Let Jesus make your marriage beautiful

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27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Oct. 4, 2015
Readings (more…)

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Matrimonio y familia hoy: la crisis, la vocación

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La Sagrada Familia, Año A: 29 Diciembre 2013
Sir 3, 2-6.12-14; Sal 127; Col 3, 12-17; Mt 2, 13-15.19-23 (more…)

Marriage and family today: the crisis, the calling

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Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Year A:
Dec. 29, 2013
Sir 3:2-6, 12-14; Ps 128; Col 3:12-17; Matt 2:13-15, 19-23

Three years ago, I had the privilege to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with a group of other priests. Of course, one of the places we went was Nazareth. There, we visited the large church called the Basilica of the Annunciation—marking the spot where the angel Gabriel visited Mary and invited her to become the Mother of God; where she said yes; and thus the very spot, marked, where the Word was made flesh.

But there on the same property is a smaller church, the Church of St. Joseph. It was there that we celebrated Mass. This church contains artwork not only of St. Joseph himself, but of the Holy Family: (more…)

Keeping Jesus’ word, from Old Law to New Law

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6th Sunday of Easter, Year C: May 5, 2013
Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Ps 67; Rev 21:10-14, 22-23; John 14:23-29

We hear our Lord Jesus say in today’s Gospel reading: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” What beautiful words! We want that kind of peace so much. In fact, the whole world wants that kind of peace. And our Lord Jesus offers it.

But we also hear him say: “Whoever loves me will keep my word.” Now that’s different, isn’t it? It’s one thing to offer peace; it’s another thing to require obedience. (more…)

Like Jesus, we must defend true marriage

This is a translation of the Spanish homily that I preached on this Sunday.
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Oct. 7, 2012
Gen 2:18-24; Ps 128; Heb 2:9-11; Mark 10:2-16

In Jesus’ time, marriage was a mess. The legal rights of husbands and of wives were thoroughly unequal. As we heard in the Gospel reading, a man was able to divorce his wife simply by writing her a bill of divorce and dismissing her. It was that easy for a man to end the marriage he had vowed. And scholars of the time debated about what qualified as a just reason for a man to divorce his wife. The stricter school said, only something like adultery; the looser school allowed almost any reason, including—and I’m not making this up—”even if she spoiled a dish for him” (School of Hillel, in the Mishnah). For such trivial reasons a man could send his wife away. (more…)

Como Jesús, debemos defender el matrimonio verdadero

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XXVII Domingo Ordinario, Año B: 7 Octubre 2012
Gn 2, 18-24; Sal 127; Heb 2, 9-11; Mc 10, 2-16

En la época de Jesús, el matrimonio estaba revuelto. Los derechos legales de esposos y esposas eran completamente desiguales. Como oímos en la lectura del Evangelio, un hombre pudo divorciarse de su mujer simplemente por darle carta de divorcio y repudiarla. Para un hombre, era tan fácil terminar el matrimonio que había prometido. Y los eruditos discutían sobre qué razones eran justos, por las cuales un hombre pudiera divorciarse de su esposa. El grupo más estricto dijo, sólo algo como el adulterio; el grupo más suelto lo permitió por casi cualquier razón, inclusive—y lo digo en serio—“aún si ella estropeó un plato.” (Escuela de Hilel, en la Mishná) Por razones tan triviales, un hombre pudo repudiar a su esposa. (more…)

The choice of faith

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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Aug. 26, 2012
Josh 24:1-2, 15-17, 18; Ps 34; Eph 5:2, 25-32; John 6:51-58

This is our fifth and final week in Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, and we have come to the time of decision. Our Lord Jesus has done much and said much; and now it is time for his disciples to respond, to choose. Just as we heard in the first reading that Joshua had said to the People of Israel some 1400 years earlier, “Choose you this day whom you will serve”—so our Lord’s disciples had a choice to make.

The chapter began the day before, when our Lord Jesus miraculously fed the crowd of 5000 with just five loaves and two fish. And then, the next day, the crowd came looking for him. (more…)

What God has joined together, man must not separate

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: October 4, 2009
Gen 2:18-24; Ps 128:1-6; Heb 2:9-11; Mark 10:2-16

In my last semester in the seminary, we were told that there was something that we should expect on the first day that we arrived at our new parish assignment. They said, after we were ordained, and arrived at the new parish, and our pastor showed us to our desk, we should expect to find three or more file folders already sitting on it: three or more couples that we were to begin preparing for marriage. And so, they told us, we needed to have our marriage preparation plan in hand, ready to go, when we walked in that first day.

And they explained to us that those 6 months of marriage preparation is getting more and more important. When a couple walks in today, they have had 25 or 30 years to absorb our culture’s ideas about marriage, which are getting more and more off-track. (more…)

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