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

We must take some time for organizing ourselves so that we are doing what we can to achieve a safe environment for our children, remembering the personal character of the gift of the Son of God to us.

Direct download: KML_2012-11-18_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:26pm CST

Which shall we choose: the smugness of the scribes or the widow's entrance into the struggle for meaning?

Direct download: KML_2012-11-11_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:22pm CST

Let us put law in perspective: as something which, if it is meaningful, becomes a natural part of us.

Direct download: KML_2012-11-04_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:32pm CST

On blindness and other failures of perception.

Direct download: KML_2012-10-28_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:20pm CST

I lost the Sep. 30 recording because the file actually continued recording for several hours.  Oct. 7 and 14, I was away.  It seems that this file, too, suffers from a technical difficulty, namely, that it got turned off before I had concluded.  At least I am not having a Cuban missile crisis!

Direct download: KML_2012-10-21_945am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:06pm CST

In our insecurity, we indulge in the game of comparing ourselves with others.  If we accept the security of God's kingdom, we can cast aside the useless habit of tearing people down.

Direct download: KML_2012-09-23_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:01pm CST

These powerful readings speak to us of the ways in which we misunderstand our relationship with God.  Although good works are important, we must understand that they are the fruit of the faith which God has established in us.

Direct download: KML_2012-09-16_945am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:42pm CST

"Be opened!"  We must open ourselves to influences beyond ourselves; we must in particular be open to the fact that our human nature is as it is described today in the Letter of James.

Direct download: KML_2012-09-09_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:40pm CST

Law is not going away.  In fact, we need to develop a proper appreciation of law in its role of advancing human society.  As Christians we evaluate law in terms of its function of bringing people to "think together" for the common good.

Direct download: KML_2012-09-02_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:52pm CST

A lengthy consideration of atheism and "Lord, to whom can we go?"

Direct download: KML_2012-08-26_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:47pm CST

Have the troubles of life made our "taste," our "palate," more mature?  We might be ready for the Bread of Life.

Direct download: KML_2012-08-19_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm CST

The gift of the Son of God to us is an utterly personal gift, given at an incalculable cost.

Direct download: KML_2012-08-12_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:21pm CST

Welcome to the Olympics of Bread!

Direct download: KML_2012-08-05_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:12pm CST

The homilist was away the last two Sundays.  Our need to move out of a "care" model of living our faith and into a sense of discipleship.

Direct download: KML_2012-07-29_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:08pm CST

Why do we suppose that nothing worthy can come from where we're from?  Our reliance upon the strength of God allows us to see ourselves realistically: as suffering the "thorn in the flesh" and reliant upon our God for power to love.

Direct download: KML_2012-07-08_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:04pm CST

A historic Supreme Court decision is handed down, and three days later our readings are about health, healing, and human dignity.

Direct download: KML_2012-07-01_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:55am CST

John the Baptist as the boundary between the prophetic age and the fulfillment of prophecy.

Direct download: KML_2012-06-24_945am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:49pm CST

If you want everything explained to you, you will always be disappointed.  There are fundamental things which we must come to understand simply by living our challenges.

Direct download: KML_2012-06-17_945am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm CST

The shedding of blood, and the sacrifice it represents, has its fullest meaning as the Incarnate Word embraces the cross.

Direct download: KML_2012-06-10_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:03pm CST

We must take seriously the personhood of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and ask how our sense of connection to God is thereby enriched.

Direct download: KML_2012-06-03_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:51pm CST

The fruits of the Holy Spirit amaze us because we are far too familiar with their opposites.

Direct download: KML_2012-05-27_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:42pm CST

The significance of the Ascension of Jesus is better appreciated when we consider what it meant for him to "descend."

Direct download: KML_2012-05-20_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:32pm CST

Let us make sure that we distinguish "love" from mere admiration.  Love is of another order entirely.

Direct download: KML_2012-05-13_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:25pm CST

What do you do when someone who had been your sworn enemy now wants to share in your life?  The "good man" Barnabas provides an example.

Direct download: KML_2012-05-06_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:10pm CST

On Good Shepherd Sunday, we ponder the multiplicity of religious beliefs and ask how God brings people into one fold with one shepherd.

Direct download: KML_2012-04-29_945am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00pm CST

Consider the personal character of the transmission of the good news of Jesus' resurrection, as we ponder also the personal step forward of an entire people in the Second Vatican Council.

Direct download: KML_2012-04-22_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:47pm CST

First Holy Communion was celebrated at this Mass.  We consider how we are to depend upon one another in accepting the good news of Jesus' resurrection.

Direct download: KML_2012-04-15_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32pm CST

Are you ready to begin a day that never ends?

Direct download: KML_2012-04-08_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:22pm CST

An exalted slave has set his face like flint, knowing that he will not be put to shame.

Direct download: KML_2012-04-01_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06pm CST

The "grain of wheat" is not a botany lesson.  It should be quite clear to us, however, that this image proposes to us an understanding of the surrender which is essential to the Christian life.

Direct download: KML_2012-03-25_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:01pm CST

The personal character of the mercy of the "God who so loved the world."

Direct download: KML_2012-03-18_945am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:45pm CST

The homilist was on vacation the weekend of March 4.  We confront the scandal of Jesus, who alone could speak authentically about his Father's house and can indeed be understood as "a law unto himself."

Direct download: KML_2012-03-11_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:26pm CST

A rare digression into the animal world.

Direct download: KML_2012-02-26_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:14pm CST

Healing takes place in many dimensions of our life.  We can resist healing, but if we are sufficiently disgusted with ourselves, we might open ourselves up.

Direct download: KML_2012-02-19_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:03pm CST

We may not be acquainted with leprosy, but there are a variety of other ailments of human existence.  We can think about our own attitudes toward life and indeed toward ourselves.  We find healing and wholeness in the Son of God, who opens to us our full humanity.

Direct download: KML_2012-02-121_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:56pm CST

A meditation upon the weariness of this earthly existence.  Jesus has plunged into our life as we know it, with all that is dismaying and disheartening, so that we can find peace.

Direct download: KML_2012-02-05_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:43pm CST

A consideration of the meaning of prophecy and authority, and the diversity of states of life.

Direct download: KML_2012-01-29_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:20pm CST

In our commerce-driven society, we might be forgiven for concluding – after seeing, when we are out shopping, the sign “Easter is April 8” – that the date of Easter is determined by Hallmark Cards.

In fact, Easter is the greatest Christian solemnity, and the Christian churches determine the date for Easter.

Very early in Christianity, there was no annual celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, since every Sunday had the character of a resurrection celebration.  (To this day, we understand our regular Sunday observance as a continuation of the understanding of every Sunday as Easter.)  In Rome, Pope St. Soter (166-175) established an annual resurrection celebration.

In establishing the annual celebration, Christians considered it important to link Easter with the Jewish celebration of Passover.  The Gospels place Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection in the time of Passover.  Our theology of the “Paschal Mystery” encourages us to see Jesus as the fullness of the liberating “lamb of sacrifice.”  The Hebrew calendar contains lunar months, and the effect of this linking was to make Easter an irregular occasion within the solar calendar.

Some early Christians were so strict about this link between Passover and Easter that they did not necessarily observe Easter on a Sunday.  There was an obvious tension between Passover and the new Christian meaning of Sunday.

At the first ecumenical council, Nicaea I in 325, it was determined that Easter would be celebrated on a Sunday.  Without getting too technical, we can describe the determination of the date of Easter as the Sunday following the full moon following the March equinox (when day and night are equal).  Rome’s adoption in 1582 of the Gregorian Calendar (named for the contemporary Pope Gregory XIII) was motivated by an awareness that the equinox was not stable against the calendar of Julius Caesar, but was apparently occurring ever earlier.

The Gregorian Calendar, of course, is the civil calendar used in our day and adopted throughout the world.  Western Christianity (including our Church and Protestant ecclesial com-munities) keeps to a calculation of Easter in accord with Nicaea and the Gregorian Calendar.  Easter thereby occurs within the period March 22 to April 25 inclusive.  Many Orthodox Churches, however, apply Nicaea and the Julian Calendar.  This means that not all Christians necessarily celebrate Easter on the same day.  This year, for instance, Eastern Orthodox Easter is April 15.

We Christians might display to the world at large a better sense of our unity by reaching a consensus on a common day for celebrating Easter.  The World Council of Churches has made a proposal in this regard.  The proposed calculation is very close to the current calculation of Western Easter in most years.  

As we ponder these complicated matters, we as speakers of English might want to reconsider our use of the name Easter, which derives from the name of a Germanic pagan goddess.  Many modern languages use as their word for Easter a term derived from Pesach, the Hebrew name for Passover.  The Latin term is Pascha.  Adherence to a link with the “perpetual institution” of the Passover celebration helps us appreciate the imagery of our risen Savior as the Lamb of God whose blood has been shed for our salvation.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:24am CST

A parish adult-education event on the importance of understanding ourselves as feeling people and allowing the power of anger, fear and love to make us the persons we want to be.

Direct download: Power_of_Feelings.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:51pm CST

A parish adult-education event on Christianity and its relation to the other four most prominent religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam.

Direct download: World_Religions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:48pm CST

We will not prevent God from using us for his purposes, even if that means we end up becoming, like Jonah, an example of how not to be a prophet or disciple.

Direct download: KML_2012-01-22_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:43pm CST

God's call of all the faithful to holiness is not otherworldly.  We need to be aware of the call being worked out in the social situation in which we find ourselves.

Direct download: KML_2012-01-15_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:40pm CST

Can a childhood friendship change the world?  On Epiphany, when we consider the frontiers of our contacts with the human family, we examine the friendship of Karol Wojtyla and Jerzy Kluger.

Direct download: KML_2012-01-08_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:46pm CST

My apologies, first of all, for not recording a Christmas homily.  -- As we contemplate Mary's role in the coming of the Savior, and as we consider the Savior's act of sacrificial love, we come to understand how personal the gift of salvation is, and we know that we must respond to this gift in our personal commitments.

Direct download: KML_2012-01-01_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:07pm CST

Warning: About four and a half minutes into this homily, I have a coughing fit.  Joy is not found in arranging the circumstances of our life according to our taste.  Joy is found when we acknowledge the source of life, God, and as we celebrate the Creator-creature relationship.

Direct download: KML_2011-12-11_945am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm CST

The egos of some -- kings, for instance -- can expand to the point that they think they can do favors for God.  We consider today the ways in which God, who is in need of nothing from us, reaches out to us in our helplessness and provides for the birth of the Son of God into our world.

Direct download: KML_2011-12-18_800am.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:57pm CST