Homilies

Fourth Sunday of Easter by Abbot Stan

Homily of 22nd April 2018

Acts 4:8–12; I John 3:1-2; John 10:11-18

I am the Good Shepherd, says the Lord.  I know my own and mine know me.

I know my own and my own know me.  What, my sisters and brothers, can be sweeter than this word of the Lord Jesus?  Does this not sum up our whole Christian life?  Does this not capture in one phrase our own call and vocation to monastic life?  At the deepest part of our being, at the core of who we are, is this wonderful and awesome fact: We are known by the Lord.

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Third Sunday of Easter by Fr. Joe Tedesco

Homily of 15th April 2015

Acts 3:13-15,17-19;1 John 2:1-5a;Luke 24:35–48

We all have an awesome role to play in the Church.  And all the stories in the Acts of the Apostles, today St. Peter’s eloquent sermon, has positioned us in the marvelous continuity of the work of God from Abraham to Isaac and Jacob to Jesus, and God has lead us through our Baptismal life to be sharers in the Christ event. Our role is to preach Christ to the world.

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Easter Sunday by Fr. Gerard Jonas

Homily of 1 April 2018

Acts 10:34a,36-43; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-18

Mary MacNamara, a leader in our Contemplative Eldering Team, shared how her three-and-a-half-year-old grandson asked her just out of the blue: “Grandma, are you an old person or a new person?” After some thought, she said: “Both! I’m an old person. Yet every morning when Grandma Mac gets up, she wakes up new.”

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Paschal Vigil by Abbot Stan Gumula

Homily of 31st Mach 2018

Genesis 1: 1 – 2: 2; Genesis 22: 1 – 18; Exodus 14: 15 – 15: 1; Ezekiel 36: 16 – 28; Romans 6: 3 – 11; Mark 16: 1 – 7

Go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.

These are the last words we heard in this long night of readings.  And these are the first words I speak to you tonight.  After all we have been through this past week: after the Hosannas of Palm Sunday, the joyous feast of the Last Supper on Thursday, the walking with Jesus on the way of the cross and his cruel death on Friday, the fire and the jubilant praise of Christ our Light, we are left here at an empty tomb with the simple instructions: Go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.

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Good Friday by Abbot Stan Gumula

Homily of 30th Mach 2018

Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12; Hebrews 4:14-16 + 5:7-9; John 18:1 – 19:42

You say that I am a king.  For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.

For Jesus, as for St. John who is telling the story, these words sum up the meaning of the narrative of the passion, death and burial.  They tell us that Jesus is a King and what his Kingship is all about, the very question we have been using as our guide this Holy Week.  Have you ever noticed how for Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus is mostly a passive player in the passion narrative?  For John, however, Jesus is the actor rather than the one acted upon.  The whole narrative is couched in kingly terms and is meant to show Jesus as King from start to finish.  The soldiers and crowd who come to arrest Jesus in the garden fall back at the words of Jesus declaring that he is the one they seek.  Jesus stands his ground before the slap in Annas’ house.  It is obvious that Pilate does not live on the same level as Jesus.  It is Jesus who sits on the judgment seat, not Pilate.   In John, Jesus carries his own cross and the inscription on it simply declares, “The King of the Jews.”  Jesus’ last words are not a cry of anguish as for the Synoptics, but a cry of completion, a cry of victory. “It is finished.” It is fulfilled, it is  accomplished, made whole.  And it is only in John that we are told that Jesus keeps the marks of the nails and the spear after his rising.  The great vision of John’s Book of Revelation shows Jesus as :the Lamb standing as it were slain.” Jesus is King who reigns from the Cross.

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Holy Thursday by Abbot Stan Gumula

Homily of the 29th March 2018

Exodus 12: 1 – 8, 11 – 14;  I Corinthians 11: 23 – 26; John 13: 1 – 15

If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

As in years past, I have been trying to help us enter through the door of the great Paschal Mystery and into the saving death and resurrection of the Son of God by following one particular theme throughout the week.  As I said on Palm Sunday, this year I am focusing on Jesus’ kingship: what it means to say that Jesus is our King, what his Kingship is all about.  On Palm Sunday we were overwhelmed by Jesus’ humility.  His humbleness in his choice of a throne (the cross), humbleness in his choice of his means of transportation (a donkey and not a stallion), humbleness in the way he exercised his power (through love and forgiveness, not through weapons of war).

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Palm Sunday by Abbot Stan Gumula

Homily of 25th March 2018

Isaiah 50: 4 – 7;  Philippians 2: 6 – 11;  Mark 14: 1 – 15: 47  with John 12: 12 – 16 at the blessing of palms

Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel…. Fear no more, O daughter Zion; see, your king comes, seated upon an ass’s colt.

So, we heard when we blessed our palms and began our procession this morning.  We proclaimed Christ as our King, the one who is to come.  We waved our branches and sang ‘Hosanna Filio David, Hosanna to the Son of David‘ and therefore, like David, a King.  And this is who Jesus is: our King, our Sovereign, the One to whom we owe our allegiance, our leader in the battle against evil and the sin which clings to us, the One for whom we spend our lives and whose love enflames our hearts.  But what kind of a King is Jesus?  Just what does it mean when we say: Christ is our King?  What is Jesus’ kingship all about?  As I read and meditated on the Scriptures we have heard this morning and the songs we have sung both this morning and in our Liturgy of the Hours, I have been drawn to make more my own this Kingship of Jesus.

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Fifth Sunday of Lent by Fr. Guerric Heckel

Homily of 18th March 2018

Ezekiel 37:12-14, Romans 8:8-11, John 11:1-45

“Lazarus is dead,” Jesus tells the disciples.

It’s not hard to imagine the questions that might be running through the minds of the disciples and the hearts of Mary and Martha. Why? How could this happen? What’s next for me? Is this an ending or a beginning? Could it be both? How do I move forward? How do I make sense of what has happened? What will life be like now? Why didn’t it work out the way I wanted? What could or should I have done differently? Is there life after this? Why didn’t God do something? Every one of you could add to this list. We all have our questions, thousands of them.

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Fourth Sunday of Lent by Fr. Guerric Heckel

Homily of 11th March 2018

Samuel: 16:1b, 6-7,10-13a, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41

“Surely, we are not blind, are we?”

They all looked at him, but they never saw him. He was the blind guy. Born that way. Day after day he sat and begged. They looked. They walked by. They wondered. But they never saw. He had never seen their faces until today. He had never seen his own face, his parents’ faces, a sunrise, the stars, his home, a smile until today. Before today it was as if he didn’t even exist. He was a life waiting to be born, a light waiting to shine, a word waiting to be spoken. Today he became a new creation, he was enlightened, he became a living testimony to the Son of Man, but they still don’t see him. For some reason they are unable to see him.

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Second Sunday of Lent by Fr. Gerard Jonas

Homily of 25 February 2018

Genesis 22:1-2,9-13,15-18; Romans 8:31b-35,37; Mark 9:2-10

We continue our journey to Easter thru Lent.

On this second Sunday of Lent, the first reading tells of the readiness of Abraham to offer his beloved son Isaac as sacrifice. This prefigures the ultimate sacrifice of God the Father in handing over his Son Jesus for us all. Abraham, listened and acted upon the promptings of God in the Old Testament. In full faith and trust, he did not see any contradiction in God telling him he will be the father of a great nation, then later asking him to sacrifice the only son of his old age. His great faith, indeed, made him our father in faith. When Abraham went up the mountain he proclaimed that he was 100% for God. When God sent his only begotten Son into the world, He was proclaiming himself 100% for us.

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First Sunday of Lent by Abbot Stan

Homily of 18 February 2018

Genesis 9: 8 – 15; I Peter 3: 18 – 22; Mark 1: 12 – 15

The Scriptures cry out to us, my brothers and sisters, the Scriptures cry out: The time is fulfilled. Repent. Believe.

Where do we hear this voice of the Lord calling to us today? Where does the call to repentance resound in our hearts? How are we being asked to believe anew in the Good News?

These are not academic questions. These are not psychological questions. There is a time and a place for such exercises. But the liturgy happens not in chronos time, the time measured by the standards of this world – but it leads us into kairos time, the privileged place where we are in direct communion with the God who made us.

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Ash Wednesday by Fr. Kevin Walsh

Homily of 14th February 2018

1 Jl 2:12-28, Ps 51, 2 Cor 5:20-6:2, Mt 6:16-18

Ash Wednesday brings us an external ritual that calls for some serious internal work. We know that we do not wear ashes as a badge of honor but rather they are a public declaration, “I am a sinner, please pray for me.” This ancient practice is a Christian’s deep embrace of the truth of one’s fragile condition. We comprehend our need for God’s mercy and love. The reception of ashes is accompanied by the exhortation of the readings to live the ongoing conversion of being reconciled to God. Although our sins are the catalyst as it were – the emphasis is not on our sins, not even on us. God is the center. The return to God or the turning to God is what is important. And the surrender of self – the dying to self with Christ in order to fully embrace coming to life with Christ in the wonder of his resurrection — is where we are being led.

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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time by Fr. Joe Tedesco

Homily of 4 February 2018

Job 7: 1-4, 6-7 1 Corinthians 9: 16-19, 22-23 Mark 1: 21- 28

People were looking for Jesus because He healed them, freed them of their demons and gave them a sense of right because he taught with authority. He was on point with the needs of the people, and so they searched for him again and again.

Not much has changed has it? People are still searching for Jesus because he can give what we truly are looking for: God – meaning and purpose of life. Jesus said, I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.

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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary time by Fr. Gerard Jonas

Homily of 28 January 2018

Deuteronomy 18,15-20; 1 Corinthians 7,32-35; Mark 1,21-28

The Chinese discovered gunpowder and invented ways of using it not only to fend off enemies in war but also to ward off evil spirits in rituals and festivities. To welcome the new year they don’t just light up the sky with colorful fireworks. They also light up firecrackers that do not just crackle but really explode. All this to ward off evil and usher in a grace-filled new year, literally with a bang!

In the Gospel according to Mark, the public ministry of Jesus starts with the expulsion of the unclean spirit, not with a bang, but by a powerful command: “Be quiet! Come out of him!” And the people recognized this. At once they were astonished at how the Lord Jesus teaches with authority unlike the Scribes and even has power over unclean spirits.

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Third Sunday in Ordinary time by Abbot Stan

Homily of 21 January 2018

Jonah 3:1-5, 10; I Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

Pope Francis loves for his homilies to be done in threes. I have usually tried to do the same. But today four seems to be my number. Four questions to ponder. Four questions requiring a personal and individual answer. Perhaps one or another of them will take pride of place. That is fine. Follow your heart, follow the Spirit. For just like Peter and Andrew, James and John, each one of us, my sisters and brothers, has been called by Jesus. This call was not a one and done situation. It is something that bears reflection. Hence, my four questions. 1) Do you remember when you first heard the call of Jesus? 2) Have you kept that memory alive in your heart? 3) How has the call grown within you? 4) What is the call asking of you today?

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