TEXT: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 16, 2017

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time July 16, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA God has given us many wonderful gifts: family, health, education, even life itself. But to really enjoy these gifts to their fullness, we first have to know that we have them, and then understand what they are and how they work. And so Our Lord gives us one of His greatest gifts, as He tells us today in the Gospel: “knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been [given] to you!” This gift of knowledge … Continue reading

TEXT: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 9, 2017

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time July 9, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   Last Tuesday our nation celebrated 241 years of freedom. As Catholics it is especially right for us to celebrate that freedom, since we believe that God created us in the beginning to live in freedom: in a very real way we are not fully human if we are not free. And yet as we celebrate freedom, particularly in the context of freedom from the yoke of a foreign King, we hear Christ telling us that in order … Continue reading

TEXT: 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 2, 2017

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time July 2, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   This Tuesday is the 4th of July, when we Americans celebrate our independence from Great Britain in 1776. But really, we celebrate much more than this: we celebrate the birth of our nation, a nation that was, as Abraham Lincoln once famously said, “conceived in Liberty.”   Liberty—it is a glorious thing. And since its founding “America” has been a brightly shining light of “liberty” and rightly so. But, if we’re honest with ourselves, even the most … Continue reading

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

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

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