Jerry Folk’s Homily from Pentecost, May 20, 2018

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Pentecost May 20, 2018 Holy Wisdom Monastery   Pentecost is no doubt the least well known and understood of the Church’s three great feast days. But it’s a very important festival, especially in our time, when so many people are far more drawn to a living spirituality than to institutional religion. It is, after all, as Jesus tells us in John 6, “the Spirit who gives life.” So, for a few minutes this morning I would like us to explore together the meaning and mystery of Pentecost. Today’s reading from Acts is the classic Pentecost story. There are two scenes …

Lynne Smith’s Homily from Ascension Sunday, May 13, 2018

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Ascension Sunday – Acts 1:1-11; Eph. 4:1-13; Mk 16:15-20 May 13, 2018 Lynne Smith, OSB I find Ascension Sunday hard to get my head around. It is clear we can’t take the accounts of the ascension literally. The early Christian writers believed in a three-tiered universe. God was in heaven above; the people were in the middle on earth, and Satan was in the underworld below. We believe in an ever evolving universe fueled by and filled with divine energy. There are Christians who express their belief in Jesus by casting out demons or handling snakes. We lay hands on …

Jim Penczykowski’s Homily from May 6, 2018

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In my formative years of the 1950s and 60s I was acutely aware of the in-groups and out-groups that defined and described who I was. Adults around me made much of their ethnic roots and their religious roots and their socio-economic roots and their political roots. I suspect this is true for many people gathered here today. My in-group advanced in the world in a competitive sort of way. For instance, it was understood that the land-owning class of people in my hometowns of Racine and Kenosha tended to be White Anglo Saxon Protestant (or WASP). It could be further …

Colleen Hartung’s Homliy from April 29, 2018

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An evangelist, a eunuch and the unbounded love of God. Homily, April 29, 2018 Colleen D. Hartung   I know most of us do not read the bulletin – at least not all the way to the end – but if you did you would know that every week, on the back page there is a list of ministers for the next week’s liturgy.  Skimming that list last Sunday, I knew that it would be foolishness to ignore today’s first reading from the Book of Acts and – at least in this instance – I am not a foolish woman.  …

Joseph Wiesenfarth’s Homily for April 22, 2018

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Wiesenfarth Joseph Homily:  22 April 2018 Acts 4:5-12; 1 John 3:16-24; John 10:11-18   Of the many years of my life, I’ve lived all but one in cities:  New York, Washington, Detroit, London, Paris, Freiburg, and Madison.  Consequently, I am the last person imaginable to talk knowingly to you today about shepherds and sheep.  All that I know about both, in spite of a few weeks in New Zealand where sheep outnumber people, I leaned from Thomas Hardy’s excellent novel Far From the Madding Crowd (1874).  Moreover, I think that novels that feature donkeys prove more interesting than those that …

Paul Knitter’s Homily from April 15, 2018

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Third Sunday of Easter April 15, 2018 (Acts 3: 12-19; I John 3:1-7; Luke 24: 36b-48)   I have to confess that what I have to say today is a second draft. As I went about my first draft, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I was off to a wrong start.   In that first draft, I wanted to take up Luke’s account of what Steve last week irreverently called Jesus eating fish and chips with his followers. I wanted to explore the contrast, if not contradiction, between Luke’s emphasis that Jesus’ risen body was physical …

Leora Weitzman’s Homily from Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018

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Easter • 4/1/18 • Acts 10:34-43; 1 Cor 15:1-11; Jn 20:1-18 • Leora Weitzman Part of being human is the experience of feeling abandoned… times when everything seems to be falling apart, projects, relationships, health, home, the whole world–maybe even all at once.   What used to work doesn’t any more, nor does anything else.  Once-reliable methods, routines, institutions, beliefs, even people no longer deliver as they used to.  There’s frustration… loss… disorientation. This is a time of great creative potential, because the old perspectives are losing their grip, ultimately making room for new ways of seeing and doing.  But it …

Libby Caes’ Homily from Easter Vigil, March 31, 2018

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Easter Vigil 2018 “Living in the mystery” Genesis 1:1-2:4a, Genesis 17:15-22, Ezekiel 37:1-14, Romans 6:3-11, Mark 16:1-8   Tonight we are encased in mystery. Symbols of this mystery are everywhere. The darkness and the silence. The absence of the cross. The Easter fire and the Easter candle and the light we have shared. The baptismal font and Eucharist. The Exultant and the alleluias And creation itself, the full moon. These symbols are not ends in themselves, but mirror something much greater.   The mystery that envelopes us is not like a story written by your favorite mystery author. It is …

Lynne Smith’s Homily from Good Friday, March 30, 2018

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Good Friday Reflection                                                                               March 30, 2018 John 19: 16b-30 “It is finished.” What exactly is finished? Samuel Wells of St.-Martin-in-the-Fields, London, in an essay, “Preaching Crucifixion,” (in Journal for Preachers, Vol. XXXIX No. 3 Easter 2016, pp. 2-6) guides my thoughts for this reflection. Jesus’ life and ministry are finished and the reconciliation of God and creation is finished. Wells suggest our misconceptions of who Jesus are also finished. Finished is the image of Jesus as a conquering hero. Gone are any hopes that Jesus will use his power to rout the Romans and set up his reign. Destroyed is …

Patti La Cross’ Homily from Good Friday, March 30, 2018

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Peter, Peter. He was the first of those to be called, with his brother Andrew dropping his fishing nets and lumbering into discipleship. Peter is named in the Gospels nearly 200 times – far more than any of the apostles. Readers of the New Testament bump into him constantly. What’s not to admire? Maybe just because I am a middle child, I admit to being irritated by this annoying brother who has to be first. He first in blurting out acknowledgement of Jesus as the Messiah – And then immediately presumed to have a better idea for how that should …