2 Advent

8 December 2019

Isaiah 11, 1-10 + Psalm 72 + Romans 15, 4-9 + Matthew 3, 1-12

St. Peter the Apostle & St. William Churches in Naples, FL

3:30pm SATURDAY at St. Peter the Apostle in Naples, FL

Isaiah opens our liturgy today just as he opened this Advent season last week. He spoke passionately about refusing to accept things as they are and demanding that God’s people look to a future that is better and do something to bring it about. Today that future is described as a time of Justice, and Isaiah envisions a time when a leader will be clothed in justice and faithfulness. This leadership promotes harmony to the point that even natural enemies will become friends. … more »

1 Advent

1 December 1, 2019 at St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

12:00pm Sunday at St Peter the Apostle in Naples

The prophet whose words break open this Advent Season speaks up at a time when people were giving up on their dreams because it seemed as though their time had passed. They had decided that it was time to get real and simply accept their new world as it was, not as they wished it could be. Isaiah was obviously a man with a great imagination, and he was heart-broken to find himself in the midst of people who had quit, given up, and just ceased to imagine how wonderful things could really be. Instead of just shaking his head and saying: “It is what it is”, he dreamed, spoke up, and expected something different, and he was not quiet about it. … more »

Ordinary Time 34 and The Feast of Christ the King

November 24, 2019 At Saint Peter and Saint William Parishes in Naples, FL

 2 Samuel 5, 1-3 + Psalm 122 + Colossians 1, 12-20 + Luke 23, 35-43

4:30pm ar Saint William Church in Naples, FL

On this last Sunday of the Church’s year we stand with this Gospel on the edge of Paradise. We can look through the doorway to heaven because in his promise to that “good thief” Jesus opens the door to real freedom inviting us to embrace Paradise today. His work is complete with his last breath and his final words. He looks at all of us who realize our need, and he says: “Today you will be with me.”

This was his mission. This is why the Father sent him, not so much to suffer and die an agonizing death, but to identity with us, to be incarnate in our flesh, and to remain with us until the very end. … more »

Ordinary Time 33

November 17, 2019 At Saint Peter and Saint William Parishes in Naples, FL

 Malachi, 3, 19-20 + Psalm 98 + 2 Thessalonians 3, 7-12 + Luke 21, 5-19

12:00 Noon Mass at Saint Peter the Apostle in Naple, FL

There are two issues in these Gospel verses today. The first concerns the end of the world.

Jesus states that there will be an end time, when the Son of Man will come as judge, but we cannot determine when that will be. There is really only one way for people of faith to live with this reality. You can recognize them by the way they live, always in the present, always full of life and joy. There is something spontaneous about them. … more »

Ordinary Time 32

November 10, 2019 Onboard the MS Koningsdam

2 Maccabees 7, 1-2 & 9-14 + Psalm 17 + 2 Thessalonians 2, 16 – 3, 5

Luke 20, 27-38

Since June, we have been going along with Jesus as he makes his way to Jerusalem. Last week was the last stop just outside of town at the city of Jericho where he met Zacchaeus. We have skipped over the great entry into Jerusalem. He has already had his confrontation with the merchants there and a serious confrontation with the Pharisees and every other authority possible. Things are coming together, and his fate is now unavoidable. Luke structures this part of his Gospel around a series of questions posed by different groups. We have skipped over the first two, but it might help to mention them. … more »

Ordinary Time 31

November 3, 2019 Onboard the MS Koningsdam

 Wisdom 11, 22 – 12,1 + Psalm 145 + 2 Thessalonians 1, 11 – 2,2 + Luke 19, 1-10

Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector provides one of the most well-loved stories in the Bible. It a story with many layers from which we can all explore the will of God. It is an Incarnational story that in figurative language reveals what God intended by sending his Son. He came to stay in our house, here on earth, here in human flesh. It is a story of the salvation Jesus brings as he seeks the lost and the most despised by this world, but yet loved by God. It is a conversion story, the best kind of conversion, it begins with a conversion of heart, a change of life, a change of values, which is always better than an intellectual conversion This is also a story/lesson about wealth, a topic frequently raised in Luke’s Gospel. … more »

Ordinary Time 30

October 27, 2019 Prepared for Publication while in Rome, Italy

 Sirach 35, 12-14 & 16-18 + Psalm 34 + 2 Timothy 4, 6-8 & 16-18 + Luke 18, 9-14

 As much as it might be easier to preach about prayer from these verses, that would avoid the real issue. What is important here comes at the very end, and that should be of interest to us. Luke tells us that “The tax collector went home justified.” The word “Justified” is important. It leads us to reflect how or what it means to be “justified.”

These were both probably good men, and their prayers were honest and true. The problem surfaces with the comments of Jesus. This parable is aimed at those who pride themselves on being virtuous while looking down on others. … more »

Ordinary Time 29

October 20, 2019 at Saint Peter and Saint William Parishes in Naples, FL

 Exodus 17, 8-13 + Psalm 121 + 2 Timothy 3, 14 & 4, 2 + Luke 18, 1-8

Sunday 9:00am Saint William Church Naples, FL

The widow reveals the power of weakness as we shall soon see when Jesus gets to Jerusalem with his passion, death, and resurrection. In Luke’s Gospel, widows are often seen and heard which might reveal the powerful role these women played in the earliest church. The Judge here is not one of the Jewish elders, but a paid magistrate appointed by the Romans. They were notoriously corrupt, extorting money from people to secure a favorable ruling. This judge is a scoundrel. He may well have taken a bribe from the woman’s oppressor. … more »

Ordinary Time 28

October 13, 2019 at Saint Peter and Saint William Parishes in Naples, FL

 2 Kings 5, 14-17 + Psalm 98 + 2 Timothy 2, 8-14 + Luke 17, 11-19

12:00pm at Saint Peter the Apostle in Naples, FL

In the second act of Shakespeare’s play, “As You Like It” Lord Amiens, a musician sings before the Duke these words: “Blow, blow, thou winter wind, thou are not so unkind as man’s ingratitude; Thy tooth is not keen, because thou art not seen, although thy breath be rude. Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky, that does not bite so nigh as benefit forgot: though thou the waters warp, thy sting is not so sharp as a friend remembered not.” And so today, the Word of God speaks to us about gratitude, healing, faith, and salvation all in one well known story. … more »

Ordinary Time 27

October 6, 2019 at Saint Peter and Saint William Parishes in Naples, FL

Habakkuk 1, 2-3 & 2,2-4 + Psalm 95 + 2 Timothy 1, 6-8 & 13-14

Luke 17, 5-10

Sunday 11:00am Saint William Catholic Church Naples, FL

This gospel parable is very important to me personally, and it has helped me greatly in the past few years as I moved into “retirement.” When I was stepping out of parish administration, which is really what I retired from and left behind on purpose, people would wish me well and often say, “Father, enjoy yourself now. You deserve it.” I was always very uncomfortable with those words even though they were meant kindly, because I never felt as if retirement for a priest was a reward. … more »