The Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time at St Joseph Church in Norman, OK

The Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time September 24, 2017

Isaiah 55, 6-9 + Psalm 145 + Philippians 1, 20-24, 27 + Matthew 20, 1-16

St Joseph Church in Norman, Ok

There is a line in this dialogue that ought to leave us stunned in wonder, and it is not the wonder of admiration. Stunned by shame would be more like it. As a people who easily get impatient in the line of a check-out stand or waiting for someone to make right turn with their foot on the break, the culture and society we have created easily leads us to think that out time is worth more than others, that people “in the way” need to get out of our way, and with that, pride looms up and makes angry, impatient, and ugly people out of the best of us. … more »

The Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, FL

The Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time September 17, 2017

Sirach 27, 30-28,7 + Psalm 103 + Romans 14, 7-9 + Matthew 18, 21-35

St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

We have all heard this this instruction of Jesus many times over the years, and the challenge of forgiveness remains with us always. I have given and you have heard as many homilies on this text as there years of its repetition in the cycle of our readings. But, as I sat with it a few weeks ago, a verse emerged that I had passed over. It’s that part about those fellow servants who, as the Gospel says, “saw what had happened, were badly shaken, and went to their master to report the whole incident.” I would like to suggest that perhaps God’s Word is giving us more than an instruction on forgiveness here. … more »

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

Commemoration of 9/11 at St Peter the Apostle Church, Naples, FL

September 11, 2017

Colossians 1, 24-2,3 + Psalm 62 + Luke 6, 6-11

          These are the readings being proclaimed throughout the world in churches that share the Common Lectionary on Monday of the 23rd week of the year. That is today. In 2001, these readings were proclaimed on September 10, the day before the attack, and I can’t help but wonder how many us may have been prepared by these words of scripture for what was to come the next morning.

Paul writes words of encouragement that we still need to hear in the face of every tragedy and disaster. Speaking about a suffering and struggling community he says: “I wish their hearts to be strengthened and themselves to be closely united in love.” At the center of the readings from the Bible that day and still today are those verses from Psalm 5 we have just heard reminding us that God takes no delight in wickedness with the promise that all who take refuge in God will be glad and exalt forever. … more »

The Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, FL

The Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time September 10, 2017

Ezekiel 33, 7-9 + Psalm 95 + Romans 13, 8-10 + Matthew 18, 15-20

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

In listening to and understanding these verses, it is absolutely necessary to know that the verses immediately before these instructions in Chapter 18 tell the story of the lost sheep with that heartfelt description of the shepherd who goes looking. That story begins with these words: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones.” With that introduction, Jesus goes on to tell about the man with 100 sheep who leaves 99 to find 1 that has wandered off, and then describe what joy there is when he returns with the lost one. … more »

The Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, FL

The Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time September 3, 2017

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

at St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

I am, and no matter where I live, I will always be an Oklahoma priest. Twenty days from today something will happen in Oklahoma City that has only happened once before in the United States. The ceremony of Beatification will take place in my home town. It will be the first time a person born in America will be declared a martyr in the process of being canonized a Saint. There are other American born Saints, but none of them died as a martyr for the faith. … more »