25th Sunday of Year B


God became man in order to make us his children by adoption, writes Father Hawkswell. The catch is that we must trust Jesus like a little child. (Wikipedia)



The lines between Christian and non-Christian are becoming clearer.

We see them when a “celebration of life” that looks back at the life that has ended replaces a Catholic funeral, which looks ahead to the life that continues.

We see them when people resort to suicide to avoid pain, instead of accepting suffering to get closer to God.

We see them when people refuse to make, or keep, promises to be faithful to their spouses until death.

“Worldly” people think they have only one life to live: namely the natural life we were born with, which will end when we die. Christians know we also have another life to live: supernatural life, divine life, God’s life, which is already present and will never end.

Fr. Michael Chua



If you have been a fan of world class boxing back in the 60s and 70s, there can only be one answer to the question: “Who is the Greatest?” Spontaneously, you would have shouted “Muhammad Ali!” Who could forget his personal tag-line which rhymed with his name, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee?” “The Greatest” had become this three-time heavy weight boxing world champion’s self-styled personal accolade.

Few of us may have the size of Muhammad Ali’s ego to even claim to come anywhere close to being “the Greatest,” but this question continually lurks at the back of our minds as we ponder and assess the power dynamics of those around us and our own little spot therein: “Who is the greatest?” When you walk into a room, look around. Who has the most power? Who gets the best seat? Who has the right to speak first or interrupt? Who sets the agenda and has the greatest ability to turn their will into reality, change intent into action? Jesus was aware of power dynamics and had a very specific approach to them. We should too.

Fr. Austin Fleming



Who would be the person in your life, either now or maybe some time ago, who would be the person in your life who best fits the description we find in the Letter of James? Who’s the person in your life who is, or who was:

gentle, not rough,
peaceable, not irksome,
compliant, not cantankerous,
merciful, not resentful,
constant, not fickle,
sincere, not deceptive,
a source of goodness, not of harm?

There’s only one thing better than having such a person in your life and that’s being such a person in the lives of others. And that’s precisely the message James offers in this passage. And James doesn’t fail to point out that such gifts are not naturally ours to give and receive but rather are cultivated and harvested when, with God’s help, we engage the conflicts within us, the inner wars of our desires, needs and self-interest, in our own hearts, and allow the wisdom of God’s grace to bring order to our chaos and peace to our passions.

Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino



Who would be the top dog?  Who would be the greatest one on the Mountain? Would it be James or John, Peter or Andrew?  Jesus called them aside.  They didn’t know what greatness was.

 Dan Mazur knew, though.  Dan Mazur is a professional mountain guide. He is one of many who lead people on the ascent up Mount Everest, the steepest mountain in the world, 29,029 feet.  Now, in case you are thinking of climbing Mount Everest for your next vacation, be prepared to pay up to $100,000 each to attempt to reach the summit.   Also, you need to be in top physical shape.  You have to show that you spent months in rigorous training.  Some suggest that you spend three years turning yourself into a well-honed athlete. …

Fr. George Smiga



All of us have heard of Peter Pan and the magical place where he lived, called Never Never Land. It was a place where children never had to grow up or assume any responsibility, where they could do what they wanted to do whenever they chose to do it. Occasionally you’d have to deal with a pesky pirate, but all the needs and pleasures of life were magically available.

What would Never Never Land look like if we tried to update it to our own times? It might be a place where we could watch any TV program or movie we wanted twenty four hours a day; a place where, if we decided, we could fly to the other side of the world or move across town in a few minutes; a place where every kind of food was available, from steaks to pizza, from capers to cantaloupe, and we could eat as much as we wanted, even if it made us sick; a place where if we wanted to play golf, we would not have just one beautiful golf course to choose from, but maybe ten or twenty; a place where we could watch it football games from all parts of the country; a place that had malls full of merchandise, more than we could ever buy or need, and where we could shop until we became bored with doing so.

Could it be that our lifestyle has much in common with Peter Pan’s magic place? Could it be that America is in some sense a Never Never Land? It certainly seems so when we compare the way we live to the way that most of the people on this planet live. If you were living in Zambia, in Africa, you would wake up each morning and 86% of your friends and neighbors in that same country would be living under the poverty line. 86 %! Many without electricity or clean water or sewage, not to mention education or health care. In 1970, people who lived in the United States and in the first world had a standard of life that was 30 times better than those who were in the lowest 20% of the world’s population. Today, three decades later, that gap has doubled. Now we have a standard of living 60 times greater than the poorest people on the planet.

Fr. John Kavanaugh, SJ



Why murder?

The question has haunted me these months. It is difficult enough to face the deaths wrought by impersonal forces of nature, the wear of time, or the frailty of bodies. But murder. The will to kill. The choice to exterminate a human being—this roils the mind.

This is a murderous time. Perhaps they all are. But the killing fields of Syria, irrigated by ethnic cleansing, had been more than matched by the slaughterhouse of Rwanda. All the labors of the years—the schoolchildren, nurses, nuns, priests; the buildings built and people trained; the families started and commitments made; the neighbors welcomed and babies nourished—all obliterated in this Christian, predominantly Catholic, country.

25th Sunday of Year B



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Sunday Homilies

SEPT 19, 2021 | SEPT 23, 2018 | SEPT 20, 2015 | SEPT 23, 2012 | SEPT 20, 2009

25th Sunday of Year B

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Friends, when envy takes over our spiritual lives, we sow disorder and disintegration. The life of Jesus is about self-emptying love; it is in this gift of self that we are called to live.

Sunday Podcast Archive


by Bishop Robert Barron . September 19, 2021

Friends, when envy takes over our spiritual lives, we sow disorder and disintegration. The life of Jesus is about self-emptying love; it is in this gift of self that we are called to live. Mass Readings Reading 1 – Wisdom 2:12-20…


by Bishop Robert Barron . September 23, 2018 .

One of the most important doctrines of the Church is the doctrine of original sin, which asserts that something it off with us. We see the effects of it everywhere, and we also see many attempts to solve the problem of sin on our own. The only way to be healed, however, is to give ourselves over to Jesus, like the little child in today’s Gospel reading.


by Bishop Robert Barron . September 23, 2012

The danger of jealousy and envy is that it is as much damaging to others as it is to ourselves. When we are envious, or even ambitious for the purpose of outdoing others, it knocks us off our center and we lose our orientation toward Christ. To his disciples, Jesus presented the model of a child – one who thrives under authority, strives for obedience, and lives in the present. Envy lives in the past and the future, but God’s grace is available now.


by Bishop Robert Barron . September 24, 2006

We have been reading for the past several weeks from the letter of James, which is a treasure-trove of practical wisdom. James tells us this week that outer conflicts flow from a war of passions within each individual. How do you find the inner peace that will conduce to outer peace? Listen to the sermon!


by Bishop Robert Barron . September 21, 2003

Children are like plants, rocks, and flowers in this sense: they don’t know how to be something that they are not. They haven’t yet learned to lie, dissemble, pretend, or to seek to be someone they are not meant to be. We are all, right now, being created by God for God’s purposes. Childlike joy returns to us the moment we put aside all our games of self-promotion and self-deception and live in accord with God’s deepest desire for us.

Recent Podcasts

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25th Sunday of Year B

Father Frank Pavone
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Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, shares thoughts on preaching pro-life on the 25th Sunday of Year B. For more pro-life tips, resources and updates, visit



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Receiving the child is tantamount to receiving God, the Gospel of this weekend tells us. This is why Pope St. John Paul II. could write in “The Gospel of Life,” “whoever attacks human life, in some way attacks God himself” (n. 9), and “rejection of human life, in whatever form that rejection takes, is really a rejection of Christ” (104).

Jesus places this teaching in the context of humble service to others, and his lesson on service is, furthermore, in the wider context of his impending passion, death and resurrection. In other words, at the heart of the Christian life is the Paschal Mystery. That is what brings salvation and changes us. It changes us precisely into people who have the power to love by giving ourselves away. The dynamic of giving ourselves away in humble service is that “self-emptying” of which St. Paul speaks when he writes to the Philippians and says that the Lord Jesus “emptied himself” (Phil. 2:7). The link between these themes in today’s Gospel is that the same self-emptying is exactly what is needed in order to welcome one another, from the elderly to the unborn, from those who are like us to those who differ in a thousand ways. Self-emptying frees us from the prejudice that fails to see the one who is different as our neighbor, and frees us from the selfishness that welcomes only those whom we choose to welcome. The Christian faith demands that we accept responsibility for our neighbor based on God’s choice, not ours. The “pro-choice” Culture of Death, on the other hand, says we have responsibility only for those for whom we choose to have responsibility.

This ties into the first reading. What is described in this passage from Wisdom is essentially an abdication of personal responsibility for one’s actions. Those who beset the just man say to themselves that if God is on the just man’s side, then it’s God’s responsibility to save him. We are off the hook. If we attack and God does not intervene, then it must be OK. We see a reflection of this mindset in the temptation to abortion. By claiming that “circumstances” leave no other choice than to abort a child, one is placing back on God the responsibility that we each have to take to empty ourselves in humble service, imitating the Master and welcoming the child.


General Intercessions

Celebrant: Trusting in the Lord, we bring Him our needs, the needs of our community, and the needs of the whole world.


That the Church may continue to spread the message of hope to every corner of the world, we pray to the Lord…

That those who minister in the Church may be blessed with the wisdom to lead God’s people to the kingdom of heaven, we pray to the Lord…

That national and local leaders may seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit as they make their decisions for the common good, we pray to the Lord…

That our nation may become a Culture of Life that rejects abortion, and more effectively welcomes children for Jesus’ sake, therefore welcoming Him, we pray to the Lord…

That Christians will work together to assist those who are poor and needy, we pray to the Lord…

That those who have fallen away from the practice of their faith may seek the help of the Holy Spirit to be renewed and to live their faith more fully, we pray to the Lord…

That those who have died may share fully in the joy of the saints in heaven, we pray to the Lord…

Celebrant: Almighty Father, enable us to be more responsive to your word and to lead our lives in ways which give you praise and glory.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

SOURCE: Priests for Life

Life Issues Homilies website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

Vulnerability – the way of and to Jesus

Al Carino

Jesus does not ask His disciples to become like little children as He did on another occasion; He asks them to welcome them. Why? Where the disciples having a problem about welcoming littleness?


Antonio P. Pueyo

The line that divides noble ambitions from selfish ambitions is very thin. One has to really be very honest and be aware of desires and innermost workings of his heart.

The Servant of All

Frank Enderle

The bond that we have with God, our Father, the experience of faith and love that ultimately leads us to the Kingdom of Heaven, is what we Christians call religion. That is why we cannot understand people who use violence to further their religion.

From First to Last

Antonio P. Pueyo

A class of high school seniors were talking about their desired careers. Each one expressed his desire to be a doctor, a teacher, an engineer, a priest, a politician, a soldier, and so on. Each one also justified his choice of profession “in order to serve the people.” The teacher then turned to a little boy in Grade One who was listening, “And what would you want to be?” The boy right away shouted, “ I want to be the People because everybody wants to serve me.

Euthanasia and the Sanctity of Life Ethic

Douglas P. McManaman

Synopsis: Our obligation is to love our patients, not for our sake, but for theirs, to care for them even when they cannot thank us or when they are not apparently aware of us. Our duty is to make them as comfortable as possible.

Disordered Passion and Obedience

Douglas P. McManaman

What is interesting is that the Second Reading locates the source of the social disorder not in the structure of government or in political mechanisms, but in the disordered passions of individual persons. One of the most wonderful characteristics of the child is “openness”. A child is open to learn and obey. It is only later on, in adulthood, that some people will make the decision to close themselves, because they have decided that they want to “feel” a certain way, that pleasure is more important than truth, that feeling emotionally comfortable is more important than the continual improvement of one’s character.

A Moment of Respite (homily)

Tom Bartolomeo

Then there is a moment of respite in the story of conflict between good and evil and our sinful passions which reap a whirlwind of death and disease. You would think that divorce, Aids, sexually transmitted diseases and the psychological wounds of contraception, abortion and sterilization would be enough to dissuade us from such conduct. But in that moment, Jesus takes “a child . . . places it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, ‘Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me’.”

Wisdom From Above

Proclaim Sermons

Our text contrasts a false self-seeking “wisdom” with “wisdom from above” that leads to good relationships. The whole letter of James focuses on right behavior, and says little about Jesus by name. But in light of traditions about wisdom in the Hebrew scriptures that Christians used to speak about Jesus, we can see the letter’s encouragement to live with wisdom as another way of speaking about following Jesus. website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

EWTN Pro-Life Weekly

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