Live your faith like an Olympic champion

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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Aug. 14, 2016
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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…)

Gaudete Sunday: Find your joy in the Lord

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3rd Sunday of Advent, Year B: Dec. 11, 2011
Isa 61:1-2, 10-11; Luke 1; 1 Thess 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28

John the Baptist is one of the great figures of the Advent season. For during this season we look toward Christ’s Second Coming; and who better to help us prepare for that than John the Baptist, who helped the people of the first century prepare for Christ’s first coming. And how did he do that? He preached repentance—change; a turning away from sinful thoughts and attitudes and actions inside and sinful actions outside—to prepare the way of the Lord.

But it wasn’t just in his words and his action of baptizing that John prepared for the Lord. He also did so by who he was. (more…)

Palm/Passion Sunday: The strength to not come down from the cross

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Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, Year A: April 16-17, 2011

At the Procession with Palms
Matt 21:1-11

What anticipation there must have been in the crowd on that Sunday, entering Jerusalem! What excitement! Like all the People of Israel, they longed to be liberated from the rule of the Roman Empire. They looked forward to the day when the Holy Land would again be completely devoted to the Lord. And they prayed, asking the Lord to send his Messiah—his Anointed One, the long-awaited descendant of the great King David—to save them.

And now, it seemed, perhaps it was all beginning to happen. At last! They cried: “Hosanna!” (more…)

Lenten Day of Recollection

The season of Lent lasts 40 days in imitation of Christ’s 40 days in the desert. In these talks from a Day of Recollection, Father Dan explores what it means to go into the desert, and how Christ’s testing there sheds light on our own lives.

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1: Into the Desert (16:06)
2: Tested in Material Things (22:01)
3: Tested in Human Relationships (23:46)
4: Tested in our Relationship with God (24:09)

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…)

Ash Wednesday: The battle is joined!

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Ash Wednesday: March 9, 2011
Joel 2:12-18; Ps 51; 2 Cor 5:20–6:2; Matt 6:1-6, 16-18

In this Gospel reading from the Sermon on the Mount, our Lord warns us not to do religious acts in order that people may see them. These are not for them; not for their eyes; not for their praise. They are for our Father in heaven who sees what is hidden.

And yet our Lord so much wants us to do these acts that he doesn’t even explicitly command them here but just takes them for granted: “when you give alms,” “when you pray,” “when you fast.”

And the fact is that these actions are for others. Not for their praise; but for their good, their benefit, their healing, their salvation.

In the movie “The Passion of the Christ,” there is a point when Jesus is carrying the cross, and he falls; (more…)