Lynne Smith’s Homily from February 10, 2019

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Homily                                                                                                            February 10, 2019 Feast of St. Scholastica                                                                             Lynne Smith, OSB We have only one story about Saint Scholastica, that of her last meeting with Benedict, her twin brother. I know many of you know the story, but I’m going to tell it again this morning because it has an important message for us. The story is found in the second book of Dialogues by Pope Gregory the Great. Within the past few decades, Gregory’s authorship of the Dialogues has been called into question. It’s possible that the Dialogues were written after Gregory’s time under his name which was common …

Leora Weitzman’s Homily from January 27, 2019

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3rd Sun. Ordinary Time • Neh 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10; 1 Cor 12:12-31a; Lk 4:14-21 • 1/27/19 All the Gospels were put together with more art than appears at first glance.  For many ancient cultures, conveying spiritual truth was a major function of storytelling and could take precedence over preserving an accurate historical record.  Each evangelist shapes the events of Jesus’ life and death to bring out something a little different.  Compared to Mark and Matthew, Luke moves Jesus’ visit to Nazareth from the middle of his ministry to the very beginning and adds the scene of his reading in the …

Paul Knitter’s Homily from January 20, 2019

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Jan. 20, 2019 Second Sunday in Ordinary Time   Isaiah 62:1-5; 1 Cor 12: 1-11; John 2:1-11.   What Are We Believing When We Say that “God Loves Us”?   The topic, or the question, that I’d like to explore with you this morning can serve as the title for this sermon: What are we believing when we say that “God loves us”? That’s a question that I found myself struggling with when I pondered this morning’s first reading from Isaiah about God’s love for God’s people.   I want to explain my problem, but then I want to the …

Roberta Felker’s Homily from the Baptism of Jesus, January 13, 2019

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Holy Wisdom Monastery The Baptism of Jesus January 13, 2019 Isaiah 43:1-7; Acts 8:14-17; Luke 3:15-17; 21-22   We think we know this Jesus and We’ve got him all pinned down. Until he gets himself baptized Like everybody else in town.   Several times a month, I stand in line with other visitors at one of our state prisons.  If it is a kitchen day, there can be 20 or more folks there: grandparents in Packer jackets, sisters and sweethearts, people in wheelchairs, moms with toddlers … often, a woman carrying her pink-vested emotional support pug, resting on a pillow.  …

Libby Caes’ Homily from the Epiphany, January 6, 2019

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Epiphany January 6, 2019 Isaiah 60:1-6, Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12   This past December I took a ten day silent retreat at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. At breakfast on the next to the last day this was written on the message board: “Stay until you leave.” I stopped in my tracks, took a deep breath and realized I had an attitude adjustment to make. Even at breakfast I wasn’t fully present. My thoughts were turning towards the journey home and re-entering life here. I had been away from Madison for two weeks. “Stay until you leave.” I would …

Joseph Wiesenfarth’s Homily from Christmas Eve, December 24, 2018

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Joseph Wiesenfarth Homily 12.24.18 Isaiah 9:2-7, Titus 2:11-14, 3:5-7, Luke 2:1-20   I bring you a star tonight in the person of Joseph Brodsky (1940-1995).  He was exiled from the Soviet Union after spending 18 months in the bitter cold of Arkhangelsk [Ar-han-gelsk] for being a poet.  But not just for being a poet, but for answering the court’s question of why he was a poet by saying:  “I think it’s . . . from God.”  That was the right answer at the wrong time.  It got a chilling reception—a shack in Siberia, where, ironically, Brodsky was happy and immersed …

Patti La Cross’s Homily from December 30, 2018

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December 30, 2018                                                                            Holy Wisdom Monastery 1 Samuel 2:18-20,26; Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 2:41-52                  Patti La Cross   It is a joy and a privilege to be here with you celebrating “the third story of Christmas” as renowned scripture scholar Raymond Brown referred to this Gospel passage.   Observant children of all ages might wonder how we come to this story of Jesus, aged 12, only a week after he appears in the manger. It’s tempting to bask in the Silent Night image: a resting new mother, nursing and falling in love with her precious infant; his protective father nearby.   …

Wayne Sigelko’s Homily from December 16, 2018

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Gaudete Sunday Sunday, December 16, 2018   “Is there any point in bothering about joy? Is joy not among those luxury items of life that have no place in the meager private area tolerated in wartime conversations? Certainly, it has no place in a prison cell where one is pacing back and forth, his hands in irons, his heart swelled by all the winds of longing, his head filled with worries and questions.”   So begins the reflection on the Third Sunday of Advent of the Jesuit priest, Alfred Delp from his prison cell in Tegel prison outside Berlin on …

Colleen Hartung’s Homily from December 9, 2018

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Wilderness voices, Reorientation, and Hospitable Advent Waiting Homily, Luke 3: 1-6 By Colleen D. Hartung   Every time I have opened my assigned homily scripture over the last year I have been inevitably drawn into a reflection on the religious and political circumstances of our times; iconic gospel stories, compelling characters and mesmerizing events, celebrations and rituals resonated with the religious and political issues that define our day and age like immigration, gender equity, LGBTQI rights, racism and more.  These themes leapt off the page and were impossible to ignore.  The current machinations of various religious and political players, the …

Jerry Folk’s Homily from December 2, 2018

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December 2, 2018 (Advent I) Holy Wisdom Monastery Madison, WI These apocalyptic passages from the New Testament have never appealed to me. I don’t like their antiquated cosmology and surrealistic images, but at a deeper level I dislike them because, at this darkest time of the year, they speak and require a homilist to speak about darkness, death and the END. These are things from which all living beings instinctively recoil. This is a voice which our society seeks to drown out with seductive distractions like Black Friday and the orgy of consumption it initiates. But the Reality these readings …