Showing posts from May, 2019

Sunday Homily - May 26th, 2019 - Peace Only Through Prayer

The Ascension of Jesus Christ Icon I. If someone were to ask you what "Peace" is,  what would you say? How would you describe what peace is,  and what does it look like? Because when we speak of peace,  there are usually several different contexts that we could be implying   by the way that we describe it. Peace can be understood as the absence or opposite of war,  such as when the Peace of Westphalia was signed,   putting an end to the 30 Years War in Europe,    or the the Treaty of Versailles in 1919     ending the First World War. But peace can also be a quality or state of being,  such as when we speak of someone being "at peace"   or existing in a state of peace.    Fascinatingly, this is how we usually speak of our beloved dead,     those people who are finally at peace.      The acronym R.I.P. which adorns many gravestones,       stands for the Latin phrase  requiescat in pace,         which is usually translated "Rest in P

Sunday Homily - May 19th, 2019 - A Ragamuffin Gospel

Peter's Vision of the Sheet I. It was a cold, windy evening in Indianapolis,  when Christian evangelist Brennan Manning enters into a local church   to hold a three day seminar    for several hundred gathered people. Manning, a Korean War veteran and Franciscan priest,  begins his talk in what he calls the most "magnificently monotonous" way possible:   talking about the love of God in Jesus Christ our Savior.   [ The Ragamuffin Gospel , pg. 37] He gives about an hour session,  and using Holy Scripture, symbolism, story, and personal experience,   gives the most fundamental and basic conviction of the Christian faith:    that God is Love, and that Love is found most fully in the sacrificial love of God     in His Son, Jesus Christ      who came to die so that we may have life. He finishes his presentation,  and after talking with a few people on the way out of the auditorium,   overhears the pastor of this particular church talking in an irritat

Sunday Homily - May 12th, 2019 - Jesus, the Good Shepherd

Christ the Good Shepherd Icon I. Shepherds have a very interesting place in our Holy Scriptures. Think of all the places where you hear about shepherds. The great prophet Moses in the Old Testament kept his father-in-law's herds  when God calls Moses to be a shepherd of the people of Israel.   [c.f. Exodus 1-3] King David was a shepherd of his father's flocks,  defending them from the lion and the bear,   before being anointed by Samuel as the King of Israel    to shepherd the people as the Anointed of God Almighty.    [c.f. I Samuel 16] Shepherd who watched their flocks during the night that Jesus Christ was born  see the angels announcing the coming of the Messiah, the Christ.   [c.f. Luke 2] We see shepherds all over the Bible! But, as opposed to the wonderful, picturesque scene of our Lord carrying the lost sheep,  shepherding is not as clean and pristine as we sometimes may be tempted to think. Sheep are often dirty, dusty, and not the bright

Sunday Homily - May 5th, 2019 - Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover

The Restoration of Peter Icon I. "Don't judge a book by its cover." It's a phrase we probably have heard more often than we can remember.  And there is a reason why it's such a common phrase, right?   It's because we judge books by their covers all the time. We all judge based on the outside.  We even do so without thinking about it most of the time. And nothing is so easily readable  and judge-able   as a person with a book of tattoos    written in black     all across their body. And that's the exact kind of reaction  that a building full of 1000+ people have   when a very tall and lanky man    sleeved in tattoos across his arms     shaved head      with the name of the gang he is owned by across both sides of his head       timidly walks up to a microphone. Mario is his name.  And Mario is a former gang member   off of the streets of Los Angeles.   Mario is a man who was sought out by a ministry in local Los Angeles