Faith, doubts, and difficulties in the Year of Faith

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A talk given as part of the Lenten Mission Series for the Year of Faith, at St. Mary’s of Piscataway, in Clinton, Md., on Feb. 19, 2013.

Faith is our response to God’s revelation to us:  a personal receptiveness to his personal reaching out. Father Dan explores how we can address doubts that might undercut our faith in general, or difficulties that we might feel about particular teachings of the faith. “Be not unbelieving, but believe!” (more…)

Jesus isn’t asking for your vote: He is pouring out his life for you, in mercy and grace

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29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Oct. 21, 2012
Isa 53:10-11; Ps 33; Heb 4:14-16; Mark 10:35-45

  • Five weeks ago, we heard the first time in the Gospel of Mark when Jesus told his disciples about his coming Passion (8:31). Peter had just confessed that Jesus was the Messiah; and then, after Jesus tells them that he will suffer and die and rise again, Peter begins to rebuke him.
  • Four weeks ago, we heard the second time that he told them about his Passion (9:31). That time, they were too afraid to ask him any questions, but instead took to discussing among themselves who was the greatest.
  • And in our Gospel reading today, Jesus has just predicted his Passion a third time, in greater detail than before. And how do they respond? James and John come to him and ask him for a favor: that in his glory they might sit one at his right and the other at his left.

They don’t seem to be getting the message! (more…)

¡Qué grande es la Divina Misericordia!

Una traducción de la homilía que prediqué en inglés en el Domingo de la Divina Misericordia.
II Domingo de Pascua (o de Divina Misericordia), Año B: 15 Abril 2012
Hch 4, 32-35; Sal 117; 1 Jn 5, 1-6; Jn 20, 19-31

Hace nueve días, recordamos la dolorosa Pasión de nuestro Señor Jesucristo: cuando, voluntariamente, extendió sus brazos entre el cielo y la tierra, y derramó su Sangre Preciosa por nosotros. Y, por los que lo estaban matando, clavando sus manos y sus pies a la cruz, dijo: “Padre, perdónalos, porque no saben lo que hacen.” (Lc 23, 34)

Hace nueve días, recordamos la gran provisión de la Divina Misericordia, cuando, después de que nuestro Señor entregó el espíritu, uno de los soldados le traspasó el costado con una lanza, y al momento salió sangre y agua (Jn 19, 30.34)—esos dos corrientes de su gracia que se simbolizan por los dos rayos de luz que vio Santa Faustina brillando desde su Corazón: (more…)

How great is the Divine Mercy!

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2nd Sunday of Easter (or of Divine Mercy): April 15, 2012
Acts 4:32-35; Ps 118; 1 John 5:1-6; John 20:19-31

Nine days ago, we remembered the sorrowful Passion of our Lord Jesus: when he freely stretched out his arms between heaven and earth, and poured out his Precious Blood for us. And for those who were putting him to death, who were pounding the nails into his hands and feet, he said: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

Nine days ago, we remembered that great provision of Divine Mercy, when, after our Lord Jesus had handed over the spirit, a soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out (John 19:30, 34)—those two great streams of grace that were symbolized by the two rays of light that St. Faustina saw shining forth from his Heart: (more…)

Easter Vigil: The Light of Christ shines in the darkness

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Easter Vigil, Year B: April 7, 2012
Gen 1:1–2:2; Exod 14:15–15:1; Isa 55:1-11; Rom 6:3-11; Mark 16:1-7

Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is truly risen! Alleluia!

Those who are in RCIA this year have been counting down to this day for a long time. And as we listened to the first Old Testament reading, from the Book of Genesis, didn’t it feel like we were back in September again? For, just as then, we began with the Triune God speaking his word into the darkness“Let there be light”— and there was light. And so began God’s good creation—creating freely, out of love—to share his glorious goodness. (more…)

Domingo de Ramos: ¿Es el Amor amado?

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Domingo de Ramos, Año B: 1 Abril 2012

En la Procesión con Ramos
Jn 12,12-16

Así empezamos la Semana Santa como siempre: en procesión gozosa con ramos. Porque así empezó la primera Semana Santa hace tantos siglos: con mantos y ramas en el camino, y ramas arriba, ¡para dar la bienvenida al rey!

¡El rey, el Hijo del gran Rey David, el Mesías! ¡Había llegado en su capital Jerusalén—y ahora todo cambiaría! ¡Qué alegría! ¡Qué esperanza! “¡Hosanna!”

El muchedumbre dio la bienvenida a un rey, y toda la ciudad se conmovió y decían, “¿Quién es éste?” (Mt 21, 10) Y convino que preguntaban. Quizá unos notaron que este rey no montaba a un caballo de guerra, para conquistar por la violencia; sino a un burrito, porque quiso ganar nuestros corazones. (more…)

Meeting Christ in the Mass

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2nd in a series of short homilies on the Mass

“Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.” Today we continue this series of daily homilies on the Mass itself. And today I want to consider that we come to Mass to encounter Christ. And not just to meet him, shallowly; but to interact with him; to truly hear him; to receive him; to give ourselves to him; and indeed to unite ourselves with him as we join with him in cooperating in a great work of his.

In the Gospel of Luke (22:15) we read that, at the Last Supper, Jesus said to his disciples, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer”—and then he instituted the Eucharist. (more…)

Palm/Passion Sunday: The strength to not come down from the cross

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Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, Year A: April 16-17, 2011

At the Procession with Palms
Matt 21:1-11

What anticipation there must have been in the crowd on that Sunday, entering Jerusalem! What excitement! Like all the People of Israel, they longed to be liberated from the rule of the Roman Empire. They looked forward to the day when the Holy Land would again be completely devoted to the Lord. And they prayed, asking the Lord to send his Messiah—his Anointed One, the long-awaited descendant of the great King David—to save them.

And now, it seemed, perhaps it was all beginning to happen. At last! They cried: “Hosanna!” (more…)