Colleen Hartung's Homily from March 18, 2012, Fourth Sunday in Lent

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This is the 4th Sunday of Lent.  Two weeks from today is Palm Sunday and so it is to be expected that with today’s readings, we are into the thick of things when it comes to sin, punishment and the possibility of redemption. So let us start with the sins and punishments.  Paul simply calls these sins passion of the flesh and through these trespasses we are dead, at least figuratively.  Things are a little less clear and a little more complicated in the Book of Numbers and the Gospel of John.  In the reading from the Book of Numbers, …

Patti LaCross' Homily from March 11, 2012

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3rd Sunday of Lent, March 11, 2012 Exodus 20:1-17, 1 Corinth 1:18-25, John 2:13-22 I am very grateful to be here with you this morning, and for our listening together in the silence. I believe that this beautiful thing we share as One—the Word and Eucharist—deeply changes how we listen and observe, and how we walk in the world outside these windows. In my daily life I move around a lot—my job with the Madison schools is now truly itinerant. I also read and I talk a lot, and I eat—a lot! And I do most of these things rather fast. I’m not sure …

Wayne Sigelko's Homily from March 4, 2012, the Second Sunday of Lent

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JESUS’ REARRANGEMENT THEOREM When Lynne asked for a volunteer to preach this morning, I looked at my calendar, saw that today was open, and said ok. Then, after I had agreed to do it, I read the readings she had included, especially the one from Genesis and thought, “Oh, crud.” I have to admit that I am incredibly uncomfortable with Covenant Theology. And, no, my difficulties are not about pre- vs. post- vs. a- millennialism. Frankly, I’m just not that deep a thinker. My problem with Covenant Theology is simply this, “If we’re God’s chosen people, then who the hell are they?” All too often in history, the answer has been simple. They are the …

Jim Penczykowski's Homily from February 12, 2012

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[A homily suggestion I heard many years ago was prepare with the Sacred Scripture in one hand and the New York Times in the other. In this case I also included the Wisconsin State Journal and Ched Myers commentary on Mark’s Gospel, Binding the Strong Man, Orbis Books, 1988.] What did he know and when did he know it? Seems stolen from the recent headlines reporting on Governor Walker’s recent problems with aides who campaigned while on the government clock. It is rather a frequently asked question among scripture commentators about Jesus in Mark’s Gospel account. We are only about …

Discipleship and the Drum Major Instinct: Homily by Colleen Hartung from January 22, 2012

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This week, on Monday January 16, after over 14 years of planning, deliberation and delay, the family of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. finally got to lay a wreath at the foot of the new monument erected in his honor.  Chiseled on the north side of the monument are the words “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness”.  This is a seemingly simple, straight-forward claim made by King about service and discipleship.  Yet, just days before this celebration, after months of contentious debate, Ken Salazar, the Interior Secretary of the United States of America, issued orders to …

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 …