Mother Teresa, and the cost and glory of following Christ

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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Sept. 4, 2016
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The eternal king and priest satisfies our deepest hungers

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Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), Year C: May 29, 2016
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La semilla crece: su Reino, en su ritmo

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XI Domingo Ordinario, Año B: 17 Junio 2012
Ez 17, 22-24; Sal 91; 2 Cor 5, 6-10; Mc 4, 26-34

“¿Con qué compararemos el Reino de Dios?” pregunta nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Y nos cuenta dos parábolas en nuestra lectura del Evangelio, ambos comparando el Reino de Dios con el crecimiento de semillas.

En la segunda parábola, el foco es cuán grande es el crecimiento de la semilla—grande y quizá sorprendente. La semilla de mostaza es muy pequeña en el principio—sólo 1 o 2 milímetros—pero crece hasta un arbusto que puede ser de casi 3 metros en altura. Y así es el Reino de Dio, nos dice nuestro Señor: aunque empiece pequeñito e insignificante—en el mundo, o en una vida individual—crecerá hasta hacerse muy grande. (more…)

The seed grows: his Kingdom, in his time

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11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: June 17, 2012
Ezek 17:22-24; Ps 92; 2 Cor 5:6-10; Mark 4:26-34

“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God?” our Lord Jesus asks. And we hear two parables from him in our Gospel reading today, both comparing the Kingdom of God to the growth of seeds.

In the second parable, the lesson is the great and perhaps surprising growth of that seed. The mustard seed starts very small—about 1/20 of an inch, or 1 or 2 mm in size—but it grows into a bush that can be 9 feet tall, depending on the variety. And so it is with the Kingdom of God, Jesus tells us: no matter how tiny and insignificant its beginnings might seem—in the world, or in an individual person’s life—it will grow to be very large indeed. (more…)

Source and Summit

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12th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

The Mass is an amazing thing, like nothing else in the world. So you have come, and stood heart to heart with other faithful, joining all the angels and saints, and leading the entire universe. You have encountered Christ made truly present—the eternal high priest offering the one perfect sacrifice. You have united yourself with him, offering yourself also, and entered the heart of the Trinity.

Now what?

No matter how wonderful it is, the Mass, like this homily series, has to come to an end sometime. (more…)

Christ the King: If these are the rules of life, then play the game to win!

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Our Lord Jesus Christ the King, Year A: Nov. 20, 2011
Ezek 34:11-12, 15-17; Ps 23; 1 Cor 15:20-26, 28; Matt 25:31-46

Think for a moment of some examples of competitive games that are based upon life itself.

  • You might think of the board game The Game of Life, in which you drive your little plastic car around the board, spinning the wheel and making choices about education, career, family, and retirement.
  • Or you might think of computer strategy games like Civilization or Age of Empires, in which, on a much larger scale, you guide the development of an entire society, making choices about farming, industry, the military, and cultural development.
  • Or you might think of any of the plethora of reality television shows (more…)

Epiphany: Come Be My Light

Epiphany: Jan. 3, 2010
Isa 60:1-6; Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13; Eph 3:2-3, 5-6; Matt 2:1-12

This homily was given to a local house of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan. My digital voice recorder mysteriously stopped recording just a couple minutes into the homily, so there is no mp3 of this one.

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Two years ago, a collection of letters written by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta was published as a book. The title was “Come Be My Light”; and I’m sure that many people assumed, as I did, that this title was a prayer by Mother Teresa to our Lord, asking him to come and be her light. And if one assumed further that she prayed these words in India, then she would have borne quite a resemblance to the magi from the east who we see arrive in Jerusalem in today’s gospel reading, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”

The arrival of the magi, who were seeking the light of the newborn Messiah, was a pivotal moment in a long history—both a completion and a signal of a new beginning. (more…)