The Fifth Sunday of Easter

In the Maronite Rite: The Fifth Sunday of the Resurrection: Peter receives his ministry

May 19, 2019 at Our Lady of Lebanon in Norman, Oklahoma

Ephesians 2, 1-10 + John 21, 15-19

11:00am Sunday at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church in Norman, OK

These verses near the very end of John’s Gospel take us right to the very heart of faith and to the one condition, the one element without which there is no church, no faith, no hope, and no future. In the other Gospels, Peter makes some very profound and courageous acts of faith. Now in John’s Gospel, Peter’s act of faith comes at the end after his courage has been crushed, his pride broken, and all his weakness exposed for all to see. … more »

The Fourth Sunday of Easter

May 12, 2019 at St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Acts 13, 14, 43-52 + Psalm 100 + Revelation 7, 9, 14-17 + John 10, 27-30

Saturday 3:30pm St. Peter the Apostle Parish

The story is told about two people asked to recite the 23rd Psalm for a congregation. One was a professional Shakespearean actor but a non-believer who stood up and delivered the verses. Using just the right tone of voice, the right inflection, pausing in just the right places and emphasizing just perfectly the right phrases, he left the congregation spell-bound. It was magnificent. Then, an ordinary member of the congregation stood up. He mispronounced some of the words. He stumbled through the images using the same tone of voice all the way with emphasis and pauses in the wrong places. … more »

The Third Sunday of Easter

May 5, 2019 at St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Acts 5, 27-32, 40-41 + Psalm 30 + Revelation 5, 9-11-14 + John 21, 1-19

4:30pm Saturday at St. William Parish

By listing the names of these fishermen, John is giving us more information than just who was there. First of all, counting Peter, there were seven of them, and that number seven in the Scriptures always carries with it a deeper meaning. In this case, the sense of totality. Everyone is there. The seven named by John represent every possible type gathered in assembly just like us today. There is the impulsive Peter, the doubting Thomas, the shrewd Nathaniel, the sons of Zebedee so intense in their feelings, and “two others” just in case you can’t recognize yourself among the five with names. … more »

The Second Sunday of Easter: Divine Mercy

April 28, 2019 at St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Acts 5, 12-16 + Psalm 118 + Revelation 1, 9-11,12-13,17-19 + John 20, 19-31

3:30pm Saturday St. Peter

As we proclaim this Gospel today, it is easy to zero in on the Apostle Thomas, but if we do, we run the risk of missing the whole point of John’s narrative here. John is writing this Gospel long after most people who had seen and heard the historical Jesus have died. John is writing to people who have never seen Jesus. The people who were to receive this Gospel never saw or heard Jesus before his resurrection. That’s the point of having Thomas absent and then having him come to faith in the risen Christ. … more »

Easter Sunday

April 21, 2019 at St. Peter and St. William Church in Naples, FL

Acts 10, 34, 37-42 + Psalm 118 + Colossians 3, 1-4 + Matthew 28, 1-10

St. William Church 1:00pm Mass

A choice is presented for the Easter Sunday Gospels, and I have chosen Matthew because it is the Gospel of this year. A problem arises when faced with this choice because each of the four accounts of the Resurrection is very different, and after reading and hearing them over the years, they all blend together. This is a problem because the blending “waters down” the unique elements of each Gospel account leaving us with too many details and no way to identify what is significant. When put together, they are all significant, and it is simply TMI, too much information. … more »

The Sunday of the Passion or “Palm Sunday”

April 14, 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

Isaiah 50, 4-7 + Psalm 22 + Philippians 2, 6-11 + Luke 22, 14 to 23, 49

Luke 19, 28-40 At the Beginning of Mass

4:30pm Saturday at St. William

In the Passion account we have just proclaimed, Luke puts before us three crowds of people: a crowd at the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, a crowd in the courtyard with Pilate, and a crowd following Jesus to the site of his crucifixion. Each crowd is different. There are now three days before Lent ends on Holy Thursday. You might reflect Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday about in which crowd you might be found. Each crowd is characterized by an emotion: the first is jubilation, the second angry crowd demanding crucifixion, and the weeping crowd walking the way of the cross. … more »

The Fifth Sunday of Lent

April 7, 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

Isaiah 43, 16-21 + Psalm 126 + Philippians 3, 8-14 + John 8, 1-11

Today we get a report from St John about mob violence which is something that sadly is still too common. We have seen it over and over again in the past years from Charlottesville, Virginia to Suburbs of St. Louis, and Pittsburgh. It happens with gangs of bullies on school playgrounds and parks, and today we hear about it in the Gospel of John. It has become so common that we are almost insensitive to it, and that is dangerous. The danger lies in the fact that any of us could be caught up in this senselessness at any time or in any place. … more »

The Fourth Sunday of Lent

31 March 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

Joshua 5, 9-12 + Psalm 34 +2 Corinthians 5, 17-21 + Luke 15, 1-3 & 11-32

We have just proclaimed familiar and much-loved verses from Luke’s Gospel. It is a complex story that explores much more than the dynamics of the human family. It is study inviting us to reflect upon freedom, duty, and love. Those two sons are really good people who in many ways reflect the reality of our lives, all of us. We are one or the other, or perhaps even a combination of both. The younger one lives his freedom. He leaves home when he chooses, and he returns when he chooses without a thought about how anyone else might feel about it. … more »

The Third Sunday of Lent

24 March 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

Exodus 3, 1-8, 13-15 + Psalm 103 + 1 Corinthians 10, 1-6, 10-12 + Luke 13, 1-9

2:45 pm Saturday – Saint William Parish

Today, Luke calls them, “some people”; and we know how that goes. Some people say this, and some people say that, and some people told me something about someone I know and I can’t believe what some people are saying these days. On and on it goes. It’s always some people, and sometimes we are some people. In this case, they are coming to Jesus with a rumor about a man they all hated, Pilot. Was it true or not? No one really knows. … more »

The Second Sunday of Lent

17 March 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

Genesis 15, 5-12, 17-18 + Psalm27 + Philippians 3,17 to 4, 1 + Luke 9, 28-36

Saturday, March 16 at Saint Peter the Apostle

Now, as we put the pieces together, we have to realize this: Peter has previously made his profession of faith, just a few verses earlier at Caesarea Phillip. This is not about them. It is not an experience that reveals the identity of Jesus. That has already been taken care of by Peter. This experience is for Jesus, and it is for his sake that it happens. So, we have Peter, James, and John. These are the three apostles that Mark tells us were with Jesus in the Garden of Olives after the Last Supper. … more »