Archive for April, 2010

Ten New Homilies Just Added!

Friday, April 30th, 2010

As promised, I’ve just today updated my site after a long hiatus.  The ten recently added homilies are (from oldest posted to newest):  The First, Second and Third Sunday of Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and the Second, Third and Fourth Sunday of Easter.   Out of these, the best or most interesting ones in my opinion are the First Sunday of Lent, and Holy Thursday and Good Friday (both of which were influenced by the Great Rhode Island Flood of 2010 which happened the day before), and the Second, Third and Fourth Sunday of Easter Homilies.   (Simply Scroll down to read the homilies, when you get to the bottom of the page, click “older entries” to read more of the new ones.)

Homily — 4th Sunday Easter C MMX 4/25/10

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Homily — 4th Sunday Easter C MMX 4/25/10

I am the Good Shepherd says the Lord,

I know my Sheep, and mine know me

Yes, as King David prophesied in Psalm 23, the Lord Jesus is my Good Shepherd, with Jesus leading me, and with me following Him, there is nothing that I lack in life, nor shall I lack anything in the future.

For in green pastures Jesus my Good Shepherd gives me rest.

When I let Jesus Shepherd me, there will always be plenty of gentle, rolling hills for me and my brother and sister sheep to graze and play and rest in, green pastures that the wolves and thieves of the world cannot enter into for they rightly fear Jesus our Good Shepherd who watches over the sheep of His flock.

Jesus my Good Shepherd always leads me, if I follow Him, to safe water.

As another Psalm, Psalm 32 says, the floods of water may reach high, but they shall not reach the man who prays to you Jesus.

With Jesus Shepherding us, we will walk on water, walk above the floods this life can sometimes send us, and when the floods subside, we will rest beside calm waters with Jesus resting beside us and as the second reading says we will drink of living waters flowing from the side of Christ.

Jesus the Good Shepherd guides me along the right path.

Out of all the many paths I could take in life, if I look to Jesus, He an He alone will show me the right one to take – the path that is right for me, the path that the Father has blazed for me to take, my vocation, my mission in life, Jesus if I look to Him will show me that narrow path, hidden from the world, that alone leads to Life Eternal.

And with Jesus as my Shepherd, even when I walk through the dark valley, so dark at times that I can’t even see the light at the end of the tunnel, so dark that I can’t even feel your presence in that thick gloomy darkness,

Even when I walk through that dark valley, I fear no evil, for by your grace I know by faith alone that you are at my side, you will get me through this current dark period as you have so many times in the past.

And Jesus, whether I’m in that valley, or high up the mountain in green pastures, at all times your rod and your staff give me courage.

For I know that if my sins get the better of me, and I willingly stray outside the pasture into danger, Good Shepherd that you are, in my conscience you’ll hit me with your rod, not too hard, but firm enough that it’ll smart enough for me to realize I need to get back right away to the pasture and ask for your forgiveness for straying.  And then you’ll take me your little repentant sheep on your shoulders and dance around for joy that I’ve come back safe!

But besides that firm rod of yours, there’s also your wonderful staff that gently keeps me from straying from no fault of my own off the narrow path.

Jesus, may your teachings as found in the Bible and as taught by your Holy Catholic Church be a rod and a staff to give me courage and keep me always in the fold.

For if I’m faithful to being your obedient sheep Jesus, then only goodness and works of mercy follow me and flow from me by your grace, all the days of my life, from childhood to adolescence to young adulthood to middle age to my senior years;

And at the end of my life, You will separate me from the goats and place me on your right with the sheep, and I shall then dwell in the House of the Risen Lord, the Good Shepherd, for ever and ever. Amen.

Homily — 3rd Sunday Easter C 4/18/10

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Homily — 3rd Sunday Easter C 4/18/10

In the First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the Twelve Apostles are dragged into court and are accused of doing three things:

First, they are accused of disobeying the strict orders to stop teaching in Jesus’ name out in public.

Second, they are accused of filling the city with Jesus’ teachings.

And Third, the apostles are accused of wanting to bring Jesus’ blood upon the people they preached Christ to.

When asked by the judge “How do you plead to these accusations?” the Apostles joyfully replied “We are guilty of all three charges, thanks be to God, and we will in the future continue to be guilty of all three things, so help us God!”

And hopefully, you and I, as fellow followers of Jesus, could also be accused of the same three things the Apostles were accused of.

The world should be able to accuse of first of proclaiming Jesus. No strict orders by the powers that be, no peer pressure, no political correctness, nor anything else should stop us from publicly proclaiming Jesus by our words and actions in the world we live and work in.

And should Jesus or any of His teachings become outlawed in our society, we must like the apostles obey God rather than men.

Secondly, as Christians, we should be accused of trying to fill the city with Christ’s teachings.

Not only every part of our being, but also every part of our community we are to fill with the saving teachings of Christ and His Church.

We must bring the teachings of Christ and His Church to our homes and neighborhoods, our schools and our places of work; the Gospel should shape our political views, should permeate the arts and entertainment we surround ourselves with.

As Christians we should be striving at all times to build a Culture that is Catholic in every aspect.

And thirdly, we like the Apostles in the first reading should want to bring Christ’s blood upon all those we come in contact with.

We should want all people – our fellow Catholics in the pews for sure, but also our non-Catholic Christian friends, and our fallen away Catholic friends, our Jewish and Moslem friends, our Hindu and Buddhist friends, our Agnostic and Atheist friends, and even our enemies as well

– we should want all these people and all we meet to know by our words and actions and prayers that Jesus passionately loves them and has shed His blood for them, and that Jesus invites them all to be one in Him and in His Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

May the world, may the society around us be able to accuse us of these three things, of proclaiming the Name of Jesus, of filling the world with His teaching, and of wanting His saving blood to be upon all people.

But sadly, how many times do we fail to do these three things!

How many times a day even, does our doubts and fears and fallen nature all get the better of us, and we fail to proclaim Jesus by word and action, fail to bring Jesus into certain parts of our life, fail to love others as Christ calls us to love them?

Jesus said to Peter Before this day is over, you will deny three times you know me. In a way, the same thing can be said of us, before the day is over we will deny Jesus three times, maybe thirty three times.

But Jesus knew that Peter was truly sorry that he denied Him, and so after the Resurrection Christ gave Peter the opportunity to say Three Times that he loved Jesus.

And the power and grace of the Resurrection gave Peter the strength and faith to not deny Jesus publically any more, but to be a great evangelist who attracted many people to Jesus.

This Season of Easter my brothers and sisters, the Risen Lord says to you and me as he said to Peter “Do you Love me more than anything else?”

This Season of Easter, Jesus wishes to strengthen our Love for Him, to strengthen our Faith in Him, so that we may Feed His Sheep, the Hungry and Lost People of the world he wants to send us to.

Jesus, we believe you are Risen and with us in this Blessed Sacrament we are about to receive. Jesus you know that we love you, and that we are sorry for the times we fail to bring you to others.

Jesus by your glorious resurrection, make us strong in our faith, that the world may have no doubts whatsoever that we are truly your followers.

He is Risen!

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Happy Easter everyone!  I hope to start posting some of my Lenten and Holy Week 2010 Homilies, and my Easter Homilies in the weeks to come.  I’ve been rather busy of late, please forgive me!

God Bless, Fr. Woolley

Homily – Divine Mercy Sunday MMX 4/11/10

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Homily – Divine Mercy Sunday MMX 4/11/10

The Second Reading this weekend is taken from the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation.

John was just a young man when Jesus rose from the Dead, but in the second reading John is now a very old man exiled on the tiny Greek Island of Patmos, which was probably where the government sent criminals to die. All his other brother Apostles had been martyred, and the Virgin Mary whom he lived with for many years had years before been assumed into Heaven.

It was there on Patmos one Lord’s Day, which is Sunday, that John was caught up in Spirit and is given a vision of seven gold lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands was the Risen Lord Jesus.

Seeing Jesus amidst the Lampstands on the Lord’s Day, John fell down at Christ’s Pierced Feet, as one dead to the world, and alive only for Jesus.

This passage is the reason why Catholic Altars traditionally have six big gold candlesticks with an Altar Crucifix in the middle of them, like our altar does, to represent these seven lampstands that John saw in His vision.

Just like John’s vision, on the Lord’s Day, on Sunday, when we come to Church, the Risen Jesus, Body Blood, Soul and Divinity, appears in the midst of the Seven Lampstands on our Altar.

May we too like John fall down before Him, dead to the world and alive only for Jesus.

While we see Jesus at Mass hidden under the species of Bread and Wine, John in His Vision saw Him as He really looks like in Heaven, wearing an ankle length robe, with a gold sash around his chest.

In this respect, John’s vision of Jesus is very similar to the Private Revelation the Polish Nun St. Faustina Kowalska had of Jesus on February 22, 1931.

Sister Faustina writes in her diary the following:

(That) evening, when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment.  One hand (was ) raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast.  From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale.

“After a while, Jesus said to me, “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus I trust in You.  I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel and (then) throughout the world.

“I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over (its) enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory.”

Just as Jesus told John to write down the vision he saw on a scroll, for the world to read, so Jesus told St. Faustina to paint the Vision she saw, for the world to Venerate.

St. Faustina told this to her priest in confession, who told her Jesus was speaking to her figuratively: “Jesus wants you to paint (that) image in your soul.”

But afterward Jesus spoke to her and said: “(The priest is mistaken), My image already is in your soul. . . .I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy.  I desire that priests proclaim this great mercy of Mine towards souls of sinners. Let the sinner not be afraid to approach Me. The flames of mercy are burning Me –  clamoring to be spent; I want to pour them out upon these souls.”

Then Jesus told her why He wanted the words “Jesus I Trust in You” written under the image.  He said to her “Distrust on the part of souls is tearing at My insides. The distrust of a chosen soul (that is, a baptized person) causes Me even greater pain; despite My inexhaustible love for them, they do not trust in Me.  Even My death is not enough for them.  Woe to the soul that abuses these (gifts I’ve given them).”

All of this is private Revelation and we’re not required to believe Jesus really appeared to St. Faustina, still it is amazing that this Polish nun who died in 1938 was absolutely correct in prophesying that this Divine Mercy image of Jesus would be venerated throughout the world, and that this Sunday would become officially known as Mercy Sunday, which became a reality in 2000 by decree of Pope John Paul II.

The Divine Mercy image and devotions surrounding the image such as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy have become so popular because it’s message is much needed in our world today.

Jesus gave the Church in the modern world this consoling image to heal the wounds of this past 20th Century, a century of widespread atheism, unbelief, a century of unprecedented violence and hatred, a century which saw the Jewish Holocaust, the Russian Gulag, the Armenian and Rwandan Genocide,  legalized abortion, abuse of children and many other atrocities.

But instead of sending the world fire and brimstone, God the Father sends us His Son in this image of Divine Mercy, saying to us “I still love you and forgive you.”

It is as if the 20th Century was the century of the doubting Thomas, Jesus appeared to us again in the Divine Mercy image as if to say “Doubt no longer but believe, and trust in me!”

And so as the Risen Lord comes to us on this Easter Feast of the Divine Mercy amidst the Seven Gold Lampstands on our Altar, may Jesus give us the grace to fully Trust in Him, and to be a people generous in works of Mercy:

Giving food and drink to the hungry and thirsty, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, visiting the sick, ransoming the captives, burying the dead, instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful;

Admonishing sinners, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving offenses willingly, comforting the sorrowful, and praying for the living and the dead.

Jesus we trust in you, may this image of Divine Mercy truly be written in our hearts and lives.