Lázaro, el Hijo Pródigo, y usted

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XXVI Domingo Ordinario, Año C: 29 Septiembre 2013
Am 6, 1.4-7; Sal 145; 1 Tim 6, 11-16; Lc 16, 19-31

Hoy escuchamos de nuestro Señor Jesús, la parábola del hombre rico y Lázaro. Y hay algunos puntos en los cuales esta parábola se parece a una que oímos hace dos semanas. ¿Le dio cuenta de que Lázaro, yaciendo a la entrada de la casa del hombre rico, ansiaba llenarse con las sobras que caían de la mesa del rico? Oímos esas mismas palabras acerca del Hijo Pródigo: que, después de que había gastado toda su herencia, y cayó en desgracia y tuvo que tomar un trabajo de alimentación de los cerdos, ansiaba llenarse de las bellotas que comían los cerdos. (Lc 15, 16) ¿Y se acuerda de la celebración que pasó en esa parábola, y cómo el padre hablaba de cómo había que celebrar? (Lc 15, 23.24.29.32) Esta es la misma palabra que describe lo que hacía el hombre rico de la parábola todos los días. (more…)

Lazarus, the Prodigal Son, and you

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26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Sept. 29, 2013
Amos 6:1, 4-7; Ps 146; 1 Tim 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31

Today we hear from our Lord Jesus the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. And there are some points in which this parable resembles one that we heard a couple weeks ago. Did you notice that Lazarus, lying at the rich man’s door, longed to eat his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table? We heard that same language about the Prodigal Son: who, after he had spent all of his inheritance, and fell on hard times, and had to take a job feeding pigs, longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed. (Luke 15:16) And do you remember the celebration that happened in that parable, and how the father spoke of how it was necessary to celebrate? (Luke 15:23, 24, 29, 32) This is the same word that describes what the rich man in this parable did every day. (more…)

¿Quién ama el cuerpo? ¿Quién desea la resurrección?

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Homilía en Novena de la Medalla Milagrosa, 8 Abril 2013
1 Cor 15, 12-20

¿Creemos en la inmortalidad del alma, o en la resurrección de la carne?

Podría parecer que edifico una pregunta con trampa en ponerla de esta manera, ya que la respuesta es: “Ambos.” Pero en realidad es una pregunta útil, porque nos recuerda que los dos conceptos no son exactamente iguales. Y es posible creer en uno sin el otro; o incluso hacer hincapié en uno hasta el punto de accidentalmente olvidar el otro.

Nos encontramos esta tarde en el tiempo de Pascua—estos 50 días del año en que celebramos la verdad sorprendente de la resurrección de nuestro Señor Jesucristo en la carne. (more…)

Who loves the body? Who wants the resurrection?

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Homily at Miraculous Medal Novena, April 8, 2013
1 Cor 15:12-20

Do we believe in the immortality of the soul, or the resurrection of the body?

It might seem that I am creating a trick question in putting it that way, since the answer is actually: “Both.” But it is actually a helpful question, because it reminds us that the two concepts are not exactly the same. And it is possible to believe in one without the other; or even to emphasize one to such a degree that we accidentally forget the other.

We stand this evening within the Easter Season—these 50 days every year when we celebrate the amazing truth of our Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection in the flesh. (more…)

Rejoice! Jesus is coming soon!

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Nov. 18, 2012
Dan 12:1-3; Ps 16; Heb 10:11-14, 18; Mark 13:24-32

At this time of year, the days are getting darker, the weather is getting colder; and our liturgical year is coming to its end. Today is the second-last Sunday of the liturgical year, and the last one in which we will hear from the Gospel according to Mark in this Year B of the lectionary cycle. And today we hear a portion of Chapter 13 of that Gospel, in which Jesus is telling his disciples what to expect in the future—so that this chapter is sometimes known as the “Little Apocalypse.”

And we notice that he cautions them: “Of that day or hour, no one knows.” (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…)

“Give me oil in my lamp”: Looking toward death, judgment, and the Resurrection

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32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A: Nov. 6, 2011
Wis 6:12-16; Ps 63; 1 Thess 4:13-18; Matt 25:1-13

This past week has presented us with several opportunities to think about the end of this earthly life, and what comes next.

  • On Monday evening, Halloween, we saw ghosts and skeletons walking down our streets, vampires and zombies coming up the walk, angels and little devils ringing our doorbells!
  • On Tuesday, All Saints, we gathered at Mass to celebrate all the holy men and women who have gone before us to reach the glory of heaven.
  • And on Wednesday, All Souls, we prayed for the repose of the souls of those undergoing their final purification in purgatory in preparation for their heavenly reward.

So it has been a good week for questions. (more…)

El Señor te invita a su banquete: ¿Vendrás?

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XXVIII Domingo Ordinario, Año A: 9 Octubre 2011
Is 25, 6-10; Sal 22; Flp 4, 12-14.19-20; Mt 22, 1-14

El Reino de los Cielos se parece a un rey que nos invita a un gran banquete—el banquete nupcial de su Hijo. ¡Qué maravilloso! ¿A quién no le gusta un banquete nupcial?—una ocasión de mucho gozo, y la promesa del futuro, y la presencia amable de amigos y de la familia, y muy buena comida y bebida. Como dice la primera lectura: un banquete de manjares suculentos, un banquete de vinos añejados, de manjares suculentos, medulosos, de vinos añejados, decantados.

Y esto es lo que ofrece Dios Padre a todo el mundo. (more…)

Darkness, blindness, sin, and the light of Christ

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4th Sunday of Lent, Year A: April 3, 2011
1 Sam 16:1, 6-7, 10-13; Ps 23; Eph 5:8-14; John 9:1-41

You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. What a great sentence! And what a cause for joy, on this Laetare Sunday when we rejoice as we remember the joyful purpose and goal for which we engage in Lenten penance: to attain to the resurrection and reach heavenly glory.

You were once darkness—and what does someone who is darkness look like? What did you look like when you were darkness? Well, first of all, you looked like a newborn baby. That’s what you looked like when you were darkness.

But how can that be? So little and cute and precious? (more…)