Third Sunday of Easter at St Peter and St William Churches in Naples, FL

Easter 3 April 30, 2017

Acts 2, 14, 22-33 + Psalm 16 + 1 Peter 1, 17-21 + Luke 24, 13-35

St Peter and St William Church, Naples, FL

We believe that the Word of God is a living Word that speaks to every age and time, to every person and to every church. This is not history in this book.  This is not some well-known old story that we tell every year after Easter. It is not just a scene that has fascinated and inspired artists of every style throughout history. (I say that because last week I spent a little time exploring paintings and artistic representations of this scene on the internet). There are a lot of them, and they all express a different piece of this story that I suspect spoke to them and provided some inspiration just as it speaks to us and can provide inspiration again. … more »

Second Sunday of Easter at St William Church in Naples, Fl

Easter 2 April 23, 2017

Acts 2, 42-47 + Psalm 118 + 1 Peter 1, 3-9 + Luke 20, 19-31

St William Church, Naples, FL

As many of you in this church here in Naples, Florida know, taking up a new way of life can be a challenge greater than ever imagined. I discovered this when I first stepped into the seminary. I left behind my own private room at home and that night was sleeping in a dormitory with 30 other 20 year olds. It was noisy and it didn’t smell like home. Instead of a big closet for all my things, I squeezed into a locker. Then suddenly, eight years later I’m a priest. While there were eight years of formation preparing me for that day, it was not enough. … more »

Easter Sunday at St Joseph Church in Union City, Oklahoma

Easter Sunday April 16, 2017

Acts 10, 34-43 + Psalm 118 + 1 Corinthians 5, 6-8 + John 20, 1-9

St Joseph Church, Union City, OK

This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad.

This day, our faith, and this church are all about an empty tomb and an empty cross; and the world in which we proclaim this Gospel of emptiness is an empty world full of empty lives. The fact that there is even entertainment on television that peers into the empty lives of people who hoard everything from food to stuffed animals and trash gives all the evidence we need that there is a great empty void longing to be filled. Some of those lives are filled with resentment, anger, and memories of past wrongs and hurts leaving those who hoard these ills longing to be filled all the more. … more »

The Great Vigil of Easter at St Joseph Church in Union City, Oklahoma

The Great Vigil of Easter April 15, 2017

Genesis 1, 1, 26-31 + Genesis 22, 1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18 + Exodus 14, 15-15, 1 + Isaiah 55, 1-11 + Ezekiel 36, 16-28 + Romans 6, 3-11 + Matthew 28, 1-10

St Joseph Church, Union City, OK

There was a first-time ages and ages ago when someone struck two stones together and a spark flew out. I can’t image the wonder of that moment, and what went on in that person’s mind. Then somewhere on this earth at some point in history, someone discovered that if you patiently rub two dry sticks together long enough and add a little human breath a spark would grow into a fire and with that an extraordinary potential was born. … more »

Good Friday at St Jospeh Church in Union City, Oklahoma

Good Friday April 14, 2017

Isaiah 52, 13-53, 12 + Psalm 31 + Hebrews 4, 14-16, 5, 7-9 + John 18, 1- 19,42

St Joseph Church, Union City, OK

Three of the seven Last Words of Christ come from the Passion we have just proclaimed, and they give us more than enough to think about and pray about as we turn toward the Great Vigil of Easter. The Jesus of John’s Gospel is a man in charge. He is no innocent victim helpless, abused, and silent. He stands before Pilate his interrogator, and he asks the ultimate questions. He carries the cross “by himself” John says. And then, even from the cross he teaches, forms, and shapes us into the faithful people who become his church. … more »

Holy Thursday at St Joseph Parish in Union City, Oklahoma

Holy Thursday April 13, 2017

Exodus 12, 1-8, 11-14 + Psalm 116 + 1 Corinthians 11, 23-26 + John 13, 1-15

St Joseph Church, Union City, OK

We are so familiar with this story; and Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th century painting has become such a familiar icon of that night that we hardly ever give it a second thought much less wonder what’s really going on around that table. There had to have been some momentary relief as they escaped the crowds who were always pushing and shoving to get near the master. There must have even been more relief to think that, for at least that night, they would be out from under the critical and watchful eye of those Scribes and Pharisees whose questions, threats, and accusations were getting more and more menacing. … more »

Palm Sunday at St Joseph Parish in Union City, Oklahoma

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord April 9, 2017

Isaiah 50, 4-7 + Psalm 22 + Philippians 2, 6-11 + Matthew 26, 14- 27, 66

St Joseph Church, Union City, OK

 I had a dream that it was the end of time. Billions of people were assembled on a great plain before the throne of God, waiting to be judged. Some were fearful but others were angry. A woman said, “How can God judge us? What does God know about suffering? We endured terror, beatings, torture, death.” Then she pulled up her sleeve to show tattooed number from a Nazi concentration camp on her arm. Then a black man lowered his collar to show an ugly rope burn around his neck. … more »