Let Jesus make your marriage beautiful

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27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Oct. 4, 2015
Readings (more…)

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Step out in joy and freedom

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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Sept. 6, 2015
Isa 35:4-7; Ps 146; James 2:1-5; Mark 7:31-37

In about two weeks, our Holy Father Pope Francis is going to arrive here in the U.S.—indeed, here in the Washington, D.C., area—to visit us. We know that he has gained a great deal of attention by many people since he was elected as Pope, and that many people find him a fascinating and attractive person. One of the aspects for which Pope Francis is famous is his concern for the poor, and his readiness to reach out and embrace people who are poor or who live with difficult physical or life circumstances.

And surely we can imagine Pope Francis giving us the same admonition that we heard from St. James in our second reading today. (more…)

De quien recibe nombre toda paternidad

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Santísima Trinidad, Año A: 15 Junio 2014
Ex 34, 4-6.8-9; Dn 3; 2 Cor 13, 11-14; Jn 3, 16-18 (more…)

From whom all fatherhood is named

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Most Holy Trinity, Year A: June 15, 2014
Exod 34:4-6 8-9; Dan 3:52-54, 56; 2 Cor 13:11-13; John 3:16-18 (more…)

Vengan al agua

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Domingo de Pascua: 20 Abril 2014
Vigilia Pascual

Gen 1, 1—2, 2; Sal 103; Ex 14, 15—15, 1; Exod 15; Is 55, 1-11; Is 12; Ez 36, 16-28; Sal 41.42; Rom 6, 3-11; Mt 28, 1-10 (more…)

Work, work, work!

From the Aug. 31–Sept. 1, 2013, bulletin of St. Martin of Tours parish, Gaithersburg, Md.

Labor Day has been a federal holiday since 1894, to celebrate the economic and social contributions of workers.  But our Catholic faith has valued work and workers for much longer than that! (more…)

The wellspring of thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving Day: Nov. 22, 2012
Sir 50:22-24; Ps 145; 1 Cor 1:3-9; Luke 17:11-19

A week or two ago, I received the latest newsletter from the Saint Luke Institute, which helps priests and religious sisters who have run into psychological difficulties. And the article on the front page was written by none other than Fr. Hugh Lagan SMA (who was recently resident in this parish for a couple years and is a member of their clinical staff). In this article, he spoke about “positive psychology,” which, rather than focusing upon psychological illness, instead studies what it takes for human beings to grow and function well and thrive. Toward the end of the article, he passed on two specific tips:

  • Count your blessings: Every evening for one week, write down three things that went well during the day. This can help refocus your thoughts on the positive, rather than the negative, and enhance your well-being. (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…)

The great unexpected overlap of the Resurrection

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Easter Sunday: April 8, 2012
Acts 10:34, 37-43; Ps 118; Col 3:1-4; John 20:1-9

They did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. Standing right there in the empty tomb, where just hours earlier the most extraordinary event had happened—Jesus Christ had risen from the dead—they did not understand.

And for good reason. First, they were traumatized. Not 72 hours before, they had seen this great teacher and healer, who they had followed for years, captured and dragged away to be falsely accused and condemned to a horrible death by the authorities. They were scarred, and afraid for their own lives. How could they understand?

Second, they knew, like we do, that dead people don’t just get up and walk around again. (more…)