Archive for May, 2011

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Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 30, 2011

CHRISTIAN HOPE

This weekend, we get a preview of Pentecost, and it shouldn’t surprise us that between the promise and the witness is a discussion about hope.

We must ask ourselves where we find hope?

Peter tells us so famously, “Sanctify Christ as Lord of your hearts.  Always be ready to give reason for you hope, but do so with gentleness and reverence.”

If someone were to ask you for a reason, would you be ready?

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter: (Acts 8.5-8, 14-17; 1 Peter 3.15-18; John 14.15-21)

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Fifth Sunday of Easter

May 22, 2011

LIVING STONES

Years ago my father decided to build an extension on to his garage, much of which involved stonework.  At the time, I remember thinking this is what the Egyptians must have felt like because we didn’t use mortar, but used the stones themselves in order to build the structure.

Very carefully, we took care to place each stone against another.  They had already been cut but even then, we had to turn and angle each one so that they would fit properly.  Often, we would take straws and toothbrushes to get the dirt away.   It was a long, hard project.  But, when we were done, we knew we had built something that would last.

It is this idea that is at the center of our readings today.  Peter tells us that we are living stones, John reminds us in the Gospel that Christ is the cornerstone, and that this house is big enough for many rooms – many dwellings.

The lessons for us the weekend are as rich as the imagery.

Anything that drives us apart is not of God.  Notice that we are even to love our enemies.  What divides us is always less foundational than what divides us.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter: (Acts 6:1-7; 1 Peter 2:4-9; John 14:1-12)

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Fourth Sunday of Easter

May 15, 2011

PROBLEMS WITH LISTENING

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is the one voice that is worthy of listening to.

That is to say that there are a million voices competing for our attention, but none of them are the voice.  And when we give ourselves to those voices; when those voices capture our imagination and drive our thought and action, they rob of us of our ability to listen to THE voice – that is why they are called thieves and robbers.

All of these readings come together in one question:  How do we hear the voice of God in our lives today?

You see we have two problems:  one, I am not sure many of us feel comfortable discerning what is the voice of God and what is one of these other voices?

And the second bigger problem is actually that most of us are really terrible listeners.

This Sunday, we will tackle these two problems so that we can better understand the question at their center.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter: (Acts 2:14, 36-41; 1 Peter 2:20-25; John 10:1-10)

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Second Sunday of Easter

May 2, 2011

THE HOLINESS OF OTHERS

In the Gospel, we find the Apostles in the upper room on Sunday Night.  It is the night of the resurrection – Easter Sunday night.  But they were not celebrating – they were terrified.  They feared the same fate as Jesus.

But then Jesus appeared and breathed on them said to them:  Receive the Holy Spirit.  Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.

Your holiness is measured by the degree to which you help others to be holy.

That is to say, contrary to the popular world view:  you ARE your brother’s and sister’s keeper.

Nor are we as independent as we would like to believe, for we are created for community – to be dependent on each other.  To accept Christ as the inspiration of our lives, is to allow ourselves to be held accountable to him, and since Christ is no longer physically present to us today, we are held to each other, in whom Christ dwells.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the First Sunday of Easter: (Acts 2:42-47; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31)