A different response: Mercy, not vengeance

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15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: July 10, 2016
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¡Despierte y prepárese para el Adviento del Señor!

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I Domingo de Adviento, Año A: 1 Diciembre 2013
Is 2, 1-5; Sal 121; Rom 13, 11-14; Mt 24, 37-44 (more…)

Wake up and get ready for the Advent of the Lord!

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1st Sunday of Advent, Year A: Dec. 1, 2013
Isa 2:1-5; Ps 122; Rom 13:11-14; Matt 24:37-44

A few weeks ago, I was visiting one of our classes in the school; and in their religion textbook they were beginning a chapter entitled “Christ Will Come Again.” It was a chapter that presented to them this truth that we believe and that we profess each week: that Jesus will come again in glory; that we look forward to his Second Coming.

And this is the primary focus of Advent. The word “Advent” itself comes from the Latin for coming or arrival: it is Jesus’ coming, his Second Coming, that we called to look forward to, and to prepare for. (more…)

Su fuego trae el cambio

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XX Domingo Ordinario, Año C: 18 Agosto 2013
Jr 38, 4-6.8-10; Sal 39; Hb 12, 1-4; Lc 12, 49-53

A menudo oí decir en inglés que “a la gente no les gusta el cambio.” Parece que esto aumenta a medida que envejecemos; y que sin duda aumenta cuando arreglamos las cosas de nuestras vidas como las queremos. En extender esto, parece que los americanos tienen un talento para cambiar todas las religiones que encuentran—ya sea el catolicismo o el budismo u otra—en el mensaje de que somos perfectos tal y como somos, y no hay que cambiar nada; ¡son los demás que tienen que cambiar! Sólo déjenos en paz.

Pero este no es el mensaje y la misión de nuestro Señor Jesús. (more…)

His fire brings change

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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Aug. 18, 2013
Jer 38:4-6, 8-10; Ps 40; Heb 12:1-4; Luke 12:49-53

I often heard it said that “people don’t like change.” It seems that this increases as we get older; and it certainly increases when things are going the way that we want them to, and we have our lives arranged just so. Indeed, it seems that Americans have a talent for changing every religion they meet—whether it be Catholicism or Buddhism or whatever—into the message that we are perfect just the way we are, and we don’t need to change at all; it’s everyone else who needs to change! Just leave us in peace.

But this is not the message and mission of our Lord Jesus. (more…)

¿Suficiente amor para cumplir su palabra?

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VI Domingo de Pascua, Año C: 5 Mayo 2013
Hch 15, 1-2.22-29; Sal 66; Ap 21, 10-14.22-23; Jn 14, 23-29

En el capítulo 4 del Evangelio según San Juan (4, 13-18), nuestro Señor Jesús está conversando con la mujer samaritana al lado del pozo. Habla de un agua que él puede dar: un agua viva tal que se convertirá dentro de uno en un manantial capaz de dar la vida eterna. La mujer dice: “Señor, dame de esa agua para que no vuelva a tener sed ni tenga que venir hasta aquí a sacarla.” Y entonces Jesús pide: “Ve a llamar a tu marido y vuelve”—aunque ya sabe, como dirá, que ella ha tenido cinco maridos y el de ahora no es su marido. (more…)

Keeping Jesus’ word, from Old Law to New Law

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6th Sunday of Easter, Year C: May 5, 2013
Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Ps 67; Rev 21:10-14, 22-23; John 14:23-29

We hear our Lord Jesus say in today’s Gospel reading: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” What beautiful words! We want that kind of peace so much. In fact, the whole world wants that kind of peace. And our Lord Jesus offers it.

But we also hear him say: “Whoever loves me will keep my word.” Now that’s different, isn’t it? It’s one thing to offer peace; it’s another thing to require obedience. (more…)

Conflictos entre grupos, y el Buen Pastor

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IV Domingo de Pascua, Año C: 21 Abril 2013
Hch 13, 14.43-52; Sal 99; Ap 7, 9.14-17; Jn 10, 27-30

¡Yo tengo un sueño! Bueno, en realidad, es mejor decir que tengo una visión. Y es la visión que San Juan tenía hace tantos siglos, que hemos oído en la segunda lectura:

Yo, Juan, vi una muchedumbre tan grande, que nadie podía contarla. Eran individuos de todas las naciones y razas, do todos los pueblos y lenguas. Todos estaban de pie, delante del trono y del Cordero; iban vestidos con una túnica blanca; llevaban palmas en las manos y exclamaban con voz poderosa: “¡La salvación viene de nuestro Dios, que está sentado en el trono, y del Cordero!”

Es una imagen gloriosa, ¿no? Es lo que anhelamos, ¿no?—esta paz, esta armonía y amor entre todas las personas—y que sentimos debe de ser posible, de alguna manera. Y quizá lo anhelamos aún más durante un tiempo como la semana pasada, cuando las noticias nos han recordado otra vez de las divisiones y luchas entre los pueblos. (more…)

The Boston bombing and the Good Shepherd

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4th Sunday of Easter, Year C: April 21, 2013
Acts 13:14, 43-52; Ps 100; Rev 7: 9, 14-17; John 10:27-30

I have a dream! Well, actually, it’s more of a vision. It’s the vision that St. John had so many centuries ago, which we heard in the second reading:

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.”

Isn’t this a glorious picture? Isn’t this what we long for—this peace, this harmony and love between all people—and that we sense must be possible somehow? And perhaps we long for it all the more during a time like this past week, when the news has so often reminded us again of the divisions and struggles between peoples. (more…)

In darkness, choosing the path to joy

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3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C: Dec. 16, 2012
Zeph 3:14-18; Isa 12; Phil 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18

We hear St. Paul say in our second reading, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” Rejoice: Gaudete! It is from this verse that this Gaudete Sunday takes its name. But how should we take these words of his? Is this just superficial, like glitter or tinsel or wearing rose-colored vestments? Is St. Paul just an overly cheerful person, a Pollyanna?

No, St. Paul is writing this letter from prison! He is probably imprisoned in Rome and is awaiting trial; he doesn’t know whether he might be executed. (more…)