The First Sunday of Advent

28 November 2021

Jeremiah 33, 14-16 + Psalm 25 + 1 Thessalonians 3, 12-4,2 + Luke 21, 25-28, 34-36 

We ponder the Word of God today as the world begins to bring 2021 to a close. The last month is about to begin. Yet most endings are really the beginning of something new. So, as the world closes a year, the Church begins a new year with the Gospel of Luke which will be our guide in the coming months. Like all of us, Jesus had his ideas about what was important. A farmer once ran an ad that said: “Wanted: young woman who owns tractor. Send photo…..of tractor.” He had his idea about was important too. Jesus highlighted a few points he thought was important for us to remember. … more »

The Solemnity of Christ the King

November 21, 2021 at St. Parishes in Naples, FL

Daniel 7, 13-14 + Psalm 93 + Revelation 1, 5-8 + John 18, 33-37

We have to be really careful with this feast and the image it promotes. The reputation of Kings through history is not too great, and nothing to be longed for. The kingship model was understandable to ancient communities. Royal images are common in the Scriptures, but they are not without problems. They can be easily misunderstood and mocked as when Pilate asked Jesus if he is king of the Jews. Comparing our relationship to God as that of subjects to a ruler can be a problem. While kingship can promote ideas of strength, longevity and authority, in reality it has often brought abuses of power, servitude, or slavery. … more »

The Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 14, 2021 at St. Parishes in Naples, FL

Daniel 12, 1-3 + Psalm 16 + Hebrews 10, 11-14 + Mark 13, 24-32

2:45 p..m. Saint William Catholic Church in Naples, FL

Before we open our hearts to this message and revelation of this Gospel, we need to open our minds to the images the Jesus of Mark’s Gospel is using in order to understand what is being revealed. When Mark is writing this Gospel quoting Jesus, he either knows that the Romans have destroyed the Temple or that the army of Vespasian and his son Titus is at the gates. One of the main concerns for Mark is the warning of believers in Christ that everyone who claims to be Jesus or claims to be his follower should not be believed. … more »

The Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 7, 2021 at St. Parishes in Naples, FL

1 Kings 17, 10-16 + Psalm 146 + Hebrews 9, 24-28 + Mark 12, 38-44

11:00 a.m. Sunday at Saint William Church in Naples, Fl

Instead of calling this the “Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time”, I think we should call it “The Sunday of the Two Widows.” There is no way get through this liturgy without them. A quick read of both stories could lead us to simply think that they are very much alike, helpless, poor, but generous. In reality, they are way more than helpless, poor, but generous. That widow of Zarephath was nothing like the widow in Mark’s Gospel. The first one offered what she had to a person in need. … more »

The Solemnity of All Saint

November 1, 2021 at St. Elizabeth Seton in Naples, FL

Revelations 7, 2-4, 9-14 + Psalm 24 + 1 John 3, 1-3 + Matthew 5, 1-12

8:00 a.m. at St Elizabeth Seton Church in Naples, FL

Halloween has nearly eclipsed All Saints Day. The secular world seems to think that Halloween is what it’s all about. Rather than being the night to prepare for a celebration, it has become the celebration. Instead of being about life, it’s turned into a spooky time with goblins and skeletons. But we are in this church because we know the difference. We know that Christ conquered the powers of darkness and those who really believe can use Halloween to mock fear and death with laughter and fun. … more »

The Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 31, 2021 at St. William Catholic Church in Naples, FL

Deuteronomy 6, 2-6 + Psalm 18 + Hebrews 7, 23-28 + Mark 12, 28-34

9:00 a.m. Mass At Saint William Church in Naples, FL

After countless unpleasant arguments and trick questions in an effort to trap Jesus, this is a rare and pleasant moment. The two agree with another. The scribe is “not far from the kingdom of God” Jesus says, but something is lacking. Why is he so close, but not quite there? For Mark in this Gospel, what is missing is the following of Jesus on the way and all the way to the cross. What’s missing, in other words, is commitment to discipleship. The kingdom of God is not agreeing on the right answers, important as the search for truth is. … more »

The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 24, 2021 at Saint Andrew Catholic Church in Moore, Oklahoma

Jeremiah 31, 7-9 + Psalm 126 + Hebrews 5, 1-6 + Mark 10, 46-52

This is the final miracle of Mark’s Gospel, and the consequence is a profound act of faith. In front of the disciples and the crowd, Bartimaeus pronounced his creed.  This man, blind from birth, may not have sight, but he can see alright. He can see what those disciples have been blind to. He can see the “Son of David”, the shepherd King that prophets spoke of. He can see how to get free from everything that holds him back. He is not really the blind man. We are.

We have an odd way of using that word, “see.” We often use it to express understanding as when someone might say: “I see what you mean.” All four of the evangelists use sight as a way of expressing faith. … more »

The Sixth Sunday of the Cross

October 17, 2021 The Divine Liturgy in the Maronite Rite at Mary, Mother of Light Maronite Church in Tequesta, FL

Philippians 2, 12-18 + Matthew 25, 1-13

Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise replied, “No! … more »

The 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 17, 2021 This homily is posted but not delivered as I will be serving a Maronite Community this weekend.

Isaiah 53, 10-11 + Psalm 33 + Hebrews 4, 14-16 + Mark 10, 35-45

Whenever this incident is told in the proclamation of the Gospel, I am always struck by the contrast suggested to us by these two ambitious and self-serving disciples who want to be on the left and right of Jesus. Their denial and almost deliberate refusal to even imagine what Jesus has been saying to them is to their shame as we are left to wonder where they were and how it is that two criminals end up to the right and left of Jesus when he enters into the presence of the Father. … more »

The Fifth Sunday of the Cross

The Divine Liturgy in the Maronite Rite

October 10, 2021 at Mary, Mother of Light Maronite Parish in Tequesta, FL

1 Thessalonians 5,1-11 + Matthew 24, 45-51

Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. But if that wicked slave says to himself, “My master is delayed”, and he begins to beat his fellow-slaves, and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know. … more »