Once, at my last parish in Indiana, our sacristan had to take a couple of months off to recover from surgery, and I thought I’d figured out everything she did each week and either arranged cover or just decided to do it myself. But, over those couple of months, I gradually starting noticing more and more things that just somehow got magically taken care of when she was around that I’d never really thought about. During the first week she was gone, one of our parish school kids, a little second grader, came up to me with a panic struck expression: “There is no blessing in the church!” I was pretty worried about this exile experience she seemed to be having, so I tried to figure out what was actually wrong, and eventually understood that all of the holy water stoups were dry. I could fix that problem. Spiritual crises aren’t normally the kind of thing you can fix, so it was nice to get a win for once!
Sunday, January 20, 2019
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Baptism of the Lord, Year C; Holy Infant parish.
Jesus’ baptism is clearly important. In Luke’s gospels, it’s our introduction to the adult Jesus, all four of our gospels narrate it, (which means it beats out Jesus’ birth by a factor of 2:1 there). The first parish I served first as deacon and then as priest had a beautiful stained glass window of the scene, which was important enough to me that I picked an image of it to put on the holy card we gave out at my priestly ordination. Yes, Jesus’ baptism is clearly important. But, Jesus getting baptized isn’t what struck me as the most important thing in this gospel. Studying and praying with it over this week, one sentence stuck with me: “He will baptize you.”
Sunday, January 6, 2019
Epifanía; San Casimiro
Solo los encontramos en estos 12 versos del evangelio según San Mateo, estos magos. Los otros evangelistas no dicen nada sobre ellos. Pero nos fascinan, estos majos de oriente, tenemos esta fiesta dedicada a ellos. Creo que nos fascinan tanto porque su búsqueda es nuestra búsqueda: buscan donde pueden ofrecer sus dones.
Sunday, December 30, 2018
Fiesta de la Sagrada Familia, Año C; St. Casimir's.
Supimos en las lecturas de una familia perfecta. Pero esta familia perfecta no es la que la fiesta de hoy celebra; no es la familia de Jesús, María y José, sino la familia de Dios, la familia que es Dios. Cuando digo que dios es familia, no quiero decir que a dios le gustan familias, o que dios está circa de nosotros como pariente. No, quiero decir lo que digo, que dios, padre, hijo y espíritu santo es una familia. El parentesco, la relación entre dios padre y Jesús el hijo es el amor perfecto el amor original del que todo el amor previene. Es un amor entre padre e hijo que es la razón por la que Jesús hizo todo lo que hizo. Es por eso que él tenía que ocuparse en las cosas de su padre. Es por eso que Jesús rezaba tanto. Es el amor que fortaleció a Jesús tanto que podía ofrecer todo para nosotros. Es el amor que dirigió a Jesús hacia dios después de la resurrección, para seguir mostrándonos que es el amor, y que lo causó para enviarnos el espíritu para que vivamos en este amor.
Sunday, December 23, 2018
IV Domingo de Adviento, Año C; San Adalberto.
María viene a Isabel para ayudarla. Su pariente Isabel está embarazada y María viene para ayudar. Tal vez María, que acaba de quedar embarazada, también quiere aprender algo sobre el embarazo y el nacimiento. Ambas pueden ayudarse mutuamente. Y si este fuera todo que ocurrió en esta historia, aun sería maravilloso, hermoso, valdría la pena escucharla hoy en la misa. Pero, hay más.
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Advent Week 3, Year C; St. Casimir's parish.
The letter we heard from Paul, the letter to the Philippians, was written from prison. Roman prisons varied from place to place, but we can reconstruct with some probability what it might have looked like, smelt like, to be in that prison: it meant no sun light; it meant no heat if this was a winter’s night, no form of cooling if it was a summer’s day; it meant no way of getting rid of sewage; it meant regular beatings; it meant witnessing suicide and spontaneous executions and knowing you could be next. But, there’s a reason this letter was chosen form us to read from on this Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, Rejoice Sunday, when the church lifts up ‘joy’ as and Advent theme. From prison, Paul writes the most joyful letter we have from him.
Sunday, December 2, 2018
1st Sunday of Advent, Year C; Holy Infant parish. [Note: the parish was doing its "share your Christmas" collection this week. The parish works with various charities who create lists of families who can't buy toys for their children this year. The families make requests and parish families agree to buy the toys. This week people brought the gifts to church and during the offertory, the brought them up and they were arrayed across the sanctuary. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture! By the time I was done greeting people after Mass the people that coordinate delivery had already moved them all.]
Very soon, the sanctuary will be filled with gifts. The primary purpose of this gifts, of course, is the service of our neighbors here in Durham, a practical way of helping them have a livelier more joyous Christmas. Advent is the season to prepare for Christmas, and this is one moment, an important moment in which we help others prepare and thereby help ourselves prepare. But, there are other places we could store them. Everything in the sanctuary is here to help us pray. So, can these gifts help us pray?