After all the wrong places, the Samaritan woman finally found what she was looking for

This is a translation of the Spanish homily that I preached on the
3rd Sunday of Lent, Year A: March 27, 2011
Exod 17:3-7; Ps 95; Rom 5:1-2, 5-8; John 4:5-52

Because we are corporeal beings—because we are not just souls, but a combination of soul and body—we are characterized by thirst, and by hunger.  Thirst for water; hunger for food.  And also for other things:  for we also need clothing and shelter; security; and things that are less tangible:  hunger for meaning, and for accomplishment; thirst for love, and for yet more.

And when we go without any of these needs for a very long time, it can be said of us—as it was said of the People of Israel in the desert in our first reading—that we are dying of thirst. We need it, but we don’t have it:  we are dying of thirst.  And what are we going to do to satisfy that thirst? (more…)

Después de todos los lugares equivocados, la samaritana finalmente encontró lo que buscaba

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III Domingo de Cuaresma, Año A: 27 Marzo 2011
Ex 17, 3-7; Sal 94; Rom 5, 1-2.5-8; Juan 4, 5-42

Porque somos seres corporales—porque no somos sólo almas sino una combinación de alma y cuerpo—somos caracterizados por la sed; y el hambre. Sed del agua; hambre del alimento; y también de otras cosas: necesitamos también la ropa y el refugio; la seguridad. Y otras cosas más intangibles: hambre del sentido, y del logro; sed del amor, y aún más.

Y, cuando nos falta alguna de estas necesidades de duración muy larga, se puede decir de nosotros—como del Pueblo de Israel en el desierto en la primera lectura—que estamos torturados por la sed. Lo necesitamos; pero nos falta; estamos torturados por la sed. Y ¿qué haremos para satisfacer esta sed? (more…)

Zacchaeus and freedom from pornography

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31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: October 31, 2010
Wis 11:22–12:2; Ps 145; 2 Thess 1:11–2:2; Luke 19:1-10

I don’t think anyone would have dressed up as Zacchaeus for Halloween as their hero—if they had had Halloween in Jericho in the 1st century! Because Zacchaeus the tax collector was nobody’s hero.

Like the other tax collectors in the Holy Land in that century, he was seen as a traitor to his people because he was collecting taxes for the occupying Roman government; and he was seen as a sinner because of all the contact that he was regularly having with Gentiles. And, like many of the tax collectors of his time, he could use his position to extort payments from people to make himself rich; (more…)