32nd Sunday Ordinary Time/St. Charles Borromeo (Fr. Smith Homily)

Today’s gospel asks, “What are you waiting for?” It is always a good question, but especially pertinent on our patronal feast day and the present situation of our nation and parish.  

The parable reflects the marriage customs of 1st century Galilee which scholars tell us can still be seen in some places in the Middle East today. A marriage was an arrangement between families with two stages. The potential bride was sent to live with the possible groom’s family for about a year. If the situation proved satisfactory the groom would go the bride’s family and conclude the, mostly financial, details. When he returned to his house, they were considered married. This was marked by a great feast. Usually, the only one that the couple he would ever give. The young women of the village would participate by greeting the groom with song and if he came after dark with lit torches. This may have been the only party of the year and they would not want to miss it. Yet some of the young women did not calculate properly and lost out of the chance of joining the celebration.  

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All Saints – Homily (Fr. Smith)

I wish to congratulate our parishioners who have been reading the Pope Francis’ latest encyclical “Fratelli Tutti”. It is a deep work and will be well worth reading several times. With something as profound as this I like to have a key, a phrase or an idea which will put the entire work into perspective. I had trouble finding one until I heard a comment by a Franciscan friar who summed it up with “it doesn’t have to be like this”. This not only helps to interpret Fratelli Tutti, but also today’s gospel reading and feast.

Beatitude is usually translated as “blessing”: something which puts us in a good situation.

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30th Sunday Ordinary Time – Msgr. LoPinto Homily

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-730437.


The first reading in today’s liturgy, you heard the Lord reminding the people of their own status. And you might say, well, why did he feel it necessary to do that? Because, if you look at the Jewish scripture, you find that it is something that’s repeated over and over again. And if you come to the gospels in the life of Jesus, you’ll find that it’s repeated, but not in word. It’s repeated in action.

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29th Sunday Ordinary Time – Fr. Smith Homily

My first meeting with community organizers was memorable. A group of Catholic pastors in Bed-Stuy recognized that many of our parishioners were being displaced by real estate predators and that we wanted to combat this. When I entered the meeting room the lead organizer, who has since become a mentor and friend, looked at me and said, “Here comes the problem.” Continue reading “29th Sunday Ordinary Time – Fr. Smith Homily”

28th Sunday Ordinary Time (Msgr. LoPinto Homily)

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-730437.

As we look at the Scripture for this 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, we see that there is a common theme. I would describe that theme as an invitation in the First Reading from Isaiah, and it’s part of the first part of Isaiah.

As you might recall, Isaiah is made up of three parts, expanding over – covering many, many years. The first part is Isaiah responding to the invitation of God to become God’s spokesperson. As that part of Isaiah then progresses, there is an awareness of struggle on the part of the people, and Isaiah is addressing that struggle. It is a struggle that has caused the people in a sense to become very down-hearted.

And so when you come to this particular section of Isaiah, the invitation is to this great feast. It is invitation to what can best be described as a messianic banquet: rich food, choice wine. But always interesting enough, on the mountain – they’re invited to the mountain.  And in a sense the invitation can best be described, I think, as an invitation to a people who are burdened to dream: to dream of a better moment, to dream of what comes from hearing God’s word. Trusting in God and then dreaming of the vision of what God will bring into being.

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27th Sunday Ordinary Time (Fr. Smith Homily)


The readings for Mass in Ordinary Time are chosen so that the first reading from the Old Testament connects to the Gospel reading. Sometimes this connection can seem tenuous at best, but today it is not only clear but necessary.  Everyone who heard this gospel would have known the “Song of the Vineyard” from our reading from Isaiah and understood its message. This included not only the original audience of the chief priests and other leaders of the Jewish people but also the Jewish Christians in Matthews audience who would have heard it since childhood and he gentile Christians for whom it would have been a key text in their Baptismal preparation.  

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26th Sunday Ordinary Time – Homily (Fr. Smith)

What an ugly week. Covid 19 deaths exceeded 200,000, fires and floods are still ravaging parts of our country and the fight for RBG’s seat is causing an even greater national divide. There were few bright spots but one of them for me was this week’s gospel and I hope it will be for you as well. But I warn you that to be enlightened by what it says requires a commitment to follow what it teaches. 

First let us look at what Jesus said and to whom he first said it. He is very shrewd. He first tells his listeners that this story will be about a vineyard. Vineyards were used in Jewish storytelling to refer to the entire people. He next asks a son to work in it. The son at first refused but then relents and goes. Then he asks another son to do the same. He at first agrees but then does not go. When asked about who did the father’s will the audience had to admit that it was the first son. Now this is a very special audience. It was composed of chief priests and elders of the people who in the previous chapter asked Jesus from where he got his authority. Jesus replied that he would tell them only if they told him if John’s baptism was of God or just a human invention. Knowing that the people considered John a prophet they would not anger them by saying that his baptism was unholy. When Jesus asks about the two sons, he is telling them to look at who is making a difference in the community, the vineyard, and why. People who were the most unlike the leaders – tax collectors and prostitutes – were accepting the invitation to work in the vineyard. They knew that John was righteous and sought forgiveness of their sins. The religious leaders however did not think that they needed to repent and thus accomplished nothing. 

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