TEXT: 2nd Sunday of Lent, March 12, 2017

2nd  Sunday of Lent March 12, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   It may seem a little strange to read the Gospel of the Transfiguration during Lent: the joy of the Transfiguration seems to stand in stark contrast to the sorrow that usually marks this season of penance. But this Gospel really is a window into the true meaning of Lent, which is a season about stark contrasts. Like Peter James and John, during Lent we also go away with Christ to be alone with him, and in the mystery … Continue reading

The Fourth Sunday Of Lent

Laetare Sunday and Counting the Days. Today we celebrate the 4th Sunday of Lent, “Laetare Sunday,” the traditional midpoint of the penitential season. Now, we usually speak of Lent as being 40 days. But the calendar indicates that there are actually 46 days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday (inclusive). However, the counting of the 40 days has never included the 6 Sundays of Lent, because, historically, the 40 days were always days of modified fasting, and Sunday was never a day of fast since it is the Lord’s Day. However, that count of 40 days is thrown off if … Continue reading

Third Sunday Of Lent

  CARDINAL BURKE TALK THIS FRIDAY. We live in times when it can be very difficult to practice our Catholic Faith with integrity and devotion. Sometimes it seems that we are being assaulted on all sides—from the culture, government, family, friends, and even from our fellow Catholics, even from high ranking officials in the Church. That is one of the main reasons, I am so excited to have Cardinal Raymond Burke give a talk to us this Friday evening, March 24, 2017, at 7pm in the church. His topic will be: “Saint Raymond of Peñafort: The Inseparable Bond between Doctrine … Continue reading

Second Sunday Of Lent

Prayer in Lent: Stations of the Cross. One of the three principle forms of Lenten penance is prayer (the others being almsgiving and sacrifice). So I encourage all of you to “pray more” during Lent, either adding some extra prayer(s) to your daily and/or weekly routine, or praying the prayers you already pray with more attention, devotion and time. One excellent form of prayer during Lent is the Stations of the Cross (or Via Dolorosa, Via Crucis, Way of Sorrows, Way of the Cross), which can be prayed at home, but is most beneficially prayed in a place where “Stations” … Continue reading

TEXT: 1st Sunday of Lent, March 5, 2017

1st  Sunday of Lent February 26, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   This week we began 40 days and nights of Lent, in imitation of Christ who, as we read in today’s Gospel, began his road to the cross by going out into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. But why did Jesus do this in the first place—why did he go out into the desert? It may surprise us to find that Scripture tells us: “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted … Continue reading

First Sunday Of Lent

LENT. Fundamental to a fruitful observance of Lent is the reception of the Sacrament of Penance (also called “Confession” or “Reconciliation”). Last year I published a small pamphlet called “Making a Good Confession: A Brief Examination of Conscience and Guide to Going to Confession.” Copies of this purple pamphlet can be found by all the doors of the church and near the confessionals. I hope you will find it helpful in preparing for and making a good confession. But what is the Sacrament of Penance itself all about? What follows are some short excerpts from the “CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC … Continue reading

TEXT: 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 26, 2017

8th  Sunday in Ordinary Time February 26, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA     You know, I don’t really like talking about money, especially asking for money,        especially from the pulpit.   I suppose there are several reasons for that: –first, I’m a priest not salesman; –and it’s difficult: I’m trying to get you to give away something you’ve worked hard for. But mainly, I’m reluctant because there’s always, hanging in the back of my mind, the words of Jesus that we read today: “You cannot serve [both] God … Continue reading