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 »

The Sixth Sunday of Easter at St. Peter & St. William Parishes in Naples, FL

6 Easter Sunday

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

Acts of the Apostles 10, 25-26, 34-35, 44-48 + Psalm 98 + 1 John 4, 7-10 + John 15, 9-17

Two weeks ago, the Gospel proclaimed through the words of Jesus that we were being invited into the same relationship Jesus shared with the Father. Last week, with the image of the vine and branches, the Gospel described the relationship we have with one another and with Christ Jesus reminded that alone we can do nothing. Today the Gospel gives both of those relationships a name: “Friend.”

The change from “servant” to “friend” that Jesus announces for us today gives every reason to gather around this altar in joyful thanksgiving. … more »

The Fifth Sunday of Easter at St. Peter & St. William Parishes in Naples, FL

 5 Easter Sunday

29 April 2018 at St. Peter the Apostle and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Acts of the Apostles 9, 26-31 + Psalm 22 + 1 John 3, 18-24 + John 15, 1-8

Jesus never wrote, composed, or built anything. What he left behind was a community. His whole life and mission was about relationships, bringing us to share his relationship with the Father. Whenever there was something that kept people apart from one another it had to go. Martha and Mary lost their brother Lazarus. Two women on their own in that culture was a disaster. So, Jesus called Lazarus back. A widow is about to bury her only son. Jesus raises that boy and gives him back to his mother. … more »

The Fourth Sunday of Easter at St. Peter & St. William Parishes in Naples, FL

4 Easter Sunday

22 April 2018 at St. Peter the Apostle and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Acts of the Apostles 4, 8-12 + Psalm 118 + 1 John 3, 1-2 + John 10, 11-18

Seven times in John’s Gospel Jesus says: “I am.” Now pay attention. There might be a quiz! I am the Bread of Life. I am the Light of the World. I am the Gate. I am the Resurrection and the Life. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. I am the Vine. Now today, I am the Good Shepherd. Each of these rely on an Old Testament image of God, but only one describes a human role. Jesus has just had an altercation with the Pharisees who have objected that he healed a blind man on the Sabbath. … more »

The Third Sunday of Easter at St. Peter & St. William Parishes in Naples, FL

3 Easter Sunday

15 April 2018 at St. Peter the Apostle and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Acts of the Apostles 3, 13-15, 17-19 + Psalm 4 + 1 John 2, 1-5 + Luke 24, 35-48

In all four of the Gospels, Jesus is on a journey to Jerusalem. That is the focus of his life, and the center of his mission. These disciples are not just grieving, they are all mixed up. Maybe their grieving is an excuse, but the fact is, they are going the wrong way. The whole life of Jesus, and the message of the Gospels, takes us to Jerusalem, to the cross. Those disciples are going away from the cross, and I suppose we tell their story because too often we are doing the same thing. … more »