8th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)


Featured Homilies

NOTE: Usually, Lent has already started by now, but this year it is late. When the Church’s liturgical calendar returns to ordinary time in June, it resumes with the 9th or 10th Sunday of the year, so the 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time is rarely celebrated.

How Does One Forgive the Unforgivable?

Claret Media Cameroon

Fr. Jude and four others were kidnapped in 2018 (and later released) in the South West Region of Cameroon.
Some have watched their parents and loved ones being killed, some have watched their houses being burnt, some have suffered the torture of kidnapping and ransom paying, some have faced defamation, treated like terrorists, spies, etc. Some have not just seen their closed relative for the past years. Some have faced the bitter story of rejection by the family and by society. Some are battling with the infidelity of their marriage partners. Some are angry with the church especially in this moment of scandals…


Hypocrisy – Look at Your Feet!


Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? …You hypocrite first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.” These are not easy words to shallow, however, Jesus uses them not in order to humiliate, but to raise our consciousness to face our hypocrisy. So, courage! come, let’s see what’s in there for us.

“…first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.” Some difficulty here! Does it mean I can say something about another person’s behaviour only if I have nothing to reproach myself for? But I’m not perfect, I shall never be! So, do I seal my mouth and watch the other go astray? What becomes then of my responsibility as my brother’s keeper?


We Can Love Our Enemies, For God Loves Them



In this Sunday’s Gospel Acclamation, Christ gives us a new commandment: “Love one another just as I have loved you.”

“Love your enemies,” he says in the Gospel Reading, “do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”

We see an example in the First Reading: David spares King Saul, who, by all human standards, deserved to be killed.

After David defeated Goliath, Saul, out of jealousy, twice tried to kill him with a spear; he stationed him in his army so that the Philistines could kill him; he attacked him in his own house; and he put the entire priestly city of Nob to the sword in order to find him.


Who Will Teach Us?

O.P. | 2022
Dominican Friars of England & Wales, Scotland

All learning brings about a change in the person who learns. The deeper the change, the more interior the learning and the more it touches upon what makes us human. If I learn a skill, such as how to draw, a change has come about in me. This change, however, does not essentially change the kind of person I am. I remain the same old ungenerous and selfish person, only now I can also draw. The deepest and most interior changes involve who I am at the deepest level of my existence. This is why Jesus, echoing the wisdom tradition found in the First Reading from Ecclesiasticus, connects teaching with the interior life, ‘a good man draws what is good from the store of goodness in his heart.’

PREACHING ARCHIVE (2000-present)


How Do We Observe What
We Do Not See?



Jesus talked about our being expert in observing the minimal splinter in our brother’s eye but being unable even to see the plank in our own eye. He was quite insistent that we take that plank out. The problem is, how do we begin to observe what we can’t see, what has become second nature to us? There are many possible answers to that, but one common one stems from the fact that we are often run more by our feelings than we realise. We do well to alert ourselves to them. The current situation regarding Cardinal George Pell is a case in point. Most people feel very strongly about what has so far occurred. Feelings are running high – of both his supporters and of his opponents. I want to comment just a little about this.


Insides and Outsides



In the gospel today, Jesus invites us to look inside, inside our eyes and inside our hearts. He asks us to see what might be clouding our vision of our neighbor, obscuring the reality of what’s outside, right in front of us. He asks us to check inside the eyes of our souls for cataracts that might prevent us from seeing life outside and around us as it truly is  — as the Lord truly calls us to live it. And he invites us to test the soil inside our hearts to see if it’s dry, sandy and barren  –  or rich, moist and fertile – to help us understand the harvest our hearts are yielding on the outside, good fruit or rotten fruit


The Blind Leading the Blind


Often in his teaching, Jesus will throw out a parable or an image. He wants us to play with that image, turning it over in our minds until some valuable truth is perceived. This is true of today’s gospel. Jesus presents us with this image: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will they not both fall into a pit?” Jesus’ image offers us two blind people, one leading the other. How should we understand it? Let’s ask some questions. If the person who is being led is blind, does he realize that the person leading him is also blind? If the blind person leading really wants to lead, is he inclined to share the fact of his blindness with the one he leads? In Jesus’ image there is blindness all around, and it seems that both characters are unaware of the danger that they are in, unaware that they are likely to fall into a pit.

The key to the image is this: We are the blind persons; sometimes leading, sometimes being led. This parable tells us that none of us have complete sight. All of us in some sense are blind. It is only by claiming the blindness around us that we can move forward. It is only when we realize that everyone is blind that we will work together to help each other, lest we fall into a pit.


The Ability to Discern What is of God and What is Not



The first reading tells us that in some sense we can judge another person by the way he speaks.  And, the Gospel tells us not to judge.  Can we reconcile these two passages?  Definitely!  The Scriptures are always speaking to us about spiritual growth.  We can never judge another person because we do not know his or her heart: is he or she maturing to a greater spirituality?  We can make judgments about actions and words, though.  We are not called to be stupid (lacking critical faculties) to follow the Gospel, even though we may be called to be a fool–in the world’s eyes and ways–to follow the Gospel.


Jesus’ Hope


No homilies available in the archive for the rest of February. Next available homily is for March 1. 

FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT – Have you ever noticed that each of our Lord’s temptations in Luke’s Gospel is a temptation to something within the immediate and that our Lord responds to each temptation by his hope in the future? That Jesus responds by not getting stuck in the immediate but by looking beyond the immediate to the infinite?

The gospel tells us that our Lord, after fasting for forty days was hungry. That is an immediate need. We all know that when we are hungry it is hard to even think about anything else. The devil plays on this. “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Answer this immediate and pressing need! Satisfy your hunger! Our Lord responds, “… One does not live on bread alone.” Our Lord’s hope is not in a quick fix or easy answer right now but on that which is truly enduring and lasting – relationship with the Father.


Some Aphorisms of the Lord



Consider this: there is a famous billboard that hangs along a congested highway. People stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, going 5 miles an hour, look up and read “You aren’t stuck in traffic. You are traffic!” That’s a great insight! We distance ourselves from a problem, whether it is our politics, our churches, the ecological problems on our planet, or most anything else. We are not, as we want to think, stuck in a bad political climate wherein we can no longer talk to each other and live respectfully with each other. Rather we ourselves have become so rigid, arrogant, and sure of ourselves that we can no longer respect those who think differently than we do. We are a bad political climate and not just stuck in one. We are not separate from the events that make up the world news each day. Rather, what we see written large in the world news each night so often reflects what’s going on hidden inside of us. When we see instances of injustice, bigotry, racism, greed, violence, murder and war on our newscasts we rightly feel moral indignation. It’s healthy to feel that way, but it’s not healthy to naively think that it’s only others and not us, who are the problem. When we are honest we have to admit that to some degree we are complicite in all these things, perhaps not in their crasser forms, but in subtler, though very real, ways. The fear and paranoia that are at the root of so much conflict in our world are not foreign to us. We too find it hard to accept those who are different from us. We too cling to privilege and do most everything we can to secure and protect our comfort.


Choose Your Measure Wisely


Sinners are a lot like saints. They love those who love them and forgive those who forgive them. Sinners will even do a good deed for someone who’s done a good deed for them. Sinners go to work everyday, raise their kids, pay their bills, visit sick relatives, give Christmas presents. And they even show up to Church once in a while. In the eyes of the world, a sinner can be a Good Person who’s trying hard to do and be better. Nothing wrong with that. But Jesus sets the goal higher for those who will follow him. We must be better than the sinner who’s just trying to be and do better. Not “better” in the sense of being Holier Than Thou but “better” in the sense of being more deeply convicted of our sin and more thoroughly committed to growing in holiness. A big part of our on-going growth in holiness depends on how we choose to live in the world while not being of the world. Jesus tells us how to do this: “. . .the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” That’s right – you get to choose the measure with which you will measured. Choose wisely.





No homily available for this week.


Non-judgmental Judging



Today, we live in a culture that preaches non-judgmentalism, by which they mean one can never impose one’s own set of morality on another. We would agree that we should not be judgmental to the extent that we should not be judging someone’s intention or soul as we were privy to this. But to choose to suspend all judgment is simply wrong. Judgment is necessary especially when love demands it. And this is love: to will the good of another. Being free of sin and on the road to salvation is the ultimate “good” for the other. Sitting back and saying nothing, however, is not the loving thing to do. Indifference does not equal love. We can be nice and polite to people who make bad choices. We may even tolerate their decisions. But do we really “love” them? In the end, such a mentality of “tolerance” encourages us to be unconcerned about the people around us and neglect our responsibilities toward them.


Actions and Orientations

HomiliesSUNDAY WEB SITE | 1997

A topic of contention in moral theology today involves what has come to be known as the theory of the “fundamental option.” It becomes a debate. One viewpoint, considerably simplified here, maintains that there are a number of human actions so grave that they indicate the entire state of soul of a person in relationship to God. Sometimes this has been associated with the notion of mortal sin, an action weighty enough to determine a person’s eternal destiny.

The other side stresses the life-orientation of a person, a fundamental option, which is not necessarily summed up in any particular human act, even one that in itself might be considered grave. Thus, someone basically oriented to doing God’s will might break a solemn marriage vow; and yet this might not mean that the person has totally lost the state of grace. A particular moral act need not indicate that the sinner has wholly rejected the will of God.


Take the Time to Purify Your Interior Thoughts and Attitudes

HomiliesST. LOUIS REVIEW | 2022

Quite often, we see a news item that calls someone out for using derogatory speech directed at another human being. Most of us guard ourselves to speak in ways that are respectful of others, but in times of anger or frustration, words might come out that are more reflective of our inner attitudes. The Scriptures for the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time offer a solution to that recurring problem of embarrassing and derogatory speech.

The Scriptures tell us that our job is to purify our attitudes, rather than merely controlling the words that come out of our mouth. They remind us that if the attitudes of our mind and heart are pure and holy, we won’t really need to worry about what words come out. They will reflect those holy and good attitudes.

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Year C Homilies for this Sunday

In the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine: Celebrant & Homilist: Rev. Msgr. Charles E. Pope; Guest Choir: St. Leo the Great Parish Adult Choir, Fairfax, Virginia

NOTE: Usually, Lent has already started by now, but this year it is late. When the Church’s liturgical calendar returns to ordinary time in June, it resumes with the 9th or 10th Sunday of the year, so the 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time is rarely celebrated.

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