Archive for April, 2014

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Second Sunday of Easter

April 27, 2014

UNITY IN THE DIVERSITY

I once heard it said that these two men bookend the Second Vatican Council. Now, St. John XXIII opened the Council, and St. John Paul II implemented it. Perhaps that is up for debate, but without question these two men have shaped the modern church that we know today. They are quite different – one championed by the left wing of the Church and the other by the right.

Without question, Pope Francis is trying to create some harmony, some unity through this double canonization, but I also think it is a good reminder for us in all areas of life: that we always need both. We need people to push towards the left and the right if we are ever going to have a healthy middle.   The tension is important for it is what keeps us testing the boundaries of our comfort zone. This is as true to academic and civil politics as it is for those the church.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Second Sunday of Easter (Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 118; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31).

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The Resurrection of the Lord (Easter Sunday)

April 20, 2014

JUST THE BEGINNING

It is tempting to think of Easter as the completion of a journey – our journey through 40 days of Lent; our journey through Holy week – Christ’s passion, death and now resurrection. For some, it may feel like the completion of a past year, or perhaps even a past lifetime.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Isaiah 42:16: “I will lead the blind on a journey; by paths unknown I will guide them. I will turn their darkness into light before them, and will make their crooked ways straight. These things I will do for them and I will not forsake them.”

But this is NOT the end of your journey – it is only the beginning. The story does end with Christ’s resurrection; rather it is the moment when everything begins again! Have you ever noticed how every account of the resurrection is rather open ended? It leaves us hanging. It leaves us wondering what comes next?

CLICK HERE for the readings for Easter Sunday (Acts 10:34, 37-43; Psalm 118; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8; John 20:1-9).

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The Passion of Our Lord (Good Friday)

April 18, 2014

BEHOLD THIS WOOD

I think I first thought about this homily back in February, which is a bit unusual for me as I am generally a resurrection kind of person. But this year, I have been profoundly aware of the cross – perhaps because of the prayer intentions that we have had at the back of the church this Lenten season – because through them I am more aware of how many crosses we ALL carry.

Perhaps I am aware of the cross because as much as I want to free you from those burdens, I am also aware that there is only one savior – and I’m not him. Like you, I am limited and sinful. I carry my own crosses, just as you carry yours.

If you were present last night, you will recall that I spoke about the difficulty of service, in part because it begins with listening. It is how we are vulnerable to one another; and because of this, it is most likely how we will be saved from ourselves.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Good Friday (Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 31; Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42).

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Mass of the Lord’s Supper

April 18, 2014

SERVICE THAT SAVES OUR SOUL

Why has Jesus commanded us to do as he did? To “wash one another’s feet”? Because at the heart of our Christian life is service. The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve; There is no greater love than to lay down your life for another. Jesus’ entire life is at the service of others – of the Father – of us.

But service is really a difficult thing, isn’t it? It is so easy for our own pride to sway our thoughts and actions. This IS what happens to Judas, is it not? His own desire for wealth and power? The concern for his own person more than others? Its what happened to Peter. And it is what happens to so many of us.

Of course, it is possible to get it all right, but listen in and you will find it is never so easy.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Mass of Our Lord’s Supper (Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14; Psalm 116; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-15).

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Fifth Sunday of Lent

April 6, 2014

A PIVOTAL STORY

Todays readings represent some of the most dramatic stories in scripture:  Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones revived by the breath of God and Lazarus raised from the dead – two miraculous events that contain a great lesson:  death is a part of life, but it is not the end – and it is not removed from God’s awareness.

John’s account is beautiful in every detail, but there are three pivotal moments in the Lazarus story that I would like to draw your attention to:

  • “Lord, if you would have been there, my brother would not have died.”
  • “Jesus wept.”
  • “Untie him and let him go.”

As we look at the full implications of each moment, we are reminded that John places it just before Jesus enters Jerusalem.  It is the last great event before Jesus begins his final journey to the cross.  From death comes life.  Suffering cannot be avoided.  It is part of humanity.  God does not prevent it; rather God is there with us. . . until we are ready to truly live.

CLICK HERE for the readings of the Fifth Sunday of Lent (Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45).