22 May 2022 at St Peter, St Agnes, & St William Catholic Churches in Naples, FL
Acts of the Apostles 15, 1-2 & 22-29 + Psalm 67 + Revelation 21, 10-14 & 22-23 + John 14, 23-29
If you have been following the First Reading for the past several weeks, you might well have been left on edge last week when Paul returns to Antioch and reports how “he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.” If this were being reported on “WINK NEWS”, another voice would then say: “Stay tuned, details at six.” This is one of those “OhOh!” moments when you know trouble is coming.
Antioch after the destruction of Jerusalem was the place where things were happening. … more »
15 May 2022 at Saint William, Saint Peter, and Saint Agnes Catholic Churches in Naples, FL
Acts of the Apostles 14, 21-27 + Psalm 145 + Revelation 21, 1-5 + John 13, 31-35
A new heaven and a new earth. No more tears, sadness, and no more death is what we are promised, and five weeks after Easter, we might be ready to ask how we get there. How do we get there in a world that drugs us into splendid contentment continually entertained with sports and comedy or an entertainment industry that keeps alive a fairytale world in which we face danger for 42 minutes and then live happily ever after?
We live in a world of security with some measure of health care, security cameras, good locks and gates, metal detectors and insurance for everything from our car to our pets. … more »
8 May 2022 at Saint William Catholic Church in Naples, FL
Acts of the Apostles 13, 14, 43-52 + Psalm 100 + Revelation 7, 9, 14-17 + John 10, 27-30
A sheepherder once said that “Sheep are born looking for a way to die.” They go into gullies, get tangled up in brambles, fall into ditches, and wander into the territory of predators. They are utterly defenseless. Even dogs and cats can find their way home, and dogs and cats can smell, find food, and defend themselves against danger or run from something bigger. You feed a dog, pet it, take it for walks, and the dog thinks: “Wow, this must be a god.” With a cat, feed it, care for it, and the cat thinks: “Wow, I must be god.” It is neither that way for sheep. … more »
1 May 2022 at St William, St Elizabeth Seton, and St Peter Catholic Churches in Naples, FL
Acts of the Apostles 5, 27-32 + Psalm 30 + Revelation 5, 11-14 + John 21, 1-19
Two charcoal fires burn in John’s Gospel. The first warms Peter in the courtyard of the High Priest when as predicted, Peter denies his master three times. Today another charcoal fire burns, and Jesus invites Peter to atone for his cowardice by confessing his love three times. Each time Peter is asked to show that love by service: “Feed my lambs.” Then as before Jesus predicts something about Peter saying that this service may take him where he does not want to go. … more »
24 April 2022 at Saint William Catholic Church in Naples, FL
Acts of the Apostles 5, 12-16 + Psalm 118 + Revelation 1,9-11, 12-13, 17-19 + John 20, 19-31
The disciples encountered a transformed, divine Being, not a resuscitated corpse. They recognized their friend and teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, but he was now their Lord in glory. That is what this Gospel reveals to us about those gathered in that room. They are not fact checking the story of those women who went to the empty tomb. There is a life-changing experience going on here. Doubt and Fear are giving way to Faith and Hope. How that happens is what John is describing in these verses. … more »
17 April 2022 at Saint Peter the Apostle and Saint Agnes Churches in Naples, FL
Acts of the Apostles 10, 34-43 + Psalm 118 + 1 Corinthians 5, 6-80 + John 20, 1-0
There was one of those reality TV shows that I watched once or twice before deciding it was far too sad to be entertaining. It may still be on air, but not because I’ve supported the sponsors. It’s called “Hoarders”. As you may know, the show profiles individuals whose obsessive fear of loss causes a compulsive accumulation of unneeded things. I’ve known a couple of people who suffered from that obsession, and it was truly sad. One of the saddest consequences is how it drives people away, family members, neighbors, and old friends leaving the victim alone and fearful. … more »
In much of Luke’s Gospel, Jerusalem is not so much a place as it is the destiny of all God’s children. It is why Jesus was so intent on going there in spite of all the threats and danger the journey posed for him. His entry into Jerusalem which we commemorate today is the culmination of his life’s work. It is the fulfillment and the end, and he knew that as he rode into town. He knew he was riding to his death, and that only through death would he ever make it home to the Father.
In Luke’s typical dramatic style, this last week of life for Jesus is set in several “acts” the first of which is this procession which began way back in Chapter 9 when just after the Transfiguration, Jesus “set his face to go to Jerusalem”. … more »
This cleverly told story that comes to us from John’s Gospel is loaded with fascinating details to spark our imaginations. At the same time, it is lacking in some details that can also raise some questions in our minds. When it comes to these missing details, we have to wonder how they caught her, and where was the other culprit? If you know the Law of Moses they are quoting, you also know that their quotation is not accurate since the Law of Moses also imposes a penalty on the man. … more »
This homily is simply for publication here as I am serving the Maronite Parish in Tequesta, Fl this weekend.
In Luke’s typical style, we get a dramatic piece in five acts: the opening dialogue with the son’s demand, act two with the son’s disillusionment and repentance, act three with his return home, act four with the father and his older son, and act five which remains unfinished. There are four principal characters: the father, two sons, and the listeners, you and me. Each of the characters has an important role. There are really no stars in this drama unless it’s the Father whose presence and spirit seems to drive it all, but concentrating on the Father drains the story of its real message. … more »
27 March 2022 at Mary, Mother of Light Maronite Church in Tequesta, Florida
Mark 2, 1-12
A question is put before us: “Which is easier to say, “Pick up your mat and walk or your sins are forgiven?” It’s a good question we might well ask of ourselves. For Jesus the answer is obvious. He can do both with ease. To be honest with you however, I would not approach someone in a wheelchair and say: “Get out of that chair and walk.” If I did, someone might put me away. I could say to anyone: “I forgive you.” At least it ought to be easier to say that than try to heal someone who can’t walk. Forgiveness is something we can do, and we have been instructed by Jesus to do so, even to forgive in his name. … more »