Archive for December, 2016

The Holy Family of Nazareth is the Model for Families of Today

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Usually we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family the Sunday after Christmas. This year, however, because the Sunday after the Nativity of our Lord is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, which takes precedence, the Church is observing this day dedicated to the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph today, December 30. Earlier […] [Read more]

Beloved Disciple: The Feast Day of Saint John

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

When Jesus was arrested and later put on trial, all of his Apostles – except one – deserted him.  Peter followed at a distance after the arrest, but even he would flee after he denied three times knowing Jesus, just as the Lord had foretold.  The one Apostle who remained was John, son of Zebedee […] [Read more]

A New Beginning as the Promise of the Ages is Fulfilled

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

When a baby is born and his parents look upon him and hold him for the first time, it is a time of wonder and awe at so precious a gift. When Jesus was born that Christmas morning and Mary held him in her arms for the first time, and Joseph too, how much greater […] [Read more]

Meditations on the Vigil of Christmas

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Today you could make the 70-80 mile trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem in about an hour or two. For Joseph and Mary, however, it would have taken several days – on foot, over difficult terrain. We can suppose though that for Mary, nine months pregnant, they would have acquired the use of a donkey for […] [Read more]

The Light of the World

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Inevitably at some point in the busyness of planning for Christmas, we should find ourselves asking “What does Christmas really mean?” We know it is more than exchanging gifts and getting lost in the beauty of a winter night brightened by Christmas lights and decorations. On this holy day of Christmas and at every Mass, […] [Read more]

Jesus is Emmanuel, God With Us

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

What is it like to see the face of God?  At the beginning, Adam and Eve had walked with him in the Garden, but they rejected his gifts and without a pure heart, they could no longer see God.  With humanity thereafter affected by sin, Abraham never saw the Lord’s face in all his glory […] [Read more]

Celebrating 50 years of Priesthood

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

This year was filled with personal milestones: the thirtieth anniversary of episcopal ordination and tenth anniversary as archbishop of Washington which came earlier this year. Today is the fiftieth anniversary of ordination to the priesthood, which occurred at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, where I studied as a seminarian. What better way for a priest […] [Read more]

Happy Birthday Pope Francis!

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Eighty years ago, on December 17, 1936, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Little could his working class Italian immigrant parents, Mario and Regina, have imagined that their infant son would grow up to be the 265th Successor of Saint Peter and first pope from the New World, taking the name “Francis.” […] [Read more]

What Children Can Teach Us

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Children are at the heart of Christmas. The tree, the exchange of gifts, and all the excitement of the season are more joyful when they involve youngsters. In a more important sense, Christmas brings us the person of the infant Jesus, who among other things reminds us of the simplicity, the hope, the exuberance, the […] [Read more]

Who is Jesus?

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

In today’s Gospel, we hear how John the Baptist sent his followers to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” (Matthew 11:3). John was asking for clear affirmation that Jesus is the one for whom the world had longed. One of the perennial favorites on many […] [Read more]