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

It may seem insignificant that John the Baptist answered "no" to the question, "Are you the Christ?" In fact, his "no" shines a light on our tendency to say "yes" and to act as if we are our own saviors.
Direct download: KML_2008-12-14_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:46pm CDT

While on a conference call this morning, I took a look at "Kevin Laughery" on Google and found a number of references to my having expressed concerns last week about setting up a Nativity scene in the Illinois State Capitol. I repeat my sense of the situation: that one must be wary of getting into the religious-symbolism business in the halls of government. I have been told that this is a free-speech matter; I still hold that there are also serious non-establishment concerns. I will be happy to discuss this issue.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 10:46am CDT

Can we hold together the words "comfort" and "repent" in the same thought? If not, we need to open ourselves to the chastening received by God's people when they returned from the Babylonian Captivity.
Direct download: KML_2008-12-07_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:45am CDT

See November 16.
Direct download: KML_2008-11-30_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:44am CDT

See November 16.
Direct download: KML_2008-11-23_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:43am CDT

For four weeks I failed to get my software to recognize my hardware. This morning, at last, it worked. Off the top of my head, I can't remember exactly what I was talking about in these earlier ones.
Direct download: KML_2008-11-16_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:41am CDT

Why does all the world celebrate the dedication of a church near a subway station on the southeast side of Rome?
Direct download: KML_2008-11-09_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:19am CDT

How many schools have their own mausoleum, and must one assume that such schools are pretty tough?
Direct download: KML_2008-11-02_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:15am CDT

It isn't wrong because it's forbidden; it's forbidden because it's wrong.  It isn't right because it's commanded; it's commanded because it's right.
Direct download: KML_2008-10-26_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 3:03pm CDT

I was on vacation, and therefore dodged the bullet: the "Caesar's coin" incident just before a presidential election.  I'm good for another 12 years.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 3:02pm CDT

I can't remember what I preached about.
Direct download: KML_2008-10-12_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 3:01pm CDT

As of this Friday, October 31, AOL is no longer hosting websites.  I have therefore moved my site to a new service provider.  You can find the site at

Did I say "have moved"?  It's a process.  Besides uploading the files, I have to edit out the old URLs referring to the old service provider.  I am just back from vacation and have a lot of tribunal work before me.  So I am working on the site as I have the chance.  I will do my best to address the most popular parts of the site (liturgical calendars and "What Really Matters") with expedition.

(I am reminded of a comment by a Rome classmate of mine.  He said, "When waiters in Italy say subito [right away], they say it without any reference to time.  When they say it, the meaning is: 'I heard you.' ")

If you're wondering about Sunday homilies: I have two recorded.  The process of transferring them to my computer is at a standstill.  I plug the thing in and the software doesn't recognize that the device is connected.  I'll look into it ... subito.

Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:11pm CDT

AOL is discontinuing web hosting as of 10/31/08.  This podcast page is currently redirected from, which will be the website's proper URL after it is moved.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:19am CDT

Today is "Vineyard III." Am I coming across as genuine? Why be preoccupied with whether people perceive us as "good people"? We need to free ourselves from maintaining our image, and let God change us. Conversion -- a dynamic process -- is the fundamental reality of the Christian life.
Direct download: KML_2008-10-05_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:18am CDT

I did not record myself on this "Vineyard II" weekend. We had a presentation regarding our sister parish in Guatemala.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:16am CDT

Somebody said economics is the "dismal science." And I can't help sounding less than peppy when trying to talk about economics, even in the light of the Gospel. Of course, we have to stress that the parable of the workers in the vineyard has nothing to do with everyday economics. It is describing the Kingdom of God. Even so, we keep in mind that everyday economics is not divorced from the Gospel. "Greed is good" is wrong. Those involved in our economic system must concentrate on the good of all in the "law of the household" -- which is the meaning of the word "economy." The household is the whole world, including the poorest and most vulnerable.
Direct download: KML_2008-09-21_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:10am CDT

This feast also happens to be our parish feast day. Consider the inconsistency: The people of Israel were not to make a golden calf, but Moses was instructed to make a bronze serpent.
Direct download: KML_2008-09-14_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 1:28pm CDT

I did not preach this past weekend because of the presence of a visiting priest.

I did participate in an interfaith service commemorating the 1908 race riot in Springfield, Illinois, on Saturday, September 6, in the Hall of Representatives of the Old State Capitol, Springfield.  I gave the welcome; here are my remarks:

Welcome to a place which people call "historic."

We can think of the time when this was the lawmaking center for the entire state, and when a man of this city grappled with our nation's prospect of becoming "a house divided."

We can recall that the body of this slain President was viewed here by the people for the last time.

Later, this place became this county's seat for seeking, but not always finding, justice.

Today we remember justice denied and justice miscarried here.

And we remember what "history" means.

History is not a charming tale that we contemplate from a distance.

For as surely as we are in this place, we are history, whether we want to be or not.

So today we turn from the expression "You're history," as meaning that one is over and done with, and embrace instead the identity of ourselves as history, as the cause of a just and loving future, as people whose repentance, conversion and dedication build a future worthy of the dignity of human beings.

Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:18am CDT

The calendar cycles have aligned ... to provide a recollection of what I was doing 33 years ago, the weekend I entered the seminary. It is amazing how the very Scriptures I read at my last Mass at home have grown in significance -- especially Paul's instruction to "be transformed by the renewal of your mind."
Direct download: KML_2008-08-31_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 1:56pm CDT

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, August 24, 2008 We are all familiar with abuses of authority. Christians are called to a counter-intuitive sort of authority, modeled for us in Jesus himself, who came among us as one who serves.
Direct download: KML_2008-08-24_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 1:49pm CDT

I'm having difficulties uploading files from my recording device.  I hope to resolve this by Sep. 14 (next time I preach on a weekend).
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 4:57pm CDT

When he speaks of throwing the food of the children to the dogs, Jesus lays bare a nativism which we carefully hide from ourselves. The fact of a child's illness breaks through the barriers we erect so we can create for ourselves that "comfort zone" we so frequently refer to. The human need for health -- for salvation -- is universal. May our self-imposed barriers crumble beneath God's outstretched arm (Alternate Opening Prayer).
Direct download: KML_2008-08-17_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:39am CDT

I love the Olympics. I always have to see the opening ceremony. Friday night, in addition to the spectacle, we saw a little boy with the towering Yao Ming. I find a connection with Elijah in the cave and Peter trying to walk to his master on water.
Direct download: KML_2008-08-10_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:00pm CDT

Our duty to foster communion and dialogue; our assurance that nothing can separate us from God -- these are a few parts of the great variety of thoughts presented to us through the Scriptures.
Direct download: KML_2008-08-03_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:12pm CDT

What is your heart's desire?  It becomes obvious to any Christian that we must keep revising our idea of that heart's desire as it comes to embrace nothing less than the Kingdom of God.
Direct download: KML_2008-07-27_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:11pm CDT

Rely not upon the "explanation" of the parable of the weeds in the wheat. Let the parable itself carry you to a consideration of the patience of God.
Direct download: KML_2008-07-20_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:32am CDT

Saturday, July 12, 2008, at the Catholic Pastoral Center, Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
Direct download: Advocates_4_of_4.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:09am CDT

You need an explanation of the parables of Jesus ... if you want to make them safe and domesticated and toothless. Jesus probably did not provide explanations; somebody in the early Church considered this necessary. Jesus intended his parables to have teeth -- to keep gnawing at us as we consider how we enter into the kingdom of God.
Direct download: KML_2008-07-13_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:09am CDT

Saturday, July 12, 2008, at the Catholic Pastoral Center, Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
Direct download: Advocates_3_of_4.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:08am CDT

Saturday, July 12, 2008, at the Catholic Pastoral Center, Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
Direct download: Advocates_2_of_4.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:07am CDT

Saturday, July 12, 2008, at the Catholic Pastoral Center, Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
Direct download: Advocates_1_of_4.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:06am CDT

You need to decide whether the homilist is conscious. After a week spent at Catholic HEART Workcamp, I was suffering from severe sleep deprivation. I seem to recall talking about CREATURELINESS. Believe me, I was feeling like a creature, not a creator.
Direct download: KML_2008-07-06_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 5:10pm CDT

This was the homily given on the occasion of my silver jubilee.  This homily is unusual because I am interrupted by people explaining to me how funny it was for me to say "You don't know one another ... and it's a good thing."  They didn't let me complete my thought -- it's a good thing (for me, at least) that all these people from across nearly 51 years can come together for something very meaningful.  It was especially good for me.
Direct download: KML_2008-06-08_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 4:50pm CDT

Since Easter was the earliest we'll ever see it, we have before us twenty-six weeks of Ordinary Time, and that means six months of a more or less continuous reading from the Gospel of Matthew.  Today's passage is the conclusion of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.  Does the exhortation to "build your house on rock" contradict St. Paul's teaching that salvation is a free gift?
Direct download: KML_2008-06-01_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 6:04pm CDT

The "homily" on this day was largely devoted to the in-pew fundraising campaign for the Cathedral.  I don't want to subject anybody to any more of this.  I promise a real homily next week!
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 4:01pm CDT

We were baptized into "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."  The  communitarian being of God Himself helps us to understand why it is absolutely necessary for us to live our lives in relationship.
Direct download: KML_2008-05-18_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:16am CDT

See the Vigil of Pentecost for references to harrowing experiences (does even St. Paul have the right to be the one talking about "labor pains" on the weekend of Mother's Day?).  Going through crises may perhaps purify our sense of what really matters in life.  We may be more responsive to the Holy Spirit.
Direct download: KML_2008-05-11_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 8:52am CDT

This one features yours truly trying to talk about four different things; the third part is the homily proper.  Jesus commands the Eleven to "go and make disciples" -- in other words, bring people around so that they are as excited about their faith as anyone devoted to a particular teacher.
Direct download: KML_2008-05-04_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:40am CDT

Sorry, a string of mishaps led to no homily being recorded for this Sunday.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:38am CDT

The essence of God is sharing.  Now that's something to think about.
Direct download: KML_2008-04-20_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 6:17pm CDT

I had a Koinonia weekend going this weekend, I was just reconfiguring my computer, and I was between trips for conferences, so, I'm sorry, but no recording this week.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 6:15pm CDT

I can't remember what I preached about.

Direct download: KML_2008-04-06_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 6:13pm CDT

The resurrection of Jesus, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, create community.  The first letter of Peter proclaims our new birth in baptism.  Birth means we belong to someone.  We eagerly claim our relationship to the crucified and risen one.
Direct download: KML_2008-03-30_8am.mp3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 10:46am CDT

Resurrection is real; we just have a hard time perceiving it.  Resurrection, in fact, is a challenge held out to us.  Do we accept the challenge?  Do we submit to the dying that is necessary if we are to rise?
Direct download: KML_2008-03-22_830pm.mp3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 10:43am CDT

"What is truth?"  Pilate doesn't know.  Pilate very likely doesn't want to know.  Truth includes an acknowledgment of human suffering.  Jesus in his death does this very thing.

Direct download: KML_2008-03-21_7pm.mp3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 10:41am CDT

Through the Passover, and then through the Eucharist, ancient memories are alive and active in our midst, helping us to "remember forward" regarding our dignity and our call from God to service.
Direct download: KML_2008-03-20_7pm.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:43pm CDT

I was a bit distracted on Palm Sunday and did not manage to record a homily.  This is a summary.
Direct download: KML_2008-03-16.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:41pm CDT

"If I can survive death, I can survive anything."  But how does one survive death?  Jesus himself succumbed to death -- but this death was the conquest of death.  The raising of Lazarus prepares us to celebrate Jesus' resurrection.
Direct download: KML_2008-03-09_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:34pm CDT

Recorded while I was having my car worked on -- there may be some background noises.
Direct download: KML_Tribunal.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 10:50am CDT

On Laetare Sunday, I was looking for a "respite" from this sorry winter we've been experiencing.  On that particular day, the temperatures got up around 70.  I'm uploading this the following Tuesday, and we've been hit with several inches of blowing snow.  Maybe I should have prayed for more than a respite.
Direct download: KML_2008-03-02_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 5:37pm CDT

I'm sorry to be late with this upload.  As I recall, I looked at Jesus and the Samaritan woman as a way of identifying various anxieties of human life.
Direct download: KML_2008-02-24_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:03pm CDT

How can we act with true hope, and not give in to a despairing attitude?  Jesus gave an answer through his transfiguration.  We can perceive, along with Peter, James, and John, that the good is triumphant, even when we can see only evil surrounding us.
Direct download: KML_2008-02-17_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:12am CDT

Yes, this year we are going to talk about sin.  Jesus' resistance of temptation is a good occasion for us to think about sins of recklessness, as well as their opposite extreme: sins of shrinking fearfulness toward all the challenges of life.
Direct download: KML_2008-02-10_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 5:24pm CDT

I am somewhat slow to get this past Sunday's homily uploaded.  I was feeling quite tired all weekend and right up to today.  The recording device is in Auburn and I am in Springfield.  I hope to have uploaded it by this evening.  At last, audio Lent will begin.

I enjoyed yesterday's Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes in Decatur, marking the 150th anniversary of the apparitions at Lourdes, France, and the beginning of Lourdes Parish's 50th jubilee year observance.  My parents and I were charter members of the parish when it was created on October 28, 1958 (the same day Angelo Roncalli was elected Pope John XXIII!). 


Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 11:48am CDT

Today we are "searching for Bobby Fischer" and thereby presenting a counterexample for the Beatitudes.  We are all tempted to make the activity that most gratifies us our only goal in life.  If we accede to the temptation, we tell ourselves that we are providing ourselves with happiness, but in fact we cut ourselves off from the deeper acceptance of the world and our place in it which in fact brings joy to us.
Direct download: KML_2008-02-03_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:43pm CDT

DISCIPLES are people who submit willingly to a certain DISCIPLINE.  We can think of certain people or ideas that have excited us.  At one time or another, we have wanted our lives to be reflections of the thing that fascinates.  To be a disciple of Jesus means to be open to the many ways in which he calls us to re-think our own existence.
Direct download: KML_2008-01-27_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:00pm CDT

This was the first sermon for Auburn's observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in its centennial year.  The venue: Cornerstone Community Church.  I forgot about recording until a couple of minutes into it.  Before turning it on, I got a good laugh when I said: "The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was started by Episcopalians who shortly thereafter became Roman Catholics.  In mentioning this, I do not mean to presuppose any outcome."
Direct download: KML_2008-01-21_WPCU.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:29pm CDT

We, the church, the assembly, are called to holiness.  "Holy" is a word rich in significance; yet it can be an obstacle to us when we seek to understand ourselves before God.  We welcome the encouragement of all who have accepted the challenge of the call to holiness.
Direct download: KML_2008-01-20_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 8:14am CDT

Baptism is death.  This is not the sort of polite conversation that one expects when an infant undergoes baptism.  But this is precisely why Jesus underwent baptism: to be in solidarity with us who face this very strange thing called mortality.
Direct download: KML_2008-01-13_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 10:24am CDT

We live in accelerated times.  Today we attempt to grasp what is of value in this time and for eternity.  We accept the challenge of accepting a gift of universal significance to humanity.
Direct download: KML_2008-01-06_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 4:43pm CDT