A Gift that demands a verdict

This is a translation of the Spanish homily I preached.
The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas): Dec. 25, 2013
Mass during the Day
Isa 52:7-10; Ps 98; Heb 1:1-6; John 1:1-18

Merry Christmas, everyone! We are in the midst of a night and a day of celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ! I imagine that most of you have already done much in celebrating, and that you have still more plans to carry out. Here in the parish, we have had 9 days of Posadas, two pageants, and now 10 Masses for Christmas Night and Christmas Day; and how glad I am that you all are here to celebrate together, as we finish them up!

We have been on a journey during all these Masses, as we have gone through three other sets of prayers and readings before this. And what have we seen and done on this journey? (more…)

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Changed by the Babe in the manger

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The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas): Dec. 25, 2013
Mass at Dawn
Isa 62:11-12; Ps 97; Tit 3:4-7; Luke 2:15-20

Last night, at Midnight Mass, we heard some of the central events of that first Christmas Night.

  • How the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem because of a government census; and there was no room for them in the inn; and so Mary gave birth to Jesus and laid him in a manger.
  • And how, not far from there, some shepherds were keeping the night watch over their flock. And then they were surprised by the appearance of an angel, who declared to them the news: (more…)

Unexpected Light in darkness

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The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas): Dec. 25, 2013
Mass during the Night

Isa 9:1-6; Ps 96; Tit 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14

When I first arrived at St. Martin’s, back in January, sometimes I would be standing outside in the parking lot, or somewhere else on the property, after dark, talking with someone. And I would notice that, from time to time, a flash of light would light up everything for just a moment, and then it would go dark again. The effect was just like a flash of lightning—except that there was no storm. What was it? Eventually I realized: it was the speed camera!

How fascinating and entertaining that speed camera is, as it takes photos of any cars that pass us going south too fast above the 30 mph speed limit!

But isn’t that just what light can do in darkness? (more…)

When Jesus came into St. Joseph’s life

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4th Sunday of Advent, Year A: Dec. 22, 2013
Isa 7:10-14; Ps 24; Rom 1:1-7; Matt 1:18-24

St. Joseph was a righteous man. He knew the Law that the Lord God had given to his People, and he wanted to follow it: to do what was right and just, toward God and toward other people; to do what was good; to do what was holy. And he was betrothed—formally contracted to marry—a very good and holy young woman named Mary.

St. Joseph may have been a young man, somewhere around 20 years old, energetic and just getting started in life. Or he may have been an older man, a widower, with some number of sons and daughters who would be known as the brothers and sisters of Jesus. (more…)

Cuando vino Jesús a la vida de San José

Sólo audio: Escucha mp3 (Largo: 10:43)
IV Domingo de Adviento, Año A: 22 Diciembre 2013
Is 7, 10-14; Sal 23; Rom 1, 1-7; Mt 1, 18-24 (more…)

Epifanía: ¿Cuál de los reyes eres tú?

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La Epifanía del Señor: 6 Enero 2013
Is 60, 1-6; Sal 71; Ef 3, 2-3.5-6; Mt 2, 1-12

Hoy oímos la historia de tres reyes. Pero cuando digo “tres reyes,” no pienso en los magos, tradicionalmente numerados como tres, con los nombres de Gaspar, Melchor, y Baltasar. En cambio pienso en otro grupo de tres reyes—¡y tú mismo eres uno de ellos! Pero, ¿cuál eres?

El rey primero es el Señor Dios, que en el principio creó el cielo y la tierra; y todo era muy bueno. Pero entonces pecaron nuestros primeros padres, corrompiendo no sólo a todo ser humano sino también todo el universo. Pero Dios no nos dejaría en nuestra miseria caída; empezó a cumplir un gran proyecto para salvarnos. (more…)

Epiphany: Which king are you?

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Epiphany of the Lord: Jan. 6, 2013
Isa 60:1-6; Ps 72; Eph 3:2-3, 5-6; Matt 2:1-12

Today we hear the tale of three kings. But when I say “three kings,” I’m not thinking of the magi, traditionally numbered as three and named Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. It’s a different grouping I’m thinking of; and you are one of them! But which one?

The first king is the Lord God, who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth; and it was very good. But then our first parents sinned, corrupting not only all of the human race but indeed the entire universe. But God would not leave us to our fallen misery; he set into motion a great plan to save us. (more…)

La Sagrada Familia y la tensión natural/sobrenatural

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La Sagrada Familia, Año C: 30 Diciembre 2012
Sir 3, 2-6.12-14; Sal 127; 1 Jn 3, 1-2.21-24; Lc 2, 41-52

Hace seis días, celebramos la Natividad de nuestro Señor. Y así recordamos, con amor y gratitud y maravilla, que hace 2000 años, Dios Hijo se encarnó en el vientre de la Virgen y nació en Belén. Dios de Dios, luz de luz, Dios verdadero de Dios verdadero, nacido del Padre antes de todos los siglos: asumió nuestra naturaleza humana y nació, uno con nosotros.

Y no entró como un hombre adulto, para empezar inmediatamente su años de ministerio público; empezó como un bebé—aún como un embrión, y entonces un feto, un bebé recién nacido, un niño, y un joven—continuamente creciendo en saber, en estatura y en el favor de Dios y de los hombres. (more…)

The Holy Family and natural/supernatural tension

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The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Year C: Dec. 30, 2012
Sir 3:2-6, 12-14; Ps 128:1-5; 1 John 3:1-2, 21-24; Luke 2:41-52

Five days ago, we celebrated Christmas Day. And we remembered, with love and gratitude and wonder, that 2000 years ago, in the Holy Land, God the Son became incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary and then was born in Bethlehem. God from God, light from light, true God from true God, born of the Father before all ages: he took on our human nature, and was born, one with us, in Bethlehem.

And how interesting that, in choosing to lower himself, to empty himself, to become man, our Lord Jesus did not begin as a full-grown adult man, did not immediately begin his years of public ministry; but rather he began as a baby— (more…)

The Twelve Spiritual Days of Christmas

Twelve Spiritual Days of ChristmasAfter the material Christmas preparations quiet down… let your spiritual Christmas joy begin! Father Dan offers you an audio “online retreat.” From Wednesday December 26 through Sunday January 6, take 15-20 minutes to listen and receive every gift your True Love gives to you—every day of the original 12 Days of Christmas.

Audio Only:
Day 1: Entering the Twelve Days (12:57)
Day 2: God the Father (17:22)
Day 3: The Archangel Gabriel (16:55)
Day 4: Zechariah (19:16)
Day 5: Elizabeth (17:03)
Day 6: Mary (16:56)
Day 7: Joseph (17:40)
Day 8: The Shepherds (20:10)
Day 9: Simeon & Anna (19:04)
Day 10: King Herod (20:51)
Day 11: The Magi (18:43)
Day 12: Going home changed (18:40)