TEXT: 2nd Sunday of Advent, December 4, 2016

2nd Sunday of Advent December 4, 2016 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   The last few days I’ve been reading the new book-length interview with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, called “Last Testament.” This got me to thinking of one of his best papal encyclicals that has great meaning for us at this time of year —the Encyclical “Spe Salvi,” Saved in Hope.” If you haven’t read it I commend it to you as a wonderful way to revitalize your understanding of Advent, the season of looking back to the hope fulfilled … Continue reading

TEXT: 1st Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2016

1st Sunday of Advent November 27, 2016 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   “So too, you also must be prepared.” After seeing all the folks shopping on Friday—“Black Friday”— this line spoken by Jesus is today’s Gospel would seem extremely apropos today. We’ve begun the “holiday season” and the next four weeks will be a mad rush to shop, cook, travel and party, all to be “prepared for Christmas.”   Of course, all this is strictly the secular—or worldly—perspective of preparing for Christmas, and the “holiday season.” At best it sees … Continue reading

TEXT: Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, November 20, 2016

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe November 20, 2016 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   To many people, being in a positon of authority —whether it’s the absolute authority of some kings or emperors, or the limited authority of presidents, governors, senators, or even pastors— to many it’s all about having personal power over others. Even when he uses the power to do what he thinks is good for them, —it’s about what he thinks is good for them, not what necessarily truly is good for them, … Continue reading

TEXT: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, November 13, 2016

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time November 13, 2016 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   This weekend I am preaching at all the Masses about a subject that I don’t like to preach about: money, specifically, the money you give to St. Raymond’s. The last time I did this was 2 years ago and that was the only other time I’ve done this. My job is to get you to heaven, by teaching you, giving you grace, and being a good spiritual father. That’s why I became a priest—not to be a … Continue reading

TEXT: 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, November 6, 2016

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time November 6, 2016 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   Today’s first reading from the second book of Maccabees, tells us of the execution—the martyrdom—of seven brothers during what was called “Maccabean Revolt” during the 2nd century BC. The Maccabees were part of a Jewish movement that fought attempts by their Greek rulers and Pro-Greek Jews, called Hellenists, to destroy the beliefs and practices of Judaism, by forcing them to adopt the Greek beliefs and practices –really, trying to secularize Judaism.   By Jesus’ time the successors … Continue reading

TEXT: 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 30, 2016

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time October 30, 2016 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   Monday/Tomorrow is, of course, Halloween. I’m afraid it’s been years since I’ve enjoyed this “holiday” –mainly because it’s a day that the evil one and his followers have turned into an un-holy-day —a day the worshippers of the devil treat as their most special day of the year.   But I also know that most people don’t realize this, and most people—especially children— simply see it as a day to dress up in costumes and pretend they’re … Continue reading