Contributed on Dec 20, 2014
The prophecy to David foretells the coming of the king whose reign will never end.
December 24, 2014 Eve of the Nativity Today we begin what I call the “thirteen days of Christmas.” This is the final day of the pre-Christmas novena, nine days in which the Church looks forward to the Christmas solemnity. The Church gets as excited as a five-year old child today. ...read more
Contributed on Dec 26, 2014
Raising a family is like building an olive orchard, and it is hard work.
Feast of the Holy Family (Sunday after Christmas) Thirteen Days of Christmas Since the family is the basic unit of society, the Church, and her Scripture, has much to say about it. Our psalm today uses agricultural metaphors for the family: the husband will eat the fruit of his hands, the ...read more
Contributed on Dec 21, 2014
How do we make Christ present again in our world as Wonder Counselor, God Hero, Prince of Peace?
Christmas Midnight Mass 2014 Thirteen Days of Christmas “Why do the nations rage? Why do the peoples think foolishness?” These words of the second psalm are sung in today’s Introit. They are Messianic words that follow the antiphon which the Church has always put into the ...read more
Contributed on Dec 31, 2014
We should take time to consider the meaning of Jesus's name, and the respect we owe that name.
The Holy Name of Jesus (January 3) Thirteen Days of Christmas The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is placed at this time of year because January 1 is the Octave day of Christmas, and that day was the day Jesus, Son of Joseph, Son of Mary, underwent the ceremony of circumcision. At a ...read more
Contributed on Dec 21, 2014
We should emulate the shepherds, and be thankful for their witness.
Christmas Dawn Mass 2014 Thirteen Days of Christmas “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; the Lord is God and He has enlightened us.” These words of today’s Gradual psalm are the centerpiece of the Christmas dawn Mass Scripture readings. St. Paul tells us that ...read more
Contributed on Dec 22, 2014
Jesus Christ was not the Messiah expected by the Jews, but He was exactly what mankind needs.
Christmas Day Mass 2014 Thirteen Days of Christmas “A child is born for us, and a son is given to us; his scepter of power rests upon his shoulder, and his name will be called Messenger of great counsel.” These words from today’s Introit chant are the keynote for our ...read more
Contributed on Dec 22, 2014
To understand the strange hymn "Good King Wenceslas" we must return to the Scriptures and understand the role of deacons in the early Church, and all of us today.
St Stephen’s Day Mass 2014 Thirteen Days of Christmas “Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen, when the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.” I checked on the Internet, and found the titles of thirty-three hymns for St. Stephen’s Day, the day ...read more
Contributed on Jan 2, 2015
The Feast of Epiphany is a call to people of every background to come and worship the newborn Messiah of Everybody.
Solemnity of Epiphany (January 6) Thirteen Days of Christmas The twelfth day of Christmas is the sixth of January; on that day, traditionally, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Three Kings, or Epiphany. It is one of the big four festivals of the Church year, and traditionally it is even ...read more
Contributed on Dec 30, 2014
The anointing by the Holy Spirit makes all special knowledge worthless. Gnosis is not the way to salvation.
Feast of St. Basil and St. Gregory (January 2) Thirteen Days of Christmas Let’s be clear about something as we move into the new year. The word “Christ” in English is the same as “Christos” in Greek and “Mashiah” in Hebrew. It means ...read more
Contributed on Dec 23, 2014
John believed, and spent the rest of his life preaching agape love.
St John’s Day Mass 2014 (December 27) Thirteen Days of Christmas Tradition tells us that of the three first witnesses to the empty tomb, St. John lived the longest. That is not surprising, since Tradition also holds that he was the youngest, perhaps a teenager during Jesus’s ...read more
Contributed on Dec 24, 2014
The massacre of the Holy Infants was a tragedy that God turned into a victory.
Holy Innocents Mass (December 28) Thirteen Days of Christmas Saint Matthew is the only evangelist who records what might be called the “Joseph Gospel.” He gives us the account of the angel appearing in a vision to Joseph, confirming Mary’s story that she was pregnant by the ...read more
Contributed on Dec 29, 2014
We will understand better the term Mother of God if we realize that the January 1 feast is really a feast of Our Lord Jesus.
Solemnity of Mary Mother of God–January 1 (Thirteen Days of Christmas) To begin every New Year, the Church gives us a great gift, the Solemnity of Mary in her title “Mother of God.” But even though the feast has Mary in the title, like every Marian celebration, it is really ...read more
Contributed on Dec 25, 2014
St. Thomas of Canterbury lived a life in service to God, a service in love and defense of His Church and people.
St. Thomas of Canterbury Mass (December 29) Thirteen Days of Christmas There is no doubt what happened on December 29, 1170, but what one thinks of it depends very much on a connection to the people and places of twelfth century England. On that day, four English knights of Norman descent came ...read more
Contributed on Jan 1, 2015
All Christians are anointed with prophetic gifts by our baptismal anointing, but before speaking for God, we must also practice discernment of spirits.
Feast of St. John Neumann (January 5) Thirteen Days of Christmas Today St. John speaks to us of “testing the spirits.” In theological language, derived from St. Paul, this is the spiritual gift of discernment. Let’s talk about its exercise in the first century: in the ...read more
Contributed on Dec 28, 2014
We need to understand what it means for the Word to become flesh, and dwell among us.
Seventh Day in the Christmas Octave (December 31) Thirteen Days of Christmas Every so often you’ll find a columnist or author complaining or inferring that God has no sense of humor, or that the Church is too serious. Today’s readings, on this last day of the year, prove that to be ...read more
Contributed on Dec 27, 2014
We should understand how we can be distracted from our true Goal, God.
Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave (December 30) Thirteen Days of Christmas If you have been following this series of homily-sermons, which I have called “Thirteen Days of Christmas,” you probably realize something. Although this is the sixth day in the Christmas Octave, it is the ...read more
Contributed on Dec 25, 2018
For the real message of Christmas is the one we used to see plastered over every end-zone: God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten son, that we might not perish, but have everlasting life.
Christmas 2018 “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. Who are born, not of blood, nor of the ...read more
Contributed on Dec 28, 2018
When families stay together, and pray together, and sing together and learn together, all of society is enriched and strengthened.
Feast of the Holy Family 2018 The wisdom writer Jesus ben Sira is the author of the Book of Sirach, where we get our first reading today. I recall early in my life reading the ten commandments, and also remember that my early sacramental confessions were headlined pretty much the same every couple ...read more
Contributed on Jan 4, 2019
we must discern as families how to respond to the attacks of secular culture, and use our assets, out time, talent and treasure, to restore beauty to our worship, teach religious and moral truths to our communities, and do everything we can to show goodness to the world–to become saints.
Epiphany 2018 The Cost of Discipleship When we compare the stories we have been reading in St. Luke’s Gospel with the reading today from St. Matthew, we are tempted to wonder if this is a story about two different families. On Christmas day we see Mary and Joseph being turned away from every inn ...read more