Homily delivered by Abbot Stan
Amos 6:1a + 4-7; I Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31
If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.
What a great story teller Jesus is. He doesn’t embellish. He doesn’t go on and on. He just presents facts in all their nakedness. Like a Hemingway novel, there are no superfluous words. Like our Church and our new Retreat Center, the lines are clean and crisp; elegance rules in simplicity. The texture is soft and inviting, drawing us in.Read More »
Homily delivered by Bishop David B. Thompson, Bishop Emeritus of Charleston
Eucharist, Our Lady of Mepkin Abbey
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Today, the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Mepkin is “Alive with the sound of music.” It is the music of our beloved Abbot, Father Francis Kline.
The flora and fauna of his landscaping sang warm welcome as we crossed campus. His Abbey Church is a concert of his dreams and design. We cannot be here without seeing and hearing him at his pipe organ. Just beyond, his Clare Boothe Luce Library speaks volumes of Abbot Francis’ desire to provide the resources, the space, the atmosphere for spending time with saints and scholars.Read More »
I Kings 19:16B, 19-21; Galatians 5:1, 13-18; Luke 9:51-62
Have you ever met anyone whose focus and determination were so intense that you simply got out of his or her way? Often such people can be full of compassion, really wonderful people to be around — but they are intense. They are not necessarily bulldozers or people who want their way and only their way. But they do have a single-mindedness about them that is striking.
Father Francis had some of that intensity. I remember one day early on in our relationship. Something had come up which I believed needed Francis’ attention right away. He was practicing a piece on the organ for an upcoming concert. I came right into church and up to the organ and interrupted him. It was the last time I ever did that. He had been totally absorbed in the music — it was what made him the great concert player he was — and my presence shocked his system to the core.Read More »
I Kings 17:17-24; Galatians 1:11-19; Luke 7:11-17
One of the great tragedies of life is when a child dies before the parent. My own mother’s sorrow is deeply etched upon my memory. In anguish, over the course of five months in 2004, she watched her son, my younger brother, die a slow, painful death to cancer. “Why?” she kept asking. “This is not supposed to happen. The son is not to die before the mother.” There was nothing I could do to assuage her sadness or to answer her questions. But rest assured, if I could have I would have done it in an instant.
This is the picture we are given in today’s Gospel by that master painter, Luke. As they drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. Jesus responds to such a mournful scene as we have come to expect of him. With compassion. With a touch. With involvement. With the personal reaching out, taking the young man by his hand – now woken from death – and giving him back to the widowed mother.Read More »
1st rdg Ez 34:11-36 shepherd tends, guards and cares for the sheep
psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want
2nd rdg Rom 5:5b-8 God’s love is poured into our hearts/Jesus’ death
gospel Lk 15:3-7 shepherd leaves the 99 / rejoice / joy over repentant
Our entire focus today is on God loving us. Whatever else comes into the mix let nothing take your attention away from the love of God. To honor the sacred heart of Jesus is to reflect on God pouring out love upon us.
The fully human / fully divine Jesus had only one heart. His heart like ours did its work as a muscle that kept the blood circulating through his body. I’m not offering a biology lesson but directing attention to Jesus being like us. And so as the soldier’s lance pierced his side while he hung upon the cross redeeming blood flowed out for our salvation. Jesus experienced death, a death that was the offering of himself as the sacrificial victim in our behalf.Read More »
1st rdg Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41 we are witnesses to these things
psalm 30 I will praise you Lord for you have rescued me
2nd rdg Worthy is the Lamb …
gospel Jn 21:1-19 catch of fish / come have breakfast / dialogue
with Peter / belt / follow me
The richness of today’s readings tempts a homilist to try to say something about everything but the readings speak for themselves encouraging us to a deeper commitment in living our faith and a greater capacity to be the church whom God is calling us to be. Are we living as people who feel privileged to believe, obedient to God and fearless in being known as God’s children? If we honor the Lamb slain, having poured out his life for us, are our thoughts and speech about God? Do our lives show in an uncompromising way that we belong to God?Read More »