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Homily Helps (Cycle C)

Here you will find resources for homilists, bulletins, and other materials that help to integrate the rich insights of Laudato Si' and Christian care for creation into Sunday Mass. These will include the following:
  • Highlights from the Scripture readings of the day
  • Relevant quotations from Laudato Si'
  • Brief commentary
  • Illustrations and anecdotes
  • Sample applications
  • Petitions to include in the Prayers of the Faithful
  • Bulletin notes
These homily helps are written by the Integral Faith Team, which is a working group of the Association of United States Catholic Priests

If you have questions or comments, please email info@catholicclimatecovenant.org.

Versión de esta página en español aquí.

November in Ordinary Times (Cycle C 2016)

As 2015 was drawing to a close, Bill Nye, the Science Guy, was asked why he was taking on climate change. He said: "It's the most important problem facing humankind, and it's going to take everyone in the world to address it." As he nears the end of his second and final term as President, Barack Obama has decided to commit himself to addressing climate change for the foreseeable future. When asked why, he responded, "No challenge poses a greater threat to our children, our planet and future generations than climate change." Endings are a time to step back and take stock, and they are a time to prepare for new beginnings. As we in the Church approach the conclusion of this Liturgical Year, our Sunday Scripture readings challenge us to ponder the weighty issues in our lives and in our world. And we are reminded that for the sake of the poor and for creation itself, Pope Francis has asked us to make climate change a priority in the choices we make. Let the year ahead be a year of hope. Laudato si! Praise be to God!

32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (November 6)
Homily & other resources for the 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time (November 13)
Homily & other resources for the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Solemnity of Christ the King (November 20)
Homily & other resources for the Solemnity of Christ the King


October in Ordinary Time (Cycle C 2016)

In the Scripture readings for the month of October we read of the widow with an unwavering determination to seek justice from the judge, the servant awaiting his master's return, the two Israelites holding up Moses' arms in battle, and Zacchaeus climbing up the tree to see Jesus. These passages bring out the value of clear vision, hope, and persistence. In Laudato Si', Pope Francis makes clear that if we are to escape the spiral of self-destruction that currently engulfs us, "we must embark on an arduous path of dialogue that brings together science and religion, as well as politics and economics; moreover, it must involve communities at the local, national, and internal levels."

In our day, we are aware that our institutions, our planet, and we ourselves are in need of healing. Inspired by October's Scripture passages, let us be more willing to follow the lead of Pope Francis, who challenges us to do things in a radically new way. He asks us to reexamine the institutions we play a role in and the activities we pursue, questioning whether they serve authentic human development, as opposed to the narrow self-interest of a few.

September in Ordinary Time (Cycle C 2016)

The September Gospel readings provide a powerful opportunity for the homilist to connect the biblical injunction to care for the poor and vulnerable with Pope Francis' invitation in Laudato Si' to read and respond to the signs of the times. The cry of the poor and the cry of the Earth are profoundly connected, as are the historical and social context of these scriptural passages with the social, ecological, economic, and political challenges of our day. The Scripture passages of these days empower the homilist to preach with imagination and courage. 

August in Ordinary Time (Cycle C 2016)

Our readings during these weeks of ordinary time help us to appreciate that the paths of discipleship involves living for values that reflect and manifest the reign of God. This means especially reaffirming the dignity of those who have been pushed to the margins of society and protecting the integrity of God's creation, the common home he created for all.

July in Ordinary Time (Cycle C 2016)

During this month of July, our readings lead us further along the road of discipleship. 
They help us to understand that Christian disciples place locate the entire value of their lives in the Gospel. All else then falls in place around that priority. 

June in Ordinary Time (Cycle C 2016) 

As we turn from Eastertide to Ordinary Time, we are steeped once again in the fundamental paradox of being Christian: We are witnesses to the Resurrection, yet we continue to live as disciples caught up in the struggles of the world around us. The scripture readings of this June raise up this paradox as they juxtapose life and death, sin and forgiveness, judgment and love, deprivation and abundance, freedom and commitment. A widow in Zarephath and another in Nain each lose a son. But then their sons are restored to them, and with that their hope. King David and the woman with the Alabaster jar are caught up in guilt, but then in their repentance they encounter God's abundant mercy. Likewise, even in our own brokenness, we have abundant causes to hope in the power of God's mercy and love. God is always waiting to forgive us, and the Holy Spirit is there to enliven us once again. Thus when some preach doom and despair in the face of the destruction we have witnessed to our planet, the Christian response must be one of perseverance, hope, and commitment to leaving a living planet to future generations.

The demands of discipleship stand out in the gospel readings for the last two Sundays of June.There Jesus begins to prepare his disciples for the reality that lies ahead, his redemptive suffering, crucifixion and death. And he tells them plainly that following him entails suffering and sacrifice. Ultimately, as Jesus resolves to set out to Jerusalem, they resolve to follow him in solidarity. Like the disciples, we may find that we falter as we attempt to follow Jesus in discipleship. Nonetheless, we must imitate the disciples in accepting the mercy and forgiveness of God. If we persevere in humility, we will find that we, too, put on Christ, and clothed in Christ, we find our true identity in him.

Easter (Cycle C 2016)

During this Easter Season we celebrate Christ's victory over sin and death, a victory won for us. Yet though Christ has brought his saving work to fulfillment, he does not absolve his disciples from going forth to fulfill the calling God has given each. Rather they now go forth buoyed by the hope of the Resurrection. To be a Christian is to be a realist, yet buoyed by hope. Our readings during this Easter season invite us to live out of that hope as we respond to our own calling, with all its challenges. Here Pope Francis is the model. In the midst of our environmental woes, he does not lose hope, but instead proclaims, "Laudato Si' - Praise be!"

Lent (Cycle C 2016)

Lent is a season of conversion and repentance. The Sunday scriptures for Lent in Cycle C contain reference to "the land" God promises Abraham and his descendants, to nature, and to its elements. In Laudato Si' Pope Francis makes clear that we need a change of heart and mind to create a world where exploitation does not inflict harm on our neighbor or the land we have been given to live together upon.

Ordinary Time before Lent (Cycle C 2016)

Five weeks of "ordinary time" follow the Christmas season. At the outset of this five weeks, we journey with Jesus to the Jordan River. There John the Baptist announces that Jesus is God's anointed, and Jesus prepares to take up his public ministry. In his words and in his actions he brings to Israel the salvation foretold by the prophets, but in ways that provoke wonder and even controversy. Indeed, the salvation Jesus proclaimed went beyond what the people of his day understood. He called upon Israel to see with the eyes of God and appreciate the breadth and depth of God's love and mercy. In our own day we continue to be challenged by this summons to broaden the circle of our concern. Reflecting this call of faith, Laudato Si' invites us to think of all our fellow human begins with whom we share this earth. And it summons us to take up our responsibility for God's creation as His stewards. With its focus on "the Gospel of Creation," chapter two of Laudato Si', in particular, invites us to appreciate how God's will and purpose are found in all aspects of the human and natural world.

Advent and Christmas Season (Cycle C 2015-2016)

During Advent we heighten our senses as we await with anticipation news of what God is about to do. Christmas is the time of fulfillment that all Creation looks forward to.