Homilies: 5th Sunday of Easter, Year C

My homily for the 5th Sunday of Easter, Year C. This was preached during my sabbatical leave at a location outside my usual preaching locations. This particular occasion was a 9am morning Mass.

The readings proclaimed were Acts 14:21-27; Revelation 21:1-5; John 13:13-35. Today’s psalm is Psalm 144: “I will praise your name forever, my king and my God.”

“Jesus tells his disciples to love one another and to do so as he has loved them. The love of Jesus for his disciples – and us – is made manifest in his Passion, Death and Resurrection, which he willingly embraced for our sake. It manifested God’s glory to Jesus’ disciples. Our love for one another – a love as complete and absolute as Jesus’ love for us – allows God’s glory to shine out into the world here and now, in this time and place.”

Worship Before Intimacy

One of the oft-heard comments about an inability to have every and any church building remain open, regardless of the ability to celebrate the Church’s liturgy in that building, is an appeal to ‘what about the community?’. It is, in my estimation at least, false and faulty thinking from the perspective of Catholic liturgical theology and ecclesiology, finding more foundation in non-Catholic thinking.

And, finally, I have found a Protestant theologian who seems to support my position!

Many mainline Protestant churches have developed a culture of intimacy for its own sake, so much so that intimacy has become “a primary liturgical value.” As Hughes points out,

Intimacy, or even community, however, is not the point and purpose of an assembly ostensibly gathered for the worship of God. By all means it may be a hoped-for byproduct of corporate worship, but when the priorities are reversed, the one becomes the other’s sublimate.

Steffan Losel, “Introduction”, in Gerard R. Hughes, ed. Steffan Losel, Reformed Sacramentality (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2017), xxvii, quoting Gerard R. Hughes, Worship as Meaning: A Liturgical Theology for Late Modernity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 251.

Homilies: 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year C

My homily for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year C. This was preached during my sabbatical leave at a location outside my usual preaching locations. This particular occasion was a 5pm Saturday evening Mass.

The readings proclaimed were Acts 5:27-32, 40-41; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19. Today’s psalm is Psalm 29: “I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.”

“The disciples had returned to their previous lives; they had returned to what they had been about before encountering Jesus in the same place as today’s Gospel account. When Jesus appears to them, especially to Peter, the mantle of pastoral leadership of ‘The Good Shepherd’ is passed on to those who would now be responsible for continuing Jesus’ mission in the world. As that mantle passes from Jesus to Peter, the task of proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom becomes the responsibility of the disciples, and our responsibility in this time and this place.”

Homilies: 2nd Sunday of Easter, Year C

My homily for the 2nd Sunday of Easter, Year C. This was preached during my sabbatical leave at a location outside my usual preaching locations. This particular occasion was a 10am Sunday morning Mass.

The readings proclaimed were Acts 5:12-16; Revelation 1:9-13, 17-19; John 20:19-31. Today’s psalm is Psalm 117: “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.”

“Contrary to what we might be told from time to time, doubt is not the enemy of faith. The true enemy of faith is apathy. Thomas was uncertain about believing the testimony of the other disciples, for any one of a number of true human reasons. And yet from that doubt, he was able to say “My Lord and my God!” when Jesus delivers a very personal experience to him, and to take the experience out into the world. It’s okay to doubt, because it permits us to make a distinctive choice for belief, and the embrace the mission that comes naturally from believing.”

Homilies: Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Year C

My homily for Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Year C, as preached during the live-streamed 9.30am Mass from Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton.

The readings proclaimed were Luke 19:28-40; Isaiah 50:4-7; Philippians 2:6-11; Luke 22:14 – 23:56. Today’s psalm is Psalm 21: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

“Luke goes to great lengths to focus not so much on the details of Christ’s Passion but on the fundamental injustice of Christ’s condemnation and death. The injustice flows from a misunderstanding – deliberate or otherwise – of what the Messiah was meant to be and a belief that Jesus did not fit the expectation of the religious authorities of the day. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to proclaim the Reign of God that Jesus inaugurated, not what we believe it should be.”

Homilies: 5th Sunday of Lent, Year C

My homily for the 5th Sunday of Lent, Year C, as preached during the live-streamed 9.30am Mass from Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton. During today’s Mass, we celebrated the Third Scrutiny with Donald.

The readings proclaimed were Ezekiel 37:12-14; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45. The psalm today is Psalm 129: “With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.”

“The raising of Lazarus from the dead confirms Martha’s proclamation of faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, the one promised by God. Jesus’ delay in responding to the original message sets up both the profession of faith and the confirmation of God’s glory through the raising of Lazarus to ‘new life’, a promise held out to all those who can profess Jesus as the Christ.”

Homilies: 4th Sunday of Lent, Year C

My homily for the 4th Sunday of Lent, Year C, as preached during the live-streamed 9.30am Mass from Sacred Heart Cathedral, hamilton. During today’s Mass, we celebrated the Second Scrutiny with Donald.

The readings proclaimed were 1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41. Today’s psalm is Psalm 22: “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.”

“The healing by Jesus of the man born blind overturned the understanding of physical ailment as punishment for sin and drew the young man to encounter a truth he could not deny or avoid even when confronted by intense interrogation and pressure from the religious authorities. The young man eventually comes to a place where he is able to confess ‘Lord, I believe’. God’s action through Jesus Christ brings us from the darkness of unbelief into the light of undeniable truth – if we open ourselves to the action of God in our lives.”