Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Fifth Sunday in Lent

March 26, 2023
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Ezekiel 37:12-14
Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
Romans 8:8-11
John 11:1-45

Martha’s statement and Mary’s tears convey what all of us think and what all of us are feeling when death snatches from us a loved one. Mary’s tears are those of deep grief and fear at the death of her brother with only a sense that what was familiar, safe, and pleasant is now gone. Martha’s statement to Jesus speaks a firm knowledge based upon her clear perception of appearances. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Implied by this statement is the question, “Where were you?” “It’s only two miles away.” “Didn’t you know, and don’t you care?” Martha’s words and Mary’s tears each articulate our emotions that we experience in the face of the cruelty of death, “Lord, if you were here” (but you weren’t) he would not have died.” “You could have prevented this” (but you didn’t.). If you were here, your compassion would have saved Lazarus.

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Homily for the Ordination of Eric Flores and Benjamin Grothouse to the Transitional Diaconate

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

March 25, 2023
St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church
Flower Mound, Texas

Numbers 3:5-9
Psalm 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11
Acts 6:1-7b
Luke 1:26-38

Today, our friends and relatives, Eric Flores and Ben Grothouse will be ordained deacons of the Church. As deacons of the Church, they will be responsible as ministers of the Gospel, ministers of the sacraments, and ministers of charity. These three ministries at ordination will be bound in their souls with God’s love. They require their attentiveness to these sacred responsibilities that can only be nourished through prayer – their own and the prayers of others, the prayer of the Church.  Each of these ministries is intimately related to the other and to neglect one is to neglect all three and to become lost from what it is that Christ is calling them to do.

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