Ordinary Time 29

Ordinary Time 29 – October 18, 2020

There will be no audio for this homily. It was not delivered in 2020.

I am serving a Maronite Community away from Naples.

Isaiah 45, 1, 4-6 + Psalm 96 + 1 Thessalonians 1, 1-5 + Matthew 22, 15-21

This episode continues the conflict of Jesus with the leaders of the people who are always hanging around, it would seem, trying to trap him in some act or opinion that would set him up for condemnation. We are still in the Temple precincts.  It’s a busy place. There are a lot of people around. Those money changers Jesus had disrupted were quickly back in business because they had to be there for the Temple to function. … more »

Ordinary Time 28

October 11, 2020

There will be no audio for this homily. It was not delivered.

This weekend I am serving a Maronite Community away from Naples.

Isaiah 25, 6-10 + Psalm 23 + Philippians 4, 12-14 ,19-20 + Matthew 22,1-14

Matthew still have us in the Temple area, and the audience is still the Chief Priests and Elders of the people. In case you did not notice, we have been there now for three weeks. It is not a parable this time. It is an allegory, a story that speaks of one thing but means another. There is a strong message here with this garment issue that just showing up is not enough, and we should not miss the detail that it is the King who makes the judgement about how is dressed right and who is not. … more »

Ordinary Time 27

October 4, 2020 at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL

Isaiah 5, 1-7 + Psalm 80 + Philippians 4, 6-9 + Matthew 21, 33-43

We all just stood up to hear Jesus Christ speak to us directly from this Gospel. To sit down now and to think that we have heard Jesus of Nazareth attacking the chief priests and leaders of the people is to completely miss the point and somehow dis-engage the Gospel from real life. It is not about them. It is about us. They are entrusted with the care of God’s creation and God’s children. They blew it, and in a clever trap with this dialogue, Jesus gets them to condemn themselves.

History and Literature are full of stories about tenants and landlords. … more »

Ordinary Time 26

September 27, 2020

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

Ezekiel 18, 25-28 + Psalm 25 + Philippians 2, 1-11 + Matthew 21, 28-32

Saturday, 3:30pm St Peter the Apostle, Naples, FL

                                  Jesus has just entered Jerusalem with great excitement, and with no other authority than the Truth, he cleared out the Temple which, I’ve always thought was a symbolic way of demanding that we clear out our lives tangled up in commercialism, competition and consumerism forgetting that we are a Temple, the dwelling place of God. Those chief priests and elders realize now that they have no way of dealing with this troublesome Rabbi, and with that, Jesus tells this story of the two sons in the presence of those chief priests and elders to trouble their consciences. … more »

Ordinary Time 25

September 20, 2020

At St. Peter the Apostle and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Isaiah 55, 6-9 + Psalm 145 + Philippians 1, 20-24,27 + Matthew 20, 1-6

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

You almost have to wonder what in the world the owner of this vineyard was thinking when he paid the last workers first. He could have avoided the whole controversy by dong it the other way around.  However, Matthew is describing the Kingdom of Heaven where the last shall be first, and the first shall be last. So, Jesus speaks to us about this and teaches us, his disciples, about how to reveal something about God to those around us. There something else here to wonder about. … more »

Ordinary Time 24

September 13, 2020

At St. Peter the Apostle and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Sirach 27, 30-28, 7 + Psalm 95103 + Roman 14, 7-9 + Matthew 18, 21-35

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

It is ironic that Peter should ask this question about forgiveness introducing the parable of the merciless steward since Peter himself will be forgiven by Jesus for his Good Friday denial. We are in the fourth “discourse” or theme of the five in Matthew’s Gospel. In the first we heard the Beatitudes as a discourse on the virtues of those who would follow Jesus. In the second discourse, the apostles are introduced and the theme is the “mission” of disciples. The third is the “Parable Discourse” that describes the Kingdom of Heaven. … more »

Ordinary Time 27

October 4, 2020 at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL

Isaiah 5, 1-7 + Psalm 80 + Philippians 4, 6-9 + Matthew 21, 33-43

We all just stood up to hear Jesus Christ speak to us directly from this Gospel. To sit down now and to think that we have heard Jesus of Nazareth attacking the chief priests and leaders of the people is to completely miss the point and somehow dis-engage the Gospel from real life. It is not about them. It is about us. They are entrusted with the care of God’s creation and God’s children. They blew it, and in a clever trap with this dialogue, Jesus gets them to condemn themselves.

History and Literature are full of stories about tenants and landlords. … more »

Ordinary Time 23

September 6, 2020 at St. Peter and St William Churches in Naples, FL

Ezekiel 23, 7-9 + Psalm 95 + Roman 13, 8-10 + Matthew 18, 15-20

9:00am Sunday St. William Catholic Church, Naples, FL

My father had a few old sayings that in my adult life I have begun to wonder about and question very seriously. Some of them were sillier than others. Some of them were wise and thoughtful. Some others I have come to question. When I would leave the house at night with friends, there was always the shout: “Don’t do nothin’ stupid!” To say that my father was a lot like Archie Bunker would be an exaggeration, he hated the show, but I always thought it was insightful and revealing. … more »

Ordinary Time 22

This homily was not spoken the weekend of August 29/30.

This weekend is Maronite Weekend at Tequesta, Fl

Jeremiah 20, 7-9+ Psalm 63 + Roman 12, 1-2 + Matthew 16, 21-27

Last week he is called: “The Rock” and given the keys. This week he is called: “Satan” and put in his place which is where a disciple belongs, not in front of the master. Peter, flush with his new authority wants to do the leading, and he learns quite quickly that the kind of leadership Jesus desires is a leadership of service not of power or authority.

Peter has just made a profound statement of belief that Jesus is the Messiah. But, as often is the case with Peter, he got the words right but not the meaning. … more »

Ordinary Time 21

This homily was not delivered, but simply published here.

This weekend is for me a Maronite Mass Weekend at Tequesta, Fl

Isaiah 22, 19-23 + Psalm 138 + Roman 11, 33-36 + Matthew 16, 13-20

This is the same Peter “of little” faith who jumped out of a boat two weeks ago and had to be pulled up and put back in the boat. It is the same Peter who, on a dark night, insists that he “never know the man”. It is the same Peter who is accused of being drunk, then throws open doors and windows proclaiming that “Everyone shall be saved who calls on the name of the Lord.” Peter’s is a story of faith that grows slowly from self-doubt and confusion to rock solid courage. … more »