Let Jesus make your marriage beautiful

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27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Oct. 4, 2015
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No los dejaré huérfanos

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VI Domingo de Pascua, Año A: 25 Mayo 2014
Hch 8, 5-8.14-17; Sal 65; 1 Pe 3, 15-18; Jn 14, 15-21 (more…)

I will not leave you orphans

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6th Sunday of Easter, Year A: May 25, 2014
Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; Ps 66; 1 Pet 3:15-18; John 14:15-21

There’s something interesting that we should notice in our first reading, from the Book of Acts, especially during this season when so many of our students are receiving confirmation. And that is a clear, very early, example of the sacrament of confirmation—though it is not named as such.

In Acts chapter 8, it is only about 3-5 years after the Day of Pentecost: very early in the Church’s history. And Philip—not the apostle Philip, but one of the seven deacons (more…)

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…)

When Jesus came into St. Joseph’s life

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4th Sunday of Advent, Year A: Dec. 22, 2013
Isa 7:10-14; Ps 24; Rom 1:1-7; Matt 1:18-24

St. Joseph was a righteous man. He knew the Law that the Lord God had given to his People, and he wanted to follow it: to do what was right and just, toward God and toward other people; to do what was good; to do what was holy. And he was betrothed—formally contracted to marry—a very good and holy young woman named Mary.

St. Joseph may have been a young man, somewhere around 20 years old, energetic and just getting started in life. Or he may have been an older man, a widower, with some number of sons and daughters who would be known as the brothers and sisters of Jesus. (more…)

Cuando vino Jesús a la vida de San José

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IV Domingo de Adviento, Año A: 22 Diciembre 2013
Is 7, 10-14; Sal 23; Rom 1, 1-7; Mt 1, 18-24 (more…)

Keeping Jesus’ word, from Old Law to New Law

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6th Sunday of Easter, Year C: May 5, 2013
Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Ps 67; Rev 21:10-14, 22-23; John 14:23-29

We hear our Lord Jesus say in today’s Gospel reading: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” What beautiful words! We want that kind of peace so much. In fact, the whole world wants that kind of peace. And our Lord Jesus offers it.

But we also hear him say: “Whoever loves me will keep my word.” Now that’s different, isn’t it? It’s one thing to offer peace; it’s another thing to require obedience. (more…)

Jesus asks: “What do you want me to do for you?”

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30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Oct. 28, 2012
Jer 31:7-9; Ps 126; Heb 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52

Immediately Bartimaeus received his sight. And the first thing he saw was Jesus: the eyes of Jesus, shining with power and love and healing; the eyes of the one who had given him his sight. And he followed Jesus on the way.

Jesus is famous for asking questions. Some years ago, the Jesuit Father John Dear began to write down every question Jesus ever asked in the Gospels—and he got to 307 questions, not even counting the questions that are contained in Jesus’ parables (see his book The Questions of Jesus). And one of Jesus’ most provocative questions is the one that he asks Bartimaeus in today’s Gospel reading: “What do you want me to do for you?” (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…)