Monday, January 12, 2015

Homily: Baptism of the Lord 2015

In yesterday’s Gospel, Jesus is baptized in the Jordan by John and when he comes out of the waters he hears the words that should echo in each of our hearts and souls every day.  It is core to our baptisms – core to our life.  The problem is that we have forgotten the sounds of those words…and thus can be headed in the wrong direction when it comes to our own spirituality.   

What are those words?  And why do we need to listen for them…but more importantly, why do need to repeat then to those in our lives?  

Check out what I have to say on this.

Click here for the podcast of the homily

Click here for the homily text

Click here for the readings for this Sunday

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Homily: 4th Sunday of Advent

Here in the metro New York area we woke this morning to find that two NYPD officers were executed last night by a crazed man who, before he killed himself, made statements on social media suggesting that he planned to kill police officers and was angered about the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases.

This Advent has been filled with stories of school shootings, racial unrest, the violation of women on our campuses and the jarring details of our country’s treatment of prisoners of war.  Many are quick to measure the situation with who is right and who is wrong, which is neither my place nor intent.  But the Gospel story calls us to name the names and begin dialogue…as painful as that may be.

For Luke’s telling of a pregnant, unwed, teenager named Mary who will give birth to the Son of God actually sheds light on how we can better live in Advent amidst all that is happening.  For during this season of watching and waiting….it is really God who is doing the waiting for us.  And what is God waiting for?  Well, click and see what my thoughts are….

Click here for the homily podcast
here for the homily text
here for the readings of this Sunday

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Princeton Thanksgiving Day Prayer Service

This morning I was invited to be a guest homilist at the Princeton Ecumenical Thanksgiving Prayer Service at the Princeton University Chapel.

Here is the reflection I gave on the Paradox of Gratitude.

Click here for the podcast

Click here for the text

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Homily: Feast of Christ the King

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.  That is some title for the Feast Day which we celebrate on this last Sunday of the Liturgical Year.  But was Christ all about kingship and ruling and thrones and laws?

Or was it really something else?

Is this really what the Franciscans had in mind, in the early 20th century, when they asked Rome for a Feast day to honor the Cosmic Christ?

So what is this Feast Day all about?  And what does the Gospel tell us about how we will be judged?

More importantly what direction does it give us to live a better life? 

Click here for a podcast of the homily

Click here for the text of the homily

Click here for the readings of the day

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Remembering The Sabbath

Exodus 20:1-17 gives us the infamous Ten Commandments. Perhaps, like me, you had to memorize them in grade school or CCD. Not sure how many can recite them all, but certainly grilled into us growing up was # 3 (actually #4 in some Christian communities):  “Remember the Sabbath day – keep it holy.”  Interestingly all of the other nine Commandments are given only one verse – but there must have been a high degree of importance on this one as it takes four full verses to explain what it means to keep the Sabbath holy:

“Remember the sabbath day—keep it holy. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God. You shall not do any work, either you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your work animal, or the resident alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy”

Unfortunately, over the years, this has been taught to mean: You have to come to Church every Sunday…or else.  And while I am all for the importance of community prayer each week, Church attendance it is certainly not critical for salvation (but that is a blog for another day).  But “remembering the Sabbath”….well that could change your life.

And while I do not have any slaves or work animals or resident aliens living with me, I do have my cell phone, Ipad, laptop, Surface 3, 5 Facebook pages, 2 websites, 2 companies and this blog – all to keep me occupied…all to keep me away from finding sabbath time…all from keeping me quiet and still to hear God’s voice.

I actually blogged about this topic just about a year ago.  At that time I made some brief headway into holding Sabbath somewhat sacred, but it slipped away.  It is difficult for us who have to work weekends at Church, to find another day of the week that we can hold the sacred sabbath.

But that is what Teresa and I will begin doing again on Monday.  Nothing daring like a weekly sabbath (at least not yet), but by beginning a couple times a month to shut down the electronics and the outside world in order to honor the ‘seventh day’ to rest, to listen and to be still.

And that actually sounds….delightful.

Interested in more reflection on the Sabbath?  See this piece by our friend Mirabai Starr.