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Archive for the ‘Lectionary’ Category

The Trinity and a Girl Named Alice

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

A homily preached June 19, 2011, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, at the Church of the Good Shepherd

Do you remember that famous moment in The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader said to Luke Skywalker: “I am your father”?

Talk about a shock. Now that’s a really bad surprise. Discovering your father is the most evil person in the universe is not going to be your best day ever. Imagine what Fathers Day was like for Luke after that. Awkward!

Now some have not had the best fathers, even some here in this church. And that complicates things today, not just because it’s Fathers Day, but because we as a global church are celebrating the Holy Trinity, and the idea of a Father is important in connecting to this mystery. (more…)

Dayenu on the Way to Emmaus

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Homily preached the Third Sunday of Easter, May 8, 2001 at the Church of the Good Shepherd

You may have noticed that the banners outside the front door of our church have a Hebrew word at the bottom. Probably a lot of you figured out that the Hebrew is a sort of subtitle to the word above it: “Alleluia.” If that’s what you think, you’re right. Alleluia is a Latin transliteration of the Hebrew hallelujah, which means “Praise the Lord.”

Like hallelujah, this season of Easter and Passover is also associated with another important Hebrew word that has a special significance for today’s Gospel reading.

That word is dayenu. (more…)

“I do believe, help my unbelief”

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Homily preached at the Church of the Good Shepherd, January 30, 2011, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

From ancient times, Christians have been visiting an area of rolling hills overlooking the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. There a church was built as early as the Fourth Century to mark the traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount. According to tradition, it was here that Jesus taught the Beatitudes, which we just heard in today’s Gospel reading.

The modern church that sits on this site was built in 1938. It’s a small, octagonal church with a central dome. The surroundings are expansive and vast. From a plaza beneath the church you can sit and look out over the Sea of Galilee. It is so easy to imagine listening to Jesus teach in the open air.

I’ve been to that spot three times, leading pilgrimages. Generally I would take the group into the Church, and we would listen to the same Gospel reading we’ve just heard, sitting in a circle around the altar. After a short period of reflection, we would go outside and discuss what the Beatitudes meant to us. (more…)

Meeting Joseph at the Home Depot

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Homily preached at the Church of the Good Shepherd on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 19, 2010

Who is Joseph? When we look at the Holy Family, we see Jesus, about whom we know so much. We see Mary, who holds a place of honor in our hearts. But what about Joseph?

We know so little about him. But maybe we know more than we think.

We learn a little about Joseph in today’s gospel reading. Here we see a truly heroic figure whose courage is somewhat forgotten. (more…)

Making Peace by the Blood of His Cross

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Homily preached at the Church of the Good Shepherd November 21, 2010, Solemnity of Christ the King

Did you know that today’s celebration is one of the newest on our liturgical calendar? The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pius XI in 1925. In church years, that’s practically yesterday.

In his letter establishing this celebration, Pius XI carefully laid out his reasons as to why he thought this feast was necessary. His primary reason was to highlight the fact that our modern societies needed to be reminded that only by following the Gospel will true justice be achieved. Only the commandments of Christ the King can bring true peace and social cooperation. (more…)