Trust in the middle of the storm

Audio only: Listen to mp3 file (Length: 12:53)
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: June 21, 2015
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Entrar en la oración

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Una homilía dada en la Vísperas Cuaresmal de 15 Febrero 2013.

En empezar este Tiempo de la Cuaresma, nos enfocamos otra vez en las tres prácticas tradicionales, las tres formas de penitencia más insistidas por la Escritura y los Padres de la Iglesia: el ayuno, la limosna, y la oración. (CIC 1434) Hoy hablaré de la oración; y ustedes oirán de las otras dos prácticas en las Vísperas de las semanas siguientes.

Y, ¡qué maravilloso es hablar de la oración! La oración es una forma de la penitencia no por ser un castigo— ¡y espero que no les parezca como castigo!— sino por ser una forma de la conversión verdadera, de girar, no sólo del pecado sino hacia Dios: de acercarnos a él, de comunicar íntimamente con él, de hacernos más como nuestro Señor Jesús en su relación con Dios Padre. (more…)

Entering into Prayer

This is an English translation of a Spanish homily that I gave at a Lenten Vespers service on Feb. 15, 2013.

As we begin this Season of Lent, we turn again to the three traditional practices, the three forms of penance most emphasized by Scripture and by the Church Fathers: fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. (CCC 1434) Tonight I will be speaking about prayer; and you will hear about the other two practices at Vespers in the coming weeks.

And how wonderful it is to speak about prayer. It is a form of penance not because it is a punishment—and I hope it does not feel like a punishment to you!—but because it is a form of true conversion, of turning, not only away from sin but toward God: drawing closer to him, communicating closely with him, becoming more like our Lord Jesus in his relationship with God the Father. (more…)

The wellspring of thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving Day: Nov. 22, 2012
Sir 50:22-24; Ps 145; 1 Cor 1:3-9; Luke 17:11-19

A week or two ago, I received the latest newsletter from the Saint Luke Institute, which helps priests and religious sisters who have run into psychological difficulties. And the article on the front page was written by none other than Fr. Hugh Lagan SMA (who was recently resident in this parish for a couple years and is a member of their clinical staff). In this article, he spoke about “positive psychology,” which, rather than focusing upon psychological illness, instead studies what it takes for human beings to grow and function well and thrive. Toward the end of the article, he passed on two specific tips:

  • Count your blessings: Every evening for one week, write down three things that went well during the day. This can help refocus your thoughts on the positive, rather than the negative, and enhance your well-being. (more…)

The child, the rich young man, and the eye of the needle

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28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Oct. 14, 2012
Wis 7:7-11; Ps 90; Heb 4:12-13; Mark 10:17-30

“How hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!” our Lord Jesus declares in our Gospel reading today. “How hard!” You didn’t think that it would be easy, and that everyone would automatically be entering heaven, did you? Because that is not Jesus’ message. As he says in a different passage:

“The gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (Matt 7:13-14)

And yet, in last week’s reading, immediately before this week’s passage starts, he welcomes the little children and says, “Do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” These form an interesting pair: the children and the rich young man in today’s passage. What is the lesson here? What does it mean to accept the kingdom of God like a child? (more…)

Recibir el Reino de Dios como un niño

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XXVIII Domingo Ordinario, Año B: 14 Octubre 2012
Sab 7, 7-11; Sal 89; Heb 4, 12-13; Mc 10, 17-30

“¡Qué difícil es entrar en el reino de Dios!” nuestro Señor Jesús declara en la lectura del Evangelio de hoy. “¡Qué difícil!” No pensabas que sería fácil, y que todo el mundo entraría automáticamente en el cielo, ¿verdad? Porque esto no es el mensaje de Jesús. Como dice en otro pasaje:

“Ancha es la puerta y amplia es la senda que lleva a la perdición, y muchos son los que entran por ella. Pero estrecha es la puerta y angosta la senda que lleva a la vida, y pocos son los que la hallan.” (Mt 7, 13-14)

Pero todavía, en la lectura de la semana pasada, que ocurre inmediatamente antes del principio del pasaje de hoy, nuestro Señor dio la bienvenida a los niños y dijo: “No se lo impidan, porque el Reino de Dios es de los que son como ellos. Les aseguro que el que no reciba el Reino de Dios como un niño, no entrará en él.” Estos forman una pareja interesante: los niños y el joven rico en el pasaje de hoy. ¿Qué es la lección para nosotros? ¿Qué significa recibir el reino de Dios como un niño? (more…)