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. … more »

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

The Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
16 September 2018
At Saint Peter the Apostle and St. Willian Churches in Naples, FL
Isaiah 50, 4-9 + Psalm 116 + James 2, 14-18 + Mark 8, 27-35

To believe that Jesus is the Messiah is not the same thing as understanding what it means to be the Messiah, and that is what unfolds in these verses today. From now until the end of Mark’s Gospel, the focus will be an instruction in which Jesus will reveal the mystery of his vocation to be a suffering Messiah who will lay down his life for his people, and the disciple’s vocation to follow him. As Mark sets up this last part of the Gospel, it becomes a journey to Jerusalem. … more »

9/11 Memorial Liturgy at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL

9/11 Liturgy at Saint Peter the Apostle Church, Naples, FL
  Revelation 21, 1-7 + Matthew 5, 1-12

This assembly in a house of prayer is much more than a memorial about a horrible event in the past. If we were to gather here to memorialize horrible historical events, we would never be able to leave. We would commemorate assassinations, bombings, hijackings, riots, genocide, school shootings, and way more besides. This day and our assembly cannot be just about the past. A cross made from the debris of the Twin Towers and piece of stone from the Pentagon lie here before us to say without words what hatred can do. Yet, we place them before an altar which speaks wordlessly about what sacrificial love can do. … more »

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

The Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
9 September 2018 at Saint Peter the Apostle and St. Willian Churches in Naples, FL

Isaiah 35, 4-7 + Psalm 146 + James 2, 1-5 + Mark 7, 31-37

When you are different, people are afraid of you. If you’re blind, people step out of the way. If you are deaf few people will find a way to communicate with you. Moreover, some with a severe hearing deficit or with no hearing at all find it very difficult to speak, and so communication is difficult resulting in a great burden of isolation and often depression. These people suffer, not from hearing loss, because it isn’t painful. They suffer because they rarely get a chance to contribute to the community. … more »

The Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time at St Peter and St William Churches in Naples and St Sebastian Church in Ft. Lauderdale

The Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
2 September 2018
Saint Peter the Apostle in Naples & St. Sebastian Church in Ft. Lauderdale

When you push through the examples here forgetting about washing and all that stuff, you get to the real point of this episode in Mark’s Gospel. Think of this Gospel as a handbook or formation program for true disciples of Jesus. When you do that, this becomes a lesson on integrity. It ought to be obvious to everyone of us that we are living through a time of moral decay. The evidence is a loss of integrity which is just what Jesus is addressing in these verses. I remind you that the Word of God is always the truth, not opinion or suggestion. … more »

The Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time at St Peter, St William & St Elizabeth Seton Churches in Naples, FL

The Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

26 August 2018 at Saint Peter the Apostle, St. Willian & Elizabeth Seton Churches in Naples, FL

Joshua 24, 1-2 & 15-18 + Psalm 34 + Ephesians 5, 21-32 + John 6, 60-69

Now with our final Sunday in John’s sixth chapter, a crisis arises. Given what has been said earlier, it should not come as a surprise to discover that being a disciple of Jesus is more than casually looking for him and eating what he gives. Remember that this is how this crowd came together. They saw a miracle with loaves and fish and they have come looking for Jesus the next day so that they could be fed bread again. Discipleship with Jesus is not casually looking for him and enjoying some physical blessings. … more »

The Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time at St. Peter and St. William Parishes in Naples, FL

The Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

19 August 2018 at Saint Peter the Apostle and St. Willian Churches in Naples, FL

Proverbs 9, 1-6 + Psalm 34 + Ephesians 5, 15-20 + John 6, 51-58

We all look at food differently. For some, food is about taste. Who cares if it’s full of sugar or salt? If it tastes good, it is good. If it’s fried, it’s even better. Bring it on! We’ll work it off tomorrow or after the game if we can get ourselves out of the recliner. There are others who read labels, and they think about food in terms of organic and health promoting. For them it is all about ingredients. For some, food is their best friend, and they are always after “comfort food.” While some think of food as an enemy when you can’t get into most of the things in your closet. … more »