There is nothing more tiring to me than being around someone we would call a “know it all.” At the same time, I get very impatient around people who see the world in black and white, and need to have and to know the answer to every question. Their behavior gets positively neurotic if they don’t get answers. They either begin to think that there is something wrong with them, or they get fixated on something and can’t settle down and go on with life not knowing. … more »
Isaiah 9, 1-6 + Psalm 96 + Titus 2,11-14 + Luke 2, 1-14
St Peter and St William Churches in Naples, FL
Christmas is a feast of the heart. It reveals to us the very and true heart of God. At the same time, it reveals what the human heart can become. It causes us to open our hearts and begin to live. What makes us human is not so much the ability to think as it is the ability to love.
If you take the time to think about it, and what better time to do that than this very hour, we are here because of love and a gift of love. It is the gift of God’s only son that we celebrate today. … more »
December 18, 2016 at St Peter and St William Churches in Naples, FL
He was a dreamer, this man the church puts before us just days before we will gather to celebrate the birth of this child called, “Emmanuel.” A man of few words. In fact, he is a man of no words. The Gospel never records anything he said, but it is rich with the record of what he does. The Joseph that Matthew gives us is a just and righteous man in love. He is a man of faith strong enough to believe that God might do something he never imagined. In the Joseph of Matthew’s Gospel, we see a man who faced a dilemma when the demand of justice was at odds with mercy. … more »
Isaiah 35, 1-6, 10 + Psalm 146 + James 5,7-10 + Matthew 11, 2-11
December 11, 2016 at St Peter and St William Churches in Naples, FL
The blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and John sits in a prison from which he will not escape alive. You can almost sense the frustration or the maybe the doubt of John and his disciples who have come to Jesus with that question. In more simple terms, the question is not so much about the identity of Jesus as messiah, but more about what kind of messiah he really is. “Where is the fire?” is what they really want to know.
In Isaiah 34 there is described a saving God of vengeance and anger, of harsh judgement and destruction who wields a mighty sword dripping with blood withering figs and vines slaughtering oxen and bulls. … more »
December 8, 2016 at St Peter and St William Churches in Naples, FL
There are two women in tradition that were conceived without sin. Did you ever think of that? One’s name is “Eve” and the other’s name is “Mary.” This day invites us to think about the difference between the two of them and decide which one we shall be like.
Sometime back when I was pastor of a parish with a large school I dropped in to speak with one of the seventh grade classes, and we got around to talking about vocations. I asked one of the girls what she would do if God were asking her to be a sister in a religious order. … more »
December 4, 2016 at St Peter and St William Churches in Naples, FL
The world is full of promises from politicians to preachers. It is full of promise breakers and promise keepers too. One of the consequences of this reality is cynicism, and there are more than enough cynics to go around. Cynicism and Catholicism do not go well together. Our faith, resting on the kind of hope the readings today put before us, makes no room for the cynic. Cynicism is the enemy of hope. The cynic always refuses hope saying things like: “Things will never change.” “It’s no good.” “It has always been this way.” This kind of thinking comes easily requiring nothing from us, no trust, no effort, and always no love. … more »