Joe Wiesenfarth's Homily from January 15, 2012

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1 Samuel 1:9b-18a, 20, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, John 1: 35-51 There’s a lot of human nature in today’s readings from Scripture.  Eli is snooping and getting the meaning of what he sees wrong until Hannah sets him right.  Hannah herself in a stereotypical Jewish mother deciding on her son’s career:  he will be a nazarite, which is a tall order because a nazarite was someone who, as Hannah says, could drink “neither wine nor intoxicants”; who could never get a haircut; and who could not touch anything dead be it man or mouse.  That’s quite a decision for a mother …

Ephiphany: Wayne Sigelko's Homily from January 8, 2012

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Happy Feast.  Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany and the end of the Christmas Season. At the story level this is certainly a strong finish.  A new star appears, maybe a supernova. Magi (some translations use astrologers) appear from the mysterious East, bearing treasure chests filled with extravagant gifts.  They are searching for a child destined to be a king. And, of course, the story introduces a worthy villain-Herod, a frightened king who tries to trick the Magi into revealing the place of Jesus birth and whose evil plan is frustrated when God speaks to the Magi in …

Leora Weitzman's Homily from January 1, 2012

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Sunday after Christmas – January 1, 2012 – Isaiah 61.10-62:30, Galatians 4:4-7, Luke 2:22-40  “The redemption of Jerusalem” mentioned by Anna is symbolic.  In historical time, the people of Jerusalem were once overtaken by force and enslaved in Babylon.  That and their eventual liberation form the backdrop for Isaiah’s song of celebration.  Symbolically, Jerusalem stands for each of its children:  Jews originally, then everyone.  Our redemption is what’s at stake. What do we need redemption from?  The letter to the Galatians spells it out just before today’s excerpt.  Listen: What I am saying is that as long as heirs are …

Christmas Eve Homily

Lynne Smith, OSB Homilies, Monastic Life, Prayer & Worship, Sunday Assembly Leave a Comment

“Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.” What we treasure and ponder in our hearts shapes our lives and creates our reality. These days many forces around us seek to tell us what to treasure in our hearts. The pre-Christmas advertizing has told us to ponder our needs and what we lack so that we will treasure the multiplicity of things they have to sell. Politicians on both sides of the aisle seem to want us to ponder our status, power and entitlements so we will treasure winning more than working together for a greater good. …

Lynne Smith's Homily from November 27, 2011, First Sunday of Advent

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What do you do when your world falls apart, your sins are exposed and even God seems to be absent? That is the situation of the people of Israel at the time of the reading from Isaiah today. The people returned to Jerusalem from years in exile in Babylon, but Jerusalem was no more. Their businesses, their government, the temple, their homes were all gone. Their whole society had been destroyed by the Babylonians. The prophets had warned it would happen and advised them to accept the situation and make their home in Babylon. But the people ignored the prophets …

Jack Finney's Homily from November 13, 2011

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It is a spiritual principle that whenever we receive a call, an invitation, or have a gift to share there will always be resistance. To carry through we will also need support. The resistance can come in the form of a critic—either from within or without; laziness, or fear as in the case of the one talent person in today’s Gospel. The support can come from God/prayer; others; and inner resources. We see this pattern in everyone who is called or gifted. Moses’ resistance was that he was not a public speaker; but God gave him others for support. Jeremiah’s …

Joseph Wiesenfarth's Homily from October 30, 2011

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Joseph Wiesenfarth delivered the following homily at Sunday Assembly at Holy Wisdom Monastery on October 30, 2011.  The readings from the common lectionary that day included Micah 3:5-12, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13, and Matthew 23:1-12. Recently—in September to be precise—my wife and I were in Scotland and France:  two countries noted for their spiritual history as well as for bottled spirits of another kind.  I was speaking at a literary conference in Glasgow after which, to recover, Louise and I went to Paris to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.  Our adventures abroad involved visiting churches of two denominations—Presbyterian and Catholic—and sampling scotch …

Libby Caes' Homily from October 23, 2011

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Libby Caes delivered the following homily at Sunday Assembly at Holy Wisdom Monastery on October 23, 2011.  The readings from the common lectionary for the day included Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8; and Matthew 22:34-46.  Libby Caes is the oncology and palliative care chaplain at UW Hospital and Clinics. She is ordained by the Mennonite Church USA but makes herself at home in the larger ecumenical community. She received her M.Div. at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Seminary) in Philadelphia, PA.  Just over a month ago Pat Robertson, the televangelist, was asked by a caller, named Andreas…and I …

Leora Weitzman's Homily from September 25, 2011

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Leora Weitzman delivered the following homily at Sunday Assembly at Holy Wisdom Monastery on September 25, 2011.  The readings that day from the common lectionary were Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32, Philippians 2:1-13, and Matthew 21:23-32. I’ve always identified with the first child – the one who resists but ultimately does the right thing.  I’ve prided myself on reliability and follow-through.  This week, I met my inner second child. On Monday, I rediscovered that I was scheduled to teach today from 9 to 6.  Rediscovered because I did originally agree to the date; I just forgot to enter it in my planner, and …

Jim Penczykowski's Homily from September 18, 2011

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The following homily was delivered by Jim Penczykowski at Sunday Assembly at Holy Wisdom Monastery on September 18, 2011 – the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Our scripture today invites us to examine some of our base instincts, some of the characteristics we find least attractive about ourselves. In our first reading from the Book of Jonah we have Yahweh in the role of “anger management counselor” utilizing the first documented example of Rational-Emotive Therapy. Anyone who has prayed the psalms is aware that some are replete with calls for Yahweh to wreak vengeance on the psalmist’s enemies.  Some of …