Sunday Homilies

from Father Kevin Laughery, Troy St. Jerome and St. Jacob St. James Parishes, Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Note: Comments from this page do not reach me; instead, email:

The Podcasts

I am happy to pass along this document, more conciliatory in tone when speaking of other Christians and people of other faiths than what I refer to as "the July thing."

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 12:49pm CDT

Family brings to mind familiarity -- and from ancient times it has been held that "familiarity breeds contempt."  Today's scriptures affirm that this does not have to be.  As we appreciate the growth of our family members, we find that learning to forgive is liberating.
Direct download: KML_2007-12-30_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:36am CDT

I am quite certain that this homily, at the first Mass of Christmas, will be my best effort for the solemnity of the Incarnation.  The mystery of the Word Made Flesh calls us to look deep within ourselves to discover the joy which can emerge from misery as we ask what it means to be human, and ask as well why the Son of God would will to enter this life of ours.
Direct download: KML_2007-12-24_4pm.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 10:49pm CDT

We men like to assert our power.  The power or potency to beget children is greatly esteemed.  Today we hear of power being wielded in a way which calls all our power-posturing into question.
Direct download: KML_2007-12-23_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:10am CDT

As I was uploading this, the host admonished me: "Please be patient."  Patience provides a near-universal challenge to human beings.  It is difficult to see what patience gives us.  Perhaps if we slowed down the processes of our minds, and simply stood quietly before the incredible images supplied by the prophet Isaiah, we might discover that in the slowness God gives much to us.
Direct download: KML_2007-12-16_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 3:05pm CDT

On a weekend of difficult weather and general distraction, a brief reflection on knowledge of God covering the earth as water covers the sea.
Direct download: KML_2007-12-09_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 6:47pm CDT

This somewhat windy homily takes the image of the man hammering his sword into a plowshare and applies it to the dream of the parish's becoming more completely a faith community.
Direct download: KML_2007-12-02_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:15am CDT

Let's get past the reflexive response, "We're Americans -- we don't need kings!"  There is a great richness in the concepts of kingship and kingdom, and we can enrich ourselves by considering these concepts.  Jesus, truly God and truly human, subjected himself to ultimate degradation and made the cross his throne.  If we are in the midst of degradation, his presence there can mean everything to us.
Direct download: KML_2007-11-25_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:07pm CDT

Well, I was listening to the "Mass in Slow Motion," and I found a misstatement.  I said "Archimedes" when I meant "Aristotle."  Archimedes was a mathematician and engineer; Aristotle was the philosopher who theorized about the structure of being as "substance" and "accident" and whose ideas theologians borrowed -- for better or for worse -- in applying the concept of "transubstantiation" to the Holy Eucharist.
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 6:28pm CDT

This recording is close to an hour and a half.  I provide explanations of the various parts of the Mass.  We must conduct our lives remembering that we are the ancestors of the people of the future.  Will they be able to look back upon us with gratitude?
Direct download: KML_2007-11-18_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 1:33pm CDT

I received some highly gratifying positive feedback on this one.  I was happy to hear from people who said that it made them think!  That's what we must do if we are going to have an adequate appreciation of our relationship with God and what time and timelessness have to do with it.  We must rouse ourselves out of a "pie in the sky when you die" mentality.
Direct download: KML_2007-11-11_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 1:50pm CDT

After two weekends on vacation and some hassles with keeping my account activated, I am back with Sunday homilies. 

We all appreciate a quiet, loving hint so that we can be informed of a need to change something.  We don't appreciate it when this need becomes a topic of common conversation and we end up being the last to know.  Jesus was giving Zacchaeus that quiet, loving hint that leads to conversion.

Direct download: KML_2007-11-04_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 1:22pm CDT

Does the internet make place irrelevant?  Our deepest feelings say no.  Each of us is from somewhere.  We have a lot invested in particular places.  It is taking believers a long time to work through these feelings.
Direct download: KML_2007-10-14_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 4:11pm CDT

"How long, O Lord?"  This cry from the sixth century B.C. resounds in every age, wherever human beings are.  We experience time now as dragging, now as racing.  We are challenged to understand that God is drawing us from time into the timeless.  If we wonder about the virtue of patience, let us consider the patience of Jesus in casting his lot with humanity.
Direct download: KML_2007-10-07_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 7:10pm CDT

A somewhat different take on the rich man and Lazarus.  I consider what it means to take anyone's name in vain.  How do people instrumentalize each other?
Direct download: KML_2007-09-30_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 4:21pm CDT

Jesus' parable of the devious steward is not teaching us to be devious!  Rather, we find here an invitation to "work" a "system" as this man worked the economic system, which was all he could see.  Our "system" to "work" is creation itself.  We are to develop a sense of wonder toward God who, in his creation, constantly expresses his love for us.
Direct download: KML_2007-09-23_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:44am CDT

Self-righteousness is hard to get rid of; after all, it feels so good!  But we can trade it in for something better.  May we confront ourselves in a healthy manner so as to accept the sense of peace which is far better than self-righteousness.
Direct download: KML_2007-09-16_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:21pm CDT

The death of Madeleine L'Engle; the ideas of C.S. Lewis regarding heaven; our upcoming parish feast day (Friday, September 14) and the prioritizing that occurs when we take up our cross.
Direct download: KML_2007-09-09_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:56am CDT

Might heaven be boring?; a mistranslation of Hebrews; one of Jesus' least important parables; Mother Teresa couldn't control God.
Direct download: KML_2007-09-02_Reconstructed.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:50am CDT

I have to apologize for the strange appearance of this page.  I have to scroll down quite a bit through blank space to see the latest posts.  Libsyn has sent me some advice on how to correct this, but I don't have it figured out yet.

Apparently Libsyn has been having some problems over the last few days with access to their site.

Anyway, here's my first theology-bite on heaven, and my thought on responding to what is ultimately a meaningless question.  Accept discipline and stand up straight!

Direct download: KML_2007-08-26_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:46am CDT

After two weekends away doing ecumenical training, the crusty old pastor is back.  This homily starts from a reflection on the practice of dueling.

Direct download: KML_2007-08-19_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:29am CDT

Due to technical difficulties, this homily is appearing rather late.  The Scriptures give us a lot to consider regarding prayer.  It is most important to note the communal nature of prayer (even when we think we're "alone") and to take confidence in the strength of praying liturgically with people all over the world.  Does it help to tell people that the Tridentine Mass was never abrogated?  Does it help to treat the Christians of the Reformation as some virus in a test tube, on which you hope to put the right label?
Direct download: KML_2007-07-29_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 5:18pm CDT

We finish our reflection on the meaning of hell.  We also consider the virtue of hospitality, acknowledging that activity (of whatever kind) can get in the way of our focus on why we engage in various activities.
Direct download: KML_2007-07-22_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:19am CDT

Treatment of eschatology continues with a consideration of hell, where jokes fall flat.  There has been a lot of name-calling in state government lately; we must consider the fact that labeling people is a foolish excuse for not responding to people spontaneously with love.
Direct download: KML_2007-07-15_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:53am CDT

Today is my fiftieth birthday.  It's a time somewhat like Dante's mezzo del cammin di nostra vita (the middle of the walk of our life) and it was then that he looked into the "last things" in writing The Divine Comedy.  Today I complete my look at Purgatorio.  We also consider the meaning of fulfillment in life.  -- Well, I found an English translation of yesterday's motu proprio of Pope Benedict XVI and I can tell you that I don't like it one bit.
Direct download: KML_2007-07-08_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:59am CDT

Freedom is the opportunity to choose a direction for one's life.  Jesus knew that he was proceeding resolutely to Jerusalem and an appointment with a cross.  Our challenge is freely to embrace everything that comes with the path of holiness.
Direct download: KML_2007-06-30_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:25am CDT

Zechariah was unable to speak.  That doesn't mean he was unable to hear.  So why are the good fellows around him communicating in some sort of sign language?  Self-consciousness in difficult social situations can lead us to to do strange things (may I say "dumb" things?).  We recognize the un-self-consciousness of John the Baptist, whose vocation was to point to Jesus, Messiah and Savior.
Direct download: KML_2007-06-24_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:57am CDT

Finally we get to a post-death "destination" -- although it's not a final destination.  Purgatory is the antechamber to heaven, and the concept of this state of purification is difficult to understand.  More to the point are the words of Jesus to Simon the Pharisee and of Nathan the prophet to King David.  God is merciful.
Direct download: KML_2007-06-17_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:02pm CDT

Last night at 9:40 pm I finished reading The Word of God and the Word of Man by Karl Barth, thereby finishing my reading of the entire 1990 edition of Great Books of the Western World.  My goal had been to finish by my fiftieth birthday.  I made it with 22 days to spare.

I had bought the set in 1993; I did not begin reading in earnest until early 1996 -- over eleven years ago.

Now that I have read the "Great Books," I have the rest of my life to engage in scholarship: dipping back into these books for the sake of my ongoing enrichment.  It's going to be good.

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 11:53am CDT

In this time-bound existence of ours, we touch the timeless as we open our hearts to our God.  The Holy Eucharist proclaims to us that we are fed and nourished in Jesus' Paschal Mystery in ways which are not readily perceivable.  We remember that sacrament and mystery are equivalent terms.
Direct download: KML_2007-06-10_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:01am CDT

How well developed is your sense of play and celebration?  Can you experience life with the enthusiasm of God the Creator?  He made us that we might in some way reflect the love shared among the persons of the Trinity.
Direct download: KML_2007-06-03_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:26pm CDT

The Holy Spirit is at work through the words of Sacred Scripture.  It is important for all of us to read the Bible in its entirety.  We also need to let Scripture guide our prayer.  Our liturgical experience of the proclamation of Scripture is a dramatic way in which we experience the Word of God being addressed to us in a way that responds to the drama of our life.
Direct download: KML_2007-05-27_8am_copy_1.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:27am CDT

A lot was going on today.  We begin "Eschatology" with "Limbo."  What experiences do we have that give us a sense of the peace of "dwelling in the house of the Lord"?
Direct download: KML_2007-05-20_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:38pm CDT

Since, in my locality, the Ascension falls on the Seventh Sunday of Easter, we are permitted to use readings of that Seventh Sunday on this day.  I used the Gospel from next Sunday: "That all may be one."  How does the incident in the Acts of the Apostles demonstrate for us the manner in which we should seek communion among all believers?  How are we preparing to enter the New Jerusalem?
Direct download: KML_2007-05-13_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:21am CDT

A different take on the same readings.  NOTE:  Next weekend I will again be away from the parish; therefore no homily for May 5-6.
Direct download: KML_2007-04-29_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 3:09pm CDT

You who are listening to the podcast know very well the concept of "multitasking."  Can people multitask and do justice to any of the work they do?  Jesus' attention was fixed on one matter alone.  His singleness of heart led to the salvation of all of us and each of us.
Direct download: KML_2007-03-04_8_am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 3:00pm CDT

Recorded at Divernon on Saturday, April 14.  Personally I will always have esteem for Thomas in his unwillingness to be deceived -- though I grant that we can improve upon him and learn to appreciate the need to accept the testimony of witnesses.  -- NOTE: I was not in my parish April 21-22 and did not preach.
Direct download: KML_2007-04-15_copy_1.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 6:37pm CDT

Resurrection allows us to accept our memories -- even the most bitter.  Our participation in Christian baptism means that we have accepted the invitation of Jesus to accept all the good that comes from his confrontation of the contradictions of human existence -- especially the contradiction called death.  We are grateful for the invitation we've been given -- the invitation to live fully.
Direct download: KML_2007-04-07_830pm.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 6:15pm CDT

As I attempted to record my homily for Holy Thursday, I discovered that the battery was dead.  Sorry.  You will note that my Triduum homilies are building upon the concept of memory.
Direct download: KML_2007-04-06_7pm.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 10:36pm CDT

Luke is my favorite Gospel, and likewise the Passion of Luke is my favorite of the narratives of the death of Jesus.  It seems to me that Luke has an eye on the universal implications of the sacrifice of the Word Made Flesh.  When he says to the one crucified alongside him, "This day you will be with me in Paradise," we understand that God in fact brings into the Kingdom those who seem to be irrevocably excluded.  Recorded at the 8:00 am Sunday Eucharist at Auburn.
Direct download: KML_2007-04-01_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 4:43pm CDT

Well, is this a stretch or not?  In the incident of the woman caught in adultery, can we see an element of class consciousness?  I will leave it to you to form your opinion.  Anyway, this passage from the Gospel of John is unfailingly powerful.
Direct download: KML_2007-03-24_530pm_copy_1.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:14am CDT

This is the Sunday 10:15 am Mass in Auburn.  Once again, we consider the parable of the Prodigal Son -- this time, without reference to etymology.
Direct download: KML_2007-03-18_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 1:15pm CDT

Is there a connection between the words prodigal and prodigy?  I said so in this homily, but without checking a dictionary.  Now that I have, I find I can't verify this.  At least I know that prodigal doesn't mean "repentant" but rather "wasteful."  And it is an open question how repentant the prodigal was.  Recorded Saturday evening in Divernon.
Direct download: KML_2007-03-18_Sat_530pm_copy_1.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 10:01am CDT

I preached on these readings only once today.  The Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent have two sets of readings in Years B and C (this year is C) when the scrutinies are celebrated for people preparing for baptism at Easter.  There is a richness to the Gospel of Jesus and the Samaritan woman which could lead to a very long homily.  Mine is rather brief.
Direct download: KML_2007-03-11_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:34am CDT

This has nothing to do with the homily; I merely present this as a public service.  -- People apparently are up in arms about "In God We Trust" not being on the new dollar coins.  Think again.  "E Pluribus Unum," "In God We Trust," and the minting year are on the rim of the coin (I remember this sort of thing being done on one-pound coins in the UK).  So all you people who love to be sanctimonious: find something else to be sanctimonious about.
Direct download: KML_2007-03-04_1015_am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:14pm CDT

Jesus underwent temptation just as we do.  But he never sinned.  So how much like us is he, really?  Can we relate to him?  Can his fidelity to his Father be attributed to superhuman powers?  These are vital questions which we must answer if we are to make our way through Lent to the celebration of the Easter Mystery.  Recorded Saturday evening, February 24, in Auburn.
Direct download: KML_2007-02-25.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 3:29pm CDT

I have limited time to upload the homily, since I left my power cord at my office last week and I have only 46 min. of battery and the uploading is ridiculously slow today.
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 12:35pm CDT

How do we view people?  Can we expand our vision so we can see people more in the way that God sees us?  It is possible, and we can develop an appreciation for human beings which is a step toward the vision of Jesus in his challenging command to love our enemies.
Direct download: KML_2007-02-18.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:24pm CDT

The blowing-snow conditions are making travel treacherous.  I have decided to have today's 4:00 pm Mass at Auburn rather than at Divernon.  The rest of the schedule will proceed as usual: Sat. 5:30 pm, Sun. 8:00 and 10:15 am, all at Auburn.

Travel safely if you must travel, and remember, especially in regard to coming to Mass, that no one is bound to the impossible.

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 10:23am CDT

I uploaded the file and listened to it from Libsyn.  I am pleased to be podcasting again. 

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 12:10pm CDT

We're back, thanks to Brian Noe's expertise.  For this first attempt with a new recording device, I'm a little bit self-conscious wearing the thing on my wrist.  We cast aside all distracting thoughts and extend our roots so we will always be one with the source of life.
Direct download: KML_2007-02-11.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:48am CDT

Thanks to those who alerted me to the fact that I had been uploading silent audio files for the past couple of weeks.  The problem is not with the microphone battery or the microphone, so the recording device itself must be the problem.  I will be checking shortly with the manufacturer and I hope to have the homilies back before too long.
Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 6:17pm CDT

Don't you get angry when people tell you how to feel?  I thought so.  It seems that Ezra is doing this very thing in the first reading.  Jesus, on the other hand, does not try to manipulate us.
Direct download: KML_2007-01-21.mp3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:45am CDT

Marriage is a process of embracing the ordinary.  Our God calls us to discover how wonderful the ordinary is.
Direct download: KML_2007-01-14.mp3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:37am CDT

I'm still sick, as you can hear.  Considering the word "epiphany" as meaning coming to a new insight or an "aha" moment.
Direct download: KML_2007-01-07.mp3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:45am CDT

I have been sick for over a week -- hence the late upload.  The gist of my thoughts for the Holy Family is that we as a Church thought we had all the answers to what families are supposed to be.  We have been proven wrong. 
Direct download: KML_2006-12-31.mp3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:18pm CDT