Sigue a Cristo en el agua del bautismo

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El Bautismo del Señor, Año C: 13 Enero 2013
Is 42, 1-4.6-7; Sal 28; Tit 2, 11-14; 3, 4-7; Lc 3, 15-16.21-22

Cuando viajamos como pelegrinos cristianos a la Tierra Santa, uno de los sitios que buscamos es el del bautismo de nuestro Señor Jesús. Sabemos que San Juan Bautista bautizaba en el río Jordán, y hay unos puntos a lo largo del Jordán que se sugieren como sitios posibles. Y cuando llegamos, normalmente queremos tocar el agua, o aún entrar en el agua. Hay algunos que son bautizados allí en el Jordán—o probablemente rebautizados, si son cristianos que no entienden como nosotros que el bautismo es un evento transformativo de una sola vez y no repetible. Pero es natural querer seguir a Cristo en el agua. (more…)

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Follow Christ into the waters of baptism

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The Baptism of the Lord, Year C: Jan. 13, 2013
Isa 42:1-4, 6-7; Ps 29; Titus 2:11-14, 3:4-7; Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

When Christian pilgrims visit the Holy Land, one of the many sites that we seek out is the location where our Lord Jesus was baptized. We know that John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan River, and there are a few different spots along the Jordan that are suggested as possible locations. One of these is a location in the present-day country of Jordan, called “Al Maghtas,” just a little to the east of the current course of the Jordan River, where excavations in the mid-1990s uncovered the remains of a number of church buildings built starting around 500 AD to mark this very spot. (more…)

Put on the new self

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The Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord:
Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God:
January 1, 2013

At the Holy Hour
Eph 4:22-24, 4:30–5:2

We stand upon the brink of a new year. 2012, with all that it meant, is receding into the past: all its joys, all its sorrows, all of our choices and actions that we are proud of, all of those that we wish we could do over; all now behind us. And ahead of us, at our very feet, opens the vista of 2013: untrodden, unknown, open, full of possibilities.

On Christmas Day in 1939, King George VI of England quoted from a poem in his radio message. He read:
(more…)

The wellspring of thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving Day: Nov. 22, 2012
Sir 50:22-24; Ps 145; 1 Cor 1:3-9; Luke 17:11-19

A week or two ago, I received the latest newsletter from the Saint Luke Institute, which helps priests and religious sisters who have run into psychological difficulties. And the article on the front page was written by none other than Fr. Hugh Lagan SMA (who was recently resident in this parish for a couple years and is a member of their clinical staff). In this article, he spoke about “positive psychology,” which, rather than focusing upon psychological illness, instead studies what it takes for human beings to grow and function well and thrive. Toward the end of the article, he passed on two specific tips:

  • Count your blessings: Every evening for one week, write down three things that went well during the day. This can help refocus your thoughts on the positive, rather than the negative, and enhance your well-being. (more…)

Corpus Christi: The blood of the new covenant

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Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Year B:
June 10, 2012

Exod 24:3-8; Ps 116; Heb 9:11-15; Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

Introduction
Today we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi: the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Traditionally, it comes this past Thursday—exactly 9 weeks after Holy Thursday, when Christ first instituted the Eucharist. From then on, in that sacrament—in the Mass—our Lord changes bread and wine into his own Body and Blood, to make present his one perfect sacrifice; to nourish the faithful with himself; and to make himself present to us always, as we journey through life.

One traditional practice of Corpus Christi is the Eucharistic procession. As Pope John Paul II urged eight years ago, “our faith” in our Lord who gives himself to us in this way “needs to be everywhere proclaimed, especially in our streets and homes, as an expression of our grateful love and as an inexhaustible source of blessings.” (more…)

La Trinidad y tu adopción en Cristo

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Domingo de la Santísima Trinidad, Año B: 3 Junio 2012
Dt 4, 32-34.39-40; Sal 32; Rom 8, 14-17; Mt 28, 16-20

En la primera lectura, Moisés recuerda al Pueblo de Israel de las maravillas que han experimentado. Dios se les ha revelado verdades de sí mismo, desde el fuego. Y ha hecho prodigios en rescatarlos de Egipto. Y, ¿por qué? Porque Dios los ha escogido como su propio pueblo—porque los quiere. Ha dado grandes revelaciones y ha hecho grandes maravillas para formar una relación con ellos sin par.

De una forma similar, pero mucho mayor, es lo que Dios ha hecho en Cristo por nosotros, su Cuerpo, la Iglesia. Durante los seis meses pasados, hemos celebrado los prodigios que hizo para salvarnos: la encarnación y nacimiento de Cristo; el Misterio Pascual de su pasión, muerte, resurrección, y ascensión al cielo; y la misión del Espíritu Santo sobre la Iglesia. Estos son aún mayores que el éxodo de Egipto; y la revelación de sí mismo también es mayor, para establecer una relación mayor. (more…)

“Consubstantial,” “Only Begotten,” the Trinity, and the Mass

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Trinity Sunday, Year B: June 3, 2012
Deut 4:32-34, 39-40; Ps 33; Rom 8:14-17; Matt 28:16-20

Introduction
Over the past six months, we have celebrated the mysteries of our salvation: the Incarnation and birth of our Lord Jesus Christ; the Paschal Mystery of his passion, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven; and, last week, the sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Church at Pentecost. And so, as the Church has done for some 700 years, we now turn to what the Catechism calls “the central mystery of Christian faith and life… the mystery of God in himself… the source of all the other mysteries of faith”—that is, the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.

We begin each Mass by entering into that mystery, by entering into “the name”—the being, the power, the reality—”of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” And we will see that truly entering into the Mass has everything to do with the life of the Trinity. (more…)

Ascension of the Lord: Christ kicks it up a notch

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Ascension of the Lord, Year B: May 20, 2012
Acts 1:1-11; Ps 47; Eph 4:1-13; Mark 16:15-20

On that first Good Friday, our Lord Jesus suffered, died upon the cross, and was buried. On the third day, that first Easter Sunday, he rose from the dead, his body transformed, the firstfruits of the Resurrection. For the next 40 days, he appeared often to his disciples, teaching them about the Kingdom of God. And then, as we heard in our first reading and our Gospel reading, he ascended into heaven.

Today we celebrate our Lord’s Ascension; and so, we might say, we celebrate his retirement. His work has been accomplished; his earthly life is done; and so it’s time to go back home and sit down and relax. It’s time to retire.

No! Christ’s Ascension was not retirement! (more…)

In the heart of the Trinity

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9th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

In my last homily in this series, we saw that, in the Mass, we join with all the saints and angels in heaven, and lead all humanity and all creation back to the Father. All of heaven and earth united: what a place to be! And yet, the Mass takes us somewhere even deeper than that.

For our Lord Jesus Christ saves us by bringing us into himself: uniting us with him, joining us to him, making us like him. This is why St. Paul so often speaks of being “in Christ”; this is why he wrote, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20) And so, in the Mass, he brings us to the deepest place possible: to the heart of the Trinity. (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…)