Father Richard's sermon for March 11, 2018
Click here to listen.
Click here for the full text.
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Lent is half over, and I am just now posting the first reflection upon the season. I suppose I could claim the discipline of silence but it would not be completely honest. I have allowed myself quiet even in the midst of parish and family activity.
I will confess to sitting down and initiating thoughts upon the spiritual themes of Lent on multiple occasions. I also have tried to compose words on social events such as the tragic violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, but sighs and wordless prayers were all I could create. The aftermath has created the latest chapter in our nation's long and divisive debate concerning gun control. I do commend the efforts by the surviving students to express the kind of trauma produced by a person roaming the halls of your school shooting a semi-automatic assault rifle. I believe our country and especially those who legislate laws and policies, must listen to their message.
For me, I have carried this national grief and division as I have walked the Stations of the Cross on Tuesdays and Fridays, bearing our world's grief and sorrow to the divine seat of mercy and healing. Ours is a vicarious and sacramental faith, and there is power when the church invokes the spirit of God through its ancient liturgies to bring light out of darkness, and resurrect life from death.
The place of Jesus is the place of the church: to bear up under the burden of the pain and sorrow of our day in the grace and strength of God, transforming the ashes of death into the garland of life and the tears of sorrow for the joy of peace.
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Sunday, February 4, 2018
Friday, February 2, 2018
(An excerpt from this Sunday, Feb 4, homily)
"...We, who are small, and tired, and weary can connect with the eternal source of love and kindness and life. We come together, even as few as two or three, to call upon God to act on behalf of us all, and especially those who suffer horribly in places where whole people groups are targeted for persecution and injustice. We come together and pray and advocate for those who languish without assistance, who hide in fear of injustice, who exchange wellness and freedom for substance and addiction.
We, like Jesus before us, are called to assert our place that he left to us amidst our own villages and communities bringing relief and healing to the sick and casting out the evil that corrupts the creation of God. You may call them demons or you may call them greed, prejudice, racism, sexism, addiction, abuse, violence, injustice, apathy, arrogance, despotism, poverty, discrimination, etc… and so forth.
When we who are small and powerless face these giants on our own we are overcome. But when we, as the saints throughout the ages have done, invoke the one who "established the foundations of the earth, who sits high above the circle of the earth, who brings princes to naught and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing" when we bring before God day and night our prayers, it is then that we, the meek, inherit the earth, to champion the holy causes of wellness and to bring dignity to all human beings, and to the whole creation...
Monday, January 29, 2018
The season of Epiphany draws to an early close this year with Ash Wednesday slated for February 14 (the imposition of ashes will make for a unique and unforgettable valentines date!).
In the Christian calendar, February 2nd is the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, and is also called Candlemas. In worship, this Sunday, we will bless all the new candles purchased for the coming year. The nativity scene will also be removed along with the star that has adorned the sanctuary since Christmas. These symbols and festivals in the church calendar transform each year from the passing of days and months to the keeping of holy remembrances and timeless belonging.
Today, I was treated to three gifts of the light of Epiphany: physical incarnations of God’s grace and beauty. They were in the attitudes and actions of three women: two of whom are recovering from debilitating accident and disease and one who was present and available in a desperate time of need. Each in their own way shined a light of irrepressible hope and thanksgiving. Each in their own way spoke of how fortunate they were. Each of them were physical manifestations of God’s goodness and grace. Each of them filled with a vibrant zest for living illuminating my winter-worn soul.
Their attitudes in the midst of difficulty shined the light of epiphany upon my own state of mind. The contrast was evident but not without impact. In the words of the psalmist, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
As winter tarries along with the long nights of darkness, may the lights of epiphany illumine your path to lift your soul and fill your heart with thanksgiving for the gift of simply being here, now.