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

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

TEXT: 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 19, 2017

7th  Sunday in Ordinary Time February 19, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA     In today’s Gospel Jesus makes one of the most radically challenging demands in Scripture: ” I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” If we’re honest with ourselves, this passage should be very intimidating.   It’s intimidating, first of all,  because it seems oxymoronic to say “love your enemies.” Plus, it seems an impossible task, because sometimes it seems we’re surrounded by enemies who really don’t care if we love … Continue reading

TEXT: 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 12, 2017

6th  Sunday in Ordinary Time February 12, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   Tuesday is Valentine’s Day, a day when the world celebrates lovers. So let’s talk about love today. But not “love” the way the world thinks of it, but love the way it truly is: love the way God thinks of it.   In today’s Gospel we find Jesus continuing the same Sermon on the Mount that we’ve been reading for the last 2 Sundays. Today Jesus is talking specifically about the commandments. Now, many people view the … Continue reading

TEXT: 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 29, 2017

4th  Sunday in Ordinary Time January 29, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   Today’s reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew is one of the most beautiful texts in all of Scripture: the wonderful “Beatitudes” of Jesus. “Beautiful” is perhaps the best word to describe these beatitudes because the words “beautiful” and “beatitude” come from the same Latin word: “beati”, which means, blessed–as in “blessed are they.” But some people like to think that the word “beatitude” is related to the word “attitude” –that the be–attitudes are so called because … Continue reading

TEXT: 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 22, 2017

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time January 22, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA “Make America Great again.” We’ve heard this a lot lately. But is it just a political slogan, or is it truly a call for genuine reform of our nation? And if it’s a call for reform, is it a call for Americans to dedicate ourselves to becoming a people governed by great administrators, or a people who live great lives, individually and as together as one nation.   The answer to these questions depends largely on what it … Continue reading