Live your faith like an Olympic champion

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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Aug. 14, 2016
Readings (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 importance of religious liberty

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President’s Day: Feb. 20, 2012
Acts 5:27-32, 40-42; Ps 2; Matt 22:15-21

Today our country celebrates the birthday of its first President, George Washington. And Washington is hard to pin down, religiously. (What follows is summarized from Stephen Waldman, Founding Faith, especially chap. 6 and 7.) He certainly manifested faith in God in his words and actions; he was comfortable speaking of faith in general terms, and in encouraging others to pray for help or in thanksgiving; and he considered religious devotion something valuable in citizens in a republic.

And yet it is hard to identify Washington as a strong Christian, since his religious practice was spotty and he declined to enter into thinking or disputing about theological doctrine. (more…)