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:

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Jesus speaks about a wily business manager who uses initiative to prepare for a decent future, now that his boss is firing him.  Apparently what this man is doing -- for which his boss compliments him for resourcefulness -- is lowering the interest rates which he had originally proposed to his boss's debtors, so that these people might look upon him favorably when he is searching for a new situation.

Do believers show as much initiative as this man?  Our relationship with God is about eternity, something encompassing even more than the future!  We relate to God in what is for us the hard-to-imagine realm of timelessness.  We can hide nothing from God.  Do we show God at least as much devotion as the manager did toward the debtors?  

A relationship with God is something truly personal.  Christianity teaches us that God the Son established an unbreakable bond with human beings by himself becoming human.  If we who understand ourselves to be Christians do not take initiative in exploring the relationship which our God is opening up to us, we impoverish ourselves.

Christianity is a communal experience.  We must participate in shared worship with Christian brothers and sisters, and open ourselves to opportunities for service.  When we commit ourselves to what we know we must do, we will find a variety of doors opening up to us.  We come to discover who we really are.

Direct download: KML_2010-09-19_945am.MP3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25pm CDT

It is curious that the word "prodigal" is used in the English language almost exclusively in reference to this parable of Jesus, popularly known as "The Prodigal Son."  Many of us have learned the parable without learning the meaning of the word "prodigal."

Many of us identify with the "prodigal son" (the word "prodigal" means "wasteful" or "spendthrift"), and yet he is the least interesting figure in the parable.  We can imagine wanting to do what he did, and we are amazed that he got away with, essentially, pretending that his father was dead and getting his inheritance in advance.  He is a fool who, when he is starving, has only the cunning which comes from an urge to survive.  He figures that he would be better off a servant of his father than dead, so he heads home.

More interesting than this younger son are the father and the elder son.  We wonder: Why does the father enable the younger son to pretend that he is dead?  Why did he allow him to rip him off?  And now, why does he welcome him home?  Furthermore, we are anxious about what the elder son has to say, because has a very good point!

Jesus gave us parables to make us uncomfortable.  This is probably the second most aggravating parable, after the one about pay scales for workers in a vineyard (Matthew 20: 1-16).  As in the parable of the vineyard, you and I have a reaction reflecting a deeply felt sense about justice and retribution.  Why the lavish welcome?  We don't get it.  But such is the nature of God's mercy, which provides healing, affirming surprises for fools like you and me.

Direct download: KML_2010-09-12_945am.MP3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:21pm CDT