A sacrifice pleasing and acceptable

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6th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

What do you give to the God who has everything?

In my last homily, we considered how Christ is the perfect, eternal high priest—unsurpassable in bringing us closer to God, and God closer to us. And as soon as we speak of a priest, we quickly speak of sacrifice, which is, fundamentally, giving something to God. As with any gift, we can ask an obvious question: What should you give to God? What does he want or need? (more…)

Christ, our great high priest

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5th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

In the Mass, our Lord Jesus Christ is made truly present to us, in the fullness of his being—in both his divine nature and his human nature—body and blood, soul and divinity. He is made to be here with us—though under sacramental appearance—disguised, as it were, under the appearance of bread and wine. And that presence alone would be enough to make our encounter with him in the Mass the shining center of our day, our week, our entire life.

But that’s just the beginning. For our Lord makes himself present for a purpose—the purpose of drawing us into his one perfect sacrifice: as the great, eternal high priest, offering himself to the Father. (more…)

The Real Presence of Christ in the Mass

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4th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

In the Mass, we encounter our Lord Jesus Christ, made truly present. In my last homily in this series, we took note of two of the ways in which he is present. First, in the assembly of the baptized—each of whom he has joined to himself and made a member of his Mystical Body. Second, in the person of the minister—the priest or bishop changed by ordination to be able to act in the person of Christ the head. The Eucharistic assembly, body and head, is complete.

And the Lord is present “in his word, since it is he himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 7) (more…)

Tienes ante ti la vida y la muerte. ¡Escoge la vida!

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III Domingo Ordinario, Año B: 22 Enero 2012
Jon 3, 1-5.10; Sal 24; 1 Cor 7, 29-31; Mc 1, 14-20

El Señor habló a Jonás, y le mandó que vaya a la ciudad de Nínive y predique un mensaje del arrepentimiento. Y Jonás lo hizo.

¡Pero esto pasó en el capítulo 3! Si recuerdes el capítulo 1, el Señor dio a Jonás el mismo mandamiento; y Jonás se negó y se fue en dirección contraria. No fue por el camino al noreste a Nínive, sino al oeste a la costa del mar, para embarcar hasta el punto más oeste que había oído. ¿Por qué? Porque Nínive era la capital de un imperio que cometió atrocidades terribles. Jonás tenía miedo de ellos, con buena razón, y quería que fueran destruidos. Y dijo al Señor: “sabía yo que tú eres un Dios clemente y compasivo, lento para la ira y rico en misericordia, y que te arrepientes del mal.” (Jon 4, 2) (more…)

You have before you life and death. Choose life!

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3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Jan. 22, 2012
Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Ps 25; 1 Cor 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

The Lord spoke to Jonah, and told him to go to preach a message of repentance to the city of Nineveh. And Jonah went.

But that’s chapter 3! If you remember back to chapter 1, the Lord gives Jonah the same message; and Jonah said, “Nothing doing,” and went in the opposite direction. Instead of going northeast over land to Nineveh, he went west to the sea coast and boarded a ship going as far west as he had ever heard of. Why? Because Nineveh was the capital of an empire that regularly committed terrible atrocities. Jonah was afraid of them, with good reason, and wanted them destroyed. And he tells the Lord: “I knew that you are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, rich in clemency, loathe to punish.” (Jonah 4:2) (more…)

Christ’s Presence in the Mass

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3rd in a series of short homilies on the Mass

In my last homily about the Mass itself, we considered how Christ wants to meet us in the Mass—for us to unite ourselves to him, giving and receiving, and joining with him in his great work.

Now, sometimes it is asked: “Sure, Christ is present in the Mass. He’s present everywhere, isn’t he?” And the answer: no, he isn’t. Or rather: yes, he is, but not in the way in which he is present in the Mass, in the fullness of his being. (more…)

You have been chosen. You have been called.

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2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Jan. 15, 2012
1 Sam 3:3-10, 19; Ps 40; 1 Cor 6:13-15, 17-20; John 1:35-42

Can you imagine what it would have been like to be young Samuel that night, when he realized that it was the Lord himself speaking to him? And that this was the beginning of his calling to be a prophet—which would change the rest of his earthly life. How that night would have stood out in his memory! The night that everything changed.

Or can you imagine being the young shepherd boy David, when the much older Samuel came to anoint him as king of Israel? Or Moses, when the Lord asked him from the burning bush to set his people free? (more…)

Meeting Christ in the Mass

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2nd in a series of short homilies on the Mass

“Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.” Today we continue this series of daily homilies on the Mass itself. And today I want to consider that we come to Mass to encounter Christ. And not just to meet him, shallowly; but to interact with him; to truly hear him; to receive him; to give ourselves to him; and indeed to unite ourselves with him as we join with him in cooperating in a great work of his.

In the Gospel of Luke (22:15) we read that, at the Last Supper, Jesus said to his disciples, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer”—and then he instituted the Eucharist. (more…)

Why do we attend Mass?

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1st in a series of short homilies on the Mass

Now that we have concluded the Christmas Season, and as we enter Ordinary Time, I want to devote some attention in these homilies at Mass—to the Mass itself. So that each of us can understand the Mass better and enter into it more intentionally and more deeply.

And I would like to begin today by asking: Why do we come to Mass? Why do you come to Mass; why do others? (more…)

Published in: on January 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cuando llegaron los magos, la Luz comenzó a brillar a todas las naciones

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La Epifanía del Señor: 8 Enero 2012
Is 60, 1-6; Sal 71; Ef 3, 2-3.5-6; Mt 2, 1-12

“La Iglesia es misionera por naturaleza,” escribió el Papa Beato Juan Pablo II hace 20 años. “La Iglesia es misionera por naturaleza.” Hemos visto a apóstoles, sacerdotes, religiosos, laicos sin número yendo—yendo a todas partes, a todas naciones—llevándoles el evangelio y el regalo preciosísimo de nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Y hoy celebramos el principio de ese proyecto de que Cristo sea “Luz a las naciones”—cuando las naciones vinieron a él, en las personas de los magos.

¿Quiénes fueron esos magos? ¿De dónde vinieron? ¿Por qué siguieron la estrella a Belén? (more…)