June 11, 2017

Trinity Sunday, First Mass of a New Priest

A friar who was ordained to the priesthood yesterday invited me to be the preacher at his first Mass. Here's the homily I gave.

(Trinity Sunday, A)

When I was a new priest—and had even less good sense and tact than the precious little I have now—I used to say that one of the benefits of becoming a priest was that you didn’t have to listen to any more Trinity Sunday homilies.

You know; they can be brilliant, but sometimes, not so much. It goes something like this: God is three, God is one, it’s a mystery, you can’t really understand it…please stand for the Creed.

And this is unfortunate; this business about ‘you can’t understand’ the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. We cannot have a full comprehension, of course, but this doesn’t mean we can’t have some understanding. In fact, all of us who are Christians can have some understanding of this great mystery, precisely because we have all had an experience of the Blessed Trinity.

To get at what I mean, let’s turn to something we all know well: Christmas. What is Christmas all about? As we read in the gospel of St. Matthew:

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. (1:18)

June 7, 2017

A Prayer For My Dead Confessors

One of the standard activities of a visit to our place in Yonkers is a trip to the friars' cemetery to remember and pray for our dead.

This is the section where the friars have been buried since I joined the Capuchins. When I was a postulant we were on the back row. A few others who have died since then are buried elsewhere.

I prayed a special gratitude for those friars who had been ministers of the mercy of God for me in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. That is to say, my confessors.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon them.

Requiescant in pace.