Mary Gordon’s Homily, March 19, 2017

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Sermon: Woman at the Well I am always relieved when I look at the Gospel for the day I must give a sermon and find it’s one of the ones when Jesus is Lovable. He isn’t always. I don’t know what I’d do if I had to speak on the parts of the Gospel that make me want to turn away from him: when he curses the fig tree, tells the man not to bury his father, says divorce is out of the question. But today I was lucky, because I get to speak about one of my favorite Gospel …

Libby Caes’ Homily from Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017

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Ash Wednesday, March 1 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21   We are all social creatures. Because we are social creatures, we care what other people think of us. Two autobiographies that Dave and I recently listened to illustrate this well. The first is from An Invisible Thread:  by Laurie Schroff. The author grew up in an Italian family on Long Island. Every night Laurie and her siblings would hold their breath wondering if Dad would come home calm or fighting his demons. If he was drunk her father would abuse her mother and brother. He would break furniture and throw whatever he …

Paul Knitter’s Homily, February 19, 2017

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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time                                                              Feb. 19, 2017     DWELLING WITHIN US – ACTING THROUGH US (Leviticus 19: 1-2, 9-18; I Cor 3:10-11,16-23; Matthew 5: 38-48)  I. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: TO BE AS HOLY AND AS PERFECT AS GOD        A. Before I sit down to put a homily together, I try to give it a title; that helps to keep me focused on a central theme. For today’s homily, after an initial reading of today’s texts, the first title that came to mind was “Mission Impossible.”   Fearing, however, that that title might more readily elicit images of Tom Cruise …

Leora Weitzman’s Homily, February 12, 2017

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February 12, 2017 • 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time • Leora Weitzman Deuteronomy 30:15-20, 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, Matthew 5:21-37   At first hearing, this all sounds like an impossibly tall order. And Jesus sounds dismayingly harsh. And yet, I believe what we just heard is an invitation Home… to a way of being that is deeply natural and brings profound peace. It’s an invitation, as T.S. Eliot says, “through the unknown, remembered gate” … to the way we were once upon a time. Once upon a time, before we learned to judge or use anyone or anything in God’s creation, …

Libby Caes’ Homily, February 5, 2017

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February 5, 2017 Matthew 5: 13-16   Light and salt are both in great abundance in our culture. Go to Home Depot; there is a whole aisle of many different types of light bulbs. LEDs, CFLs, incandescent, fluorescent. Go to Woodman’s; salt comes in many sizes and colors and flavors. There is even low sodium salt! This abundance and variety remind me of how many different Christian denominations there are. Consider the Mennonites: there are over 100 different Mennonite association of churches. Many of them are splinter groups. Paradoxically or shamefully, a core value of Mennonites is peacemaking. I pick …

Colleen Hartung’s Homily, January 29, 2017

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Great Crowds and Unbidden Blessings Matthew 5: 1-12 A Homily by Colleen D. Hartung January 29, 2017   And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.  When Jesus saw the crowds he went up the mountain and he sat down (Matthew 4:25-5:1)   In today’s scripture, the author of The Gospel According to Matthew tells us that a great crowd of people gather at the foot of a mountain somewhere in Galilee.  This gathering of people is the first in a series of gatherings in this gospel including the feeding of …

Joseph Wiesenfarth’s Homily from Epiphany, January 8, 2017

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Joseph Wiesenfarth Epiphany:  8 January 2017 Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12   There are two kinds of epiphany:  one beginning with a capital letter and one beginning with a small letter.  The one beginning with the capital E is what we are celebrating today.  Dictionaries tell us it is “A Christian feast celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.”  In Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language of 1755 we get the additional information of the “commemoration of our Saviour’s [birth] being manifested to the world, by the …

Lynne Smith’s Homily from Christmas Day, December 25, 2016

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Christmas Day – 2016                                                                     Lynne Smith, OSB In September this year, a husband and wife and their five children boarded a bus in a refugee camp in Tanzania to be taken to a plane where they would be flown to their new home in another country. The husband had lived in the refugee camp since he was eleven. The family didn’t know where they were going. When Joel Makeci Ebuela got off the plane, he asked, “Where am I?” He and his family, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, had arrived in the Missoula, Montana to start their new …

Jerry Folk’s Homily, December 11, 2016

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December 11, 2016 (Advent III) Holy Wisdom Monastery, Madison, WI John the Baptist is a prominent figure in the scripture readings for the Advent Season.  Last Sunday we heard him declare, “The Reign of God is at hand and the Messiah will be here soon with a winnowing fork in his hand. He’ll separate the wheat from the chaff and throw the chaff in an unquenchable fire.” A few verses later, John reveals the identity of the Messiah. He points to Jesus and says, “He is the one.” But in today’s reading he’s not so sure. Reports about what Jesus …

Patricia La Cross’ Homily, December 4, 2016

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In today’s gospel from Matthew, John proclaims a Jesus who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. Jesus is the one singled out by the Creator to bestow the gifts of wisdom and understanding, counsel and strength, knowledge and fearful wonder before God. Jesus is the One who will restore justice and unite the world. It is our mission as a faith community—from a hill no less—to signal to the peoples that this living God still calls us to live together in harmony, with patient courage. As we entered this Advent season last week I was stifling a cough …