Christ’s New Covenant: so much deeper, stronger, further!

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6th Sunday of Easter, Year C: May 1, 2016
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La Luz del Mundo viene al Templo

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Presentación del Señor: 2 Febrero 2014
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The Light of the World comes to the Temple

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The Presentation of the Lord: Feb. 2, 2014
Mal 3:1-4; Ps 24; Heb 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-40

The feast of the Presentation that we celebrate today has traditionally been the conclusion of the Church’s Christmas season. Indeed, it was only about 5 years ago that the Vatican began taking down its Christmas decorations before today! And so today we return to the theme of Christ as the Light of the World.

  • 40 days ago, at the Midnight Mass on Christmas, we heard from the Prophet Isaiah: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (more…)

Holy Thursday: the Lamb of God rescues us and makes us his own

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Holy Thursday: March 28, 2013
Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Exod 12:1-8, 11-14; Ps 116; 1 Cor 11:23-26; John 13:1-15

Tonight we celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. This occurred in the midst of the yearly Jewish celebration of Passover in Jerusalem. This past Sunday we heard from the Gospel of Luke: “When the hour came, he took his place at table with the apostles. He said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer…'” (Luke 22:14-15) And so let us remember what this Passover celebration was; for our Lord Jesus then took it and raised it to a whole new level in himself. (more…)

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…)

Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice

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7th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

We have seen, in this series of homilies, that our Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal high priest, who offered himself as the one perfect sacrifice to the Father. And he instituted the Eucharist to make himself truly present to us in his sacrifice: the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross contained and offered in an unbloody manner in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass (Council of Trent, cited in CCC 1367). In this way, we are able to offer to the Father a gift, a sacrifice, that far surpasses any other sacrifice we could ever offer—a gift infinitely pleasing to him.

But that’s not all. It is not only Christ that we offer in the Mass; it is also ourselves, his faithful. (more…)

Christ, our great high priest

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5th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

In the Mass, our Lord Jesus Christ is made truly present to us, in the fullness of his being—in both his divine nature and his human nature—body and blood, soul and divinity. He is made to be here with us—though under sacramental appearance—disguised, as it were, under the appearance of bread and wine. And that presence alone would be enough to make our encounter with him in the Mass the shining center of our day, our week, our entire life.

But that’s just the beginning. For our Lord makes himself present for a purpose—the purpose of drawing us into his one perfect sacrifice: as the great, eternal high priest, offering himself to the Father. (more…)

Christ’s Presence in the Mass

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3rd in a series of short homilies on the Mass

In my last homily about the Mass itself, we considered how Christ wants to meet us in the Mass—for us to unite ourselves to him, giving and receiving, and joining with him in his great work.

Now, sometimes it is asked: “Sure, Christ is present in the Mass. He’s present everywhere, isn’t he?” And the answer: no, he isn’t. Or rather: yes, he is, but not in the way in which he is present in the Mass, in the fullness of his being. (more…)

God wants to do amazing things in your life—so let him!

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17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A: July 24, 2011
1 Kg 3:5, 7-12; Ps 119; Rom 8:28-30; Matt 13:44-52

When I was much younger, and I heard these parables from Jesus about the Pearl of Great Price and the Treasure in the Field, I would wonder: How could that possibly work? After all, in the parable, Jesus says that the person who finds the pearl and the treasure “sells all that he has and buys it.” And I would think: He sold everything? His house; his donkey and cart; his tools; his clothes; his food? So now he has nothing at all except this pearl or whatever treasure was buried in the field! Now what? What does he eat? Where does he live? What good would a pearl do for you, if that’s all you had?

But the kingdom of heaven, the Kingdom of God, is different. (more…)

The love of Holy Thursday and the gifts of the Eucharist and the priesthood

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Holy Thursday: April 21, 2011
Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Exod 12:1-8, 11-14; Ps 116; 1 Cor 11:23-26; John 13:1-15

He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.

Brothers and sisters, this evening we celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. And so we begin the Easter Triduum—the three days of the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord. This is the culmination of the liturgical year: the very highest point of our entering, week by week, into every facet of our Lord’s life and of the mystery of our redemption.

We know what is coming—just as surely as our Lord Jesus knew what was coming, that Thursday evening, nearly 2000 years ago. We know the tremendous suffering and darkness and death that are coming, within hours!—as he did. But first comes something else. First comes love. (more…)