The feast of the Presentation that we celebrate today has traditionally been the conclusion of the Church’s Christmas season. Indeed, it was only about 5 years ago that the Vatican began taking down its Christmas decorations before today! And so today we return to the theme of Christ as the Light of the World.
- 40 days ago, at the Midnight Mass on Christmas, we heard from the Prophet Isaiah: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (more…)
Audio only: Listen to mp3 file (Length: 7:52)
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A: Jan. 26, 2014
Isa 8:23–9:3; Ps 27; 1 Cor 1:10-13, 17; Matt 4:12-13
This is a translation of the Spanish homily I preached.
The Baptism of the Lord, Year A: Jan. 12, 2014
Isa 42:1-4, 6-7; Ps 29; Acts 10:34-38; Matt 3:13-17
About a month ago, we were in the season of Advent. And as we focused upon preparing ourselves to receive the Lord Jesus at his Second Coming, we turned again to John the Baptist, who prepared people to receive him in his first coming. And we saw that John was preaching repentance, and practicing a baptism of repentance.
- He preached repentance: a change of life, a turning of oneself, away from sin and what is bad, toward God and what is good. And it is a turning in heart and mind, and in outward action.
- And he drew people into a baptism of repentance: into themselves entering into this symbolic action that was performed by non-Jews who were converting to become Jewish. (more…)
The event that we celebrate today is certainly very picturesque. These three exotic figures—the Magi, who we sometimes call the Three Kings or the Wise Men—arrive in Bethlehem. They find the Christ child and kneel down, and they offer him their gifts, which are precious and just as exotic as they are: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It is a scene that we like to imagine and sing about, and to make into paintings and statues in the Nativity Scene. And in many countries, appropriately, it is this day that has traditionally be the day of giving gifts, in imitation of the Magi giving gifts to the baby Jesus.
But as picturesque as this scene is, there is much more to see. We note that officially we do not call this day “Three Kings Day,” but rather “Epiphany”: a word that is a synonym of “revelation” or “manifestation.” (more…)