Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lunar New Year

January 30, 2022
Immaculate Conception of Mary Catholic Church
Wichita Falls, Texas

Jeremiah 1:4-5,17-19 (Vietnamese)
Psalm 71:1-2,3-4,5-6,15-17 (Vietnamese)
1st Corinthians 12:31-13:13 (Vietnamese)
Luke 4:21-30 (English)

Today, we celebrate the beginning of the lunar new year: Tet, “the Festival of the First Morning of the First Day.” I have been told that the celebration of Tet includes the cultural custom that the first visitor who a family receives in the new year is a prophetic sign of their blessings for the entire year. I am honored that you have invited me to be your first guest to your parish home of Immaculate Conception of Mary Catholic Church to inaugurate the lunar new year. I want you to know that I understand that this is an honor with a responsibility for me to be a person of good temper and morality, as a prophetic sign that the entire following year will also be filled with God’s many blessings.

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Homily for the Diocesan Respect Life Mass

January 24, 2021

St. Mark Catholic Church
Argyle, Texas

Isaiah 49: 1-6 (Spanish)
Psalm 139: 1b-3, 12-14a, 14c-15
Colossians 1: 12-20
Matthew 18: 1-5, 10, 12-14

En cierto sentido, el primer asalto al don de la vida humana en cada etapa del desarrollo es sacar a alguien de la luz de la pertenencia quitándole su nombre y arrojándolo así a la oscuridad del anonimato. Dejar a una persona en el anonimato es quitarle su identidad y la pertenencia y ser sacada fuera de la luz de la pertenencia como persona y ser arrojado a la distancia que impone la oscuridad de la posesión, como si se fuera un objeto que será desechado. El profeta proclama: “Escuchen, pueblos lejanos. Antes de nacer, el Señor me llamó, desde el vientre de mi madre me dio mi nombre”.

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Homily for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mass for Peace and Justice in commemoration of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.

January 22, 2021

St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church
Arlington, Texas

Nehemiah 8: 2-4a, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19: 8, 9, 10, 15
Corinthians 12: 12-30
Luke 1: 1-4, 4:14-21

When the Jews returned from exile after 70 years in Babylon, they were faced with many hardships as they tried to rebuild their lives. They tried to rediscover their faith and truly hear the Law of the Covenant that God had initiated with their ancestors but that they had forgotten because of their oppression and the suppression of the practice of the rituals and customs of the Covenant.

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Homily for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

January 16, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
John 2:1-11

The wedding at Cana in Galilee probably involved a friend or relative of Mary and Jesus since they were invited.  Either the details of this wedding were not well-planned, or perhaps there were unexpected guests.  In any event, it doesn’t surprise us to find out that Mary was the kind of person who paid attention to details, who thought of others with compassion, and who wanted to prevent embarrassing situations, especially the type of embarrassment that culturally this young couple would always feel as shame thereafter. 

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Homily for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

January 9, 2022
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11
Psalm 104: 1b-2, 3-4, 24-25, 27-28, 29-30
Titus 2: 11-14, 3: 4-7
Luke 3: 15-16, 21-22

If Jesus was God, why was He baptized? This has always been a perplexing question frequently asked in catechism class. If John’s baptism was one of repentance, this seems to imply falsely that Jesus was a sinner. In fact, John the Baptist tries to prevent Jesus’ being baptized, but Jesus insists. Instead, the Baptism of Jesus is an essential part of His work of the redemption of each human person. Jesus enters into solidarity with all men and women; He becomes one with each of us to share all the aspects of our lives. He even takes upon Himself the condition of our sinfulness, even though He Himself never sinned.

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