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

All of us, by reason of our baptism, are living out our call to holiness. There are some highly visible vocations (e.g. priesthood) which we need to pay special attention to. All of us, living out the universal call, act with freedom so that, with the help of God's grace, "what we shall later be" can joyfully surprise us.
Direct download: KML_2009-12-27_Summary.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 4:16pm CST The lady who attacked Pope Benedict and injured Cardinal Etchegaray happens to be named Susanna. So we have another, quite different story of "Susanna and the Elders" from the one referenced in the above link. On Sunday, December 27, at the last Mass, I made ready to record, and I didn't recognize that the device was signaling that I had "hold" on. Some time today I will record an audio summary of my homily for Holy Family.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:31am CST

The Christmas Curmudgeon of the 21st century asks: What does it mean when people say, "I can't believe that Christmas is here already!"? It may be a good experience for us to perceive the recurrence of great feast days and to lift our gaze to the eternal truths that they reveal to us.
Direct download: KML_2009-12-20_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 1:18pm CST

"Your redemption is at hand." Instead of denying the fact that each of us faces a moment of ultimate truth before God, we who acknowledge our God as the Lord of all time and history look forward to God's work of fulfilling all of creation.
Direct download: KML_2009-11-29_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 8:48am CST

"You say I am a king." We are challenged to imagine a different sort of kingship in the Son of God who in ruling us has become the ultimate servant.
Direct download: KML_2009-11-22_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 8:46am CST The above takes you to the speech of Pope John XXIII which I referenced in today's homily. We all seek meaning in the span of days which is ours. We trust in the one sacrifice of Jesus, as discussed in today's passage from the Letter to the Hebrews.
Direct download: KML_2009-11-15_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 6:26pm CST

Money is the reward for our personal labors, and we consider the disposition of our money to be quite a personal (and painful!) undertaking. We seek to trust that, if we are devoted to the Kingdom of God, we will discover that God is more devoted to us than we had imagined.
Direct download: KML_2009-11-08_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 6:23pm CST

Human history is loaded with anonymity. Think of your multiple-great grandparents whose names you do not know. Think also of how Christian faith was passed on to you, and realize the greater difficulty of tracing your faith-genealogy. All Saints is about the witness of anonymous people, upon whom we depend absolutely for the gift of faith.
Direct download: KML_2009-11-01_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:32pm CST

James and John last week did not perceive what Bartimaeus this week does perceive: that before one makes elaborate plans for the future, one must make sure of the way that he is traveling.
Direct download: KML_2009-10-25_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:30pm CST

Christians must not settle for "generic religion," but must plumb the depths of the shocking, personal nature of faith in Jesus Christ.
Direct download: KML_2009-10-18_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:21pm CST

Fr. Kevin has given this talk dozens of times to engaged couples; it's time he recorded it so he won't have to keep giving it.
Direct download: Theology_of_Marriage.MP3
Category:Pastoral -- posted at: 12:04pm CST

The Word of God cuts through joints and marrow. We are more than naked in the sight of God: our most hidden thoughts and attitudes are known to him. Let us take advantage of this direct and frank relationship, opening ourselves to the help of the one who knows us well.
Direct download: KML_2009-10-11_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 1:59pm CST

High ideals for marriage are accompanied by the assurance that the Word Made Flesh is pleased to be called our brother.
Direct download: KML_2009-10-04_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 1:50pm CST

Seek consensus and unity, not division. This is a fairly obvious expectation for human collaboration. We have a maddening propensity toward ignoring this expectation, however.
Direct download: KML_2009-09-27_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 1:35pm CST

It is typical of all of us that, when someone brings up a topic we don't want to think about, we change the subject. The Twelve can do this just as well as we can.
Direct download: KML_2009-09-20_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 3:18pm CST

It is permitted to move a popular solemnity or feast of the Lord to a nearby Sunday. What could be more popular than the parish's own feast day?
Direct download: KML_2009-09-13_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 3:16pm CST

As we hear of Jesus' healing of a deaf and speechless man, we ask how well we are hearing the Church's teaching of the truth about economic matters.
Direct download: KML_2009-09-06_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 3:14pm CST

In the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, today was set aside for special readings and prayers for a new bishop. The readings were from Isaiah 61, Hebrews 5, and John 17. The podcast includes a few thoughts on the bishop as someone who is first a good administrator of what's going on in his own heart.
Direct download: KML_2009-08-30_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 6:56pm CST

Our affiliations speak about our life priorities. We are free to join ourselves to God or not. Whether we do or not makes all the difference for the direction and meaning of our lives.
Direct download: KML_2009-08-23_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 10:03am CST

We open ourselves to wisdom as we acknowledge how little wisdom we have. We develop our hunger and thirst for Jesus. Some thoughts today on health care and the common good, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and Buzz Aldrin.
Direct download: KML_2009-08-16_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:21am CST

... Sunday, August 9. I'm on vacation.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 7:33pm CST

The above is the number of articles in English listed by Wikipedia. It would appear that the total will reach three million in a matter of days. Although many are wary, thinking that a "do-it-yourself" encyclopedia cannot be accurate, the principle of millions of eyeballs making for an ever-more-accurate public knowledge font is sound. I have found much that is of interest to me as I look around Wikipedia, and I am sure there is a great deal for everyone.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 5:55pm CST

If we speak of something as "merely a symbol," we don't understand symbolism and its power. Some etymologies say that the word "manna" itself means "what is it?" God's people keep on asking for the food that nourishes to eternity. When Jesus said, "I am the bread of life," he meant it, absolutely.
Direct download: KML_2009-08-02_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 5:46pm CST

What can we define as "a lot of food"? Given the insatiable appetites of human beings, it's hard to say that any quantity is a lot. Obviously, our God is calling us to be less concerned about stockpiles and more concerned about our relationship with the one who feeds us.
Direct download: KML_2009-07-26_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:42pm CST

This afternoon, the College of Consultors elected Msgr. Carl A. Kemme Administrator of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Msgr. Kemme had served as Vicar General of the Diocese since 2002, and continues as Moderator of the Curia. He remains the pastor of St. John Vianney Parish, Sherman.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 3:21pm CST

There were no homilies the last two weekends, as I was at work camp. Gathering the flock together and making sure that they are fed: these are the responsibilities of the shepherd. Even the shepherd is changed by his interaction with the sheep.
Direct download: KML_2009-07-19_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 10:02am CST

Evil is not a "force." It is a lack, a deficiency. We find our confidence in knowing that the Author of Life supplies for all the deficiencies we find in ourselves.
Direct download: KML_2009-06-28_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:17pm CST

Is there an incident that better captures the humanity and the divinity of Jesus than his calming the sea? He makes short work of the subduing of nature ... because he wants to get back to sleep!
Direct download: KML_2009-06-21_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:13pm CST Thoughts on forgiveness: I was interviewed for this a few weeks ago.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:35pm CST

On June 3, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI transferred Bishop George Lucas of Springfield in Illinois to the Archdiocese of Omaha. We will be experiencing at least a few months of "sede vacante" and waiting for a new bishop. Life is messy, so why should we be so surprised by Moses splashing blood all over the altar?
Direct download: KML_2009-06-14_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:46pm CST

This was Mission Co-op weekend in my parish, so I got lost.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:43pm CST

The Bible is not the Book of Lists. There are a few lists in the book, and today's celebration highlights a couple of lists: the fruits of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5 and their antitheses.
Direct download: KML_2009-05-31_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:35pm CST

This is a big year for weddings for me; I have six scheduled. I thought I might record the homily for my first wedding of the year.
Direct download: KML_2009-05-30_230pm.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:32pm CST

The Lord Jesus ascended because he descended -- into the depths of the misery humans experience because of the broken, sinful situation we are in. He is on his throne but he has also embedded himself in our anguish.
Direct download: KML_2009-05-24_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:05pm CST

How can anyone talk about love? The subject overwhelms any human being. God is love, and we discover who we are in being loved by God.
Direct download: KML_2009-05-17_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:44pm CST

Regular listeners know that I do not go out of my way to bring politics into my preaching. Issues of religion in human society, of "church and state," of infusing the social order with the fruits of faith, are the toughest issues one can preach on. And yet it must be done. The complexities must be grappled with. And I do not relish the task.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 5:16pm CST

Today is the forty-fifth anniversary of my first Communion. I speak about the "Obama-at-Notre-Dame" thing, questioning the outraged response of some Catholics. The unity that St. Paul sought was not immediate when he made his debut as a converted person. Vine and branches, mother and child -- these say much about the organic unity of the Body of Christ.
Direct download: KML_2009-05-10_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:18am CST

Profound things are found in each of the readings. "Salvation is in no other name." "We are God's children now. What we shall later be has not yet come to light, but we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." "There will be one fold, one shepherd."
Direct download: KML_2009-05-03_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:16am CST

The novel I refer to is The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler; I find the lives of Theobald and Ernest to be a caution against the establishment of religion. When religious faith is one with the postal service and internal revenue, what sort of faith is it?
Direct download: KML_2009-04-26_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:17am CST

Your homilist still doesn't understand how a Sunday of Easter can be named for a private devotion.
Direct download: KML_2009-04-19_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 6:09pm CST

Get rid of the old yeast and become unleavened. St. Paul's Passover imagery is applied to the change that comes about when we acknowledge the sense of human dignity that follows from the treasure of the resurrection.
Direct download: KML_2009-04-12_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:19pm CST

The amazement of the women at the tomb may, very usefully, be compared with the amazement of the brothers of Joseph when they found that one they thought dead was in the position of saving them from starvation.
Direct download: KML_2009-04-11_830pm.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:17pm CST

The Passion of St. John is most emphatic about Jesus "laying down" his life, as opposed to having someone snatch it from him. The calm silence of Jesus unnerves Pontius Pilate.
Direct download: KML_2009-04-10_7pm.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:15pm CST

This is a homily on "basics" of the sacrament of the Eucharist.
Direct download: KML_2009-04-09_7pm.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:13pm CST

Was "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" a cry of despair? We must consider the source of this expression in order to understand properly why the writer of Mark's Gospel put it on Jesus' lips when he was on the cross.
Direct download: KML_2009-04-05_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:23am CST

The image of the grain of wheat "dying" may not be botanically satisfactory, but we certainly know what Jesus means. Conversion means entering into an existence that cannot be foreseen. It demands abandonment of self so that one's true self can be found.
Direct download: KML_2009-03-29_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:37pm CST

An extremely important characteristic of our conversion into Jesus Christ is its personal nature. God as Trinity is personal. We come to understand that, as precious as any of our personal relationships is, there is infinite richness in the relationships among Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It was truly a personal sacrifice when the Son of God became human.
Direct download: KML_2009-03-22_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:18am CST

Tell a psychiatrist what Jesus does in today's Gospel, and you will get a diagnosis affirming that he is suffering from delusions. That's the scandal of Christianity: we acknowledge that anyone else in this circumstance would be delusional, but in the case of Jesus, his identity and his special relationship with the Father are real.
Direct download: KML_2009-03-15_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:42pm CST

What sort of God gives a couple a child -- miraculously -- and then says, offer up the child as a sacrifice? The same God who gave his son as the sacrifice which achieves humanity's salvation. Glory is found in the midst of suffering. God is truly personal.
Direct download: KML_2009-03-08_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:17am CST

Conversion means becoming who we really are? Strange as it may seem, this is a very helpful way to look at conversion. Conversion is from sin, which distorts our best and truest self. So the "change" of conversion is not into something alien to us; rather, it is ourselves becoming as God has intended us to be.
Direct download: KML_2009-03-01_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:05am CST

My friend Brian Noe has posted his concerns about recent U.S. Catholic mobilization against some federal legislation: I concur with him that prophecy can only be based on the reality of possible laws -- not on extremes of speculation.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:21pm CST

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 22, 2009 Ah, performance anxiety! I had said exactly what I wanted to say at the 8 am Mass. Regrettably, I had not recorded that one. So at 10:15 I was trying to duplicate the earlier delivery. I was way off. And it is a complicated thing to think about -- the qualitative difference between sight and insight. I find I sound better than I think I'm sounding, so this one is probably not bad. Anyway, we trust in the power of the Word for our deepest healing.
Direct download: KML_2009-02-22_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 11:35am CST

Catholics are hearing a lot about a bill before Congress called the "Freedom of Choice Act." I recommend your checking out a couple of recent articles in the Catholic press: Commonweal The Tablet
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:35am CST

This homily is a little different from the other one because of a rite of acceptance for a new catechumen.
Direct download: KML_2009-02-15_1015am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 1:56pm CST

Hear the word "leper," think the word "leopard"? I do.
Direct download: KML_2009-02-15_8am.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 1:55pm CST

"Thou shalt not whine." Is it possible to live according to this commandment?
Direct download: KML_2009-02-08.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:24pm CST

What might I have talked about on this weekend? You'll have to listen to find out.
Direct download: KML_2009-02-01.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:23pm CST

Today is the 50th anniversary of Pope John XXIII's call for an ecumenical council.
Direct download: KML_2009-01-25.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:20pm CST

I do recall that I made mention of the historic character of Barack Obama's assumption of the Presidency.
Direct download: KML_2009-01-18.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:18pm CST

Again, I am uploading this on 2/14/09 and I do not recollect the substance of this homily.
Direct download: KML_2009-01-11.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:16pm CST

I was traveling this weekend; hence, no homily.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:15pm CST

Once again, this homily has disappeared into the mists of history, at least as far as my own mind is concerned.
Direct download: KML_2008-12-28.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:13pm CST

I did not manage to record a Christmas homily.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:12pm CST

Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 21, 2008 Hello, Fr. Kevin is back in business. The other six will upload shortly. I have to run. I'm sorry I can't remember exactly what I was talking about on this occasion.
Direct download: KML_2008-12-21.MP3
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:24pm CST

I am indeed taking a little break from tribunal business. It has been a long time since I have posted anything. I am recording my Sunday homilies; I am currently experiencing a technical problem which prevents me from uploading them. Friday I will be engaging in some troubleshooting. Blogs, I know, tend to be brief opinion-pieces. I am not necessarily comfortable with such, because I find that important societal issues require more than a statement of opinion. Indeed, I was recently reading a Commonweal article from a Catholic legal expert who finds the blogosphere odious because of the unthoughtful way in which so many super-Catholic bloggers respond. He finds it difficult to see charity being practiced. I can get into this frame of mind -- the short, sharp opinion! -- when I want to: say, when it comes to English grammar??? Garrison Keillor once did a sketch in which his character asks whether there is some kind of rule about the use of "whom." I find that there are a lot of people who vaguely know that "whom" is supposed to be used in certain cases. They have no idea, however, what the rule is. And then there's "between you and I." I'm told that President Obama is an egregious offender in this department. These situations are related, because both require a working knowledge of the objective case. English-speakers are not well aware of the case of nouns and pronouns. We tend to rely upon the order of words in a sentence as our indication of what's the subject and what's the object. Inflected languages, on the other hand, have noun endings which remove all doubt about the case. In English we encounter some inflection in "who/whom," "I/me," etc. The second of each pair is the objective-case form, while the first is what we call the nominative case. Direct objects, indirect objects, and objects of prepositions are to be in the objective case. So, for instance, it's always "between you and me." "I was heard by whomever was in the room." Sorry! This statement has to be analyzed so we see that "I was heard by whoever was in the room." We can rephrase this as "I was heard by anyone who was in the room." "Who" is the subject of the clause "who was in the room," and the form of "whoever" follows the case of "who"'s function -- as the subject of the clause -- and therefore it is in the nominative case: "whoever," not "whomever." I've been wanting to express this for years. If you've enjoyed this, tell all your friends you seen it here.
Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:15pm CST