Today's sermon is on how Jesus Christ on the cross fulfills the law of charity: Love in the shape of a cross.
This is the 7-minute version of the homily I gave for Christmas, today at the home of a family outside of DC (see above picture for the outside of their home on this tropical 70 degree Christmas outside the Capital.) It was originally slated for my very first Missa Solemnis at midnight south of here.
St. Joseph, late one night is talking to Mary, amazed at something that Jesus, their five year old, now asleep, said during the day. Over candlelight at table, Joseph shares his bewilderment. “Who is this child?” he asks… “a soon to be prophet?” Mary's eyes well up at what she's known for some time now. “Yes, and greater,” she gently replies. “Greater? You mean like the Messiah, God's chosen one?” Joseph trembles. Mary smiles with tears coming down her face. “Yes.” She replies quietly but strongly. “And more.” “Greater still?” asks Joseph. “Who could be except Adonai, the Almighty One Himself?” Mary lets out a half-cry, half-laugh lasting only a [...]
“One will be sent in the flesh,” thundered the most beautiful Trinity to the angels and all the courts of heaven eons ago. In perfect harmony they rejoiced. But later, they wondered if anyone but a lowly archangel like Raphael (still more glorious than a burning star) could dare condescend again to take flesh as Raphael did for Tobit. Their best guess for the new assignment was Gabriel. God said “Gabriel will go…but in spirit as preparation. One much higher than he will become flesh.” “But how?” the angels wondered, “A cherubim's eyes would melt the trees and mountains. No human warrior's body could even instantaneously hold the power [...]
I’m biased, but I think my little sister is the best writer I know. Before I knew what one was, she had a blog. Talking on the phone to her last night, I started thinking a lot about Mark chapter 7: And from there [Jesus] arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house, and would not have any one know it; yet He could not be hid. But immediately a woman, whose little daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit, heard of Him, and came and fell down at His feet. Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she [...]
The above picture is taken from Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. It is clear in this movie, and in most private revelations, that Mary (the Mother of Jesus) knew Mary Magdalene long before the crucifixion. Granted, Scripturally I know of no other time when Mary and Mary are found in the same place, except John 19:25 (the three Mary's at the crucifixion.) So my theory can't be proved from Scripture. However, using common sense, we can be very sure that Mary and Mary didn't simply introduce oneself to each the other at the foot of the cross. It can be assumed that this would be an inappropriate time for introductions; [...]
Before I was a priest, I was a paramedic. I remember running a call with the SWAT team in Southwest Denver. It was a midnight drug-bust and we had to accompany the police in the event that someone become wounded in the raid. We entered minutes after the SWAT team...and it had a pretty anticlimactic ending. The police arrested only two people. The young man and woman were caught in a compromised position, so to speak…and it smelled filthy. I was surprised at the stench, and it wasn’t the smell of drugs that was off-putting. Later in seminary, I remember reading on my own about how certain saints (like St. Christina the Astonishing) could smell impurity [...]