This Christmas, pause to reflect

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The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas): Dec. 25, 2012
Mass during the Day
Isa 52:7-10; Ps 98:1-6; Heb 1:1-6; John 1:1-5, 9-14

There is a man who tells the story of when he was growing up, many years ago. His mother played the piano at their church, for over thirty years; and she tried to teach him to play the piano as well. He wasn’t very good at it, or very interested, but she tried. She taught him about scales, and major and minor keys. And one day she told him that the best news in the world could be found by playing a simple scale on the piano. What could she possibly mean? She told him to play an 8-note scale. He did. No, she said, you played it wrong; you need to play it from high to low. So he did. How was that good news? Well, she said, you played it right, but you left out the pauses: (more…)

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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” (recorded in 2010). From Monday December 26 through Friday 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)

La Luz que penetra nuestras tinieblas

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La Navidad del Señor, Misa vespertina de la Vigilia:
24 Diciembre 2011

Is 62, 1-5; Sal 88; Hch 13, 16-17.22-25; Mt 1, 1-25

¡Qué bonita es esta época del año! ¡Qué bonito es el adorno de la iglesia esta tarde!—las luces brillando en los arboles; las flores vertiendo desde el santuario. Y este Belén hermoso, inclusive este pastorcillo, nuevo en este año.

Y así paramos un momento en el resplandor, para disfrutarlo, con todos los regalos y las tarjetas y las canciones y las horas juntos con la familia y los amigos. Una canción en inglés declara que ésta es “la época más maravillosa del año.”

Y entonces recogemos y guardamos todo, fuera de la vista, unos 10 o 11 meses. ¿Por qué? Si todo es tan maravilloso, ¿por qué pasa en solo una parte del año? (more…)

More than tinsel: The Light of the World penetrates our darkness

(This is a translation of the Spanish homily, so there is no mp3.)
Christmas, Vigil Mass: December 24, 2011
Isa 62:1-5; Ps 89; Acts 13:16-17, 22-25; Matt 1:1-25

How beautiful it all is, this time of year! Everywhere, even here in the church, we see lights twinkling in the trees. And we have these glorious flowers pouring forth from the sanctuary. And this handsome nativity scene, including the new shepherd boy figure this year.

And so we pause in its glow, and take it all in, with the gifts and the cards and the songs and the times together with family and friends. One song tells us: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

And then we put it all away in storage, for 10 or 11 months. Why? If it’s so wonderful, why is it only one part of the year? (more…)

The Twelve Spiritual Days of Christmas

Twelve Spiritual Days of ChristmasAfter the material Christmas preparations quiet down… let your spiritual Christmas joy begin! This year Father Dan offers you an audio “online retreat.” From Sunday December 26 through Thursday January 6, take 15 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)

Domingo de la Sagrada Familia: Proteger nuestras familias del peligro

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La Sagrada Familia, Año A: 26 Diciembre 2010
Sir 3, 3-7.14-17; Sal 127; Col 3, 12-21; Mat 2, 13-15.19-23

En las fiestas de Navidad, celebramos la verdad que el Hijo de Dios, nacido del Padre antes de todos los siglos, asumió la naturaleza humana nuestra en la Encarnación y nació en Belén hace 2000 años. Nuestro Señor se hizo como nosotros en todo menos el pecado; inclusive en crecer en una familia humana. Por eso, dentro de la Octava de Navidad, celebramos la fiesta de la Sagrada Familia: la Sagrada Familia de Jesús y Santa María y San José.

Meditemos un rato en este aspecto del gran misterio de la Encarnación; y veamos cómo podemos hacer nuestras familias semejantes a la Sagrada Familia. (more…)

Holy Family Sunday: Protecting our families from danger

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Holy Family Sunday, Year A: Dec. 26, 2010
Sir 3:2-6, 12-14; Ps 128:1-5; Col 3:12-17; Matt 2:13-15, 19-23

At Christmas we celebrate the truth that the Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, took on our human nature in the Incarnation and was born a baby in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. Our Lord Jesus became like us in all things but sin. And that includes growing up in a family. And so each year, within this Christmas Octave, usually on Sunday, we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family: celebrating that fact, celebrating that family, with Mary as Jesus’ mother and Joseph as his foster father. And so we take time to meditate upon this aspect of the great mystery of the Incarnation—and also to see how we may model our own families upon the Holy Family. (more…)

Published in: on December 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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St. Joseph and the fears of Christmas

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4th Sunday of Advent, Year A: December 18-19, 2010
Isa 7:10-14; Ps 24:1-6; Rom 1:1-7; Matt 1:18-24

The virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” But St. Joseph is afraid, very afraid, early in today’s Gospel reading. He was confused. He didn’t know what to do. The news he had received certainly wasn’t “tidings of comfort and joy” for him. Instead, we might say it was an earthquake.

Why was that? Why was he afraid? Three reasons. First, St. Joseph, we might say, was a man who was born with a target on his back. Because he was a “son of David.” He was a direct descendant of David, who had been king over Israel about 1000 years before that. (more…)

Published in: on December 19, 2010 at 11:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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