TEXT: 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 25, 2017

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time June 25, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   “…do not be afraid of those who kill the body …; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy                    both soul and body in Hell.” Our Lord’s words in today’s Gospel seem extremely pertinent today as we continue to observe the “Fortnight for Religious Freedom” —the fourteen days of prayer, fasting and reflecting on the meaning of and current threats to Religious Liberty in our nation.   These 14 days end on July 4, Independence … Continue reading

Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Freedom, Discourse, and Violence. I’m sure we were all horrified by the attack on a group of Republican politicians in Alexandria on June 14. We pray for all those who were injured in the attack, especially our fellow Catholic, Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana. But we also pray for the repose of the soul of the assailant, who was himself shot and killed during the attack. We remember the words of Our Blessed Lord: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” This is perhaps one of the hardest parts of our religion to accept and practice. But … Continue reading

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Today is “Corpus Christi Sunday,” a feast established to remind us that, even as Lent and Easter are over, the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection and His continued presence on Earth remains with us in a most sublime way in the Eucharist. In particular, we remember that the bread and wine really become the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ Himself—His Real Presence among us. Just as surely as He was bodily present on the Cross, at the Resurrection, and as He ascended to His Father in Heaven, … Continue reading

TEXT: Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, June 11, 2017

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity June 11, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA Whenever we pray the Creed we express the basic tenet of our faith: “We believe in one God…” But in that same Creed, we also say we that we believe in God the Father, God the Son, God and the Holy Spirit. It almost seems as if we’re contradicting ourselves. The standard, and correct, explanation is to say that there is one God, but there are three divine persons in Him. How can that be true? And … Continue reading

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Trinity Sunday.  Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The mystery of the Trinity is the central mystery of our faith, and yet one of the most difficult to understand and misunderstood dogmas of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 253-255) teaches: “The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the “consubstantial Trinity”. The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire…. “The divine persons are really distinct from one another. …”Father”, “Son”, “Holy Spirit” are … Continue reading

Pentecost Sunday

PENTECOST. Today we remember the day, 10 days after Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven, that the Holy Spirit descended upon the early Church, about 120 disciples gathered to pray in the upper room. As the Acts of Apostles tells us: “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with … Continue reading

TEXT: Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday, June 4, 2017

Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday June 4, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA If someone came up to you and said: “who is the Holy Spirit?” what would you say? It’s a safe bet that most Christians, unfortunately, wouldn’t know what to say. And yet today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Spirit—the Pentecost.   If you’ve ever heard me speak about the Spirit you’ve probably heard me explain that the word “spirit” in Hebrew is “ruah”—which means “wind” or “breath.” So whenever you hear the words “wind” or “breath” spoken … Continue reading

Solemnity of the Ascension

Ascension. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, commemorating the true historical event when Jesus of Nazareth, after dying on the cross and rising from the dead, ascended by His own power in His glorified human body into heaven, where He is now present, bodily, in eternity. The importance of the mystery of the Ascension is often overlooked or forgotten by Christians, but it must not be, since it is critical to our understanding of Christ and ourselves. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes: 665 Christ’s Ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus’ humanity … Continue reading