Maronite Sunday of the Healing of the Leper

February 26, 2023 at Mary, Mother of Light Maronite Church in Tequesta, FL

2 Kings 5: 1-3, 9-14 + Romans 6: 12-23 + Mark 1: 35-45

I doubt that most people hearing this Gospel could pick out the most important verse from these ten. One verse reveals what the mission of Jesus is at the time and still is today. We are only thirty-five verses into the first chapter when Mark reveals to us what that mission is.

This is not about Jesus at prayer. Although he does run off for some “down time” in prayer several times in Mark’s Gospel. But, Jesus did not come among us to pray. It is not about the disciples seeking him even though this reveals how little they understood what was going on. The fact is, that from the beginning they thought it was about them, their power and influence. … more »

The First Sunday in Lent

February 26, 2023 at Saint Agnes Church in Naples, FL

Genesis 2, 7-9 & 3, 1-7 + Psalm 51 + Romans 5, 12-19 + Matthew 4, 1-11

In case you failed to notice, the readings that open this Great Season of Lent put sin right in front of us. It could and probably should make us uncomfortable. I’ve often said, and I believe it to be true, that the age in which we live is an age of denial. We don’t have sinners anymore. Therefore, we don’t really need the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. There are no sinners because no one has sins. We just have “issues.” Denial!

Sin is a reality, and today’s readings should make it clear that sin is there from the beginning and no one can escape confronting it. … more »

Ash Wednesday

6:00 pm Ash Wednesday at St. William Church in Naples, FL

February 22, 2023 at Saint Peter the Apostle and Saint William Churches in Naples, FL

Joel 2, 12-18 + Psalm 51 + Second Corinthians 5, 20 to 6, 2 + Matthew 6, 1-6 & 16-18

The three pillars of the spiritual life are set before us today as we step forward and into the Great Season of Lent. I am fairly sure that we all get it when we think of fasting. That’s not hard to understand even if it is a challenge in world of plenty with huge piles of food served up at restaurants all over town. Alms Giving too is not hard to understand. There’s a poor box at the entry of nearly every church, and our responsibility to fill it up does not go away just because walk past it every time. … more »

The Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 19, 2023 at Saint William Church in Naples, FL

Leviticus 19, 1-2 & 17-18 + Psalm 103 + First Corinthians 3, 16-23 + Matthew 5, 38-48

Saint William Catholic Church Naples, FL 2:45 PM Saturday

We are all big on that business of being “perfect”. Jesus didn’t have to tell us to do that. We like to be perfect which usually means being right in every argument. So, we like to have the last word. We get impatient with everyone else who is less perfect than we are wishing they could be as perfect as we are. Perfection is the game of the day in this world. So, when we sit with the Word of God today we might do well do wonder just how God is perfect and what it means and what that looks like. … more »

The Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

1:00 pm Sunday at Saint William Church in Naples, FL

Leviticus 19, 1-2, 17-18 + Psalm 103 + 1st Corinthians 3, 16-23 + Matthew 5, 38-48

February 12, 2023 at Saint Peter and Saint William Churches in Naples, FL

We have an uneasy relationship with law, and we have to keep careful watch over the civil law and the moral law. While they ought not conflict, the truth is, sometimes they do, and we need to be very clear about which one we choose to obey. Law is a guide, not a goal, and that’s the conflict Jesus addresses in this part of the Sermon on the Mount. Those who take offense at him have chosen to see the law as a goal, and they think that just keeping the law makes them righteous. … more »

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 5, 2023 at Saint Elizabeth Seton & Saint Peter the Apostle Churches in Naples, FL

Isaiah 58, 7-10 + Psalm 112 + First Corinthians 2, 1-5 + Matthew 5, 13-16

Sunday, 9:00 am Mass at Saint Elizabeth Seton Church in Naples, FL

If you have ever wondered what you are doing here, and I don’t mean in this church, I mean what you are doing on this earth; or wondered why God created you, the answer is right here in this Sermon on the Mount. If you have not wondered about that question, you are part of the problem and part of the reason why the Kingdom of God is seems so far off and difficult to experience.

Having just described what it is like to be Blessed, Jesus sort of rolls up his sleeves and begins to talk about why we here, and what God expects of us. … more »