Tag Archive for 'St. John'

Easter 4 April 25, 2010

Acts 9:36-43                                                                        

Revelation 7:9-17                                                                             

John 10:22-30

Sheep metaphors aren’t what immediately come to my own mind when I think about my life, but mulling over this passage from John’s gospel, I realize that a lost sheep is exactly what I feel like a lot of the time as a priest in the Church today. And what Jesus in the gospel has to say to me is welcome comfort. So maybe it is for you too.

We live in a hard time to be committed Christians, faithful Church members. The climate of the culture is against us. We have dozens of other claims on our time. In coming to church on Sunday, most of you are choosing not to do something else – particularly if you bring your kids, because sports and dance and sleepovers pay no attention to Sunday being church time. You may also very well be leaving your spouse or children at home, because in many families not everyone is a church-goer. Continue reading ‘Easter 4 April 25, 2010’

Epiphany 2 January 17, 2010

Isaiah 62:1-5                                                                       

I Corinthians 12:1-11                                                        

John 2:1-11

 It is said that the purpose of a sermon or homily is to relate the readings from Holy Scripture to our lives and the world around us. As the theologian Karl Barth said, the preacher goes into the pulpit with the Bible in one hand and the daily newspaper in the other. My usual technique in doing this is to start with the daily newspaper, with our lives, our situations – an incident, a person, a situation we all know about or can relate to. We aren’t very familiar with the Bible, we don’t most of us read it at home, and to start with it always seems to me to turn people off.

But St. John’s gospel is hard to preach on that way. It doesn’t have neat little parables, interesting characters, “morals” or “messages” that can easily be related to everyday life. St. John’s is a mystical gospel. It was written late, by the only disciple of Jesus who did not meet a martyr’s death but lived into extreme old age, reflecting and meditating and polishing his thoughts about the Lord he had known and who loved him especially. John’s gospel is poetic, symbolic, every word heavy with meaning, often coded meaning. Continue reading ‘Epiphany 2 January 17, 2010’

Christmas Eve [late service] December 24, 2009

Isaiah 9:2-7                                                                         

Titus 2:11-14                                                                       

Luke 2:1-20

We come to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve knowing there will be candlelight and wonderful music, poinsettias and a tree, and the reading of the Christmas gospel from St. Luke. The words of the first reading tonight, Isaiah’s prophecy about the coming of Messiah, are also familiar to most of us, if only from Handel’s Messiah. But I will bet that none of you, setting out for church tonight, were saying to yourself, “Oh, goody, we’re going to get to hear that passage from the Letter to Titus.” And I am almost as certain that as it was read just now you didn’t really listen to it, thinking instead about something Christmas-sy or praying that this homily would be good, or if not good at least short. Continue reading ‘Christmas Eve [late service] December 24, 2009’

Christmas Eve (late service) December 24, 2009

Isaiah 9:2-7                                                                         

Titus 2:11-14                                                                      

Luke 2:1-20

We come to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve knowing there will be candlelight and wonderful music, poinsettias and a tree, and the reading of the Christmas gospel from St. Luke. The words of the first reading tonight, Isaiah’s prophecy about the coming of Messiah, are also familiar to most of us, if only from Handel’s Messiah. But I will bet that none of you, setting out for church tonight, were saying to yourself, “Oh, goody, we’re going to get to hear that passage from the Letter to Titus.” And I am almost as certain that as it was read just now you didn’t really listen to it, thinking instead about something Christmas-sy or praying that this homily would be good, or if not good at least short. Continue reading ‘Christmas Eve (late service) December 24, 2009’

Good Friday April 9, 2009

John 18:1-19:42

We have, of course, four gospel accounts of Jesus: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Early attempts to harmonize the four into a single true or pure gospel were rejected by the Church. There has never been, and there never will be, a single “take” on this man we call the Son of God. Continue reading ‘Good Friday April 9, 2009’