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

Im sorry not to have posted anything till now.  Online resources have been somewhat limited.  To follow up on what I wrote for the bulletin last Tuesday -- Wed. thru Fri. we were on a road trip to western Guatemala where Fr. Joe served in his earlier years.  He met many people he knows.  The trip was kind of tough because of mudslides and speed bumps (this would be equivalent to having speed bumps on I-55).  We took it easy over the weekend and attended two of Fr. Joes four weekend Masses.  It was gratifying to see big crowds of people of all ages.  Today we toured the original Spanish settlement, Guatemala Antigua, where St Brother Pedro lived in the 17th century -- he was the first Guatemalan canonized, in 2002.  Looking ahead to a fierce night of Scrabble games.

Category:general -- posted at: 7:27pm CST

Never mind mowing down Amalek with the edge of the sword.  The preceding image, of Moses' arms being supported by members of the community, is a beautiful reminder of the ways in which our prayers are enhanced when we are praying together.

Direct download: KML_2010-10-17_800am.MP3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:07pm CST

Having proposed that I might plan to do some sort of adult-education event on some topic in theology, I have received word from several parishioners that they would be interested in this.  I am thinking that I might plan such an event for January.

Possible topics: Since salvation is, you may say, the "bottom-line" concern of Christians, I have been thinking about presenting something about "what Scripture says about salvation."  I could also consider a survey of world religions and their relationship to Christianity.  Another possibility is Christian unity and how various groups of Christians are related to one another.  My official specialization is canon law, which, while not strictly theology, is built upon theology; I could certainly present something on canon law as it governs marriage.  If any of these topics is of particular interest to you, please let me know what you'd like me to speak on.

Time and place: Should this be four weekly sessions?  Just one session?  Weeknights or weekends?  

Category:general -- posted at: 5:03pm CST

It seems to be a very slow process.  How do we expand our concept of God?  How do we move beyond the "local gods" that Naaman imagined?  How do we get beyond our constant denial that God is the God of all peoples?  Good questions.

Direct download: KML_2010-10-10_800am.MP3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:02pm CST

We are four parishes and we have four parish feast days.  Let's review them: 

January 20 is the memorial of Saint Sebastian, martyr.  He may have died in 286, which makes his the youngest of our parish's titles, since the others are related to Jesus and Mary.  The image of Sebastian shot through with arrows has been very popular through centuries of European art.  Interestingly enough, the arrows didn't finish him off!  We have a 6:30 pm Mass scheduled at St. Sebastian on Thursday, January 20, 2011, followed by a meeting of the pastoral council of the four parishes.

May 31 is the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary's Visitation of Elizabeth -- the marvelous event, recorded in the first chapter of Luke's Gospel, in which two pregnant women share with each other their experience of the mercy and marvels of God, which few other people could appreciate.  In 2011, May 31 falls on a Tuesday.

The other feast days depend on the date of Easter, and in 2011, Easter falls on the second-latest day possible: April 24.  (Later on, I will present a discussion of the determination of the date of Easter.)  The solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Friday after the second Sunday after Pentecost, falls in 2011 on July 1.  Given that 2011 is the 125th anniversary year for Sacred Heart Parish, we need to begin planning for this celebration, which, coincidentally, is very close to the Franklin Fourth of July celebration!  Immediately following Sacred Heart, the Immaculate Heart of Mary memorial (the more common rendering of the name "Sacred Heart of Mary") is Saturday, July 2, 2011. 

Category:general -- posted at: 4:56pm CST

We often find our existence to be dreary.  We are encouraged by the prophet's words:  "The vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.  If it delays, wait for it.  It will surely come.  It will not be late."

Direct download: KML_2010-10-03_800am.MP3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:39pm CST

Each of us wants to be assured that we are properly integrated into the society we believe we are a part of.  Such integration, of course, requires that many people know us by name and are willing to have some acquaintance with us.  We prefer not to be addressed as "hey you."  To be known and called by name means that we have attained a certain level of respect and acceptance within our social circle.

On the other hand, one must also admit that, under some circumstances, being known by name is not much of a compliment.  We chafe under people who call us by name only to order us around.  We know very well that our purpose in life is greater than simply being someone's lackey.  We wish that the imperious people in our lives would develop a sense of perspective and see us as human beings just as worthy as they.

At the beginning of Jesus' parable of the rich man and Lazarus, it is unclear whether these two are acquainted with each other.  Lazarus languishes at the rich man's door; it is conceivable that, even in spite of such proximity, they are strangers to each other.  After each has died, however, the rich man betrays himself.  From his torment in the abode of the dead, he looks across the chasm to Lazarus in heavenly bliss, and he calls out to have Lazarus (he knows his name!) sent to run an errand for him.

Out of all the non-historical characters in all the parables of Jesus, only the wretched Lazarus is assigned a proper name.  We must consider our own habits of learning or failing to learn the names of people, examine our motives for remembering or forgetting, and find comfort in being known by the God who reveals to us our true dignity.

Direct download: KML_2010-09-26_800am.MP3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:20pm CST