Patti LaCross' Homily from June 26, 2011

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Patti LaCross delivered the following homily at Sunday Assembly at Holy Wisdom Monastery on June 26, 2011.  The readings from the common lectionary that day were Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, and John 6:51-58. Scripture scholars seem to agree that the Israelites who fled Egypt and landed in the Sinai wilderness subsisted in part by eating the secretions and bodies of insects they found on local scrub trees in the morning. Many believe that the name given this substance – Manna- derives from Man hu, a Hebraic expression for “What is it??” Imagine the buzz of young children in …

Homily by Kathleen Norris on June 19, 2011

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It’s not so many words: “So God created humankind in God’s own image, in the image of God they were created; male and female God created them.” These phrases are restated, repeated three times, for emphasis, and to get our attention. But the words pass quickly, and are easy to miss if we are distracted. They are just a few words in the context of the entire creation story, and when we get the whole picture, we are reminded that we are only a small part of a very big creation — and we come late in the day, as …

Unexpected Gifts of the Spirit – Colleen Hartung's Homily at Sunday Assembly on June 12, 2011

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The following homily was delivered by Colleen Hartung at Sunday Assembly at Holy Wisdom Monastery on June 12, 2011. Today’s gospel takes us back to the day of Jesus’ resurrection.  It is evening and the followers of Jesus are huddled behind locked doors.  They are afraid for their lives.  They are confused by Mary Magdalene’s claims to have seen her teacher.  And many, like Peter, are guilt ridden for various acts of betrayal and abandonment.  Not peace but bottomless sorrow, gripping fear, overwhelming guilt and growing confusion fill the room.  And then, so the story goes, there is an unexpected …

Joe Wiesenfarth's Homily from May 29, 2011

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Joe Wiesenfarth delivered the following homily at Sunday Assembly at Holy Wisdom Monastery on May 29, 2011.  This homily was based on the lectionary readings of Acts 17:22-31, Peter 3:13-22 and John 14:15-21. Joseph Wiesenfarth is Professor Emeritus of English at the UW-Madison, where he taught from 1970 to 2000.  He began attending liturgies at the former St. Benedict Center about 1975 and giving occasional homilies there and at Holy Wisdom Monastery since 1984. We don’t have to go beyond the first line of today’s first reading before we encounter a problem.  That’s because the word Areopagus designates both a …

Rev. Ken Smits' Homily in Celebration of Mary David Walgenbach's 50 Years of Monastic Profession

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The following homily was shared by Ken Smith, OFM, in celebration of Mary David Walgenbach’s 50th Jubilee celebration on May 26, 2011 at Holy Wisdom Monastery. For those who may not know me, I am a Capuchin-Franciscan friar, I was a staff member at Holy Wisdom Monastery from 1994 to 2008. I was the regular Sunday presider and frequent homilist for 12 years. Well, last Saturday passed calmly and the end of the world did not come. I knew it was the wrong date as soon as it was announced, because they picked a date before Mary David’s jubilee, an …

Jim Penczykowski's Homily from May 22, 2011

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The following homily was delivered by Jim Penczykowski at Sunday Assembly at Holy Wisdom Monastery on May 22, 2011. In what way could we say that stones are living? I am wondering if any of the younger members of the congregation know, or can guess, what it is that holds the bricks in place on the outside of this building? Mortar is kind of muddy glue.  When it hardens around bricks or stones it holds them together. Bricks and stones can sometimes stay together without the mortar. Usually the pieces have to fit together very tightly and in a certain …

Leora Weitzman's Homily from May 15, 2011

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The following homily was delivered by Leora Weitzman at Sunday Assembly on May 15, 2011.  The lectionary readings for the day included Acts 2:42-47, 1 Peter 2:19-25, and John 10:1-10. Leora Weitzman is a former philosophy professor and musician and an oblate at Holy Wisdom.  She currently practices and teaches intuitive bodywork and loves “listening” for things that you have to be very quiet to hear. Here in Wisconsin, cows are more common than sheep, so let’s leave the shepherds alone for a while and talk cowboys. The cowboys featured in Westerns are a good example of what Walter Wink calls “the …

Lynne Smith, OSB's Homily from Easter Vigil, April 23, 2011

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The following homily was delivered by Sister Lynne Smith, OSB, at the Easter Vigil at Holy Wisdom Monastery on Saturday night, April 23, 2011. Lynne is an ordained Presbyterian minister and a member of Benedictine Women of Madison. She served congregations in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for sixteen years before coming to Holy Wisdom Monastery. She has been a member of Benedictine Women of Madison since 2000. An artist friend once told me that art is about learning to see. So wanting to grow in awareness, I took a basic drawing class this winter. In the first class the teacher …

Wayne Sigelko's Homily from April 17, 2011 (Palm Sunday)

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The following homily was given by Wayne Sigelko on Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011. Well, once again, we’re here-in the center of it.  And once again, it makes no damn sense at all. Not talking about -The fickleness of the crowds -the cowardice of the disciples -the cynicism and duplicity of the authorities-secular and religious -the cruelty of the soldiers and the mob All of that I get.  I don’t like it, but I understand it, kind of even expect it. What doesn’t make sense? This is NOT how God is supposed to behave! Jϋrgen Moltmann: In Jesus, God does …

Libby Caes' Homily from April 3, 2011

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Libby Caes delivered the following homily at Sunday Assembly at Holy Wisdom Monastery on April 3, 2011. 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. Have you ever gone to one of your favorite restaurants and  hard time deciding what to order because there were so many wonderful choices? It has happened to me! How decide? What am I in the …