The Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

23 January 2022 at Saint William & Saint Peter Catholic Churches in Naples, FL

Nehemiah 8, 2-4, 5-6, 8-10 + Psalm 19 + 1 Corinthians 12, 12-30 + Luke 1, 1-4, 4, 14-21

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

If you look at this gospel in the Bible or a Missal, you may notice that what was just proclaimed is actually two parts of Luke’s Gospel put together. What the Church gives us today is two introductions; first to the Gospel as a whole from the first chapter and then to Jesus of Nazareth in the fourth chapter. What was skipped in between was the whole Lukan story of the birth of Christ which we heard in December. 

Now, the hometown boy comes to the Synagogue as he had all his life. … more »

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

16 January 2022 at Saint William & Saint Elizabeth Seton Catholic Churches in Naples, FL

Isaiah 62, 1-5 + Psalm 96 + 1 Corinthians 12, 4-11 + John 2, 1-11

St William Catholic Church in Naples Florida Saturday 4:30 p.m.

As I have said over and over again when we proclaim these words of Jesus, we must ask, “What does this mean?” not “How did he do that?” At the same time, we must remember that in John’s Gospel there are no “miracles”. That word is never used. There are “signs”, and this is the first of seven. Remembering that helps in asking the right question, “What does this mean?” In John’s Gospel, these signs, like road signs, point to something. … more »

The Baptism of the Lord

9 January 2022 at St Elizabeth Church in Naples, FL and to Notre Dame Alumni Mass in Naples, FL

Isaiah 42, 1-4, 6-7 + Psalm 29 + Acts 10, 34-38 + Luke 3, 15-16, 21-22

Saint Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Naples, FL 11:00 a.m. Sunday

The Baptism of Jesus ought to raise some questions in our minds about what was going on and what it was all about. It certainly cannot suggest that Jesus needed to be baptized because he was sinful. There is no reason to think, at the same time, that he was becoming one of John’s disciples by that act. This event that Luke reports calls us to listen carefully to the prophet we just heard proclaimed here, and to the voice from heaven that was heard that day. … more »

The Epiphany of the Lord

2 January 2022 at Saint Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL

Isaiah 60, 1-6 + Psalm 72 + Ephesians 3, 2-3, 5-6 + Matthew 2, 1-12

3:30 p.m. Saturday at Saint Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL

Matthew is the only Gospel writer to report on these visitors who take center stage today. So, we know nothing about them other than that they came from the east. For that matter, they have come from Miami! What the “east mean” and is it really important to know? Were there only three? It doesn’t seem to be a safe way to travel if they came from afar. There had to have been a whole caravan to support and protect them coming from the east, which in fact is a rather desolate place, east of Israel. … more »

The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

1 January 2022 at Saint Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL
As this was not a Holy Day of Obligation, this homily was not delivered.

Numbers 6, 22-27 + Psalm 67 + Galatians 4, 4-7 + Luke 2, 16-21

I have always been just a little bit uncomfortable with the Church’s use of words to name this feast that in my own life-time has had several other names. “Back in the day” I can remember this day on the Church’s calendar as the “Feast of the Circumcision.” Then in 1960 Pope John XXIII removed the term “Circumcision” and simply called this day, “The Octave of the Nativity” which of course means the eighth day when, according to the religious law at the time required the ritual of circumcision for Hebrew children. … more »

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Jospeh

26 December 2021 at Saint Peter the Apostle in Naples, FL

1 Samuel 1, 20-28 + Psalm 84 + 1 John 3, 1-24 + Luke 2, 41-52

12:00 p.m. Sunday at Saint Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL

Through the course of his mission, Jesus expands the whole idea of “family.” While the Gospel for today focuses on Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, it is not long before he asks the crowd gathered around him: “Who are my mother, brothers and sisters?” While sentimentality may like us to imagine that this holy family was the perfect family of all time, we might want to look more closely at what the Gospels suggest.

First of all, this is a family that knows anxiety and fear over a lost child. … more »

Christmas

24 & 25 December 2021 at St Agnes, St Peter, St William Churches in Naples, Florida

Micah 5, 1-4 + Psalm 80 + Hebrews 10, 5-10 + Luke 3, 10-18

3:30 p.m. at Saint Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL

I don’t know who first got the idea of staging Christmas Pageants for and with children, but I want you to know that as an old priest and a pastor with parochial schools for way too long, I sat through more Christmas Pageants than any of you could imagine. That experience has led me to the conclusion that I’ll never have to worry about Purgatory. I’ve been there.  

You know how they go, the little ones who can’t be trusted to remember lines are angels with various kinds of wire wings who flutter around and bump into one another looking anxiously around for someone to tell them when to get out of the way. … more »

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

19 December 2021 at Saint Peter and Saint William Churches in Naples, FL

Micah 5, 1-4 + Psalm 80 + Hebrews 10, 5-10 + Luke 3, 10-18

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

Two women, one from Jerusalem and the other from Nazareth. One is there at the center of power, and her husband is of the Priestly tribe. The other has no husband and she lives in a place no one would ever have heard of until a visitor comes. They are for Luke, the meeting of the Old Testament and the New Testament. The old had a history of infidelity and idolatry, but it held the promise. The new is the promise and it begins with fidelity to the Word of God delivered by an angel who only appears once in the Old Testament in the Book of Daniel proclaiming the final time, the age of justice. … more »

The Third Sunday of Advent

12 December 2021 at Saint William Catholic Church in Naples, FL

Zephaniah 3, 14-18 + Psalm (Isaiah) 12, 2-6 + Philippians 4, 4-7 + Luke 3, 10-18

There is plenty of reason to hear the words of the Prophet this morning and move his message into some kind of “Archive File” thinking that he was speaking to someone else a long time ago. One obvious reason for doing so is that there is plenty reason these days not to rejoice. Facing life for too many easily makes rejoicing just too much of a challenge. Personal, family, church, and social conflicts are way too many, and we constantly facing our weakness, our sinfulness, and our helplessness. For some this experience seems to explode with violence, hateful talk, blaming, and name-calling and fear. 

It cannot be so for people of faith. … more »

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

8 December 2021 at Saint Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL

Genesis 3, 9-15, 20 + Ephesians 1, 3-6, 11 + Luke 1, 26- 38

At St Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL 3:30 p.m. Vigil Mass

With this great feast we are called to step out of our ordinary daily routines and pause for these few minutes to let the Word of God remind us of God’s plan for creation. Paul puts that plan in plain and simple language as he writes to the Ephesians. God has chosen us to be holy and without blemish. God destined us for adoption which in the society and culture of that time meant nothing more than a completely new existence. In that world at that time, when one was adopted, their entire old identity was wiped away. … more »