Wednesday Message (Bilingue)

Two years ago today, we had Easter Sunday on April Fool’s Day. If I told you: ‘We won’t be together for Easter Mass!’ you would have thought, ‘Nice April Fool, Father.’

A dear old friend of mine just died of a sudden illness. Not coronavirus. I think we all feel a little bit like death is holding us by the hand these days.

We are not alone, we human beings reeling our way through this frightening period of time. Our Creator also walked the path of death. This week at Holy Mass, we read from the eighth chapter of St. John’s gospel. In these readings, we see how the Lord Jesus knew how His mission of love and heavenly enlightenment would end. By His being lifted up—on a Roman cross.

palmEl domingo celebramos Los Ramos. Con los ramos, aclamamos nuestro Salvador, el crucificado. En estos días, con el virus, no sentimos como si la Muerte nos tenga por la mano. Pero andamos por esta valle con Dios, Quien sufrió la muerte Si Mismo.

Si pueden, que visiten el templo el domingo, a la hora usual de la misa, y les ofrezcamos su ramo para tener en casa por la semana santa. Hay que consagrar la semana que viene. En esta semana santa, Cristo consagró la muerte humana. Y la conquistó.

Dear religious education students: We miss you. Your teachers miss you. They are trying to get in touch with you, to help you complete the last few weeks of class over the phone or computer.

Padres de los alumnos de catecismo, por favor continuan trabajando con los niños en casa, practicando las oraciones y estudiando la fe.

When we turn a corner with the virus, and we can have Mass together again, two things will happen.

1. We will immediately order all the Easter flowers we would have ordered, and we will fill the church with them.

2. We will have our First Holy Communion Mass, for all the students preparing for First Holy Communion.

Don’t give up. Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we fear no evil. Even through these dark days, the Lord has lessons to teach us. Let’s learn them.

Part II of Lent

[Please note: In the first version of an earlier post, I gave the incorrect time for the Holy Father’s address and blessing today. Tune in at 1:00pm eastern daylight time.]

El Greco crucifixion Cristo sulla croce

Hopefully everyone knows that the forty days of Lent come in two parts. Until now, we have labored through Part I of Lent.

Part I involves making resolutions, like: “I will give up caffeinated soda!” This year, the Lord then swooped in with, “No. Wait a moment. You will actually give up your entire normal life, and all your normal certainties.”

If you have gazed at the night sky, you have noticed that the moon has begun to wax toward full. That means: two weeks till Good Friday. So Part II of Lent begins this Sunday.

Passiontide. Forgetting about myself and my caffeinated sodas and how annoying social distancing has become… Forgetting all that, and focusing on one, single thing: The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He became obedient unto death. He died on the cross because He couldn’t breathe anymore. His diaphragm ran out of strength. There were no ventilators. He gave up His spirit. To save us and give us the Holy Spirit. Immortal Life.

Palm Sunday comes in nine days. We have to face this fact: In 2020, we will celebrate Holy Week and Easter with constraints none of us ever imagined.

But we will celebrate the Lord’s Passover together. By hook and by crook, we will do it. I will explain all the details soon.

In the meantime, we’ll keep the Fifth Sunday of Lent over the weekend.

If you like reading the homilies, check back here during the night tonight. If you like watching English livestreaming, check-in on St.-Francis-of-Assisi facebook at 3pm tomorrow afternoon. Por Español, San Jose a las 4:00 de la tarde el domingo.

Guilty but not Condemned


We have reached the time of year when we study with singular focus the holy death of Jesus Christ.

Of old, these opening weeks of spring meant focusing on the death of the Passover Lamb, whose blood marked the homes of the chosen ones. The people of the Passover marched across the bed of the sea, to freedom. Then, the water swallowed up their enemies, to the glory of God.

That was the annual rite in the days of the Old Covenant. But we hear the prophet exhort us, in the name of God: Remember not these old exploits of mine. Don’t dwell on what I did for your ancient fathers. After all, I will do great things for you! I make a way through the desert for you to walk, and the very jackals and ostriches will chant like a choir as you pass down the highway I have laid down, to the Promised Land.

The highway opens before us. It invites us, beckons us, with beautifully obscure clarity, with shimmering darkness, with enticing terror. Because the highway to heaven is the cruel and agonizing death of Christ.

Continue reading “Guilty but not Condemned”