Life on the Chrism Trail

Ordenación de Eric Flores y Benjamin Grothouse al diaconado transitorio

Solemnidad de la Anunciación del Señor

25 de marzo de 2023
Parroquia de St. Philip the Apostle
Flower Mound, Texas

Números 3:5-9
Salmo 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11
Hechos de los Apostoles 6:1-7b
Lucas 1:26-38

Estimados amigos, familiares y hermanos, Eric Flores y Ben Grothouse serán ordenados hoy al diaconado transitorio. Como diáconos de la Iglesia serán ministros del Evangelio, ministros de los Sacramentos y ministros de la Caridad. Estos tres ministerios conferidos en la ordenación estarán entrelazados en sus almas con el amor de Dios. Como diáconos ustedes han de prestar atención a estas sagradas obligaciones que sólo se pueden nutrir con la oración; con su propia oración y la de los demás, la oración de la Iglesia. Cada uno de estos ministerios está intrínsicamente vinculado con el otro. Descuidar uno de ellos constituye descuidar los tres ministerios y dejar de hacer lo que Cristo los llama a hacer.

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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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Homily for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

March 19, 2023
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Exodus 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
Psalm 23:1-3a 3b-4, 5-6
Ephesians 5:8-14
John 9:1-41

The story of the healing of the man born blind which we have just proclaimed from John’s Gospel takes place shortly after Jesus’ announcement that He is the Light of the World who comes to bring the light of eternal life to those in darkness. Today we hear how the Light of the World brought light to a man born blind and in so doing exposed the blindness of those who arrogantly declared that they could see better than anybody else. The episode begins with the disciples wondering about the cause of the man’s blindness. Was it the result of some sin … his own or his parents?

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Homily for the Votive Mass for Blessed Michael McGivney Display of Relics

March 9, 2023
Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish
Wichita Falls, Texas

Ephesians 4:1-7a, 11-13
Psalm 110:1, 2, 3, 4
Matthew 5:1-12a

I am overjoyed and filled with gratitude for the opportunity to gather with you this evening to celebrate this liturgy and to venerate the relics of the body of Blessed Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus.  I am especially grateful that the Diocese of Fort Worth should be the first diocese in the United States to receive the relics of this great and holy beatified priest. I believe that it is very fitting that Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish and the Knights of Columbus of all of Wichita Falls and the Northwest Deanery should be given the privilege of praying for his intercession and venerating the relics of his body, since the Knights of Columbus in this deanery have been so imbued by his spirit for over one hundred years. The spirit and body should be together. The spirit of Blessed Michael McGivney shows itself in your generous support for widows and children of your brothers who suffer untimely death, your solidarity in prayer for the faithful and patriotic brotherhood of men in the Catholic faith, and in your most generous support for the formation of priests in pastoral charity.

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Homily for Monday of the Third Week of Lent

March 13, 2023
Theological College
Washington, DC

2 Kings 5:1-15ab
Psalm 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4
Luke 4:24-30

Today’s readings carry us further into our Lenten preparation for our celebration of the Easter mysteries: a time for reflection and for conversion. The readings offer us the themes of healing and redemption. Naaman is in need of healing and the Nazarenes are in need of redemption — for which another word is vindication (Go’el).

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Homily for the Third Sunday in Lent

March 12, 2023
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Washington, D.C.

Exodus 17:3-7
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Romans 5:1-2, 5-8
John 4:5-42

“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” Oh, that today you would hear His voice: “Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the desert, Where your fathers tempted me; they tested me though they had seen my works.” “If today you hear His voice harden not your hearts.” The word Meribah means “to test” and the word Massah means to quarrel. These words became the names of the place in the wilderness where the children of Israel tested the Lord and quarreled with Moses on the beginning of their long journey in the wilderness out of slavery in Egypt and towards the freedom of God’s chosen people. It is part of the defining story of the Jewish people, and through our Baptism into the salvation won by Christ, it is part of our story as the Church — the new People of God.

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Homily for Monday of the Second Week of Lent

March 6, 2023
St. Joseph Seminary College
Covington, Louisiana

Deuteronomy 9:4b-10
Psalm 79:8, 9, 11, 13
Romans 8:31b-34
Luke 6:36-38

Even people who have never held the Bible in their hands are familiar with this verse from sacred Scripture. “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.” These profoundly serious words of Jesus are invoked frequently by some people as a justification for their own sinful habits. Of course, in recent years we frequently hear some individuals do this by citing these words of Jesus in connection with the airplane quote of Pope Francis from several years ago taken out of context regarding homosexual acts: “Who am I to judge?”

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