HOMILY FOR THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR OF FAITH

HOMILY FOR THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR OF FAITH

CHRIST CATHEDRAL CAMPUS

NOVEMBER 24, 2013

Welcome today to all of you on this beautiful day that God has given us, which above all else is a day of Faith and new life. [Bienvenidos a todos los que viajaron de lejos y de cerca, y a todos los que ayudaron con este evento hoy en día. ]

Soon – and very soon – as the hymn says, we will be undertaking the joyful task of preparing our trees for the celebration of the Birth of the Lord. This custom – known as the “Christmas tree”, comes from the German countries. It is said that the origin of the use of these trees, toward the end of Advent and for the entire Christmas season, came from the snow and ice, reflecting the sun and the moonlight in the winter in the forests of Germany and Northern Europe. The light from the trees remind us of the true light of the world, with the birth of Christ. The light of the snow and ice eventually gave us the custom of ornaments and lights that we use today. But as the days grow shorter and darker as winter approaches, the tree can be for us as well a reminder of the light of Christ in all moments of our lives.

[Tomemos una breve pausa y pensemos ¿en dónde se menciona un árbol en la Escritura? Nos acabamos de enterar que Zaqueo subió a un árbol para ver a Jesús. La fuerza del árbol ayudó a Zaqueo ver a Cristo, y también a que Cristo lo mirara y entrara a su casa. El Señor mismo nos habla del gran arbusto y árbol que crece de la más pequeña de las semillas – un grano de mostaza – con ramas que llegan hasta el cielo, donde los pájaros se reúnen para cantar las alabanzas de Dios.]

As we end this year of Faith, let us picture the image of our tree of Faith, all of the branches of family, friends, community and loved ones that the Lord has brought to grow together. As we think of the branches of our tree of Faith, we can stop and think that now we have some additional “ornaments” to hang on our tree of life, our tree of Faith. These ornaments, like our Christmas ornaments of many years, can remain with us and remind us, again, of who we are and what we are about!

[El primer ornamento- ¡La Fiesta de Cristo Rey! Esta gran fiesta fue instaurada por el Papa Pio XI, quien durante un tiempo de oscuridad, quiso que todo el mundo supiera del máximo poder, el poder que nadie nos puede quitar, del poder de Cristo Rey, ya que es el más fuerte que cualquier otro poder en la tierra. Este día es especialmente significante para nuestros hermanos y hermanas en México, quien durante el tiempo de los Cristeros, no les importo que tan grande fuera su persecución- porque el poder de Cristo Rey les dio fuerza y propósito.]

The second ornament – the Feast of the Vietnamese Martyrs. Like the people in Mexico in the time of the Cristero movement. The Vietnamese Martyrs were heroes and heroines who still call to us to day to give witness to the power of Christ: to remind us of the sometime price of the gift of Faith and to not let ourselves be compromised by any eternal outside force and to always be faithful and keep moving forward. Over the course of many years, they were faithful, and continued to give the witness of Faith, by not only keeping it, but passing it on as well.

[Por último, el ornamento de hoy en día es el Año de Fe. Este es un regalo del Papa Benedicto, y concluye con el Papa Francisco, reunidos con toda la Iglesia. El logo del Año de la Fe es una barca –la imagen de la Iglesia.] As we hang this ornament on the tree of our lives – let us remember that what we have learned and reflected on in this year of Faith we now take with us [No queremos que este Año de Fe sea como las barcas que desaparecen en el horizonte] We want our Faith to so strong that it holds us together in the sometimes tumultuous and windy moments of lives. In their journeys of centuries ago, the stormy moments of life at sea, the mariners often invoked, Mary, Star of the Sea!

[Entonces, a las ramas de nuestras vidas, también le agregamos otro ornamento, la imagen de la Madre de Dios, la imagen que ustedes prefieren: La Estrella del Mar, o la de Nuestra Señora de LaVang.]

As this special year of Faith ends, and we begin another journey of Faith into the future, not knowing what is to come, we do know that the Lord will be with us, and His mother will show the way. Let us take the Gospel in Hand with us to show to the world, with our “standing erect and with our heads raised”, and know that indeed by perseverance in our journeys of Faith, our lives will be saved!

VIVA CRISTO REY!

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