Homilies & Reflections

July 31, 2016
Thank you to the Parish (Seminarian Bradley Fischer)
“The first parishioner I met from Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was Seminarian Rick Mowery, about two years ago. At that time, I didn’t know his father, but I could tell, then, he must be a good Dad, because I met his son. Throughout the summer, as I have gotten to know more of the parishioners here at Elizabeth Ann Seton, I realize that Father Mowery not only reflects the faith of his family, but also of everyone here at his church.”
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July 24, 2016
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“So what is prayer? Rather than a desperate last resort, prayer is the natural breath of a human spirit that was created to know God. Prayer is a way of always being in touch with our Father in heaven.”
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July 17, 2016
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Monsignor King)
“Brothers and sisters, recognize who we are—the Body of Christ—and that we are truly brothers and sisters with those around the world who suffer pain and violence, whose hearts are breaking, and whose eyes day and night stream with tears. Ours is an invitation to weep with Jesus at the pain of this world, and to pray with Jesus that the grace and mercy of God, a loving Father, will change the hearts of those who plot violence and refuse mercy.”
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July 10, 2016
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“Christian Faith is a gift from God that is meant to open our eyes to an entirely new and different way of seeing. We are immersed in love and goodness. We are given every reason for hope.”
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June 26, 2016

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“Freedom means we are not in bondage to guilt and fear just because we fall short of God’s perfect law. Freedom is the joy of knowing God loves us and wants our best. Freedom means Christians have been loosed from the tyranny of self-effort. Freedom means a liberty to respond to God from our hearts.”

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June 12, 2016

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)

“We all need to be forgiven. Early in the Liturgy we have the Penitential Act. The Confiteor reminds us: “I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned….” Do we mean it? Do we embrace an awareness of our need for love and forgiveness that can only come through Jesus? Do we extend that mercy to others?”
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May 22, 2016

Greetings and Acknowledgements at the Mass of Dedication of our Renovated Church (Monsignor King)

“We look forward to the long and productive journey of ‘Noah’s Ark’ here atop Mt. Allen, until we find eternal safe harbor in the loving arms of God Most High. God bless you.”

May 22, 2016
Mass of Dedication of our Renovated Church (Bishop Gainer)

“Parish family of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton—congratulations! Congratulations for your willingness to dream of change.”
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May 22, 2016
Feast of the Holy Trinity (Monsignor King)

“God’s wisdom and plan is evident even in scientific discovery …  God created the human mind to wonder and explore, curiosity ever prompting us to see what lies beyond the next hill, across the sea, beyond the sky, and within the atom. God created us with an inquisitiveness and passion to learn. And He created the universe in a way that we could discover its wonders, a layer at a time, such that our hunger to learn may never be fully slaked, but that we could always pierce the next discovery and move onward to see more and gather more facts, and follow more clues.  In this is God’s wisdom: that in human beings come together the desire and the capacity to learn; and that the universe was designed for us to explore.”

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May 15, 2016

Pentecost Sunday (Deacon Hall)
“I assume most of us believe that, at least ‘conceptually’. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells Christian believers. But that should only heighten a crucial question for us: Where is the boldness among so many who say they are Christians to give public witness to their faith? Where is the miraculous in our fight against sin? How often is world looking at us in the Church and saying, ‘Wow, what is it with you?!’ You see, what we believe about the Holy Spirit is not only found in our doctrines. It is fleshed out in our day-to-day lives.”
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May 8, 2016
Seventh Sunday of Easter (Father Swamy)
“In my native language, there is a proverb, and, translated into English, it might sound something like this: ‘When God was searching for the best place to reside, he found the heart of a Mother.'”
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May 5, 2016
Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (Deacon Hall)
“We follow him in resurrection for victory over death. We follow him in ascension to our home in heaven. But in the meantime, while our physical bodies are still on earth, our ‘hearts’ are with Christ in heaven. When some earthly pleasure wants to steal our hearts away, we remember that our hearts are not our own––they are with Christ in heaven. When some earthly pain threatens to crush the very life out of our souls, we remember that our hearts are not our own––they are with Christ in heaven.”
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May 4, 2016

Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter (Deacon Hall)
“If you are hearing his voice and trusting, know that whatever is happening in your life right now is exactly what Jesus has given for your journey to sainthood. And wherever you might be on your journey, it remains: I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.”
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May 1, 2016
The Sixth Sunday of Easter (Monsignor King)
“We make decisions—so many of us–make decisions and live as though this were our lasting home, this were the only reality we know, this were our true destiny. We have not here a lasting city. We should live in a way that recognizes and respects that truth.”
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April 24, 2016
The Fifth Sunday of Easter (Monsignor King)
Perhaps you’ve noticed this (he said with some sarcasm) but there is a great deal of anger in our world today!  Jesus offers the antidote: ‘As I have loved you, so you also should love one another’  We hear that and immediately impose the burden on ourselves: “Love one another.”  Jesus made something else more important: God has loved us first.  Let Him love you.  Let Him love you.”

April 24, 2016
The Fifth Sunday of Easter (Father Swamy)
Isn’t this strange? This “failure,” a failed Jesus, has today more than two billion followers all over the world, even after two millennia. What is that power, that attraction that has drawn millions and millions of people down through the centuries to our times, despite all the satanic attempts to kill His followers and destroy His Church? What is that power? The answer is in today’s Gospel: the commandment to love—As I have loved you, you also should love one another.
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April 17, 2016
The Fourth Sunday of Easter (Deacon Arena)
“We come to realize in this Gospel that not only is God powerful enough to protect His sheep, He is also very loving and gentle toward them.”
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April 10, 2016
The Third Sunday of Easter (Deacon Arena)
“We can kind of translate the scenario like this: ‘Peter, do you love me?’ ‘Lord, I like you.’ ‘Peter, do you love me?’ ‘Lord, I like you.’ Then something interesting happens. The third time, Jesus meets Peter where he’s at: ‘Peter, do you like me?’ ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I like you.’ What’s interesting is, it’s Jesus not giving up on Peter.”
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April 3, 2016
The Second Sunday of Easter: Divine Mercy Sunday (Deacon Hall)
On this day that Jesus has given the Church as a special grace of Divine Mercy, we are invited to hear some of the last words Jesus gave in Holy Scripture (which occur in the final book of Revelation): I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One. Once I was dead, but now I am alive for ever and ever! I hold the keys of death and the netherworld. This is why Jesus can say, Do not be afraid.”
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March 27, 2016
The Resurrection of the Lord (Monsignor King)
“We testify that there is a larger Truth that we know … a Truth that brings us from the tomb that the world presents to the Resurrection that the Lord presents. Brothers and sisters, you and I are children of the Light. Don’t give in to the terrors of this world. You and I are children of the Light. Don’t give in to the darkness that would attempt to obscure the Light. You and I are children of the Light. Don’t give in to the temptation to think it is a terrible place in which we live. You and I are children of the Light. Don’t give in to the thought that darkness is stronger. It is not.”
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March 24, 2016
Holy Thursday/Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Deacon Hall)
“The mystery of the greatness of God is visible in the humility of our Lord embracing a slave’s role of washing feet. And so as Jesus is preparing for his physical death, there’s sense in which He is dying to Himself. This is how Jesus loves.”
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March 13, 2016
Fifth Sunday of Lent (Deacon Hall)
“It hurt Jesus that Lazarus had to experience the ugliness of death; it hurt Jesus to see Martha and Mary in the despair of grief. So we have the shortest verse in the Bible: Jesus wept. Of course Jesus knew he would raise Lazarus to life from the time he first heard of the illness. So why did he weep when he arrived at the tomb? Jesus wept because he felt the pain and cared about their suffering. Jesus also weeps for us and Jesus weeps with us. As this fifth Sunday in Lent brings us closer to Holy Week, the theme is becoming clearer: death leads to resurrection.
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March 6, 2016
Fourth Sunday of Lent (Monsignor King)
“He saw the light, he embraced the light, he followed the light, he spoke of the light, he was proud of the light, and neither his family nor his friends nor his co-workers nor the judges in the court would intimidate him.”
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February 28, 2016
Third Sunday of Lent (Father Swamy)
“Jesus’ life is clear evidence that a person’s suffering is not a proof or the result of sin. Because Jesus suffered; He did not sin. And sin can lead to tragedy, but all tragedy is not because of sin. And that is the point that Jesus wanted to make to His listeners.”
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February 21, 2016
Second Sunday of Lent (Deacon Hall)
“I fear that most people—especially Christians—sell themselves short of who they really are. Made in the image of God is almost a cliché, even among many who would say they believe it. How often do you look in the mirror and think, ‘I was created in the image of God’?”
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February 21, 2016
Second Sunday of Lent (Deacon Arena)
“Many times, some people say things like, ‘Well, God understands. He’s merciful.’ Yes, He is merciful. ‘He’ll write it off. This sin—I’ll work on it, but God understands.’ Brothers and sisters, at the end of the day, God does not ‘understand’ sin, He forgives it. God does not ‘understand’ sin, He absolves it. God does not ‘understand’ sin, He destroys it.”
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February 19, 2016
Second Friday of Lent (Deacon Hall)
“This time of Lent is meant to bring us, in fresh ways, face to face with what it means to ignore and reject God’s ways. We need time to reflect on the difference between sin and godliness. In a rebellious world that has grossly twisted the word, we should always start with the basic fact that God is love. This means that God defines love (and we are not free to redefine it according to our tastes and desires). This also means that love is not selfish.”
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February 14, 2016
First Sunday of Lent (Monsignor King)
“The devil wants us to think small; the Lord wants us to think big. The devil always thinks small, and all of his temptations are to bring us inside of ourselves and to diminish who we are. The grace and mercy of the Lord does the opposite–to take us outside of ourselves into love and charity, compassion, faith, and hope–to recognize the oneness we have with all the universe as dear creations of the Lord.” (NOTE: There are a couple of audio problems in sections of this recording.)
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February 10, 2016
Ash Wednesday (Monsignor King)
“You and I owe a debt to God, because though we deserve punishment for our sins, it is not coming to us. He took it.”
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February 7, 2016
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Monsignor King)
“The unworthy, out of sincere honesty of who they are before God, fall on their knees before Jesus and say, ‘Lord, I am not worthy of the gifts you have in store for me.’ It’s not a false humility; it’s a deep humility that says simply, ‘I’m not worthy of this. I am a sinful person.’ But that, very subtly, denies the astonishing mercy of God … denies the ability of God to forgive … denies the ability of God to give us the graces we need in life. It builds a wall between us and the grace of the Lord.”
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January 31, 2016
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“The very thing the Word of God comes to do is to change us. That is why Jesus becomes so confrontational in today’s text. God is always actively at work for our salvation and that means bringing even discomfort when we are holding onto to things that hinder us. Our calling is to be holy!”
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January 17, 2016
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Arena)
“We learn today that, above all, Jesus is the Bridegroom of souls …. At Baptism, we were united with Him in such a way that even sin can’t break the bond … And all married love that we see in the world is a sign that points to the greater marriage between God and His people in general, and between God and each soul in particular.”
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January 10, 2016
The Baptism of the Lord (Deacon Hall)
“Last week I had the luxury of a long morning prayer time at home. I was thinking about some hard things happening to people who are close to me; I was also aware of some particular horrible stories that had been the news. I wept as images of hurting people flashed across the screen of my mind. . . . As I prayed that morning I cried out to the Lord, ‘Why is this world so hard and painful?’”
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January 3, 2016
The Epiphany of the Lord (Deacon Hall)
“The magi were willing to expend those two commodities that we value the most, time and money, in their search for God. They showed the proper integration of faith and works; they believed God enough to seek him, and they acted on their belief when they spent time to find the Baby and gave of their wealth to bring gifts of worship. On this Epiphany Sunday, the light of God’s Son still shines into our world. The invitation to seek God is still offered and the promise holds: he rewards those who seek him.”
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January 3, 2016
The Epiphany of the Lord (Father Swamy)
The Magi represent the non-Jewish—or Gentile—people, and so prefigure the acceptance of Jesus by the whole world. The focus here is not that the Magi found God, but that God manifested Himself to them . . . God still hopes in you and me that we would be overwhelmed by this supreme act of love and begin to love Him in return. The question is, will He be disappointed?
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January 1, 2016
Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God (Father Swamy)
“During this new year, let us resolve to light a candle instead of blaming the darkness around us. Just as the moon borrows the sun’s light to illuminate the earth, we must radiate the light of God shining within us.  Let us strive to be pure and holy like our Heavenly Mother. All mothers want their children to inherit or acquire their good qualities. Hence, let us honor Mary, our Heavenly Mother, by practicing her virtues of faith, obedience, purity and humble service. If we humble ourselves as Mary our Mother did, then we will be enabled by God’s grace to accept and surrender to His will. The lowlier we become, the higher the chances of God working in us.”
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December 27, 2015
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Father Swamy)
“It is said that the house is built of bricks, but the home is built of hearts. And what makes a family a happy family, a loving family, is not so much the comforts, or the large physical space, but it is the large hearts: the hearts that love, the hearts that trust, the hearts that forgive. ”
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December 27, 2015
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Monsignor King)
“Family life is a gift, though seldom the perfect gift. It is a source of great joy and great strength and great memories, but seldom perfect. And indeed, today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, not the Perfect Family–because none of us could be the perfect family, but all of us can be the holy family.”
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December 25, 2015
A Meditation for Christmas Night (Deacon Hall)
“Are you hungry for quietness down in your very soul? Is your life crying out for something clean and good? Then on this silent night, holy night, let God do in you what he did on that night so long ago. Let your heart be a manger, and let the one be born in you who came to save his people from their sins.”
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December 25, 2015
The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) (Deacon Mowery)
“The Lord wants to be part of our lives. Today and forever, we cannot let Jesus go missing in our lives.”
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December 25, 2015
The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) (Monsignor King)
“On this holy night, this silent night, this night of wonder, this night of joy—darkness has come to an end. God is with us, never to leave.”
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December 20, 2015
Fourth Sunday of Advent (Deacon Hall)
“The Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem has only one entrance, and you cannot pass through it without bending down. This door is supposed to remind pilgrims that in order to penetrate the deep meaning of Christmas it is necessary to humble oneself and become little. Can we dare to be ‘little’ enough to recognize God’s coming?”
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December 16, 2015
Advent Liturgy Reflection (Deacon Hall)
The Intersection of Heaven and Earth
“When we come to Mass we are entering the greatest ultimate reality that is possible in this world. It may not seem that way very often. We have untold things that distract and discourage us. It is so easy to focus on what is personally significant to us, while at the same time, God is invisible and the personal, physical presence of Jesus on this earth was around 2,000 years ago and several thousand miles removed from where we are. Yet our calling when we come to Mass is to enter Ultimate Reality . . .”
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December 13, 2015
Third Sunday of Advent (Monsignor King)
“We light an Advent candle—one, two, three, four candles—to remind us of light that is ever increasing in our world, the grace of the Lord ever growing in our hearts, the mercy and joy of God Himself ever growing stronger in the midst of this world. Why don’t we pay more attention to that than we do to the voices of darkness and of evil and of threat? We can tune our ears to hear one or the other.”
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December 13, 2015
Third Sunday of Advent (Father Swamy)
“Enjoyment is an action; it’s not an attitude. Enjoyment is not in the actor, but it is in the action. And therefore it comes to an end when the action is complete….In the words of Saint Francis de Sales, let us bloom where we are planted, in the awareness of God’s presence among us. And this alone fills our hearts with joy that cannot be snatched away by any despair, loss, pain, or suffering of this world.”
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December 6, 2015
Second Sunday of Advent (Father Swamy)
“Just imagine what would happen a year from now if all of us think, ‘I have no time at all, not one minute, without Christ.’ The world would be a lot better. By virtue of our Baptism in the Lord, we are all fully equipped with every grace we need to cooperate with God’s plan, and our Lord provides us with the graces of the other sacraments throughout our lives…”
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December 6, 2015
Second Sunday of Advent (Deacon Arena)
“Christ, the Joy of man’s heart; Christ, the Prince of Peace … Nothing stopped His First Coming, nothing will stop His Second Coming, and nothing will stop Him coming into our lives right now, in this Middle Coming. And indeed, He is already here, gathering us together …”
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November 29, 2015
First Sunday of Advent (Monsignor King)
“In the Believing heart there is little room for anxiety and fear. Though the little deaths that come to us all bring darkness for a time, there is a light that grows brighter the nearer we march toward the end of time. The Advent wreath reminds us of that in a gentle yet powerful way.  One candle, two, three, and four… then Jesus arrives calmly and quietly in a silent night so brightly illuminated by God’s grace that the world sings of angels and hope and new birth.”
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November 29, 2015
First Sunday of Advent (Deacon Hall)
“As we enter Advent, with the Church calling us to a hope and peace that can seem more fairy tale than reality, the world counters with surface celebrations and the enticement of more and bigger things. Which voice are we going to listen to in these coming weeks: the threatening voices, the diversionary voices, or the voice of God that blows through the Scriptures and the Church?”
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November 22, 2015
Thanksgiving Day (Monsignor King)
“For my part, I count it among my greatest blessing from God to have been assigned to this parish. And on this Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God for the gift that you are—not only to me but to one another. As I have said so often, I say again, from the depths of my heart, this is a parish filled with saints. And each saint sitting in the pews today, has a story to tell of how God brought them, through the twists and turns of life, right here, today. May we never take for granted the grace of God that works in surprising ways, but always keep our eyes open to see what wonderful surprise the Lord has in store for us next.”
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November 22, 2015
The Solemnity Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Deacon Arena)
Choosing Christ as King of your heart means choosing to be loved by God and loving Him in return. It is the most important thing we can do. Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in Love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in Love, stay in Love, and it will decide everything.”
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November 22, 2015
The Solemnity Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Deacon Hall)
“We can have a distorted understanding of freedom. God has indeed given us freedom to choose, but not one person is free from having a master. You have to serve somebody. There are two kingdoms at war in our world right now, and we are part of the battlefield. People who do not know that can think they are acting by themselves and for themselves, when in fact, everything that each one of us does (or even thinks) has a spiritual repercussion.”
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November 15, 2015
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Arena)
“The identity of a group is based upon its founder and sustainer. God, who is a relation of Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—saves people in communion. And this is the Church.”—Right-click to save audio link (download) HERE.
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November 15, 2015
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Father Swamy)
“The Christian life is a life lived in communion with fellow believers, and it’s not just “me and Jesus.” The normal Christian life is a life that recognizes a need to share faith, hope, and love with others of like mind, strengthening and encouraging each other, as well as inviting others to the joy and hope of the life of Christ.”
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November 8, 2015
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“Can we look back and see in our recurring embarrassments and frustrations, and even in our guilt, our underlying desire for what is right and true and good?”
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November 1, 2015
Solemnity of All Saints (Monsignor King)
“The Lord’s plan is that He enter our hearts and change us from the inside, and out of the overflowing of goodness within us, we will want to do good, and we want to change the world.  It first begins with the human heart.”
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October 25, 2015
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Monsignor King)
“Many persons treat God with anonymity, not so much that they prefer to be anonymous to God, but they approach God as though He prefers to remain anonymous to us. An anonymous God remains an ideology, a concept, an ideal. An anonymous God remains distant, vast, obscure. It is an unreal God, suitable for framing, and no more. Glance at it every now and again, but it won’t impact your life, let alone become the very reason you get up in the morning and live through the day, every day.”
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October 18, 2015
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“Every day we face a most important question. Is Christian Faith really true? If we say “yes” then we can expect two things to happen. We can expect God to be at work in our lives, calling us to know him, to trust him, to obey him. We can also expect to fight a spiritual war. There are other voices that want to distract us. We live in a broken world that can discourage us. There are spirits that want to destroy us. Each day we have a fresh decision to make: What voice will I listen to?”
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September 27, 2015
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Father Swamy)
“Despite our human weakness, frailty, and the vacuum and emptiness that we experience in our day to day lives, yet we experience a deep longing, an inner urge, an intense hunger for something beyond, something divine, something holy.  Even if we are caught up and pulled by worldly attractions and sensual pleasures our inner yearning and longing for God arise, our hearts and souls to look up to the heights, because we are created for that; we are created to love God and we are created in the image of God-Love.  We are not created to sin—but we choose to sin and that is the paradox.”
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September 20, 2015
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“Some people seem to segment their lives—to say that faith only belongs to a personal and private ‘religious’ part of life, kept distinct from the ‘everyday’ contexts of business or science or even public morality. God’s message through James is that such thinking is wrong.”
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August 23, 2015
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Father Swamy)
“Decision determines destiny. It’s our choices and not our abilities that reveal who we really are. All our choices in life, both big and small, follow one fundamental choice in life—choice for God or not for God. The most profound thing that we are endowed with is the gift of radical freedom to make our choices. We are free to accept or reject the ultimate source of our being, the ultimate destiny of our lives. No freedom can be more radical than that.”
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August 23, 2015
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Monsignor King)
“Within the communion of the Church each of us is forgiven, redeemed, graced, rescued through the mercies of Jesus. When we look at each other in the Church we see others who — just like us — are sharers in the Divine mercy and beneficiaries of the redeeming love of Jesus. Hence, when we look into each other’s eyes we should see a reflection of ourselves, and even more the love of Christ Himself.”
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August 16, 2015
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“If Jesus is literally in the Eucharist, and Catholics really believe this, then why aren’t all Catholics conspicuous because of their holy lives?”
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August 2, 2015
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“The physical senses and appetites are strong and we can easily think physical pleasure is the recipe for happiness…. Yet here we are, immersed in physical comforts: food choices beyond description, homes that can maintain our ideal temperature, access to medical care that is almost unbelievable…. and beyond the physical, we have options for personal entertainment that are past numbering. Yet how many truly contented people do you know?”
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June 28, 2015
A Pastor Talks Honestly About Sexuality and Same Sex Attraction
“Despite more than 3 decades of priestly ministry and 27 years of formal education, I am at a loss for words when someone asks me how to respond to a son or daughter, a former spouse, a co-worker, a friend, or a parent, who is in a same-sex relationship. ‘Love them,’ I respond. ‘Love them!’ But how does a faithful Catholic respond at family get-togethers, community events, restaurants, shopping, or holiday gatherings? The emotions run deep and they are conflicting. Is one to be defiant? Ashamed? Angry? At peace? Resigned? Is a parent allowed to be happy about a child’s joy in such a relationship? Is a good Catholic to attend the ceremony or the reception?”
Download this expanded version of Father King’s “written homily” published in the June 28 issue of Seton Sunday.

June 21, 2015
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“This is classic Bible story. As a child I sang a song about Jesus commanding the storm to stop. Long before the day of video we had “flannel graph” illustrations to visualize each stage of the story. There are eyewitness details to establish the setting: other boats, the exact time, how the boat was filling with water, how Jesus was asleep in the stern on a cushion, the honesty of the disciples’ terror…. But this is not mere Bible story for children; this story is given to encourage faith in Jesus.”
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May 31, 2015
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (Deacon Hall)
“There seems to be an irony in that one of the most basic and important doctrines of Christian Faith is also something beyond human understanding: Three is One. We embrace the Trinity as a truth so significant that it is a major divide between us as Christians and all other religions. Every week we confess belief in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yet, when pressed, it is somewhere between extremely hard and impossible to explain how God is both One and Three Persons.”
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May 24, 2015
The Solemnity of Pentecost (Monsignor King)
“Pentecost is your lucky day: you are not asked to be in charge of anything! That’s the work of the Holy Spirit. God is in charge! What each of us is asked to do is use the charisms, the gifts, we have, for the benefit of the community of Christ’s servants, the parish—because that’s why we have those gifts in the first place.”
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May 14, 2015
The Ascension of the Lord (Monsignor King)
“The implications of the Ascension are very practical for us who await Jesus’ return. He is preparing a home for us in heaven, so let’s not live as though this earth is our lasting destiny. He has sent the Holy Spirit to lead us into a life filled with the fruits of the Spirit.Why would we choose anything less?”
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May 14, 2015
The Ascension of the Lord (Deacon Hall)
“The Ascension is important in a special way for us. As Jesus ascended to heaven and took his place at the right hand of the Father, he has the premier role of Intercessor and Mediator for his people. As our Great High Priest, the wounds of his hands and feet and side constantly plead for mercy…”
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May 10, 2015
6th Sunday of Easter (Deacon Hall)
“Our tendency is to want joy apart from pain––glory without the crucifixion. Most people turn away from facing the realities of a broken world. When we attempt “love” apart from Jesus, we find ourselves frustrated and hurt in ways that make us feel all alone. The Gospel proclaims that Christ died so we might live, but we only truly live as he lives––and that means dying as he died. If we do not die to ourselves we cannot live to God, and if we do not live unto God we are already dead …”
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April 12, 2015
Sunday of Divine Mercy (Deacon Hall)
“On this Sunday of Divine Mercy we are drawn into the heart of God that is revealed to us in Jesus Christ. The beloved apostle John writes in his first letter: God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us…”
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Easter Vigil, April 4, 2015
Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter (Monsignor King)
“It is in the present that we are touched by the grace of a Savior who loved so much as to step into the hands of betrayers and persecutors. The sins of our past matter little; they are purified, washed in His blood. Our hopes for the future are illusions, melting into the love that surrounds us here and now and which carries us safely into an unknown tomorrow.”
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Good Friday, April 3, 2015
Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion (Monsignor King)
“We can come to God on bended knee or standing in supplication, and we will be heard, but there is a price. You and I stand before God as a beloved child and not a reviled and unworthy sinner.  We enjoy status before God: sons and daughters, heirs to the Kingdom, not slaves and not enemies.  The price of admission into the fullness of God’s grace, the price for our inheritance, is dear.  It is daunting.  It is steep.”
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Holy Thursday, April 2, 2015
Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Monsignor King)
“Have I loved enough?  Tonight the question pierces our comfort and deflates our pride.  Whether I have loved or not, I am loved.  I am made loveable by the One who loves me.  I am loved.  I am cleansed.  I am held in the arms of the One who spread His arms wide in a covenant written in blood and that spells love itself.”
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Sunday, March 22, 2015
Fifth Sunday of Lent (Father Swamy)
“Jesus’ being ‘lifted up’ on the Cross to glorify His Father reminds us that we too can glorify God by wholeheartedly accepting our crosses from our loving Heavenly Father.  In other words, when we ‘die’ to our selfishness, we ‘rise’ to new life in Jesus Christ.  To be ‘buried in the earth’ means avoiding sin, accepting suffering, and living for others.”
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Sunday, March 15, 2015
Fourth Sunday of Lent (Deacon Hall)
“What if…. every morning…. before we did anything else…. we took time to orient ourselves…. for the whole day…. to one encompassing reality: God loves us!?
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Sunday, February 22, 2015
First Sunday of Lent (Deacon Hall)
“The nature of life in this world is a spiritual desert—a place where demons lurk like wild beasts. We live in a world where demons try to destroy all that God loves. By ourselves we are vulnerable and even helpless. We need a Savior.”
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Sunday, February 15, 2015
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“We live in a world that celebrates immorality of every type: financial and physical violence as well as sexual. We do see the world around us hurting and unravelling, but most people cannot—or will not—make the connection with disobeying God. Sin is making our whole existence dangerously unclean.”
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Sunday, February 8, 2015
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Monsignor King)
“We spend too much of our life trying to make our problems go away.  It’s almost a knee-jerk reaction when someone tells us bad news to respond quickly by saying, ‘Everything will be okay.’  The truth is that sometimes things don’t turn out okay.”
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Sunday, February 1, 2015
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“During the recent papal visit to the Philippines, twelve-year-old Glyzelle Palomar—who had been rescued from a literal life on the streets with its starvation, sex abuse, rampant drug activity and gang warfare—covered her face with her hand as she wept in front of a microphone and asked Pope Francis, ‘Why did God let this happen to us?’ What would you say to Glyzelle if she asked you the same question? This is perhaps the most basic issue that confronts human beings, especially when pain and injustice come too close.”
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Sunday, January 18, 2015
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“As we start a new year, let’s do some personal inventory. What am I looking for? I need to ask myself this regularly. What are you looking for? Are we, above everything else, looking for Jesus? Are we finding in Jesus the hope and peace and joy that motivates us to tell others about him? It only took Andrew one evening with Jesus for him to go and tell his brother.”
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Special note from Deacon Hall on January 18th homily: “Twenty-five years ago I was preaching serially through Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.  This text was part of today’s lectionary reading, so I’m posting some long-ago thoughts that are all too relevant today.”
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Sunday, January 11, 2015
The Baptism of the Lord
“…here is the issue for us on this day that we honor the baptism of the Lord: Am I living out of my Baptism?  Being baptized into Jesus Christ is our highest calling. Nothing is greater than being identified with Jesus Christ. The implications are eternal.”
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Sunday, December 28, 2015
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (Father Swamy)
“The Holy Family is an inspiration to couples to make the family a confessional rather than a courtroom. In the family we do not argue and justify our behavior and reason like an attorney, but rather, like in a confessional, we admit our faults, make efforts to correct them, and show mercy and compassion, just as God is merciful to us.”
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Sunday, December 21, 2014
Fourth Sunday of Advent (Deacon Hall)
“As we enter the closing days of Advent, we need to know that the Christmas we are waiting for is real! One of the most important things we can do is recognize that we need it. We don’t need “Christmas” as it is often popularized. It doesn’t matter if our celebration matches a Currier & Ives print or follows the script of a favorite holiday movie. We do not so much need Happy Holidays as we need a real Christmas.”
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Sunday, December 14, 2014
Third Sunday of Advent (Monsignor King)
“Some people like to talk about themselves so much that they might be heard saying in the middle of a conversation, “So, enough about me. Now, tell me what YOU think about me.”
Not John the Baptist …”
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Sunday, November 30, 2014
First Sunday of Advent (Deacon Hall)
“The wandering heart that led Israel to the depths of despair will lead us astray if we do not remember this Gospel warning. Do not let him come suddenly and find you sleeping. As we start preparing for Christmas, the word from our Lord is WATCH! . . .  Jesus is coming!”
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Sunday, November 9, 2014
Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (Deacon Hall)
“One of the ways that Catholic Faith is distinctive is the importance it gives to the material. A cute way to say it is that “Matter matters.” So it is a common observation, for those who bother to notice, that one of the discernible characteristics of Catholicism is beautiful churches. This is because ‘Matter matters.’ We believe that in the Incarnation God gave the ultimate affirmation to his crowning verdict at Creation: very good.
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Sunday, October 25, 2014
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“Choosing to love God is to make the choice not to focus on one’s self. This seems like the opposite of happiness. It looks like a sure path to misery. Why does Jesus say the greatest commandment is to love God?”
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Sunday, October 19, 2014
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
” Christians live in two worlds. The two worlds are not equal. The world we see seems to be the most important. Christian Faith holds that the world we cannot see is the most important …”
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29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Monsignor King)
“Sometimes the biggest challenge God sets before us is not the things He asks us to do (as though we’re the best tool in His toolkit), but sometimes the biggest challenge is allowing God to pick someone else, whom He will equip and protect and enable to flourish …”
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Sunday, October 5, 2014
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Monsignor King)
“Today I lay before you the challenge to help me construct a parish that builds on the legacy our founders have given us.  I challenge you to join with me in building a place where believers and disciples can be together and support one another, enjoy one another’s company, bolster each other’s faith.  I challenge you to join with me in providing a place where our children, and their children, can gather to have fun and learn in an environment where the things of God are valued and not scorned, where right and wrong are not blurred, where they can discover God’s loving plan for their lives.  I challenge you to join with me in providing a place where the old can come together to reminisce and laugh together, to pray and work together, to enjoy life in God’s Grace together.  I challenge you to join with me in providing a place where the person simply driving by can be invited into a community of vibrant faith, a faith that is thriving when others are wilting, a faith that stands strong when others surrender to the tides of public opinion, a faith that offers life and hope and vitality and peace and a path to Heaven …”
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Sunday, September 21, 2014
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“I think one of the most basic contrasts is between the attitude of people who believe they always “deserve” what is best or even fair as opposed to those who tremble at the thought of getting what they deserve. There is another way to say this: proud and humble gets to the root. Jesus’ story of the proud Pharisee and the humble publican comes to mind. …”
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Sunday, September 14, 2014
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“God does not force spiritual healing on anyone. Moses mounted the image of the snake, but each Israelite had the personal responsibility to look at it in order to be healed. Jesus makes the same point in his words to Nicodemus: ….the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life …”
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Sunday, September 7, 2014
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“Do we take what God says through the Church seriously enough that we truly try to live it? Do we take what God says through the Church seriously enough that we are willing to confront our brothers and sisters with it? Do we take what God says through the Church seriously enough that we all are willing to be humble with each other and admit that we are a work in progress? Do we remember each day, and embrace the reality, that as Christians we are called to be saints? …”
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Sunday, August 31, 2014
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me…. There is no good news without bad news. The very word ‘good’ requires a larger context that provides its contrast. No one has reason to be happy about being found if they have no idea that they are lost. To have any comprehension of being ‘saved’ we must first know that we are in grave danger. The Good News of the Gospel comes to us in the context of the bad news of sin and the very real and appropriate fear of a holy God …”
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Sunday, August 24, 2014
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“God never abandons his purpose to have a people who are distinctively his, and belonging to God ‘distinctively’ means being holy––’different, for Jesus’ sake’…”
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Sunday, August 17, 2014
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Father Swamy)
“Throughout the Gospel, Matthew is at pains to show what great things can be achieved through faith in Jesus. He is writing to Christians who have already expressed their faith in Jesus. If we have faith, there is no limit to what He can do for us. There is nothing we cannot accomplish, if we never quit or allow ourselves to be discouraged …”
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Sunday, August 10, 2014
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“As Christians, we are to have a single basic focus. Above everything else––undergirding and surrounding all that we are and do––Jesus Christ is the Son of God. This is the center of everything else that happens in what we call “everyday life.” Jesus wants us to “step out” and meet him in all the circumstances of our lives …”
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Sunday, August 3, 2014
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Father Swamy)
“Eucharist challenges us to become food and drink for others—to die for ourselves to give life to others. Every celebration of the Eucharist, which symbolizes God’s saving act, His self-emptying love, and our acceptance of His rule with life of unity and oneness, invites us to reinvent that Love that is lost in our community …”
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Sunday, July 27, 2014
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Father Swamy)
“Let us always remember that Heaven is within the reach of all of us who try to do the will of God, following the ordinary vocations of life and enjoying this world’s joys and pleasures within the framework of God’s Commandments– and by treasuring the personal relationship with Jesus, accepting Him every day as our God and Savior, and allowing Him to have total control of our lives. Those of us who make this choice every day have found the treasure and are already living in the Kingdom of Heaven while still on earth.”
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Sunday, July 20, 2014
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Deacon Hall)
“The world news is not very encouraging. Iraq is in shambles. ISIS is killing Christians/minorities in Syria if they do not convert to Islam. Boko Haram is extending Islamic terror and death in Nigeria. Israel and Hamas not backing down. Russia is flexing its muscle. . . . Our own country has more crises than we can handle . . . . Even locally we cannot escape the litany of recurring abuses and homicides. What in the world is going on?”
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