September 19, 2021 at Saint Peter the Apostle Parish in Naples, FL
Wisdom 2, 12, 17-20 + Psalm 54 + James 3, 16 -37 4: 3 + Mark 9, 30-37
In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus is slowing making his way to Jerusalem where he will be “handed over” which is our translation of a Greek word that can also mean “betrayed.” Mark uses that word eight times, and in that fact, there might be a message. It seems to me that the betrayal has already started with these apostles who are more concerned about their self-interest than they are about his future. To look at the cross and ask what we’re going to get out of it is, in some ways a betrayal. … more »
St. Raymond/St Elizabeth Maronite Churches in Saint Louis
September 11, 2008
1 Corinthians 1, 18-25 + John 12, 20-32
An ancient feast of the church takes us deep our faith’s deepest mystery and symbol. For the earliest Christians, the cross was a source of shame and scandal. The leader, the one in whom they had placed all their trust had been executed as a common criminal. They were discouraged and they were ashamed. Yet, in time, they found the courage to take the very symbol of that disgrace and raise it high as a sign of God’s glorious intervention on their behalf. Remembering the serpents in the desert that afflicted the People of Israel with death and suffering, the cross was a source of death and suffering to the earliest church. Yet the faithful God of Israel intervened to protect the faithful people in the desert, and as a reminder of that God’s action, they raised up an image of their former suffering high on a staff as sign of hope and of victory.
Conscious of that history, the early followers of Christ had the same experience with the cross.This feast proclaims the intervention of God in the midst of suffering, and the victory of those who suffer in hope and fidelity. … more »
September 12, 2021 I am in St Louis this weekend. This homily will not be delivered.
Isaiah 50, 5-9 + Psalm 116 + James 2, 14-18 + Mark 8, 27-35
We are at the exact center point of Mark’s Gospel. Until now, Jesus and his disciples have been traveling to the villages of the countryside and up into Galilee. They have stopped for a moment at the ultimate seat of Roman power. The place where this episode takes place is important. We are at Caesarea Philippi. It is a place with great imperial history. The Caesars who built and lavished riches upon this place see themselves as gods who rule and bless their subjects through their imperial structured world. There was a gleaming Temple there built by a people who created their god in their own image. … more »
September 5, 2021 at Saint Peter the Apostle Parish in Naples, FL
Isaiah 35, 4-7 + Psalm 146 + James 2, 1-5 + Mark 7, 31-37
Every time I hear or read this Gospel, I am reminded of a section on the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo. You’ve at least seen pictures of that scene. On the left is Adam lounging around in all his corporal glory, and God is on the right surrounded by angels. God is reaching out toward Adam and Adam is reaching out toward God. In the mind of the artist, it is the moment of creation. Their fingers are just inches apart. … more »