The 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time at St Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL.

September 27, 2015   St Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL

Numbers 11, 25-29 + Psalm 19 + James 5, 1-6 + Mark 9, 38-43, 45, 47-48

John sounds like a second grader on the playground complaining to the teacher that the big kids will not let him play. Again the apostles do not look so good, and the unflattering image of them we have been given the last two weeks gets one more example here. First Peter had to be put in his place behind Jesus, and then Jesus embraced a little child and spoke to them about service and being last instead of being first. John has heard all of this, and I think he does not particularly like this idea, so he changes the subject. … more »

The 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time at St Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL.

St Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL

Wisdom 2:12, 17-20 + Psalm 54 + James 3, 16-4, 3 + Mark 9, 30-37

Again the location is important. It is Capernaum. We are in the home territory now, and the mood is quiet and intimate. I find it interesting that Jesus does not rebuke or even complain that the apostles are talking about their privileges while he speaks of being handed over to death. Ancient tradition has proposed that the influence of Peter upon Mark’s Gospel can be noted throughout this Gospel. I suspect this is one of those incidents that has Peter as its source. How else would Mark know this since it was away from the crowd and in the privacy of Capernaum that this scene takes place? … more »

The 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time at St Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL

Saint Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL

Wisdom 2, 12, 17-20 + Psalm 54 + James 3, 16-4, 3 + Mark 9, 30-37

To get very deep into these verses catching on the little details is very helpful. The placement of this conversation is an important clue to its understanding. Caesarea Philippi was built by Caesar on top of 100 foot cliff from which a very powerful spring of water emerges the source and headwaters of the Jordan River. Now think of this source, the cool, fresh, spring of water that forms the Jordan as an image of Christ. Around those springs, people before the Israelites had built temples to various gods. Caesar, being a “god” for the Romans builds an enormous and beautiful city on top of it all right there on the side of the tallest Mountain in present day Syria, Mount Hermon. … more »

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

Memorial Mass + September 11, 2015 + St Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL

Isaiah 43, 1-4 + Psalm XXX + 1 Peter 2, 20-25 + Luke 24, 13-35

This is Memorial Mass has become an annual tradition at St Peter the Apostle Church where a piece of steal from the World Trade Center is kept as a relic out of respect for the lives lost on that day. Many members of this parish come from New York and New Jersey, and many of them have families there affected by the attack on the World Trade Center. Rescue workers from southwest Florida were among the first to arrive and assist in the rescue and search for the dead. At this Mass members of the East Naples/Golden Gate Fire Department and the Collier County Police and Sheriff’s deptuties are in attendance for the prayers and support of the local community in thanksgiving for the many ways they risk their lives everyday for the safety of the local citizens. … more »

The 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 6, 2015

Isaiah 35, 4-7 + Psalm 146 + James 2, 1-5 + Mark 7, 31-25

The place is important or Mark would not have given us the detail. Chapter 7 takes place in Tyre which is Gentile territory. Jesus goes there and his presence is a sign that the Reign of God has arrived there as well. Gentiles will not be left out. To make sure that we get the point, Mark repeats the same detail in the healing story we will hear next week.  Someone brings these outsiders, these afflicted gentile people to Jesus in the person of this afflicted man today. By the time Mark’s Gospel is coming together, there are Gentiles members in the community following the way of Jesus Christ. … more »