Preaching on Current Events


One event in the news which may have been on the minds of many people in the pews…

33rd Sunday of Year B Homily

Terror in Paris

Homily by Fr. George M. Smiga for the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year B)

Terror struck again this weekend in Paris. Enraged zealots mercilessly mowed down innocent people celebrating the end of the work week with their families and friends. Despite the best efforts of responsible governments, it seems like our world is becoming a more and more dangerous place. Things seem to be falling apart. The same may be true for some of us in our personal lives. Family problems, health concerns, the loss of someone we love can turn our world upside down. How do we live in the midst of such chaos? What can we do when our world or our lives become unhinged? The simple answer is this: we continue…

I wish that the world were a safe place. I wish that the problems of our lives would disappear. But they press against us in fearful ways. That is why it is important to cling to the hope that Jesus stands with us in the midst of the chaos and to re-commit ourselves to his service. Now is not the time to collapse or to give up. Now is the time to continue.

SOURCE: Building on the Word – A Resource for Scripture, Culture, and Faith


Bishop Robert Barron on How Catholics Should Respond to Paris Attack

EWTN NEWS NIGHTLY (3:34) – At his first USCCB Conference as Bishop, Catherine Szeltner sits down with Bishop Robert Barron. He shares how Catholics should respond to the recent terror attack in Paris – and dialogue about tragedy.

‘SNL’ opens show with tribute to France attack …

CNN (0:48) – “Saturday Night Live” skipped their normal cold open, instead remembering the victims of terror attacks in France that left scores dead.

Preaching in the Wake of Disaster

Five suggestions from pastors who have weathered fierce storms, supported by psychological and disaster mental health research.

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 / 2018

What is the Significance of the Date of Sept. 11? It’s Mores Than You Think…

Hear Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, explain the significance of 9/11 and what we need to know about that specific date.

SEPTEMBER 8, 2021 / 2018

A Documentary from the Catholic Diocese of Arlington

It has been two decades since the skies over Arlington were clouded by black smoke.The terrorist attack on the Pentagon 20 years ago, on Sept. 11, 2001, profoundly impacted the Arlington diocese in many ways. In this video, priests and parishioners of the diocese talk about their experiences on 9/11, and about spiritual growth in the two decades since.

AUGUST 15, 2021 / 2018

How Faith Leaders Respond to Tragedies like the California Wildfires

VOX – Why does God let bad things happen to good people? It’s a question that faith leaders have to answer before their congregations every day. But for clergy members in California, who have spent the past few weeks watching devastation wrought by a series of wildfires that have killed 77 people, left up to 1,000 missing, and destroyed tens of thousands of homes, it’s one that hits particularly close to home. How do you explain the devastation wrought by a wildfire within the context of faith? And how do you frame that explanation in a way that allows victims to verbalize and come to terms with their own grief and, sometimes, anger? For clergy in affected areas of California, wrestling with the problem of evil is part of the job description.

JULY 9, 2021

Why Catholic Homilies Mention Election, Racism Less Than Protestant Ones

CRUX:  Taking the Catholic Pulse – There are a couple of fundamentals at work… “by definition be more structured than the services of other groups. That reduces the opportunity for this happening, like an election” mention. Also, “Catholic homilies are by and large shorter than the sermons or homilies of other groups,” he noted, which means priests have “substantially less time” to get a point across.

JULY 8, 2021

How Thousands of Sermons Addressed the Crises of 2020

CHRISTIANITY TODAY –  Pew analyzes how pastors across traditions preached on COVID-19, the election, and racism.

Preaching on the News

JULY 7, 2021

A Christian Reaction to the Surfside Building Collapse in Florida

BEN COURSON -Today, Ben gives his perspective on tragic building collapse in Surfside Florida and what he believes Satan has to do with it. Ben Courson is a bestselling author, TV and radio personality, international speaker, founder of Hope Generation, and the senior pastor at Applegate Christian Fellowship. Ben’s ministry is shouting about the God of Hope to help people rise out of despair.

June 30, 2021
Florida Pastor Says to Keep Praying for Those Families in His Parish Affected by Condo Collapse (CURRENTS NEWS) – The closest Catholic Church to the scene of the Florida condo collapse is St. Joseph’s parish in Miami. Currents News reported that 10 families from the church are among those missing. Father Juan Sosa, pastor at St. Joseph’s in Miami, joined Currents News to discuss how the parishioners at his parish are coping after such devastating news and how they are all keeping the faith.

A Pastor’s Dilemma: The Collapse of a Building

ARCHDIOCESE OF MIAMI (June 29, 2021)— Father Juan Sosa says believers must see God at work behind the tragedy. He wrote this June 29 because, he explained, “Writing usually helps me out and releases my thoughts and feelings.”

APRIL 2, 2020
BISHOP BARRON – The coronavirus and other catastrophes are but dramatic examples of a general truth about the nature of things, a truth that we all know in our bones but that we choose, typically, to cover up or overlook.

How to Preach on Coronavirus: Seven Overlooked Sermon Writing Prompts from Scripture

Paul Maxwell, Ph.D. (March 16, 2020) – Preaching during COVID-19 Coronavirus, Use these 7 sermon writing prompts to shepherd your church through crisis.

MARCH 2, 2020

When Church Leaders Fail

Just recently, Catholics were devastated to learn of another case of sexual abuse, this time involving Jean Vanier, the esteemed founder of L’Arche and a man once considered to be a living saint. Vanier, who passed away last year, was accused of sexually assaulting six women in France, using his religious position to abuse and manipulate them. How do we make sense of all this? How can a man who produced enormous good fruit fail so abysmally? And how should Catholics respond to this sort of abuse, and prevent it from happening again? Bishop Barron offers advice on all these questions and more.


Why Remain Catholic? (With So Much Scandal) by Bishop Barron

Why Join a Church Full of Scandals (Catholic Home Network)

Homily Anecdotes & Illustrations