The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

St Peter the Apostle

21 January 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

Isaiah 62, 1-5
+ Psalm 96 + 1 Corinthians 12, 4-11 + John 2, 1-11

Can’t you just imagine what Mary said to her son as they were leaving that wedding feast? I can, and have often enjoyed sitting with this episode wondering what it was like for the wine steward, the servers, the bride and the groom, their parents. We’ve all been to weddings big and small, and we know how many people it takes to satisfy the expectations of everyone. So, when we sit with this story, your imagination can lead to some wonderful insights which might well be revelations. So, on their way home, Mary says to Jesus: “Really?” Jesus says: “What?” She looks at him as only a mother can and says: “600 gallons of extra ordinary wine! … more »

The Baptism of the Lord

13 January 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

Isaiah 40, 1-5, 9-11 + Psalm 29 + Acts 10, 34-38 + Luke 3, 15-16; 21-22

A few weeks ago, I was sitting with the RCIA group, and it was time for some open questions. Someone in the group asked why Jesus had to be Baptized. It seemed strange to this man that Jesus would be baptized as though he needed to repent or be saved. I always love the questions that get asked at RCIA, because they so often touch on things that those of us who were Baptized as infants and raised in Catholicism never think to ask, but probably should. The paradox of the Christ’s Baptism is in every way another Epiphany or manifestation of who Jesus Christ is for us. … more »

The Epiphany of the Lord

6 January 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

Isaiah 60, 1-6 + Psalm 72 + Ephesians 3, 2-3, 5-6 + Matthew 2, 1-12

There is often a real historical element to Gospel events that the writers use as a basis for bringing forth some revelation. This story is a perfect example. It makes the story complex and requires some time to sit with it turning over all the facets and elements that Matthew brings together. At the time Christ was born, the word “Magi” described powerful people from the Parthian empire just east of Judea. First readers of Matthew would know that Herod and Parthians were not friendly. The Parthians had invaded Judea just a few decades earlier. … more »

Mary the Holy Mother of God

1 January 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Number 6, 22-27 + Psalm 67 + Galatians 4 407 + Luke 2, 16-21

When you say “Yes” to God, a lot of stuff happens that doesn’t always make sense, and just because you believe and trust in God there is no “free pass” when it comes to confusion, doubt, and even sometimes fear. This woman whose memory and whose name we honor today said “Yes”, and with that, her life began a spiral of surprises and unexpected events. There was that visit to Elizabeth whose child leapt at Mary’s arrival. There were these shepherds we hear about today. How could they have found her? There were those old people in the Temple, Simenon and Anna who said such strange things about her child. … more »

Feast of the Holy Family

30 December 2018 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

Sirach 3, 2-6, 12-14 + Psalm 128 + Colossians 3, 12-21 + Luke 2, 41-52

There is some great wisdom behind our old tradition of reflecting upon family just after Christmas. After all, when God had finally decided it was time to enter into a real and lasting covenant with us, God seemed have decided that it should be through and within a real family. Taking a breather between Christmas and the celebration of a New Year offers us the chance to reflect and wonder about the mystery of family life. Of course, in our own times, what makes up or identifies a “family” is not quite as consistent as it might have been a generation or two ago. … more »

Christmas

Christmas 25 December 2018

St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

Isaiah 9, 1-6 + Psalm 96 +Titus 2, 11-14 + Luke 2, 1-14

St William Church 4:30pm December 25, 2019

At the heart of this story there hangs a “no vacancy” sign that even today can trouble a sensitive conscience, and leave us wondering about what to do. Not too long ago a school Christmas pageant was being presented by a group of enthusiastic children all ready to play the parts. Among them was a boy named Billy who has “Downs”. The teacher, Billy’s parents, and members of his class at school worked hard to help Billy remember his lines: “There is no room in the Inn.” For weeks, they rehearsed the lines with Billy, “There’s no room in the Inn. … more »

The Fourth Sunday in Advent

The Fourth Sunday of Advent on board the MS Nieu Statendam

23 December 2018 on board the MS Nieu Statendam

Micah 5, 1-4 + Psalm 80 + Hebrews 10, 5-10 + Luke 1, 39-45

As we stand at the threshold of this year’s celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, we find ourselves being asked to reflect upon the unexpected ways in which God works. Here we are on a ship that a year ago was not even on the water. I knew it was planned, but on December 23, 2017 I never expected to be here. Yet here we are about to disembark, and many will head back home where it is entirely possible and even likely that the unexpected will again break into our lives. … more »

The Third Sunday of Advent at St. William Church in Naples, FL

The Third Sunday of Advent at Saint William Parish in Naples, FL

16 December 2018 at Saint William Church in Naples, Fl

Zephaniah 3,14-18 + Psalm Isaiah 12 + Philippians 4, 4-7 + Luke 3, 10-18

The prophet is the voice of God speaking in this assembly today. This prophet whose voice cries out to us is a man whose authenticity is beyond question because of his honesty and his passion for justice. Unafraid to speak truth those in power, he deserves the same respect and attention today that he earned ages ago. Here was a man who cared nothing for comfort, money, or fame. He could not be bought or manipulated by anything or anybody. For the people of his time and for all of us in this time, he still speaks for God with a message that is direct and simple. … more »

The Second Sunday in Advent at St William Church in Naples, FL

The SecondSunday of Advent

December 9, 2018 at Saint William Church in Naples, FL.

In this second week of Advent, it might be a good idea to put the image of the desert in front of us because it is the antithesis of the mall. In the desert there is nothing to buy. In the mall it is all about noise and lights and crowds of people. In the desert the only light is the stars, a beauty that is beyond our reach yet seems to have been created for nothing more than our wonder and delight. All around us there are other kinds of deserts. There is one on our southern boarder where poor people wander seeking something better as they bet their lives on a chance for peace and safety. … more »

The Immaculate Conception at Saint Elizabeth Seton Church in Naples, FL

The Immaculate Conception
8 December 2018 at Saint Elizabeth Seton Church in Naples, FL
Genesis 3 9-15 + Psalm 98 + Ephesians 1: 3-6, 11-12 + Luke 1, 26-38

The reading from Genesis assigned for today is a reminder that this world, God’s creation, is broken. It’s not as though we have to be reminded, but the struggle to live in that brokenness might cause us to forget that God made a promise to restore creation to its original sinless and perfect condition so that it might more clearly and consistently mirror the goodness and the beauty of the creator. The first step in that restoration is the woman we honor today, a new Eve, whose very sinless conception is the beginning of that restoration. … more »