Mercy pours forth, in compassion and help

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Our Lady of Mercy: Sept. 24, 2011
Isa 61: 1-3, 10-11; Luke 1:46-55; Eph 2:4-10, 13; John 19:25-30, 32-34

For the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Mich., on their feast day.

“And then there were two,” St. Augustine wrote. He was commenting upon the passage in the Gospel of John, chapter 8, when the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery to Jesus and made her stand in the middle. And they asked him whether she should be stoned, in accordance with the Law of Moses. And then, after he responded, they went away one by one, until he was left alone with the woman before him. “And so there were two left— relicti sunt duo, misera et misericordia—the miserable and the merciful.” (more…)

Epiphany: Come Be My Light

Epiphany: Jan. 3, 2010
Isa 60:1-6; Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13; Eph 3:2-3, 5-6; Matt 2:1-12

This homily was given to a local house of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan. My digital voice recorder mysteriously stopped recording just a couple minutes into the homily, so there is no mp3 of this one.

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Two years ago, a collection of letters written by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta was published as a book. The title was “Come Be My Light”; and I’m sure that many people assumed, as I did, that this title was a prayer by Mother Teresa to our Lord, asking him to come and be her light. And if one assumed further that she prayed these words in India, then she would have borne quite a resemblance to the magi from the east who we see arrive in Jerusalem in today’s gospel reading, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”

The arrival of the magi, who were seeking the light of the newborn Messiah, was a pivotal moment in a long history—both a completion and a signal of a new beginning. (more…)