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

The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

15 July 2018 at Saint Peter the Apostle and Saint William Churches in Naples, FL

Amos 7, 12-15 + Psalm 85 + Ephesians 1, 3-14 + Mark 6, 7-13

After last week’s rejection of by those who’s unbelief left Jesus with nothing to do there, he has moved on to neighboring villages. The memory of that distressful and disappointing experience was surely still fresh in the mind of the Apostles. Given their behavior on other occasions, they no doubt expected quite a welcome for the home-town hero who was already so famous bringing glory to little Nazareth. Now they are being called in pairs for a serious and detailed instruction. Then they are sent out with power to do all that Jesus was doing and preach repentance. … more »

The Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time at St Peter and St William Churches in Naples, FL

The Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

8 July 2018 at St. Peter the Apostle & St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Ezekiel 2, 2-5 + Psalm 123 + 2 Corinthians 12, 7-10 + Mark 6, 1-6

We are beginning a new chapter of Mark’s Gospel today. In the past weeks with chapter five we have seen an enormous momentum building as Jesus travelled throughout Galilee and beyond. His presence has been marked by healings, exorcisms, and even as we heard last week, the raising of a dead child. Crowds of people have experienced liberation, healing, and the tender compassion of Jesus. Now in chapter six all of that comes to a sudden stop. What demons, sickness, and death could not stop disbelief does. … more »

The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

1 July 2018

Wisdom 1, 13-15; 2, 23-24 + Psalm 30 + 2 Corinthians 8, 7, 9, 13-15 + Mark 5, 21-43

Two miracles stories and two women lead us to reflect upon the ministry of Jesus Christ, his mission, and his method. On the surface it looks like one of them is healed and the other brought back to life. That’s what it looks like, but what you see is not always what you get. Consistent with Mark’s style, there is commotion here. He seems to like that. There is always a rush and always a crowd. In the midst of that chaos there always stands one who is calm and peaceful. To get beyond the surface of these two incidents, it is helpful to understand that there is problem with English as this Gospel is translated. … more »

The Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

24 June 2018

Isaiah 49, 1-6 + Psalm 139 + Acts 13, 22-26 + Luke 1, 57-66, 80

The shadow of old Sarah and Abraham falls over the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah. Almost like bookends two faithful couples begin and end the story of Israel bearing witness to the power of God’s favor, love, and grace. We should not reflect upon what God does with Zechariah and Elizabeth without recalling how God acted with Sarah and Abraham to begin restoring creation to its glory.

There was an expectation among the Jews that the prophet Elijah would return to earth to prepare God’s chosen people for the coming of the Messiah. Reflecting upon the prophetic witness of John, Jesus declare that John was that Elijah person they were expecting. … more »

The Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mustang, Oklahoma

The Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

17 June 2018 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mustang, Oklahoma

Ezekiel 17, 22-24 + Psalm 92 + 2 Corinthians 5: 6-10 + Mark 4, 26-34

It was December 1, 1955. A 42-year-old black woman boarded a bus to go home after a long day working and shopping. She found a seat at the start of the black section. At the next stop some white people got on so the driver ordered her to get up and give her seat to a white man. Tired and worn out from cleaning up after white people all day, she simply said, “No.” The driver called the police. She was arrested. Word got around quickly, and a local preacher called a meeting. … more »

The Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

10 June 2018 

Genesis 3, 9-15 + Psalm 130 + 2 Corinthians 4, 13 to 5,1 + Mark 3, 20-35

We see something in these verses today that ought to make us sigh with disappointment and frustration. Disappointment as we realize how long this behavior has been going on, and frustration because it continues and because sometimes we get caught up in it ourselves which is not helping move this world toward peace and justice. This is a kind of behavior that to this day continues to tear apart the fabric of unity that is in the mind of God. It is a behavior that borders on the unforgivable and is a sin against the Holy Spirit. … more »

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

Corpus Christi

3 June 2018

Exodus 24, 3-8 + Psalm 116 + Hebrews 9, 11-15 + Mark 14, 12-16. 22-26

One of the things I miss most in retirement is being a Pastor in the spring when First Communion comes around. As I learned more and more about being a pastor, I took more and more of a roll in the preparation of the children for this Rite of Initiation. That’s what it is, you know, it is one of the steps in Initiation following Baptism which is why the tradition of wearing white stays with us. That white garment of Baptism gets put on again. When I would visit with the children, I would insist that they not think about Holy Communion as something they come to get lest they begin to think it was prize or a reward. … more »

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity at St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

27 May 2018 at St. Peter the Apostle and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Deuteronomy 4, 32-34, 39-40 + Psalm 33 + Romans 8, 14-17 + Matthew 28, 16-20

There are some unique and important features to Matthew’s Gospel at this point. In this Gospel, after the Resurrection Jesus never appears to anyone except the women. There is nothing about Peter and there is no upper room. The disciples meet Jesus only one time. In Matthew’s Gospel the first appearance is to some women. At the instruction of Jesus, they go to the eleven and tell them what Jesus told them: “Go to Galilee.” Notice that Matthew refers to them as “the eleven” making certain that we remember the failure and betrayal. … more »

Pentecost Sunday at St. Peter the Apostle & St. William Parishes in Naples, FL

Pentecost

20 May 2018 at St. Peter the Apostle and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Acts 2, 1-11 + Psalm 104 + Galatians 5, 16-25 + John 15, 26-27, & 16, 12-15

Today it all comes to an end, and today it all begins. That’s often the way it is with endings. Most of the time they are really the beginning of something else.  Graduation can feel like an end, but it’s really just the beginning of a new life. A marriage may seem to the parents like the end of parenting, but it’s really the beginning of a whole new life. I have discovered what many of you have discovered. Retirement is no end at all. It is really just a beginning of a new time, a new life, a new sense of self, of purpose, and of mission. … more »

The Seventh Sunday of Easter and the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord at St Patrick Church in White Lake, Michigan

The Seventh Sunday of Easter + Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

The Golden Jubilee of John O’Keefe’ Ordination at St. Patrick Church in White Lake, Michigan

13 May 2018

It was May 16, 1993 and the Sixth Sunday of Easter. It was the celebration of your 25th ordination anniversary. I was here then too at Saint Pricilla in Livonia, and you were there presiding. We were a lot better looking then and we moved around with a lot more energy, but by the grace of God, the encouragement and support of many friends, plus the skills of a many medical professionals, here we are again. I don’t know about you, John, but I’m not counting on doing this again in 25 years. … more »