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Sunday Homily Illustrations

Connecting Faith, History, Science & Culture

Using Illustrations in the Classroom

Jesus  understood the power of story-telling and used parables to preach the Kingdom. Likewise, you will find that the illustrations found here can be used to capture student’s attention and introduce themes. However, not all illustrations may be suitable for all ages. Use discretion.
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Homily Illustrations

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Soldier Homecomings
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Soldier Homecomings
Getting ready for Christ's homecoming
Soldier Homecomings
Homecoming is the central theme of the Scripture readings for the Second Sunday of Advent. All three readings focus on the absolute necessity of our getting ready for Christ’s “Homecoming” into our hearts and lives by true repentance, reparation, prayer and the renewal of our lives.
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Mr. Bean falls asleep in Church
This Advent what are we waiting for?
Mr. Bean falls asleep in Church
Mr. Bean falls asleep in church. How do we fight boredom at Mass? To the sleeper lurking in each of us, Jesus now speaks in rousing terms, on the First Sunday of Advent: “stay awake… if he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep…Stay awake!”
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The Pygmalion Effect
Pygmalion and Galatea in Greek Mythology
The Pygmalion Effect
Just as Pygmalion fell in love with his sculpture of the woman, God the creator, the divine sculptor, shaped each one of us, and fell in love with those whom he had made.
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For Greater Glory
"Long Live Christ the King!"
For Greater Glory
The Cristero War (also known as Guerra de los Cristeros or Cristiada) in Mexico was an armed conflict that lasted from 1926 to 1929 between the government of Plutarco Elías Calles and militias of lay people, priests and Catholic religious who resisted the application of legislation and anticlerical public policies aimed at restricting the autonomy of the Catholic Church.
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The King of Kings
“Today you will be with me in paradise”
The King of Kings
Today, as we celebrate the feast of Jesus, the King of kings, and as his Calvary sacrifice is re-presented on our altar, let us approach our Lord with repentant hearts and trusting Faith in his promise of eternal life.
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Mayflower Pilgrims Unprepared
The Pilgrims
Mayflower Pilgrims Unprepared
One of the most cherished events in our history was the landing of the Mayflower on these shores. It is difficult to imagine, however, a group of people more ill-suited to a life in the wilderness.
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Pompeii bodies: How will Jesus find us?
Pompeii Body Casts
Pompeii bodies: How will Jesus find us?
The plaster casts of Pompeii illustrate in a dramatic way the two themes of today’s readings. The first theme is that of the suddenness with which the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus will take place.
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A street sweeper can become a Saint, how?
What is Your Life's Blueprint? — Martin Luther King Jr.
A street sweeper can become a Saint, how?
Six months before he was assassinated, King spoke to a group of students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia on October 26, 1967.
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Saints and Pumpkins
Being a Saint is like being a pumpkin
Saints and Pumpkins
 Just as we clean up the pumpkin, God cleans us up as well.  Once the pumpkin is finished, the light glowing out from within reminds us of the light of God radiating out from within us for the world to see.
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Aliens, Angels & Saints
Only the Church has had a dialogue with the inhabitants of another world — the saints
Aliens, Angels & Saints
The Church has always maintained a dialogue with the inhabitants of another world — the saints – that is both possible and profitable. That is what we proclaim when we say the Creed, “I believe in … the Communion of Saints” and when we celebrate All Saints Day.
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Homily Illustrations

Movies

For Greater Glory
"Long Live Christ the King!"
For Greater Glory
The Cristero War (also known as Guerra de los Cristeros or Cristiada) in Mexico was an armed conflict that lasted from 1926 to 1929 between the government of Plutarco Elías Calles and militias of lay people, priests and Catholic religious who resisted the application of legislation and anticlerical public policies aimed at restricting the autonomy of the Catholic Church.
READ MORE
The King of Kings
“Today you will be with me in paradise”
The King of Kings
Today, as we celebrate the feast of Jesus, the King of kings, and as his Calvary sacrifice is re-presented on our altar, let us approach our Lord with repentant hearts and trusting Faith in his promise of eternal life.
READ MORE
Pompeii bodies: How will Jesus find us?
Pompeii Body Casts
Pompeii bodies: How will Jesus find us?
The plaster casts of Pompeii illustrate in a dramatic way the two themes of today’s readings. The first theme is that of the suddenness with which the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus will take place.
READ MORE
A Man for All Seasons
“I die the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”
A Man for All Seasons
Today’s Gospel reminds us of our dual citizenship. We are citizens of the world and citizens of Heaven. We have an allegiance and an obligation to each. We hope the obligations will never clash. But if they ever do, we must resolve them as Thomas More did, without compromise to our God or to our conscience.
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On the Waterfront
A movie on labor problems
On the Waterfront
In the 1954 movie On the Waterfront Father Barry (Karl Malden) rallies the dock workers and encourages them to stand up to the mob. "Boys, this is my church! And if you don’t think Christ is down here on the waterfront, you’ve got another guess coming! ...He sees why some of you get picked and some of you get passed over. He sees the family men worrying about gettin’ the rent and gettin’ food in the house for the wife and the kids. He sees you..." (2:41)
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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Don’t allow them to turn you again into their prisoner!
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Mandela: "I hated them for what they had taken from me. Then, I sensed an inner voice saying to me, ‘Nelson! For twenty-seven years you were their prisoner, but you were always a free man! Don’t allow them to make you into a free man, only to turn you into their prisoner!''”
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September 11th Anger and Forgiveness
Ground Zero Bible
September 11th Anger and Forgiveness
Paper from a Bible, fused to a piece of steel, was found in the debris shortly after 9/11 by a fireman and given to photographer Joel Meyerowitz.
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Amish Grace
Nickel Mines Community finds meaning in hope, faith and forgiveness
Amish Grace
On October 2, 2006, a shooting occurred at the West Nickel Mines School, an Amish one-room schoolhouse in the Old Order Amish community of Nickel Mines, a village in Bart Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
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Dead Man Walking
"I must forgive"
Dead Man Walking
Sister Helen Prejean, in her book Dead Man Walking, tells the real story of Lloyd LeBlanc, a Roman Catholic layman, whose son was murdered. When he arrived in the cane field with the sheriff’s deputies to identify his son David’s body, LeBlanc immediately knelt by his boy’s body and prayed the Lord’s Prayer.
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Quo Vadis
Peter meets Christ as he flees Nero
Quo Vadis
There is an ancient legend about Peter, which became the basis for a famous novel and motion picture. At the time of the great persecution under Nero, the Christians of Rome told Peter to leave. “You’re too valuable,” they said. “Get out of town! Find your safety! Go to another place and preach the Gospel.”
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Homily Illustrations

Catholic Doctrine

by Fr. Clement D. Thibodeau

The End Times
Apocalyptic Literature
The End Times
The “end times”have fascinated the Christian faithful from the very beginning. The Church has developed a multiplicity of traditions concerning “the end.”
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Human dignity and the Catholic Church
Created in the image and likeness of God
Human dignity and the Catholic Church
The Feast of Christ the King provides an occasion for a reflection on the dignity of human persons. If the fullness of majesty and power has been conferred on Jesus of Nazareth because of his obedience to the heavenly Father, then surely those persons who share in the same humanity within which Christ lived are doubly blessed with dignity and sacredness.
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Second Coming of Christ
Catholic teaching: The end times
Second Coming of Christ
Most fundamentalist teach their belief in the rapture, where those who are to be saved are taken silently up to the heavens to be with Christ before the great tribulation. This teaching is based on a bad interpretation of St. Paul.
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Communion of Saints
All Saints Day
Communion of Saints
The communion of saints proclaims one of the most ancient beliefs of the Christian people. From the Apostles’ Creed, we claim that we believe in the communion of saints. This does not mean that the saints are lined up to receive Communion from the Lord in heaven! Communion here means fellowship or sharing in the gifts given by God to those whom God has chosen.
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Moral Responsibility
How to Vote Catholic
Moral Responsibility
Just a few weeks from now, we will have the responsibility of going to the polls and casting our votes in federal, state,and local elections. We will be rendering “to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.
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Development of Doctrine
Magisterium
Development of Doctrine
Church doctrine evolves and develops as the believing community encounters new ways of understanding itself and the world in which it lives. New languages are all part of new cultures which have different ways of understanding reality.
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Walk the walk; don’t just talk the talk!
"Look at all the hypocrites who go to church..."
Walk the walk; don't just talk the talk!
The average pastoral care worker, the parish priest,or the pastoral counselor will surely have heard this frequent excuse for not going to church: “Look at all the hypocrites who go to church all the time and still exploit their neighbor and abuse the weak and the powerless.”
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Parish life can be unfair
Don't let envy divide your parish
Parish life can be unfair
“Life is not fair! Some have so much, without having had to do anything to deserve it. Others have so little, when they have been virtuous all their lives and have almost nothing to show for it!” We often hear this or similar comments on the inequalities of this world. Even in the Church, there are inequalities. Or, at least, some seem to have more privileges than others.
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Expropriation of Church Property
Forgiving can be difficult
Expropriation of Church Property
Over the centuries, the Catholic Church has had large pieces of real estate taken from its possession and placed in private hands or turned over to other uses. The Church has always protested such expropriations and has sought through every means available to recover its losses. It is difficult simply to let go and to begin again when our property has been taken from us. When it comes to money and other assets, the Church has a hard time to forgive.
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Featured Connections

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What would Jesus do?
The Imitation of Christ
What would Jesus do?
Fr. Donald Senior, CP in his reflection on the Sunday readings for the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time connects the 1990's WWJD movement to the second reading.
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God does not call all at the same time
Second Career Vocations
God does not call all at the same time
For women and men: God's calling comes in a variety of different ways. Some callings we might not even expect. Come explore what exactly He may be calling you to...
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C.S. Lewis
What are we to make of Jesus Christ?
C.S. Lewis
When the Italian pope dies in the latter part of the twentieth century, the Cardinals debate who will succeed him. Some want a conservative pope, while others feel that modern times call for a different approach so that the Church can speak to the real needs of the people.
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A street sweeper can become a Saint, how?
What is Your Life's Blueprint? — Martin Luther King Jr.
A street sweeper can become a Saint, how?
Six months before he was assassinated, King spoke to a group of students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia on October 26, 1967.
READ MORE
Soldier Homecomings
Getting ready for Christ's homecoming
Soldier Homecomings
Homecoming is the central theme of the Scripture readings for the Second Sunday of Advent. All three readings focus on the absolute necessity of our getting ready for Christ’s “Homecoming” into our hearts and lives by true repentance, reparation, prayer and the renewal of our lives.
READ MORE
Broken Cruets
Two altar boys
Broken Cruets
One Sunday morning years ago, a young altar boy was assisting the priest in the celebration of Holy Communion at the small church in their European village.
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Lincoln
Never give up!
Lincoln
Many years ago, in Illinois, a young man with six months formal schooling to his credit, ran for an office in the legislature. As might have been expected, he was beaten.
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