Homilies

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time by Retired Bishop Robert Kurtz

Homily of 14 January 2018

1 SM 3:3B-10,19; PS 40; 1 Cor 6:13C-15A,17-20

Note: The Bishop Emeritus of Bermuda, Dr. Robert Kurtz, spent a year in Mepkin after his and during that time he endeared himself to all. Since leaving Mepkin last March, Bishop Robert has been living in Chicago and acting as Novice Director for his community, the Resurrectionists. Bishop Kurtz recently returned to Mepkin for a visit.

Dear Friends,

The Christmas decorations have been put away and now we begin what the church’s liturgical calendar describes as “Ordinary Time.” The Scripture Readings for today’s Mass invite us to start at the beginning, to reflect on our vocations, our call to be followers of Jesus. All of us present here this morning have been called to follow the Lord Jesus – most as Trappist monks, others as priests or members of other religious congregations; many have been called to follow the Lord as married people in family life, others as single people or, perhaps, widows and widowers. (Children too! “Kids for Christ.”) To all of us this morning, Jesus says: “Come, follow me!”

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Feast of the Holy Family by Father Gerard Jonas

31 December 2017

Sir 3,2-6,12-14; Col12-21; Luke 2,22-40

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family.

The birth of Jesus marks the formation of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

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Christmas Day Mass – 2017 by Father Guerric Heckel

IS 52:7-10, HEB 1:1-6, JN 1:1-18

Sometimes when we’ve been really busy, and there’s been a flurry of activity, and life seems chaotic, someone will say, “We need to stop and regroup.” It’s their way of saying that we need to slow down and take a look at what’s happening, what we are doing, and what it means. I think that’s what the liturgy for this Christmas Day Eucharist is about.

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Christmas Vigil by Abbot Stan

24 December 2017

IS 62:1-5, Acts 13:16-17,22-25, Mt 1:1-25

Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will.

Blessed Christmas to each of you from all of us in the monastic community. We are so happy to have you with us, to share with you the great joy which is for all the people: On this day is born for you a Savior, Christ the Lord.

With such a plethora of words and images and songs, allow me to speak briefly about three things tonight: 1) glory to God in the highest; 2) peace on earth; and, 3) walking in the darkness toward the light.

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Advent Reconciliation Vespers by Abbot Stan

20th December 2017

Colossians 1: 9 – 14 Matthew 9: 2 – 8

What is it that separates Jesus from every other great leader, whether religious or secular? We might be able to answer this in several different ways, but I think the crucial difference is in what Jesus can do that no other leader can: he can forgive. Forgive to the core of our sin. Forgive so that the sin is truly blotted out, disappeared, gone forever. That is what led the crowd in today’s Gospel to be filled with awe and to glorify God “who had given such authority to human beings.”

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Third Sunday in Advent by Fr. Joseph Tedesco

Isaiah 61:1-2a,10-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8,19-28

It’s Gaudete Sunday. It means rejoice, and St. Paul’s letter gives this Sunday its name. Rejoice always!

So, what is the cause of our rejoicing? We embrace the joy that is experienced in the Spirit’s prompting to create the Christian community. That’s what Paul is writing about to the Thessalonians. We rejoice because now we know our call, our vocation as Christians. To bring Christ to the world, to be a Baptist like figure in today’s world. To be clear about who Christ is for us: our hope, our life and our future.

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Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception by Father Gerard Jonas

Genesis 3:9-15; Ephesians 1:3-6,11-12; Luke 1:26-38

Today, the whole Christendom celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Pope Pius IX declared the Immaculate Conception as dogma in 1854, emphasizing the long-held Catholic belief that Mary herself was conceived without original sin. The origins of this feast go back to the eastern Church in the 7th century. In many ways, the tradition of the Immaculate Conception and its theology can be traced directly to the piety of the faithful themselves and the popular belief and devotion of Catholics about Mary throughout the centuries.

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Solemn Entrance into Advent — 2017 by Abbot Stan

Luke 21: 22 – 28  +  34 – 36

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Homily for the Feast of Christ Our King November 26, 2017 by Father Guerric Heckel

I think back, not to 1926 when this feast of Christ the King was instituted but over the years which I have been celebrating the feast, the liturgy has gradually shed its triumphalism and militarism. We do not march into the feast of Christ the King with trumpet blasts and drumbeats but with the Son of Man’s words about his identification with the poor and needy echoing in the ears of our heart. The pilgrimage of the Church year we have made with Matthew’s Gospel this year leads us to the last and defining Gospel about entrance into the Kingdom of God where those who have been a blessing to others now receive the definitive blessing of the inheritance of the kingdom.

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Joy Never Ending — 2017

Genesis 28: 11 – 18;  I Peter 2 : 4 – 9;  John 15 : 9 – 17

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Abide in my love….  I do not call you servants, but friends.

What sweeter words can we hear from the mouth of Jesus than these words, my brothers and sisters?  As we sing so often: Friends of Jesus, servants no more.  These are not just words, they are the living reality of our lives.  Each one of us is a friend of Jesus, each one of us is loved by Jesus as Jesus is loved by the Father.

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Homily for the Memorial of the Passion of John the Baptist September 29, 2017

Jeremiah 1:17-19; Psalm 71; Mark 6:17-29

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Homily for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8, 2017

Romans 8:28-30; Psalm 13; Matthew 1:1-16; 18-23

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Homily for the Twenty-second Sunday of the Year, September 3, 2017

Jeremiah 20:7-9; Psalm 63; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 16:21-27

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Father Columba’s Entrance into Novitiate — August 19, 2017

Father Columba, if Brother Juan’s journey has been a long one on many fronts, as I remarked at his First Vows on Tuesday, yours I would characterize as an unexpected one. When you came to Mepkin for a retreat in 2013 on your way back to Ireland from a missionary trip to El Salvador, you came only for a retreat. It had been your custom to visit various monasteries over your long priestly ministry to keep the flame of love burning in your heart. You drew much sustenance from the great Western monastic tradition of spirituality. You were particularly attracted by the example and writings of the abbot of Maredsous, Columba Marmion, an Irish priest who became a Benedictine monk in Belgium. But you were very happy in your priestly ministry in Dublin and if you thought of a monastic vocation you always figured it would be to a Benedictine community. You were familiar with the Trappists, of course, but were never drawn to our more cloistered way of life.

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Homily on the Feast of Saint Bernard — Monday, Aug. 21, 2017

Wisdom 8: 2 – 3a, 10 – 11, 13 – 15a, 16; I John 4: 7 – 16; John 15: 9 – 17

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