26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 26, 2021 at St. Peter the Apostle and Saint Agnes Parishes in Naples, FL

Numbers 11, 25-29 + Psalm 19 + James 5, 1-6+ Mark 9, 38-43, 45, 47-48

9:00 a.m. Saint Agnes Church in Naples, FL

We get a mixed collection of sayings today that are difficult to hear with just a single focus. When we read about the behavior of the Apostles last week and this week, we have to wonder if they ever catch on to anything Jesus is teaching them. Last week it was their ambitious talk among themselves about who was going to sit where in the Kingdom. This week, John shows us how jealously exclusive they have become over their role and relationship with Jesus. … more »

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

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

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 »

Maronite Exultation of the Holy Cross

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 … more »

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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 »

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Sunday 12:00 Noon at Saint Peter the Apostle in Naples, FL

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 »