Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rogate, the Fifth Sunday after Easter

Jesus' invitation to ask for anything in his name comes in today's Gospel, leading us to consider the meaning of his name, and the fact that "Jesus" means "I am salvation," which is in a sense the fuller meaning of the old name "Yahweh," meaning simply "I am." Hence all who are baptized in his name gain the privilege of praying in his stead, and expecting to receive all things in him. He demonstrated this abundantly by giving Israel more than they asked: they asked for deliverance, and he came to them in the flesh. So also he demonstrates this by giving us more than we expect: we pray for God's will on earth and the giving of daily bread, and he gives us the Bread of Life in the Holy Supper. We should therefore expect all good things to come to us, for they will in the end, when we shall receive more than our hearts can imagine. The sermon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Truth Shall Make You Free

In today's Gospel, Jesus speaks of truth. He has also said "I am the truth." What does this mean? He is the Word, who was with God, and who was God. He was in the beginning with God. God spoke, and it was so. He called light out of darkness by his word. His word created and caused all things to be formed. And the word that he spoke was also God, was Christ. So ought we to pay heed to him, for he is full of life and salvation. The power of his word is the power of life eternal. He who called the worlds into being also called Lazarus forth from the grave; and so his word also bespeaks us righteous, brings us to God, and grants eternal salvation. The sermon.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cantate, the Fourth Sunday after Easter

In today's Gospel, Jesus tells of the coming of the Spirit, and of his preaching of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. It is truly the Spirit who preaches whenever his faithful pastors proclaim the law, the Gospel, and the vindication of the faithful. The sermon.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I am the Way

In St. John 14:1-11, Jesus corrects Thomas, who claims he does not know the way Jesus is going. In effect, Jesus is gently saying, Yes, you do, Thomas. You know me. Therefore you know the way, because I am the way. So also does he say to all of his people who might fear to have lost their way. "Let not your heart be troubled" about that, for you have not lost me, and therefore you still know the way. You know me. The sermon.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jubilate, the Third Sunday after Easter

Today's Gospel considers the passage of time: "a little while . . . a little while." Time is a great thief. It steals our carefree, playful childhood and leaves us only with memories. It takes away our loved ones; it robs us of our health and happiness. We go through the years and decades of life losing more and more, and drawing ever nearer to our own demise. But the resurrection of our Lord means victory over all our enemies, as today's Introit declares. One of these enemies is the passage of time. In Christ we have a good end to expect: resurrection. The passage of time is nothing to fear. We are, as St. Peter declares in today's Epistle, on pilgrimmage. We tend not toward the grave, but toward life and salvation. The sermon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Life and Resurrection

The Gospel of St. John is all about life. It highlights the creation of a life-filled world, commenting on Genesis, and it records Jesus' words "I am the life." In today's Gospel, Jesus' discourse makes us think not only of the raising of Lazarus, another Johannine account, but of his own resurrection, and of the raising of all his people at the last day. The sermon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Another Thought on the Good Shepherd

The Misericordias Domini Gospel is closely tied to its Epistle, wherein St. Peter declares your return to "the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls." We recall Peter's impetuous eagerness to follow Jesus, yet while turning away from his word. This ended in disaster for him. But when properly humbled, he hears the resurrected Jesus stand before him and instruct him to feed his sheep. So we note from today's Epistle that Peter now understands that his own shepherding, his own authority, is only the authority of the Gospel: by preaching Christ, he is participating in Jesus' own shepherding of his sheep. The sermon.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Misericordias Domini Sunday

Today's Gospel is full of mercy and the heart of God, for it tells us of the Good Shepherd. See how he tenderly and gently brings his wandering flock back to himself after the tragic events of Good Friday. He appears to Mary in the garden, not so as to frighten her, but by calling her name. He comes to the Emmaus disciples gently, first as a stranger, then teaching, and finally revealing. He appears to his disciples on the shore, again as a stranger at first. He does not wish to startle his sheep. Nor does he treat you harshly. He brings you back to himself, in this holy place, by preaching to you and by feeding you on his own Sacrament. And this in spite of your wayward tendencies. How kind he is; and how convinced you should be that in him you are safe! The sermon.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


Today's Gospel is especially for us who were not present on the day of the resurrection. Neither was Thomas present. But he received the peace of the Lord later, and so do we, through the ministration of the Office of the Holy Ghost, which Jesus established for this purpose.

So the Evangelist remarkably speaks directly to us in this Gospel, saying, "these are written that ye may believe . . ."

The sermon.