Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 29, 2023 at St William & St Peter the Apostle Churches in Naples, FL

Saint William Catholic Church in Naples, FL 2:45pm Saturday Vigil

Zephaniah 2: 3, 3:12-13 + Psalm 146 + I Corinthians1: 1: 26-31 + Matthew 5: 1-12

Years ago, when I was in the seminary, and I do mean years and years ago, I had a wise confessor who upset me more than once with challenges to my way of thinking, praying, and looking at myself and the world. I had just finished listing my sins after a careful examination of conscience. He let out a very audible sigh, turned toward me and said: “It’s about time to grow up and grow out of that.” I said nothing for the simple reason that I didn’t know what exactly he wanted me to grow out of. … more »

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

4:30 pm Saint William Catholic Church in Naples, FL

January 22, 2023 St William Church in Naples, FL

Isaiah 8: 23 to 9: 3 + Psalm 27 + I Corinthians1: 1: 10-13, 17 + Matthew 4: 12-23

As we pick up Matthew’s Gospel today, Jesus has just come from his desert time. We all have what I like to call “Desert Times.” Times of hardship, challenges when our faith, or motives, our obedience are put to the test. The experience of Jesus there was like a training exercise preparing him for what lies ahead, and the temptations he faced there were the same temptations the Israelites faced in the desert. They concerned food, trust that God would protect them, and the lure of idol worship. … more »

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 15, 2023 at St William Catholic Church in Naples, FL

Isaiah 49: 3-6 + Psalm 40 + I Corinthians1: 1-3 + John 1: 29-34

Saint William Catholic Church in Naples, FL 4:30 pm Saturday

This Gospel passage today sets a trap for us that we must avoid if we are going to hear God speak to us today through the Gospel. That trap is one I have spoken of over and over not just here during Mass, but also in talks I gave here last year with Luke and are scheduled this year with Matthew. This is not history. If we listen to these verses thinking that the Evangelist is telling us about an event that occurred between John the Baptist and Jesus, we’re done for.  … more »

The Epiphany of the Lord

January 8, 2023 at St William Catholic Church in Naples, FL

Saturday 4:30 pm at Saint William Catholic Church in Naples, FL

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

There is a bit of everything in these verses from Matthew’s Gospel today. It’s sort-of like a stew, which was the way my mother used to hide vegetables. We got a bit everything and it was nourishing. To get into the real message of these verses however, you have to put that song written by John Henry Hopkins for a Christmas Pageant out of your mind. If you think Matthew’s Gospel is more important than Hopkins’ hymn, forget about Three and delete Kings. Hopkin’s idea about there being three of them comes from the number of gifts. … more »