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.Read More »
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.Read More »
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.Read More »
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.Read More »
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?Read More »
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.
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!”Read More »
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.Read More »
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.Read More »
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.”Read More »
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.Read More »
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.Read More »
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.Read More »
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.Read More »