Living in strange times

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Nov. 15, 2015
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Lavado en el diluvio de la alianza eterna

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I Domingo de Cuaresma, Año B: 22 Febrero 2015 (more…)

Washed in the flood of the eternal covenant

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1st Sunday of Lent, Year B: Feb. 22, 2015
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The manger, the cross, and the martyr

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Feast of St. Stephen, the First Martyr: Dec. 26, 2014
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¿Qué tipo de Rey es nuestro Señor Jesús?

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Nuestro Señor Jesucristo, Rey del Universo, Año C:
24 Noviembre 2013

2 Sm 5, 1-3; Sal 121; Col 1, 12-20; Lc 23, 35-43 (more…)

This is the King we’ve been looking for!

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Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Year C:
Nov. 24, 2013

2 Sam 5:1-3; Ps 122; Col 1:12-20; Luke 23:35-43

In about the year 380 B.C., the Greek philosopher Plato wrote the work we know as “The Republic.” And in its opening, he explores a timeless question: we all want good human leaders who can teach us, govern us, guide us, in ways that will help us to grow and prosper, individually and collectively. But where will we find such leaders?

  • For, as we well know, Plato recognizes that so many rulers throughout history have seen their position as an opportunity to exploit the nation and its people for their own gain. That certainly isn’t the kind of ruler that we want!
  • But then, it can be hard to find someone with the right kind of knowledge and ability, who would be able to lead well. (more…)

What does it mean to be the Son of God?

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1st Sunday of Lent, Year C: Feb. 17, 2013
Deut 26:4-10; Ps 91:1-2, 10-15; Rom 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13

Several years ago, while I was in seminary, I had a chance to watch Joel Osteen on television for the first time. I had heard of him, this Evangelical Protestant preacher with a growing following; but I hadn’t seen him. What would he be like? What would he say? Standing near a great, turning frame of a globe, he told his listeners that they were children of God; children of the King; royalty! And I thought: Great; good message! Because this is indeed what Christ has made us in baptism, adopting us into his Sonship, making us adopted sons and daughters of God. It’s an important message, and one that we need to be reminded of again and again.

And then he proceeded on to apply that message. Being a son or daughter of the King means—that you are a winner! What?, I thought. (more…)

¿Qué significa ser el Hijo de Dios?

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I Domingo de Cuaresma, Año C: 17 Febrero 2013
Dt 26, 4-10; Sal 90; Rom 10, 8-13; Lc 4, 1-13

Hace varios años, mientras que yo estaba en el seminario, tuve la oportunidad de ver a Joel Osteen en la televisión por primera vez. Yo había oído de él, de este predicador protestante evangélico mirado por un número creciente de personas, pero yo no lo había visto. ¿Cómo sería? ¿Qué diría? Vi al hombre, de pie cerca de la forma de un gran globo: le dijo a sus oyentes que eran hijos de Dios; hijos del Rey; ¡personas reales! Y yo pensé: ¡Muy bien; buen mensaje! Porque esto es de verdad lo que Cristo nos ha hecho en el bautismo, adoptándonos en su filiación, haciéndonos hijos e hijas adoptivos de Dios. Es un mensaje importante, y es uno que necesitamos recordar una y otra vez.

Y luego continuó a aplicar ese mensaje. Ser un hijo o una hija del Rey significa—¡que usted es un ganador! ¿Qué?, pensé. (more…)

What kind of king is Jesus?

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Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Year B: Nov. 25, 2012
Dan 7:13-14; Ps 93; Rev 1:5-8; John 18:33-37

In our Gospel reading today, it is the morning of Good Friday. Jesus had been captured and questioned during the night by the Jewish authorities—but, because they are not authorized to carry out the death penalty, they have brought him to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, seeking his execution. And so we hear Pilate’s initial questioning of Jesus.

He begins by asking, “Are you the king of the Jews?” And do you notice that Jesus does not answer this question directly? Instead, he asks Pilate a question: “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?” Who is questioning, and who is being questioned, has been reversed. Now it is Jesus examining Pilate: his heart, his thoughts, his intentions, his identity. How ready is Pilate to accept Jesus as king? (more…)

This Lent, which tree in the garden are you eating from?

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1st Sunday of Lent, Year A: March 13, 2011
Gen 2:7-9, 3:1-7; Ps 51; Rom 5:12-19; Matt 4:1-11

Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert and he fasted for forty days and forty nights. This past Wednesday we were led by the Spirit to begin our own period of 40 days: called Quadragesima in Latin, meaning 40 or 40th; or Lent in English.

And we began it with the imposition of ashes. We all got to remember again just how light ashes are; how easy to blow them into the air or spill them. How dirty they are and easy to smudge. And we also got to hear again those words: “Remember, man, you are dust and to dust you will return.”

In our first reading, we heard, “The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground.” Many translations render this as “dust”: The Lord formed man out of the dust of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. What a thrilling sentence that is! (more…)