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

TEXT: Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord, January 8, 2017

Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord January 8, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   The very first verses of the Bible, in Chapter 1 of Genesis, tell us: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…. Then … God said: Let there be light, and there was light.” Think about this: “God said…and there was light” God’s mere word brought forth light.   Eons later, drawing on this opening passage of Genesis St. John the Apostle tells us in the opening passage of his gospel, that we … Continue reading

TEXT: Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, January 1, 2017

Solemnity of the Mary, the Holy Mother of God January 1, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   Last night at the stroke of midnight the whole world celebrated the passing of the year 2016 and the start of the year 2017. 2,016 years have passed, but 2,016 years since what? Or 2016 years of what? It’s amazing to watch TV or the internet and see people around world celebrating – especially since so many had no clue what they were celebrating. Because the celebration only has meaning when we remember … Continue reading