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1/10/16 Renewing Your Baptism

FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF OUR LORD
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Dear brothers and sisters,
Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and with it, we close the Christmas season. Certainly, the Baptism of Christ happened many years after his birth, at the beginning of his public life. However, the Church wisely invites us to reflect on this mystery while we are still celebrating the joy of his nativity. Why?

The mystery of the Baptism of Jesus is one of revelation: God’s love and kindness “appear” and are seen by everyone. In the fact that Jesus was baptized by John we see his solidarity and humility. We know that John’s baptism was one of repentance, and of course, the Lord had no need of repentance. But He chose to share our life, to teach us and guide us, walking with us every step of the way. This is something that we see when He receives Baptism from John: at the beginning of his public ministry He shows his total love and commitment. And in doing so, He receives a wonderful confirmation of his identity and mission, when the heavens were opened and the Father solemnly said to Him: You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased. As we rejoice for seeing this love and solidarity, we should also try to renew our own Baptism, and be good children of our good Father.

God bless you all,
Fr. Daniel


1/3/16 A Joy That Words Cannot Express

THE SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY
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Dear brothers and sisters,
Happy Solemnity of the Epiphany! Today is a day of great joy and celebration, as we contemplate the glory of Christ, hidden in his humility, yet revealed for those who are humble. The magi came from afar to see the newborn King. There are many details of this narrative that remain unknown to us. But, among those that we know, one aspect of their story appears particularly salient: they were overjoyed when they saw the star. “Overjoyed”… if we look carefully at the original text of the Gospel, a more literal translation would read: they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. These words are so rich! They sound redundant and even clumsy, but they express what words cannot express: the unique joy of knowing that all the promises are being fulfilled, that the long centuries of expectation are reaching their fulfillment, that all evil and suffering are going to be overcome in the coming of the Divine Child.

For us, the star also brings good news. Our own problems find an answer; our sins, redemption; our hopes, fulfillment. It is true: God becomes one of us, He becomes our brother, He comes to redeem our lives. Hope is real, and thus, joy is overwhelming: we too, should rejoice exceedingly with great joy, for we have seen his glory, the glory of his Epiphany.

With my prayers,
Fr. Daniel


12/27/15 God Became a Member of a Family

FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY
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Dear brothers and sisters,
Happy feast day of the Holy Family! Still within the octave of Christmas, we are celebrating today one of the most beautiful realities of the mystery of the incarnation: God became man, God became a member of a family. In this way, He teaches us with his own example that family life is part of God’s loving plan for us, that it is a path to holiness.

As we contemplate the simple and meaningful life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we feel moved to renew our efforts to grow in our love for our families and be good, as good as we can. And so we listen to the program for growth in virtues announced by St. Paul in the second reading: heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another.

Simple, but sometimes challenging! This is the path of true love, which is the bond of perfection, the way for a truly alive family. We should celebrate the great gift of the birth of Christ, and the joy of being part of a family, knowing that God has sanctified domestic life, opening for us the wonderful horizon of true love.

In Christ, Mary and Joseph,
Fr. Daniel


12/25/15 The Lesson of Christmas

CHRISTMAS
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Christmas Vespers Homily (4:30PM)

Christmas Night Homily (10:00PM)

Christmas Day Homily (9:00AM)

My dear parishioners,
We are very close now to the joyous celebration of the nativity of Christ. In just a few days we will renew the unique joy of knowing that God was made man for us. As we get ready for the great solemnity, the Church leads us to our Mother Mary. In her example of going to serve Elizabeth we find an encouragement to go “in haste” to the heights, as she did, and go beyond our normal and mundane worries, to the heights of God’s love, who becomes low and little to show us his love.

In Mary, we find not only an example, but also comfort and intercession. She prays for us that we will grow in our own expectation of the coming of her Son. She prays for us, that we will have an open heart to welcome the Child Jesus with humility and love. I pray that all of us, our families and friends, will have a merry Christmas. Not so much because, at least for some hours we might forget our problems and sufferings, but rather because we will remember that God became one of us to transform everything into a path towards authentic joy. This is the lesson of Christmas. This is our gift: for us God became man.

Happy and blessed Christmas!
Fr. Daniel


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