Showing posts from April, 2019

Sunday Homily - April 28th, 2019 - The Reliability of our Faith

The Appearance of Jesus to Thomas Icon I. In the tradition of the Church  there is a command to teachers of the faith   to teach carefully. In the letter of St. James,  James actually says the following:   "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters,    for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness."    [James 3:1 NRSV] The whole reason why I wear that funny black hat at the beginning of the service  is because it is indicative of any priest's office and charge   as a teacher of the faith handed down to us. I bring this up because today we need to talk  about our basic doctrine as Christians. And the reason why we need to do this has everything with last Sunday  the holy celebration of Easter   the acclamation that Christ is risen indeed. Because three things happened last Sunday  three things that, when taken together,   struck me as very very perplexing.    Extremely strange. And those three

Easter Sunday Homily - April 21st, 2019 - Joy Shared

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ  I. This is a story about Saints.  Saints that I will never forget    Saints that I'll always think about     and tell my kids about. Because I witnessed something absolutely astonishing  on a cold February in 2009.   I witnessed something that I can't describe    something that I can't ever communicate to you     with as much accuracy as I wish that I could. I witnessed  the New Orleans Saints   win the Super Bowl. So, if you will permit me just a few short moments:  Please give me a moment to tell you   about the 2009 New Orleans Saints. And it starts in 2005  with Hurricane Katrina. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina  has perhaps been forgotten by many in the United States by now.   But, in my short time working with Habitat for Humanity    in the 9th Ward in the aftermath     I can tell you: the heartbreak was palpable. The community of New Orleans  over the next 5 years   would become my soul'

The Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Homilies - April 18th-20th, 2019

Jesus Washes the Disciples's Feet "Feet, feet feet!" I. Left foot,  right foot,   left foot,    right... Feet in the morning!  Feet at night! Left foot,  left foot,   left foot,    right. Wet foot, Dry foot.  High foot, Low foot. Front feet, Back feet.  Red feet, Black feet.   Left foot, Right foot.    Feet, Feet, Feet.     How many, many feet you meet. Slow feet, Quick feet.  Trick feet, Sick feet.   Up feet, Down feet.    Here come clown feet.     Small feet, Big feet.      Here come pig feet.       His feet, Her feet.        Fuzzy fur feet. In the house,  and on the street   how many, many    feet you meet.     [ The Foot Book  by Dr. Seuss] Some of you may recognize  "The Foot Book" by Dr. Seuss.   Maybe you've read it to your kids or grand kids before. But never is it more important to think about  than on a night like tonight.   Because I'm about to ask you to do something uncomfortable:    if

Palm Sunday Homily - April 14th, 2019 - The Rejection of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem Icon I. How in the world does God still put up with us? Days like today are a good reminder to all of us here,  that we could not have become followers of Jesus   had God not put the Divine Love within us first. Because we, friends, are so often like the crowd in the Gospel this morning.  We go from the triumphal entry of Our Lord,    carrying our palms, saying "Hosanna in the Highest,     blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"      And in just 10 short minutes,       we cry out "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Saint Peter, in the span of 24 hours  goes from swearing to the Lord Jesus Christ that he would NEVER forsake him,   to swearing to EVERYONE ELSE that he never knew Jesus. The disciples, after observing the Passover of the Lord  and the holy institution of the Communion,   then follow Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane,    fall asleep multiple times even when Jesus chides them to continue in

Sunday Homily - April 7th, 2019 - It's All About Jesus

Saint Paul of Tarsus Icon I. It's all about Jesus,  not about me. I want to preface that this morning,  because I felt that the Spirit was calling me   to share a part of my personal story with you this morning. And I would wager that we've all heard pastors or have known pastors  who talk too much about themselves   and you wonder when its going to end.    My prayer is that I don't fall into that category this morning. Rather, perhaps my story can give you an insight  into Jesus's sacrificial love for us,   and perhaps can also help you hear the inspired words    of Paul's words in Philippians     in a different manner than before. And it has to do with a creeping issue  that I've always had to face:   the tendency to perfectionism. Ever since I've been really little,  I seem to have struggled with this. As a kid, you always have new experiences  and you learn and you grow.   But, I distinctly remember that even as a kid,