Come, Holy Spirit!

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Pentecost Sunday, Year C: May 15 2016
Mass during the Day: Readings (more…)

Ascension of the Lord: Scouring the Shire after the enthronement of the King

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Ascension of the Lord, Year A: June 1, 2014
Acts 1:1-11; Ps 47; Eph 1:17-23; Matt 28:16-20 (more…)

The gentle yet blazing gift of the Holy Spirit

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Pentecost Sunday, Year C: May 19, 2013
Mass during the Day: Acts 2:1-11; Ps 104; 1 Cor 12:3-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23

On that first Pentecost Sunday, the disciples experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (CCC 731). We heard about this event in the first reading—and about the amazing events that followed, as they boldly spoke to others about Jesus in languages that they had not previously known. It was an amazing day—a day sometimes called “the birthday of the Church.”

But what is the Holy Spirit? Or, rather, we should ask: who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is one of the three Divine Persons in the Blessed Trinity. That is, to us has been revealed the mystery that the one God is a trinity of persons: (more…)

El don suave pero ardiente del Espíritu Santo

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Domingo de Pentecostés, Año C: 19 Mayo 2013
Misa del Día: Hch 2, 1-11; Sal 103; 1 Cor 12, 3-7.12-13; Jn 20, 19-23

En el primer domingo de Pentecostés, los discípulos experimentaron la efusión del Espíritu Santo (CIC 731). Oímos de este evento en la primera lectura—y de las maravillas que siguieron, de que hablaron con valentía a otros acerca de Jesús en idiomas que no habían conocido. Fue un día increíble—un día a veces llamado “el nacimiento de la Iglesia.”

Pero, ¿qué es el Espíritu Santo? O, más bien, deberíamos preguntar: ¿quién es el Espíritu Santo?

El Espíritu Santo es una de las tres Personas Divinas en la Santísima Trinidad. Es decir, a nosotros ha sido revelado el misterio de que el único Dios es una trinidad de personas: (more…)

Groaning, hoping, and the down payment of the Spirit

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Pentecost Sunday: May 18, 2013
At the Vigil Mass: Gen 11:1-9; Ps 104; Rom 8:22-27; John 7:37-39

The world is groaning. We heard St. Paul write in our first reading: all creation is groaning—is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves… we also groan. Why this groaning? You know. In the verses immediately before this passage, he speaks of the sufferings of this present time; of futility; of slavery to corruption. And we all know what that means. It means political corruption and terrorism; it means sickness and death; it means drudgery and depression; it means conflict and heartache. And so we groan.

And like children on a trip, we say: “Are we there yet?” Because we have hope. (more…)

Pentecostés, la Virgen, y decir Sí al Espíritu Santo

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Domingo de Pentecostés, Año B: 27 Mayo 2012
Hch 2, 1-11; Sal 103; Gal 5, 16-25; Jn 15, 26-27; 16, 12-15

Oímos en el libro de Génesis, capítulo 11, de la torre de Babel—de cómo, muy temprano en la historia humana, en un valle en Mesopotamia, se intentó edificar una gran torre—una torre cuya cúspide llegara al cielo para que sus edificadores pusieran hacerse un nombre. (Gn 11:4) Fue un proyecto de orgullo y ambición humana, con la intención de edificarse sin Dios—y produjo tensión, confusión, y división; y los que intentaron colaborar fueron separados, hablando distintas idiomas, morando muy alejados.

Hoy, en la fiesta de Pentecostés, celebramos la revocación de Babel. (more…)

Pentecost, the Virgin Mary, and saying Yes to the Holy Spirit

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Pentecost Sunday, Year B: May 27, 2012
Mass during the Day: Acts 2:1-11; Ps 104; Gal 5:16-25; John 15:26-27, 16:12-15

We read in the 11th chapter of the Book of Genesis about the Tower of Babel—about how, in the mists of early human history, there was an attempt, in a valley in Mesopotamia, to build a large tower—a tower with its top in the sky, so that its builders could make a name for themselves. (Gen 11:4) It was a project of human pride and ambition, trying to build themselves up apart from God—and it resulted in tension, confusion, and division—those who had tried to work together then separated, speaking different languages, living in different places.

On this day, the Feast of Pentecost, we celebrate the reversal of Babel. (more…)

Pentecost: Do we live out the supernatural unity of the Holy Spirit?

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Pentecost Sunday, Year A: June 11-12, 2011
At the Vigil Mass: Gen 11:1-9; Exod 19:3-8, 16-20; Ezek 37:1-14; Joel 3:1-5; Ps 104; Rom 8:22-27; John 7:37-39
Mass during the Day: Acts 2:1-11; Ps 104; 1 Cor 12:3-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23

It was the time of Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks; called in Greek “Pentecost,” which means “50th”—and many of the People of Israel were gathered in Jerusalem. 50 days earlier, they had celebrated the Passover, celebrating when the Lord had delivered them from slavery in Egypt. Now they celebrated when he then gave them the Law at Mount Sinai, for the Law was utterly central to their identity and life. The deliverance and the gift: two events that made them a people and defined their relationship with the Lord.

But that year, it was different. (more…)

Following Christ through every change in life

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6th Sunday of Easter, Year A: May 29, 2011
Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; Ps 66; 1 Pet 3:15-18; John 14:15-21

This time of year is always a time of change and transition.

  • The school year ends, and many move to summer vacations or summer jobs.
  • Some graduate—from 8th grade, or high school, or college, or kindergarten—and move on to a new stage of schooling or life.
  • Some marry, and begin their marriage as husband and wife, with children soon to follow.
  • Religious sisters receive their veils and make their vows.
  • Priests are ordained; and some are transferred from one parish to another. (more…)

Pentecost: the gift of the Holy Spirit

This is a translation of the Spanish homily that I preached on Pentecost Sunday.
Pentecost Sunday, Year C: May 23, 2010
Acts 2:1-11; Ps 103; 1 Cor 12:3-7, 12-13; John 14:15-16, 23-26

For many centuries, every year the People of Israel celebrated two gifts that they had received from the Lord. First, in the feast of Passover, they celebrated their liberation from their slavery in the land of Egypt. And then, after 50 days, they celebrated the gift of the Law on Mount Sinai. That second feast was called “Shavuot” in Hebrew, or “Pentecost” in Greek, which meant 50. And that second gift of Pentecost was necessary in order to complete the gift of Passover: because this people who had been newly freed needed a guide for living their life of freedom; they needed a shape for it. And this is what God gave them in the Law. And they all remembered that a very loud trumpet blast and a fire accompanied this gift of the Law [Exod 19:16-18].

Today we heard in the first reading that a noise and fire also signaled the giving of another gift on a new Pentecost. (more…)

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