, born of faith and confirmed by experience, we have gathered for this Red Mass, this Mass of the Holy Spirit, so that you and I, and all those involved in the administration of justice, will indeed welcome the influence of the Holy Spirit more robustly in our lives, …not only to strengthen and encourage us in the challenges of professional life but also to help us serve the cause of truth, freedom, and the common good. It is no small thing that we pray for.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Remarks: Mass for Dreamers, 9/13/2017

 

My thanks to Father Bruce Lewandowski and the St. Patrick/Sacred Heart of Jesus community for organizing this Eucharist. Now more than ever we need to come together as one community of faith, to raise our voices and our prayers on behalf of those in need of our support and our fraternal love.

The cancelation of DACA is not only an immigration issue, but it is also a moral issue. As Catholics and people of faith, we are called to defend life at every stage, and the lives of these young people are being unnecessarily being put at risk by the threat of deportation and separation from the only country many of them have ever known, as well as separation from family, friends, jobs, schools, and their livelihood.  This is cause for great and unnecessary worry and suffering.

Furthermore, this ruling by the administration denies young people a life of opportunity and it deprives our country of their talents. As Pope John Paul II expressed in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae: “Every threat to human dignity and life must necessarily be felt in the Church’s very heart; it cannot but affect her at the core of her faith… Today this proclamation is especially pressing because of the extraordinary increase and gravity of threats to the life of individuals and peoples”. Young people represent the present and the future of the Church; you are indispensable for the progress of this country and of the Church. You are a treasure we must care for.

I join my brother bishops in imploring the administration to show mercy and compassion for those seeking refuge, and to advance the American value of freedom through providing safe harbor to those fleeing tyranny and religious persecution.  Doing the contrary goes against our American values, but most importantly, against our Christian values.  As Americans and people of faith, we are better than that.  We must be better than that.

My dear young people and families, please know that you are not alone. As my brother bishops have declared, “regardless of your immigration status, you are children of God and welcome in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church supports you and will advocate for you.” The United States is not only your country, it is also your home.

It is very fitting that today’s Gospel speaks to us about the poor, the lonely, the weeping and the persecuted. Brothers and sisters know that “your reward will be great in heaven”. Let us then, put our trust in God.

More on the Dreamers Mass from the Baltimore Sun: “Baltimore archbishop calls for mercy for ‘Dreamers’ during Mass at Fells Point church”