Homilies from 2014

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Blessed to Be a Blessing to the World

There is an old rabbinic parable about a farmer who had two sons. When they were old enough to walk, he took them to the fields and taught them everything he knew about growing crops and raising animals. When he grew too old to work, the boys took over the chores of the farm. Then, […]

Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard

Sometimes everything depends on how you ask for what you desire, as illustrated in this story: Every afternoon two monks strolled in the garden of their monastery. One day as they were walking along a wooded path, one of the monks asked the other if he thought it would be a pleasant experience to have […]

It’s Not About Trying Harder!

Good morning! It’s so good to be together again. It’s so good to have you here. I want to begin this “school year” by commending you for being in church. Last week, both my wife Astrid and I were away from church. We both said how we can see that it would be so easy […]

God Works Through Broken People, Like Us!

Our Gospel reading for today takes place up near the headwaters of the Jordan River in a place which was called Caesarea Philippi. This ancient Roman city was located at the southwestern base of Mt. Hermon, on the northernmost border of Israel in what is known today as the Golan Heights. It is near where […]

Bring It to Jesus

One of the keys to understanding today’s Gospel reading is to put it into context by considering the first 12 verses of this chapter which tell the story of the death of John the Baptist. John the Baptist had criticized Herod for taking his brother Philip’s wife as his own. Her name was Herodias. John […]

Meeting God in the Silence

It may have been the 12 Step community who came up with the acronym for the word EGO. E-G-O stands for edging God out. I was thinking this week that one of the worst things that we can say or think about another person is “He is just so full of himself” or “She is […]

Living Into the New Creation

Truth be told, probably all of us could identify with the sentiments of St. Paul in the reading from Romans this morning. He says that he doesn’t understand his own actions, that he finds himself doing the very thing that he hates, and the good that he wants to do, he cannot do. Sound familiar? […]

Jesus the Christ, the Savior of the Entire World

I’ll never forget what a visiting monk said to us when he visited our seminary. He said, “You had better make sure that you spend enough time with God, that when a dying person looks up at you and says, ‘Is there really life after death?’ that you are able to answer that question with […]

The Four Disciplines of the Abundant Life

The late Fr. Anthony de Mello, Jesuit priest and spiritual teacher told this story: A Quaker had this sign put on a vacant piece of land next to his home: “This land will be given to anyone who is truly satisfied.” A wealthy farmer, who was riding by, stopped to read the sign and said […]

Witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus

One day, three men were walking along and came upon a raging, violent river. They needed to get across to the other side, but had no idea how to do it. The first man prayed to God, “Please, God, give me the strength to cross this river.” Poof! God gave the man big arms and […]