Friday, March 30, 2012

Some Said that It Thundered

In today's Gospel, St. John notes that when the people heard the Father's voice from heaven, "some said that it thundered."  The voice said that the Father had already glorified his name and that he would glorify it again.  In the 77th Psalm it is written that the voice of God's thunder was in the heaven, and this in connection with the Exodus.  So then, the voice from heaven in St. John's Gospel connects that redemption, itself a foretelling, with Jesus' redemption of the world on the cross.  The sermon.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mary anoints Jesus for Burial

I remain utterly convinced that Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany are the same person.  The four Gospels all contain the account of the anointing, and the details make it clear that these all refer to the same event.  In St. John 12:1-11, the person anointing is identified as Mary of Bethany.  In the other Gospels, the woman is not identified by name, but she is recognized as "a sinner."  In two of them Mary Magdalene is named as one out of whom Jesus had driven seven demons.  The Lucan account of Mary and Martha may even be the occasion on which this took place.

So Mary's anointing of  Jesus for burial is token of her love, and her love is the result of his abundant mercy shown to her.  Her story is the story off all Christendom.  The sermon.

The Annunciation

Transferred from Sunday, March 25th.  Sermon here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

King of the Jews

There is one exception to the thought that "King of the Jews" was a bit of a slur on the part of Pilate, which comes from the wise men; but from Pilate it seems more in the line of mockery.  And Jesus accepts the title, the mockery, the humiliation and the shame.  For us.  The sermon.

Monday, March 26, 2012


In St. Mark 14:32-42, Jesus said, "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak," referring no doubt to his disciples.  But it is also applicable to his own flesh, laden with the sins of the world.  He prayed that the cup of the burden would be removed (since it was so odious to his Father), and at length it was: the Father accepted his sacrifice and the sin of the world has been taken away.  The sermon.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


The Passion Sunday Gospel (St. John 8:46-59) contains Jesus' clear affirmation of his divinity, as well as the imperative of keeping his word.  The sermon.

Friday, March 23, 2012

No Darkness in John's Gospel

Today's Gospel (St. Matthew 27:45-54) opens with the reference to darkness over the land from the sixth to the ninth hour, a fact reiterated in Mark and Luke.  But the fourth Gospel makes no mention of this, even though John is especially keen on making connections with the creation in Genesis.  Why not?  For John, the glorification of Jesus is his cross: he is "lifted up" there and draws all men to himself.  He is the light of the world, and in him is no darkness at all.  So John sees no darkness on Good Friday, in spite of the physical darkness evident everywhere.  John sees glory there, greater than even at the transfiguration or the resurrection.  The death of Christ is victory, life, and salvation.  The sermon.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jesus and Barabbas

The significance of the exchange of Barabbas for Jesus is seen in their names.  Barabbas means 'son of the father', and Jesus means 'God saving'.  So God saves by sacrificing himself in exchange for you, who become sons of the Father.  The sermon.

St. Joseph

We remember St. Joseph for at least  three things.  First, that he was the guardian of Blessed Mary and her Son, and kept them in safety to and from Egypt. Second, that by agreeing to take her to wife in spite of the blame coming her way he was agreeing to take that blame himself, in likeness to Christ.  Third, that like the Joseph for whom he was named he received revelation by dreams, like that Joseph who brought Israel to Egypt he brought the Son of God to Egypt, and like that Joseph he stored up bread for others, namely for the people of God in the Holy Sacrament.  The sermon.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Feeding of the 5000

On Laetare Sunday we consider the feeding of the 5000,  and Jesus' testing of his disciples, especially Philip and Andrew, who should have remembered what they had said about him in the first chapter of this same Gospel of John. But they failed the test.  So he showed them what he could do, as the Incarnate One who had done this for a multitude of Israelites in the desert long before.  Then as soon as the event was ended, they found themselves in a storm at sea, and Jesus came to them walking on the water.  Again they failed his test, and were terrified.  Yet he bid them to put their fears aside.  He will never leave his people, even though they be feeble and fearful.  The sermon.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


The Gospel at St. Luke 19:1-10 deals with Jesus' stay at Zacchaeus' house and the change that came over the little man because of Jesus' willingness to stay there.  The sermon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Is Jesus Good?

Today's Gospel (St. Luke 18:18-27) recounts Jesus' exchange with a rich man who calls him good, yet does not believe what he says.  To call Jesus good is to call him God, and to trust him.  The sermon.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jesus Defeats the Strong Man

Oculi Sunday marks the third in Lent, and the third in a row in which in the Gospel we hear of Jesus' power over the devil.  His mastery is indicative of his utter victory, won at the cross and confirmed by the resurrection.  The sermon.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

What God sees and what men see

Wednesday night's sermon, from St. Luke 16:10-18, on Jesus' declaration that "that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."  Here.

On Sexual Sin

Tuesday vespers included a homily on Sunday's epistle, from I Thessalonians 4:1-7, on the matter of sexual sins and how they are double infractions, here.

The Prodigal Son

Tuesday's sermon, on St. Luke 15:11-32, the Prodigal Son: here.

The Parable of the Fig Tree

Monday's sermon, on St. Luke 13:6-10, here.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Thursday, March 01, 2012

A Greater than Jonas

Jesus preaches repentance in St. Luke 11:29-36.  Today's sermon.

The Friend at Midnight

The Gospel at St. Luke 11:5-13 provides Jesus' parable about how the Holy Sacrament is delivered to the people, if you note the details.  There are three loaves (the Triune God is in the host), there is a friend of a friend (the celebrant gives to the people what he receives), the friend has nothing to give (the celebrant contributes nothing of his own), it is at midnight (behold, now is the day of salvation; the cry goes out at midnight, etc.), and the giver speaks of his children in bed at midnight (the importunate crying of the faithful for mercy will at length raise the dead at the last.  Most importantly, the admonition, "Ask, seek, knock" is something of a rubric, which gives the celebrant the instruction to use the Our Father (immediately prior, in this chapter) to do the asking, seeking, and knocking, by which the Father will "give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him."  The sermon.