Ashes and the 40 days

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School Mass homily
Ash Wednesday: Feb. 18, 2015
Readings (more…)

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Choosing his own grandfather

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Children’s Mass homily
The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas): Dec. 24, 2014
Vigil Mass

Isa 62:1-5; Ps 89; Acts 13:16-17, 22-25; Matt 1:18-25 (more…)

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Matrimonio y familia hoy: la crisis, la vocación

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La Sagrada Familia, Año A: 29 Diciembre 2013
Sir 3, 2-6.12-14; Sal 127; Col 3, 12-17; Mt 2, 13-15.19-23 (more…)

Marriage and family today: the crisis, the calling

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Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Year A:
Dec. 29, 2013
Sir 3:2-6, 12-14; Ps 128; Col 3:12-17; Matt 2:13-15, 19-23

Three years ago, I had the privilege to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with a group of other priests. Of course, one of the places we went was Nazareth. There, we visited the large church called the Basilica of the Annunciation—marking the spot where the angel Gabriel visited Mary and invited her to become the Mother of God; where she said yes; and thus the very spot, marked, where the Word was made flesh.

But there on the same property is a smaller church, the Church of St. Joseph. It was there that we celebrated Mass. This church contains artwork not only of St. Joseph himself, but of the Holy Family: (more…)

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…)

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 child, the rich young man, and the eye of the needle

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28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Oct. 14, 2012
Wis 7:7-11; Ps 90; Heb 4:12-13; Mark 10:17-30

“How hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!” our Lord Jesus declares in our Gospel reading today. “How hard!” You didn’t think that it would be easy, and that everyone would automatically be entering heaven, did you? Because that is not Jesus’ message. As he says in a different passage:

“The gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (Matt 7:13-14)

And yet, in last week’s reading, immediately before this week’s passage starts, he welcomes the little children and says, “Do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” These form an interesting pair: the children and the rich young man in today’s passage. What is the lesson here? What does it mean to accept the kingdom of God like a child? (more…)

Recibir el Reino de Dios como un niño

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XXVIII Domingo Ordinario, Año B: 14 Octubre 2012
Sab 7, 7-11; Sal 89; Heb 4, 12-13; Mc 10, 17-30

“¡Qué difícil es entrar en el reino de Dios!” nuestro Señor Jesús declara en la lectura del Evangelio de hoy. “¡Qué difícil!” No pensabas que sería fácil, y que todo el mundo entraría automáticamente en el cielo, ¿verdad? Porque esto no es el mensaje de Jesús. Como dice en otro pasaje:

“Ancha es la puerta y amplia es la senda que lleva a la perdición, y muchos son los que entran por ella. Pero estrecha es la puerta y angosta la senda que lleva a la vida, y pocos son los que la hallan.” (Mt 7, 13-14)

Pero todavía, en la lectura de la semana pasada, que ocurre inmediatamente antes del principio del pasaje de hoy, nuestro Señor dio la bienvenida a los niños y dijo: “No se lo impidan, porque el Reino de Dios es de los que son como ellos. Les aseguro que el que no reciba el Reino de Dios como un niño, no entrará en él.” Estos forman una pareja interesante: los niños y el joven rico en el pasaje de hoy. ¿Qué es la lección para nosotros? ¿Qué significa recibir el reino de Dios como un niño? (more…)

Like Jesus, we must defend true marriage

This is a translation of the Spanish homily that I preached on this Sunday.
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Oct. 7, 2012
Gen 2:18-24; Ps 128; Heb 2:9-11; Mark 10:2-16

In Jesus’ time, marriage was a mess. The legal rights of husbands and of wives were thoroughly unequal. As we heard in the Gospel reading, a man was able to divorce his wife simply by writing her a bill of divorce and dismissing her. It was that easy for a man to end the marriage he had vowed. And scholars of the time debated about what qualified as a just reason for a man to divorce his wife. The stricter school said, only something like adultery; the looser school allowed almost any reason, including—and I’m not making this up—”even if she spoiled a dish for him” (School of Hillel, in the Mishnah). For such trivial reasons a man could send his wife away. (more…)

Como Jesús, debemos defender el matrimonio verdadero

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XXVII Domingo Ordinario, Año B: 7 Octubre 2012
Gn 2, 18-24; Sal 127; Heb 2, 9-11; Mc 10, 2-16

En la época de Jesús, el matrimonio estaba revuelto. Los derechos legales de esposos y esposas eran completamente desiguales. Como oímos en la lectura del Evangelio, un hombre pudo divorciarse de su mujer simplemente por darle carta de divorcio y repudiarla. Para un hombre, era tan fácil terminar el matrimonio que había prometido. Y los eruditos discutían sobre qué razones eran justos, por las cuales un hombre pudiera divorciarse de su esposa. El grupo más estricto dijo, sólo algo como el adulterio; el grupo más suelto lo permitió por casi cualquier razón, inclusive—y lo digo en serio—“aún si ella estropeó un plato.” (Escuela de Hilel, en la Mishná) Por razones tan triviales, un hombre pudo repudiar a su esposa. (more…)