No complacency: Strive!

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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Aug. 21, 2016
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Hearts like the Good Shepherd, embracing every nation, race, people, and tongue

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4th Sunday of Easter, Year C: April 17, 2016
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A great Mystery, revealed! And your response?

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Epiphany of the Lord: January 3, 2016
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Epifanía: ¡que brille Jesús!

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La Epifanía del Señor: 5 Enero 2014
Is 60, 1-6; Sal 71; Ef 3, 2-3.5-6; Mt 2, 1-12 (more…)

Epiphany: Shine, Jesus, shine!

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Epiphany of the Lord: Jan. 5, 2014
Isa 60:1-6; Ps 72; Eph 3:2-3, 5-6; Matt 2:1-12

The event that we celebrate today is certainly very picturesque. These three exotic figures—the Magi, who we sometimes call the Three Kings or the Wise Men—arrive in Bethlehem. They find the Christ child and kneel down, and they offer him their gifts, which are precious and just as exotic as they are: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It is a scene that we like to imagine and sing about, and to make into paintings and statues in the Nativity Scene. And in many countries, appropriately, it is this day that has traditionally be the day of giving gifts, in imitation of the Magi giving gifts to the baby Jesus.

But as picturesque as this scene is, there is much more to see. We note that officially we do not call this day “Three Kings Day,” but rather “Epiphany”: a word that is a synonym of “revelation” or “manifestation.” (more…)

¡Comparte el gozo!

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XXIII Domingo Ordinario, Año B: 9 Septiembre 2012
Is 35, 4-7; Sal 145; St 2, 1-5; Mc 7, 31-37

¿Notaron el gozo que brota de nuestras lecturas de hoy? En la primera lectura, el Señor dice: “Digan a los de corazón apocado: ‘¡Ánimo! No teman. He aquí que su Dios… viene ya para salvarlos.” Y oímos de la sanación y la renovación de los problemas físicos profundos, como la ceguera y la sordera—y ¡el cojo no sólo anda, sino salta! ¡El mudo no sólo habla, sino canta! Brotan aguas; y la tierra seca se convierte en manantial.

El salmo también habla de los prodigios que Dios hace por los ciegos, los hambrientos; por la viuda y el huérfano; por el cautivo y el oprimido y el forastero. Y grita el salmista: “El Señor siempre es fiel a su palabra… (more…)

Share the joy!

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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Sept. 9, 2012
Isa 35:4-7; Ps 146; James 2:1-5; Mark 7:31-37

Did you notice the joy that bursts out of our readings today? In the first reading, the Lord says: “Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God… he comes to save you.” And as we hear about the healing and renewing of these deep physical disorders, like blindness and deafness—the lame don’t just walk, they leap! And the mute don’t just speak, they sing! Streams burst forth; and burning, thirsty ground becomes springs of water.

The psalm too speaks of the great things that God does for the blind, the hungry; for widows and the fatherless; for captives and the oppressed and strangers. And the psalmist cries: “The God of Jacob keeps faith forever… (more…)

Cuando llegaron los magos, la Luz comenzó a brillar a todas las naciones

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La Epifanía del Señor: 8 Enero 2012
Is 60, 1-6; Sal 71; Ef 3, 2-3.5-6; Mt 2, 1-12

“La Iglesia es misionera por naturaleza,” escribió el Papa Beato Juan Pablo II hace 20 años. “La Iglesia es misionera por naturaleza.” Hemos visto a apóstoles, sacerdotes, religiosos, laicos sin número yendo—yendo a todas partes, a todas naciones—llevándoles el evangelio y el regalo preciosísimo de nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Y hoy celebramos el principio de ese proyecto de que Cristo sea “Luz a las naciones”—cuando las naciones vinieron a él, en las personas de los magos.

¿Quiénes fueron esos magos? ¿De dónde vinieron? ¿Por qué siguieron la estrella a Belén? (more…)

The Magi hungered for the Light—and found him

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Epiphany of the Lord: Jan. 8, 2012
Isa 60:1-6; Ps 72; Eph 3:2-3, 5-6; Matt 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”

Who were these magi? How to we imagine them? What motivated them, inside, to make their journey?

I often enjoy looking at what ancient and medieval commentators had to say about the Scripture. Because they have thoughts and questions that are different from commentators today, which are often refreshing. (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…)