The Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time at Saint Peter the Apostle & Saint William Parishes in Naples, FL

The Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
18 November 2018 at St. Peter the Apostle & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl
Daniel 12, 1-3 + Psalm 16 + Hebrews 10, 11-14, 18 + Mark 14, 24-32

If you wanted to summarize this Gospel today in one word, it would not be hard to know which word, Beware. It is a sober and stern warning not just to the apostles. Mark tells us that Jesus spoke “to the crowds.” That would be us. Because we believe that the Gospels are alive and that through them Jesus still speaks, we might well pay attention to this warning.

Historically as this incident was remembered and recorded, Jesus was speaking about scribes who were out to impress people by their dress, their behavior, and in a sense, by “throwing their weight around.” The scribes of that time were the celebrities of their day, and while we have no scribes today, we are not short of celebrities. … more »

The Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time at St Peter & St William Churches in Naples, FL

The Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
11 November 2018 at St. Peter the Apostle & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl
1 Kings 17, 10-16 + Psalm 146 + Hebrews 9, 24-28 + Mark 12, 38-44

Today, Mark says that Jesus draws his disciples to himself. Something really important is about to be shared. Something is about to revealed that they must not miss. What we get here is another example of what I like to call, “divine logic” which turns human logic upside down. The apostles had been raised and believed that people who had a lot of things and a lot of money were the blessed and favored by God. Those who were poor and lived on the margins of society had somehow sinned and brought this all on themselves. … more »

The Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time at St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

The Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
4 November 2018 at St. Peter the Apostle & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl
Deuteronomy 6, 2-6 + Psalm 18 + Hebrews 7, 23-28 + Mark 12, 28-34

Every now and then I have to tell myself that I am living in a remarkable, unique and special time in human history. I do that to keep from getting negative and discouraged. I convince myself that I am witnessing and living in an age that will fascinate historians for a long time. So, I keep on going through terrible times in our church, and troubling and divisive times in our nation. Then election time rolls around, and I am relieved because in two more days I’ll be able to watch TV again without all those assaulting and insulting political commercials. … more »

All Saints Day at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, FL

The Solemnity of All Saints
1 November 2018 at Saint Peter the Apostle and St. Willian Churches in Naples, FL
Revelations 7, 2-4, 9-14 + Psalm 24 + 1 John 3, 1-3 + Matthew 5, 1-12

We should gather here today with the memory of saints we have known in our lives. This day is not about Francis or Clare of Assisi, the Apostles, or the Martyrs whose faith and courage made them heroic in suffering. This day is about people we have known in our lifetime, people who challenge us, or maybe even shame us into living a good, holy, faith filled life. These are people who imitated Christ, and they remind us of what life is about. They have in the past and still their memory inspires us. … more »

The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, FL

The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
28 October 2018 at St. Peter the Apostle & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl
Jeremiah 31, 7-9 + Psalm 126 + Hebrews 5, 1-6 + Mark 10, 46-52

This is the last miracle in Mark’s Gospel, and the second time Jesus cures a someone blind. These two cure stories are like bookends beginning and concluding the section in which Jesus attempts to get his disciples to understand who he is in light of the upcoming passion. The first time Jesus seems to have trouble. He must touch the man’s eyes twice before he could see clearly. This time there is no touch at all, just faith that brings blind Bartimaeus into the company of followers. … more »

The Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time at St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

The Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
21 October 2018 at St. Peter the Apostle & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl
Isaiah 53, 10-11 + Psalm 33 + Hebrews 4, 14-16 + Mark 10, 35-45

There is something interesting going on here that takes a little thought and reflection to get straight, but it is really the essence of what Mark is leading us to discover. Simply put: once we know who Jesus is, then we know who we are. To put it another way, once we know what Jesus is, then we know what we are.

This all unfolds in a situation that is too real, too human, and too hard to miss. Those disciples have not yet, even after all this time with Jesus, come to grips with who he is and what he is. … more »

The Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time onboard the MS Eurodam

The Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
14 October 2018 on board the MS Eurodam
Wisdom 7, 7-11 + Psalm 90 + Hebrews 4, 12-13 + Mark 10, 17-30

Two men appear in the verses of Mark’s Gospel we have just proclaimed; one at the beginning another at the end. One of them has no name, and the other is called, Peter. They are both men who have been looked at love. In the case of the first man, it is the only time in all the Gospels that Jesus is said to have looked with love on an individual. It is the gaze of divine love that should have completely overcome this man and moved him to give up everything at that moment. … more »

The Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time onboard the MS Eurodam

The Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
 7 October 2018 on board the MS Eurodam
Genesis 2, 18-24 + Psalm 128 + Hebrews 2, 9-11 + Mark 10, 2-16

As much as some might and in spite of how many have tried to make it so, these verses are not about marriage as we know it. To make it so is to focus on the example rather than the issue. It would be like getting all interested in the waves out there rather than the wind that causes them. What is at stake here is what it means for all of us to be made in the image of God; men, women and children. What is questioned here is whether or not a man is more important than a woman, and whether or not adults are more important than children. … more »

The Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time onboard the MS Eurodam

The Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
30 September 2018 on board the MS Eurodam
Numbers 11, 25-29 + Psalm 19 + James 5, 1-6 + Mark 9, 38-43, 45,47-48

That apostle, John and his friends, have a big problem. They think that somehow this power or authority to cast out demons belongs to them. Now let’s be clear about this, the casting out of demons really refers to healing or helping since in those days, demons were behind everything that was bad. We must not be distracted by thoughts of wild or dramatic exorcisms. The issue here is power and authority.

John and his fellow disciples have to learn that Jesus is the only source of power, and that anything they accomplish is done by the power of Jesus Christ, not by their own skills or their own initiative. … more »

The Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time at St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

The Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
 23 September 2018 at Saint Peter the Apostle and St. Willian Churches in Naples, FL
Wisdom 2,12, 17-20 + Psalm 54 + James 3, 16–4,3 + Mark 9, 30-37

The crowds are gone now. The journey through Galilee to Jerusalem has begun, and instead of being followed by multitudes and surrounded by the needy and afflicted, it is only the disciples now being privately instructed, and Mark puts us right among them. Jesus wants to prepare us for what is ahead; but, it is not just about what lies ahead for Jesus. Is about what lies ahead for disciples. This time Mark has Jesus speaking in the present tense about being handed over. All other references to his Passion and Death were in the future. … more »