Jesus was baptized to supercharge baptism

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…)
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Un Regalo que exige un veredicto

Sólo audio: Escucha mp3 (Largo: 13:42)
La Natividad del Señor: 25 Diciembre 2013
Misa del Día
Is 52, 7-10; Sal 97; Heb 1, 1-6; Jn 1, 1-18 (more…)

A Gift that demands a verdict

This is a translation of the Spanish homily I preached.
The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas): Dec. 25, 2013
Mass during the Day
Isa 52:7-10; Ps 98; Heb 1:1-6; John 1:1-18

Merry Christmas, everyone! We are in the midst of a night and a day of celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ! I imagine that most of you have already done much in celebrating, and that you have still more plans to carry out. Here in the parish, we have had 9 days of Posadas, two pageants, and now 10 Masses for Christmas Night and Christmas Day; and how glad I am that you all are here to celebrate together, as we finish them up!

We have been on a journey during all these Masses, as we have gone through three other sets of prayers and readings before this. And what have we seen and done on this journey? (more…)

En la humildad, liberado y fundado

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XXII Domingo Ordinario, Año C: 1 Septiembre 2013
Sir 3, 19-21.30-31; Sal 67; Heb 12, 18-19.22-24; Lc 14, 1.7-14

En las lecturas de hoy, se nos insta a tener humildad y humillarnos. Pero, ¿qué significa esto?

  • ¿Significa la humildad no hacer nada para aprender más, u obtener un buen trabajo, o mejorar nuestra condición de vida? No.
  • ¿Significa la humildad decir falsamente que no valemos nada, que no tenemos buenas cualidades o talentos o habilidades? No.
  • ¿Significa la humildad pasivamente dejar que la falsedad o el mal nos aplasten, y nunca hablar o actuar por la verdad y la bondad? No. (more…)

Humbly receptive at the great banquet

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22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Sept. 1, 2013
Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29; Ps 68; Heb 12:18-19, 22-24; Luke 14:1, 7-14

In our Gospel reading today, we hear our Lord Jesus advise: “When you are invited to a wedding banquet, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.'” Now, as literal advice, taking the lowest place with that goal wouldn’t be real humility at all; it would be a manipulative fraud. But we know that our Lord Jesus is telling a parable here, and sometimes when he does so he exaggerates the everyday details of the story in order to make his point.

But imagine for a moment that you did take the advice literally; that you took the lowest place in the banquet; and no one noticed. (more…)

Will you give the Lord what he asks?

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10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: June 9, 2013
1 Kgs 17:17-24; Ps 30; Gal 1:11-19; Luke 7:11-17

“Give me your son.” That’s the request that we heard the prophet Elijah make of the widow, in the first reading. And what a strange request it is, when we take it by itself: “Give me your son.” What? You don’t just give your son away to someone else, especially to some stranger who isn’t even part of the family.

And perhaps when you hear that phrase you think, as I do, of the terrible scandals that we have heard about for the last decade or so: of those priests who violated trust in abusing children, and those bishops who failed to adequately protect them. Trust was violated; and so it is that much harder to trust someone else with something as precious as your son—or anything else.

But still the request comes: “Give me your son.” (more…)

Discovering that Jesus is God, and that God is three

This is a translation of the Spanish homily I preached.
Most Holy Trinity, Year C: May 26, 2013
Prov 8:22-31; Ps 8; Rom 5:1-5; John 16:12-15

Today we celebrate the truth of the Most Holy Trinity: the great truth that the God we worship is one God in three persons: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. That God is three, in one way, and is one, in another way: that God is three distinct divine persons, one divine nature, one divine substance.

And we know that this is a distinctively Christian truth. Each Mass begins with the words, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Each person is baptized with the words: “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (more…)

Descubrir que Jesús es Dios, y que Dios es tres

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La Santísima Trinidad, Año C: 26 Mayo 2013
Pr 8, 22-31; Sal 8; Rom 5, 1-5; Jn 16, 12-15

Hoy celebramos la verdad de la Santísima Trinidad: la gran verdad de que el Dios que adoramos es un solo Dios en tres personas: el Padre, el Hijo y el Espíritu Santo. Que Dios es tres, de una manera, y es uno, de otra manera: que es tres personas divinas distintas, una naturaleza divina, una substancia divina.

Y sabemos que esta es una verdad distintivamente cristiana. Cada Misa comienza con las palabras: “En el nombre del Padre y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo.” Cada persona es bautizada con las palabras: “Yo te bautizo en el nombre del Padre y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo.” (more…)

What do you do with the mystery of the Trinity?

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Most Holy Trinity, Year C: May 26, 2013
Prov 8:22-31; Ps 8; Rom 5:1-5; John 16:12-15

Today we celebrate the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. But what is a mystery? In books of fiction, a mystery is often a puzzle related to a crime that a detective is supposed to solve. But when we speak about the faith, it means something different. From what I have heard, it is something that you say when you want a child to stop asking questions! “No, I don’t know who or why or how! It’s a mystery. Beat it, kid!”

But, of course, that’s not really what a mystery of the faith is. A mystery is something that is initially out of reach of our human reason— (more…)

Going home to Mom—and to our Heavenly Father

This is a translation of the Spanish homily I preached.
Ascension of the Lord, Year C: May 12, 2013
Acts 1:1-11; Ps 47; Eph 1:17-23; Luke 24:46-53

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. For 40 days after our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, he appeared alive to his disciples, spoke with them, ate with them, and unfolded to them the mysteries of what he had done and what he was about to do. And then came the day when he parted from them; when he was taken up to heaven and a cloud took him from their sight; and, as we heard in the first reading, the apostles were left looking intently at the sky—now alone. (more…)