The Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

17 February 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

Jeremiah 17, 5-8 + Psalm 1 + 1 Corinthians 15, 12, 16-20 + Luke 6, 17, 20-26

St Peter the Apostle Parish Naples, FL

In Luke’s Gospel, and in this church and every other church where it is proclaimed today, the challenge of faith is unfolded, and there is no hiding from it or playing word games to water it down. These holy scriptures, the very Word of God, are given to us as the plan and program of a life lived in faith. We do not inherit these scriptures to provide or empower us to condemn someone else. We are the only ones who can convict ourselves of living the truth in faith. … more »

The Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

10 February 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

Isaiah 6, 1-2, 3-8 + Psalm 138 + 1 Corinthians 15, 1-11 + Luke 5, 1-11

2:45pm Saturday, February 9, 2019 St. William Church

All three of the people put before us today are reluctant: Isaiah, Paul, and Peter. Yet, they are all chosen by God. Each of them acknowledges their unworthiness and inadequacy, and from a spiritual point of view, this is a good starting point. God knew of their sinfulness, and God chose them in spite of it. Jesus knew Peter was no good as a fisherman. They caught nothing all night long, but Jesus chose him anyway showing him what he could accomplish when he did what Jesus asked of him. … more »

The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 1, 4-5, 17-19 + Psalm 71 + 1 Corinthians 12, 31-13,13 + Luke 4, 21-30

3 February 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

This episode in Luke’s Gospel is tragic and sad leaving us to ponder what went wrong, and how we keep that from happening to us. Think of it, and think what it means for those people in that synagogue and town. “Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.” Luke is not proposing some disappearing act, he leaving us with the impression that God abandoned those people. They were left without Jesus. Now, I don’t know how that strikes you, but for me life without Jesus would be a terrible and sad way of life. … more »

The Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Nehemiah 8, 2-10 + Psalm 19 + 1 Corinthians 12, 12-30 + Luke, 1, 1-4; 4, 14-21

I just love the dramatic way the church stops this reading right here. Next week we pick up with the following verse, and we know what happens when the people start grumbling about what he says, and Luke will tell us that they are “filled with fury”, but we don’t go there yet lest we shift our focus onto them, onto someone else. We must take just these verses and deeply and personally wonder what God is saying to us, because these verses are aimed straight at us, the church, and these words are not proclaimed as comfort from the past, but as a program for today. … more »

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 »