La Sagrada Familia y la tensión natural/sobrenatural

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La Sagrada Familia, Año C: 30 Diciembre 2012
Sir 3, 2-6.12-14; Sal 127; 1 Jn 3, 1-2.21-24; Lc 2, 41-52

Hace seis días, celebramos la Natividad de nuestro Señor. Y así recordamos, con amor y gratitud y maravilla, que hace 2000 años, Dios Hijo se encarnó en el vientre de la Virgen y nació en Belén. Dios de Dios, luz de luz, Dios verdadero de Dios verdadero, nacido del Padre antes de todos los siglos: asumió nuestra naturaleza humana y nació, uno con nosotros.

Y no entró como un hombre adulto, para empezar inmediatamente su años de ministerio público; empezó como un bebé—aún como un embrión, y entonces un feto, un bebé recién nacido, un niño, y un joven—continuamente creciendo en saber, en estatura y en el favor de Dios y de los hombres. (more…)

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The Holy Family and natural/supernatural tension

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The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Year C: Dec. 30, 2012
Sir 3:2-6, 12-14; Ps 128:1-5; 1 John 3:1-2, 21-24; Luke 2:41-52

Five days ago, we celebrated Christmas Day. And we remembered, with love and gratitude and wonder, that 2000 years ago, in the Holy Land, God the Son became incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary and then was born in Bethlehem. God from God, light from light, true God from true God, born of the Father before all ages: he took on our human nature, and was born, one with us, in Bethlehem.

And how interesting that, in choosing to lower himself, to empty himself, to become man, our Lord Jesus did not begin as a full-grown adult man, did not immediately begin his years of public ministry; but rather he began as a baby— (more…)

The Twelve Spiritual Days of Christmas

Twelve Spiritual Days of ChristmasAfter the material Christmas preparations quiet down… let your spiritual Christmas joy begin! Father Dan offers you an audio “online retreat.” From Wednesday December 26 through Sunday January 6, take 15-20 minutes to listen and receive every gift your True Love gives to you—every day of the original 12 Days of Christmas.

Audio Only:
Day 1: Entering the Twelve Days (12:57)
Day 2: God the Father (17:22)
Day 3: The Archangel Gabriel (16:55)
Day 4: Zechariah (19:16)
Day 5: Elizabeth (17:03)
Day 6: Mary (16:56)
Day 7: Joseph (17:40)
Day 8: The Shepherds (20:10)
Day 9: Simeon & Anna (19:04)
Day 10: King Herod (20:51)
Day 11: The Magi (18:43)
Day 12: Going home changed (18:40)

This Christmas, pause to reflect

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The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas): Dec. 25, 2012
Mass during the Day
Isa 52:7-10; Ps 98:1-6; Heb 1:1-6; John 1:1-5, 9-14

There is a man who tells the story of when he was growing up, many years ago. His mother played the piano at their church, for over thirty years; and she tried to teach him to play the piano as well. He wasn’t very good at it, or very interested, but she tried. She taught him about scales, and major and minor keys. And one day she told him that the best news in the world could be found by playing a simple scale on the piano. What could she possibly mean? She told him to play an 8-note scale. He did. No, she said, you played it wrong; you need to play it from high to low. So he did. How was that good news? Well, she said, you played it right, but you left out the pauses: (more…)

Surprised by joy

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4th Sunday of Advent, Year C: Dec. 23, 2012
Micah 5:1-4; Ps 80; Heb 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45

Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah had had a long, gray life, filled with a certain sadness. They were good people—sincere and faithful—among the People of Israel, living out lives characterized by faith and treating others decently and fairly. St. Luke tells us that “both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly.” (1:6)

But they had never been able to have children. Year after year they had tried, before there was medical science that could discover and heal the problem in Zechariah’s body or Elizabeth’s body. Year after year they had prayed, in a culture that emphasized having children much more than ours does. (more…)

In darkness, choosing the path to joy

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3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C: Dec. 16, 2012
Zeph 3:14-18; Isa 12; Phil 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18

We hear St. Paul say in our second reading, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” Rejoice: Gaudete! It is from this verse that this Gaudete Sunday takes its name. But how should we take these words of his? Is this just superficial, like glitter or tinsel or wearing rose-colored vestments? Is St. Paul just an overly cheerful person, a Pollyanna?

No, St. Paul is writing this letter from prison! He is probably imprisoned in Rome and is awaiting trial; he doesn’t know whether he might be executed. (more…)

Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths

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2nd Sunday of Advent, Year C: Dec. 9, 2012
Bar 5:1-9; Ps 126; Phil 1:4-6, 8-11; Luke 3:1-6

“All flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Our readings today paint us a glorious picture of what the Lord will accomplish when he comes: the wrongs he will set right, the blessings he will bestow. The prophets Isaiah and Baruch were speaking to the People of Israel in a difficult time of suffering and exile, with their cities destroyed, their people separated from each other, and everything looking quite hopeless. And they promise: mourning and misery will change into splendor and glory; joy and peace, mercy and justice will be restored; when the Lord lays out the way back home. (more…)

Immaculate Conception: All beautiful!

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The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
Dec. 8, 2012
Gen 3:9-15, 20; Ps 98; Eph 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38

“Where are you?” we hear the Lord God call to Adam in the first reading. “Where are you?” For we read in the previous verse that the Lord is walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and Eve have hidden themselves. On previous days, surely, they had run out to meet their beloved Creator with joy as soon as they perceived his presence near them. But now they have sinned for the first time. They have allowed fear and greed and lies to drive a wedge between them and God, and to reshape them in that twisted image; to place that stain upon their hearts, and upon human nature itself which they would pass on to their descendents forever after. Suspecting, accusing, hiding, lying, taking, killing: all of this and more in the stain of original sin. (more…)

Un Adviento hermoso y transformativo

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I Domingo de Adviento, Año C: 2 Diciembre 2012
Jr 33, 14-16; Sal 24; 1 Tes 3, 12—4, 2; Lc 21, 25-28.34-36

Cuando leemos los libros de los profetas en el Antiguo Testamento, antes de la venida de Cristo, vemos muchas referencias al “Día del Señor.” Y, por la referencia primera, en el libro del profeta Amós, podemos discernir que ya hubo una esperanza popular de que, cuando llegara ese día, sería un día de bendiciones para ellos, un día de luz, un día de recompensas. Y respondió Amós: “¡Ay de los que desean el día del Señor! ¿Para qué quieren este día del Señor? Será de tinieblas y no de luz.” (Am 5, 18)

Y, por los profetas, fue revelado que el Día del Señor tendrá dos aspectos: castigo para los pecadores, y salvación para los justos. Y oímos esto también de nuestro Señor Jesús, en la lectura del Evangelio de hoy, cuando habla de su Segunda Venida. (more…)

Advent: Be vigilant, be prepared, live in expectation!

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1st Sunday of Advent, Year C: Dec. 2, 2012
Jer 33:14-16; Ps 25; 1 Thess 3:12–4:2; Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

When we read in the books of the prophets in the Old Testament, before the coming of Christ, we find many references to the “Day of the Lord.” Indeed, from the very first reference, in the book of the prophet Amos, we can tell that there was already a popular expectation among the people that, when this day came, it would be a positive day of blessing for them, a day of light, a day when the Lord would make everything good for his People. And Amos responded: “Woe to those who yearn for the day of the Lord! What will this day of the Lord mean for you? Darkness and not light!” (Amos 5:18ff)

And what we then see unfolded more clearly by the prophets is the understanding that the Day of Lord will have two sides to it: punishment for sinners, and salvation for the righteous. And this is what we also hear in the words of our Lord Jesus in today’s Gospel reading, about his Second Coming. (more…)