Come, Holy Spirit!

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

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Jesus’ compassion and mercy

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16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: July 19, 2015
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Jesús fue bautizado para sobrealimentar el bautismo

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El Bautismo del Señor, Año A: 12 Enero 2014
Is 42, 1-4.6-7; Sal 28; Hch 10, 34-38; Mt 3, 13-17 (more…)

Jesus was baptized to supercharge baptism

This is a translation of the Spanish homily I preached.
The Baptism of the Lord, Year A: Jan. 12, 2014
Isa 42:1-4, 6-7; Ps 29; Acts 10:34-38; Matt 3:13-17

About a month ago, we were in the season of Advent. And as we focused upon preparing ourselves to receive the Lord Jesus at his Second Coming, we turned again to John the Baptist, who prepared people to receive him in his first coming. And we saw that John was preaching repentance, and practicing a baptism of repentance.

  • He preached repentance: a change of life, a turning of oneself, away from sin and what is bad, toward God and what is good. And it is a turning in heart and mind, and in outward action.
  • And he drew people into a baptism of repentance: into themselves entering into this symbolic action that was performed by non-Jews who were converting to become Jewish. (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…)

Jesus asks: “What do you want me to do for you?”

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30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Oct. 28, 2012
Jer 31:7-9; Ps 126; Heb 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52

Immediately Bartimaeus received his sight. And the first thing he saw was Jesus: the eyes of Jesus, shining with power and love and healing; the eyes of the one who had given him his sight. And he followed Jesus on the way.

Jesus is famous for asking questions. Some years ago, the Jesuit Father John Dear began to write down every question Jesus ever asked in the Gospels—and he got to 307 questions, not even counting the questions that are contained in Jesus’ parables (see his book The Questions of Jesus). And one of Jesus’ most provocative questions is the one that he asks Bartimaeus in today’s Gospel reading: “What do you want me to do for you?” (more…)

Spiritual zombies and the Divine Physician

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26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Sept. 30, 2012
Num 11:25-29; Ps 19; James 5:1-6; Mark 9:38-48

The writer Ross Douthat, in his recent book on religion in America (Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, pp. 152-53), has observed that

Christianity is a paradoxical religion because the Jew of Nazareth is a paradoxical character. No figure in history or fiction contains as many multitudes as the New Testament’s Jesus.

And then he proceeds to list many pairs of paradoxical traits and actions that we see in our Lord Jesus. For example, he writes:

He can be egalitarian and hierarchical, gentle and impatient, extraordinarily charitable and extraordinarily judgmental. He sets impossible standards and then forgives the worst of sinners. (more…)

Zombis espirituales y el médico divino

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XXVI Domingo Ordinario, Año B: 30 Septiembre 2012
Nm 11, 25-29; Sal 18; St 5, 1-6; Mc 9, 38-48

Nuestro Señor Jesucristo siempre nos sorprende. Dice algo, y entonces dice otro, que no habíamos esperado. Hace algo, y entonces hace otro con contraste. Un escritor norteamericano lo ha llamado un “carácter paradójico” y provee ejemplos de pares de calidades y acciones paradójicas que vemos en nuestro Señor. Escribe:

Puede ser igualitaria y jerárquica, suave e impaciente, extraordinariamente caritativo y extraordinariamente crítico. Establece normas imposibles y entonces perdona a los peores de pecadores. (Ross Douthat, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, pp. 152-53; traducción mía)

Y observa que el cristianismo ortodoxo siempre ha sido fiel en abrazar y proclamar la totalidad de Jesús; (more…)

The Real Presence of Christ in the Mass

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4th in a series of short homilies on the Mass

In the Mass, we encounter our Lord Jesus Christ, made truly present. In my last homily in this series, we took note of two of the ways in which he is present. First, in the assembly of the baptized—each of whom he has joined to himself and made a member of his Mystical Body. Second, in the person of the minister—the priest or bishop changed by ordination to be able to act in the person of Christ the head. The Eucharistic assembly, body and head, is complete.

And the Lord is present “in his word, since it is he himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 7) (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…)