Palm/Passion Sunday: “In this is Love…”

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Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, Year C: March 28, 2010

At the Procession with Palms
Luke 19:28-40

Every culture has its customary way of welcoming those that it honors. For the Jewish people in the Holy Land in the first century, a king was welcomed, not by rolling out a red carpet, or running a motorcade, but by placing their own garments under his path; and they waved, not flags or cameras, but branches that they had cut from palms and other trees, which they spread in his path as well [cf. 2 Kgs 9:13; Ps 118:26 in LXX].

Often in the Gospels, we hear that Jesus had urged people not to spread the news that he was the Messiah; because such news could have had an explosive effect. But on Palm Sunday, he threw aside caution to publicly reveal himself. (more…)

Published in: on March 28, 2010 at 11:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Domingo de Ramos: “El amor consiste en esto…”

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Domingo de Ramos, Año C: 28 Marzo 2010

En la Procesión con Ramos
Luc 19, 28-40

Los discípulos se gozaron en la entrada triunfal de Jesucristo en Jerusalén—en el primero Domingo de Ramos, hace casi 2000 años. Ellos pusieron sus mantos en el camino y también unos ramos cortados de árboles—los cuales eran la manera de su cultura de dar la bienvenida al rey.

Pero, ¿qué tipo de rey era Jesús? (more…)

Published in: on March 28, 2010 at 11:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“See, I am doing something new!”

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5th Sunday of Lent, Year C: March 21, 2010
Isa 43:16-21; Ps 126:1-6; Phil 3:8-14; John 8:1-11

At the Sunday morning Mass, I felt that I should ignore my prepared homily text from the evening before and instead trace a different theme. Something new, indeed! This is a transcription of what I said, with some tidying up of grammar and word choice.

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“See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” It is a curious message that we hear from the Lord in this first reading, from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah—because, where it begins, it is recalling the events of the past; and then it says, “Remember not the events of the past.” Well, that’s helpful! What’s going on?

These words in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah are addressed to the People of the Israel at the time that they are being held in captivity in the exile in Babylon. And so these words, first of all, point them back to the great works that the Lord did in rescuing them from Egypt in the Exodus, approximately 700 years earlier. (more…)

Published in: on March 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jesus, the woman caught in adultery, and true forgiveness

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5th Sunday of Lent, Year C: March 20, 2010
Isa 43:16-21; Ps 126:1-6; Phil 3:8-14; John 8:1-11

Consider this stream of thought. It might sound familiar. “If other people found out some of the things that I have done, what would they think of me? What would they say to me? What would they say to each other? If they knew the truth of what I have done behind closed doors, because it felt good, at least for a moment; if they knew what I’ve done to other people in my job, or what I’ve seen others do, without saying a word about it; what would they do to me? Would they recoil in horror? Would it be the end—the end of our friendship; the end of my employment; the end of my family; the end of any respect and love at all? If they knew the truth about me, what would they do?”

These are questions that probably every person here has asked sometime—perhaps many years in the past; perhaps at this very moment, right here, during Mass. (more…)

Published in: on March 20, 2010 at 8:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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La sanación del ciego de nacimiento y el regalo del bautismo

IV Domingo de Cuaresma, Año A: 14 Marzo 2010
1 Sam 16:1, 6-7, 10-13; Sal 23:1-6; Ef 5:8-14; Juan 9:1-41

Esta homilía escribí para una Misa celebrada especialmente para el bautismo de ocho niños. Las pilas en mi grabadora se vaciaron en el medio de la homilía; por eso, no tengo una mp3.

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Todos los años, en el tiempo de la Cuaresma, se preparan unos adultos para recibir el bautismo en la Vigilia de la Pascua. Y la santa Iglesia leemos juntos, en tres domingos, tres historias del evangelio según San Juan que los ayudan prepararse: primero, en la semana pasada, la historia de Jesús y la mujer Samaritana; tercero, en la semana que viene, la de Jesús y San Lázaro; y segundo, hoy, la historia de Jesús y el ciego de nacimiento. Y ésta es una buena lectura para ustedes también, pues estos niños—ustedes mismos, sus hijos, sus hermanos, sus familiares y amigos—recibirán el bautismo dentro de unos minutos. (more…)

Published in: on March 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Jesus, hell, and the parable of the fig tree

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3rd Sunday of Lent, Year C: March 7, 2010
Exod 3:1-8, 13-15; Ps 103:1-4, 6-8, 11; 1 Cor 10:1-6, 10-12; Luke 13:1-9

In today’s Gospel reading, we hear that the people came to Jesus with a question that could hardly be more timely—for now or for any other time. They ask, in effect, “Did you hear how many people died in the terrorist bombing? Did you hear how many protestors were killed by the dictator’s soldiers? Or how many died in the latest school shooting? Did you hear how many died when that bridge collapsed? When the building burned down? When the earthquake struck? When the tsunami swept in? Did you hear how many died?”

The question they did not ask aloud was, “Did this happen as punishment for them having committed some really big sins?” (more…)

Published in: on March 7, 2010 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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