Trinity Sunday

June 16, 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Proverbs 8, 22-31 + Psalm 8 + Romans 5, 1-5 + John 16, 12-15

4:30 pm Saturday St. William Church, Naples, FL

I have never cared for the custom of calling the Sunday after Pentecost, “Trinity Sunday.” In more recent years someone decided that the title for the Sunday after Pentecost is the “Most Holy Trinity” as though there was a “Least Holy Trinity” or a “More Holy Trinity”. Too many words! When God puts me in charge, we will call the Sunday after Pentecost “Love Sunday”, because that gets to the heart of the matter, and doesn’t seem nearly as complicated the “Trinity.” My friends, Trinity is the destiny of our lives, because Trinity is Love, the love of God, the love God has for us, revealed in the love God has for Jesus Christ. … more »

Pentecost Sunday

June 9, 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Acts 2, 1-11 + Psalm 104 + Romans 8, 8-17 + John 14, 15-16, 23-26

A couple of years ago, I was on a plane off to give a talk somewhere. I was wearing my clerical suit because the person picking me up did not know me. I had taken my aisle seat on the plane, and a lady came along and moved into the seat next to me. I opened a book in which I was intending to hide when she turned and asked, “Are you saved?” My toes curled as every possible motive for asking me that question raced through my mind. I glanced at her hands. … more »

The Ascension of the Lord The Seventh Sunday of Easter

June 2, 2019 at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL

Acts 1, 1-11 + Psalm 47 + Ephesians 1, 17-23 + Like 24, 46-53

3:30pm Saturday at Saint Peter

There is a little story about young man in his twenties, walking along a city street. He spotted a hundred-dollar bill, and felt really good about it. Ever there after he decided to keep looking down where ever he went. By the time he was seventy, had had collected a lot of stuff: hundreds of wallets with credit cards and IDs, and the money he collected became quite a sizeable amount. From time to time he gathered some valuable stuff: he picked up at least ten mobile phones and i-pads. … more »

The Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 26, 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Acts 15, 1-2, 22-29 + Psalm 67 + Revelation 21, 10-14, 22-23 + John 14, 23-29

4:30pm Mass at Saint William

Two promises are proclaimed today: The Spirit and Peace. That Spirit he promises is the very soul of Jesus: that spark of life, that power that animated him. It is the very presence of God that empowers anyone filled with that Spirit to be the presence of God to another, to exercise the work of Jesus Christ forgiving and healing whatever is broken keeping us from each other and from the Father. It is by and through that Spirit that the dream, the hope, and vision of Jesus that we might all be one is made possible. … more »

The Fifth Sunday of Easter

In the Maronite Rite: The Fifth Sunday of the Resurrection: Peter receives his ministry

May 19, 2019 at Our Lady of Lebanon in Norman, Oklahoma

Ephesians 2, 1-10 + John 21, 15-19

11:00am Sunday at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church in Norman, OK

These verses near the very end of John’s Gospel take us right to the very heart of faith and to the one condition, the one element without which there is no church, no faith, no hope, and no future. In the other Gospels, Peter makes some very profound and courageous acts of faith. Now in John’s Gospel, Peter’s act of faith comes at the end after his courage has been crushed, his pride broken, and all his weakness exposed for all to see. … more »

The Fourth Sunday of Easter

May 12, 2019 at St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Acts 13, 14, 43-52 + Psalm 100 + Revelation 7, 9, 14-17 + John 10, 27-30

Saturday 3:30pm St. Peter the Apostle Parish

The story is told about two people asked to recite the 23rd Psalm for a congregation. One was a professional Shakespearean actor but a non-believer who stood up and delivered the verses. Using just the right tone of voice, the right inflection, pausing in just the right places and emphasizing just perfectly the right phrases, he left the congregation spell-bound. It was magnificent. Then, an ordinary member of the congregation stood up. He mispronounced some of the words. He stumbled through the images using the same tone of voice all the way with emphasis and pauses in the wrong places. … more »

The Third Sunday of Easter

May 5, 2019 at St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Acts 5, 27-32, 40-41 + Psalm 30 + Revelation 5, 9-11-14 + John 21, 1-19

4:30pm Saturday at St. William Parish

By listing the names of these fishermen, John is giving us more information than just who was there. First of all, counting Peter, there were seven of them, and that number seven in the Scriptures always carries with it a deeper meaning. In this case, the sense of totality. Everyone is there. The seven named by John represent every possible type gathered in assembly just like us today. There is the impulsive Peter, the doubting Thomas, the shrewd Nathaniel, the sons of Zebedee so intense in their feelings, and “two others” just in case you can’t recognize yourself among the five with names. … more »

The Second Sunday of Easter: Divine Mercy

April 28, 2019 at St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Acts 5, 12-16 + Psalm 118 + Revelation 1, 9-11,12-13,17-19 + John 20, 19-31

3:30pm Saturday St. Peter

As we proclaim this Gospel today, it is easy to zero in on the Apostle Thomas, but if we do, we run the risk of missing the whole point of John’s narrative here. John is writing this Gospel long after most people who had seen and heard the historical Jesus have died. John is writing to people who have never seen Jesus. The people who were to receive this Gospel never saw or heard Jesus before his resurrection. That’s the point of having Thomas absent and then having him come to faith in the risen Christ. … more »

Easter Sunday

April 21, 2019 at St. Peter and St. William Church in Naples, FL

Acts 10, 34, 37-42 + Psalm 118 + Colossians 3, 1-4 + Matthew 28, 1-10

St. William Church 1:00pm Mass

A choice is presented for the Easter Sunday Gospels, and I have chosen Matthew because it is the Gospel of this year. A problem arises when faced with this choice because each of the four accounts of the Resurrection is very different, and after reading and hearing them over the years, they all blend together. This is a problem because the blending “waters down” the unique elements of each Gospel account leaving us with too many details and no way to identify what is significant. When put together, they are all significant, and it is simply TMI, too much information. … more »

The Sunday of the Passion or “Palm Sunday”

April 14, 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

Isaiah 50, 4-7 + Psalm 22 + Philippians 2, 6-11 + Luke 22, 14 to 23, 49

Luke 19, 28-40 At the Beginning of Mass

4:30pm Saturday at St. William

In the Passion account we have just proclaimed, Luke puts before us three crowds of people: a crowd at the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, a crowd in the courtyard with Pilate, and a crowd following Jesus to the site of his crucifixion. Each crowd is different. There are now three days before Lent ends on Holy Thursday. You might reflect Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday about in which crowd you might be found. Each crowd is characterized by an emotion: the first is jubilation, the second angry crowd demanding crucifixion, and the weeping crowd walking the way of the cross. … more »