Maronite Third Sunday of Pentecost at Our Lady of Lebanon in Norman, OK

The Third Sunday of Pentecost: The Holy Spirit at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church in Norman, OK

1 Corinthians 2, 1-10 + John 14, 21-27

May 29, 2016

In the mythology of nearly every people there is an account how human creatures fell from a state of peace. It does not matter whether this took place at one moment in history, because for us it takes place all the time. We are always falling out of peace. Something is flawed in our hearts that is a tragic misdirection of freedom which we seem to inherit, reaffirm, and pass on from one generation to the next. Our Genesis story speaks of this. In that story there is first the break with God, and so at the sound of his coming there is fear, hiding, deception, evasion, and shame. … more »

The Most Holy Trinity at Our Lady Of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church in Norman, OK

 Proverbs 8, 22-31 + Psalm 8 + Romans 5, 1-5 + John 16, 12-15 (Roman Rite) or Matthew 28, 16-20 (Maronite Rite)

May 22, 2016

There is always a risk lurking behind our thinking and language about God, and so this feast is a good annual occasion to address that risk and draw us back to the truth that God is One. Even though our experience of God has three dimensions, so to speak, what we profess at the beginning of every Creed is that there is only One God. Because that God has been revealed to us through the Incarnation, it is easy but careless to disconnect Jesus Christ from the Father. Then with the Feast we celebrated last week, the risk is even greater as language about the Holy Spirit can further fracture this Oneness of God that Jesus speaks of so clearly in his prayer at the Last Supper when he prays that we might all be one as He and the Father are one. … more »

Pentecost Sunday at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Norman, OK

Pentecost at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Norman, OK

 Acts 2, 1-11 + Psalm 104 + Romans 8, 8-17 + John 20, 19-23

May 15, 2016

The Holy Spirit will teach us everything says Jesus Christ in John’s Gospel. That is quite a proposal when you stop to think about as I suggest we do today. I have been, and I suppose in some ways, I still am a teacher. We have all been teachers if not professionally we have been personally. Parents are teachers with or without a degree that says so. We all know what it’s like to be with someone who believes that they already know everything there is to know. There are a lot of people in this world in that category. … more »

The Seventh Sunday of the Resurrection at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church in Norman, OK

The Seventh Sunday of the Resurrection

May 8, 2016 at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church in Norman, OK

Ephesians 1, 15-23 + John 13, 31-35

Today in the Maronite Sunday readings, we have stopped telling stories of the risen Christ and Easter. Not because we have run out of them; but Pentecost is near and what is really important is the result of the resurrection in terms of how it changed others. We shall tell that story soon with Pentecost. It is the story of how followers of Christ were changed by the resurrection and the coming of the Spirit. It is the story of how the Easter experience was absorbed and finally changed the very identity of those who followed the risen Christ. … more »

The Ascension of the Lord

The Ascension of the Lord

 Acts 1, 1-11 X Psalm 47 X Ephesians 1, 17-23 X Luke 24, 46-53

May 8, 2016

If we take away all the dramatic imagery presented in these Gospel verses, the Ascension is really a home-coming story of completing one’s work and then being where one is meant to be. I feel sure that everyone here has some experience of this. For me it was the day when I packed up my things at the seminary and came back home for ordination. The work of preparation was done, and it was time to be where I was meant to be. This is an experience of discovering one’s destiny. At the same time, the Ascension is a love story about God’s love for humanity, our struggle to love God in return, and God’s promise to guide all things until everyone and everything are brought to where they need to be. … more »