January 1 (Wed): Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God
Readings: Numbers 6:22-27 / Galatians 4:4-7 / Luke 2:16-21
If our celebration today has recalled an epiphany from our past, or spawned a new one, then the only thing left for us is to follow the star, consider the child, pay homage. We are the Magi in 2020, coming into light. If we make some room for the poor among us, especially the youngest, we will have brought a gift as well.
January 5: The Epiphany of the Lord
Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6 / Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6 / Matthew 2:1-12
I see Epiphany not so much as beholding something spectacular as it is an understanding, an enlightening, an ah-ha moment. It can happen in the presence of something remarkable, or it can settle on us days, months, years later. “I see.”
January 12: The Baptism of the Lord
Readings: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7 / Acts 10:34-38 / Matthew 3:13-17
Today we celebrate an event that was as simple as a “wade in the water.” But it became a big deal because of Jesus’ intent, his cousin’s action, a God’s love, a Spirit’s presence, and eye witnesses. Looking back on the baptism, from our vantage point, it is all the more significant because of all that followed, including us – the Community of Saint Peter!
January 19: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Isaiah 49:3, 5-6 / 1 Corinthians 1:1-3 / John 1:29-34
Isaiah was called to be a light to the nations. Paul called to be an apostle. The Baptist was supposed to point out the one who would usher in the Spirit. Our call is in there someplace. Count on it.
January 26: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Isaiah 8:23—9:3 / 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17 / Matthew 4:12-23
Most of the Sundays in our liturgical year are numbered, as Ordinary Sundays. At yet we return, week after week, looking for something “extra.” This past week I learned a lesson from a mushroom. A closer look tells us they are not ordinary at all.
February 2: The Presentation of the Lord
Readings: Malachi 3:1-4 / Hebrews 2:14-18 / Luke 2:22-40 or 2:22-32
A homily recording is not available for this Sunday.
February 9: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Isaiah 58:7-10 / 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 / Matthew 5:13-16
The scripture reads as if there were no remedy to restoring the flavor of salt. But if we are the salt of the earth, the earth cannot afford to lose what we can bring. Maybe a solution is as simple as ABC.
February 16: Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Sirach 15:15-20 / 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 / Matthew 5:17-37
The scriptures today suggest that for a proper YES or NO we need to pay attention to the wisdom that informs our decisions, unsettles our prejudices, illuminating what may not have seen the light of day – the fruit of experience, the facts of history. The 2019 movie “The Green Book” offers a vivid platform on which to sort out our choices.
February 23: Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18 / 1 Corinthians 3:16-23 / Matthew 5:38-48
Forty days to fast, set something deliberately aside as a minder, perhaps a re-minder that a relationship needs our attention. Success is not guaranteed, only our effort. But there is nothing stronger than love. Ultimately, there is no other remedy.
March 1: First Sunday of Lent
Readings: Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7 / Romans 5:12-19 / Matthew 4:1-11
It was in Deuteronomy that we read the Shema. “Hear, O Israel, come back with your whole heart, your whole soul, and all your strength.” And not just “hear” or “attend to,” but “live it out.” Jesus would have to be “all in.”
He does not need any of the treasures the Devil is offering. He could have as much of any of them as he wished, however, he was determined to move among us as one of us, aware that not all of us, indeed, not many of us would ever have all that we needed, much less wanted.
Instead, Jesus was determined to seek only what was necessary. And what he needed most was absolute powerlessness. He had come to be of service.
March 8: Second Sunday of Lent
Readings: Genesis 12:1-4a / 2 Timothy 1:8b-10 / Matthew 17:1-9
“Abram was seventy-five when he left home.” If we are blessed, by that age we are planning things more carefully, getting rid of “stuff” that somebody put in our attics, scaling down not ramping up! Nevertheless, Abram and Sarah head off for a land which Abba God will show them. It is the love and fidelity they bring with them that will be the foundation for a “nation” of God’s people.
March 15: Third Sunday of Lent
Readings: Exodus 17:3-7 / Romans 5:1-2, 5-8 / John 4:5-42
These are different times; but everyone knows that. This homily is being recorded in an empty worship space this morning. I doubt we have had this much international awareness and attentiveness since all aircraft were grounded after 9-11. There is a threat about. But while the virus is alerting us to our vulnerability, it is also making very clear that a resolution to this and other pandemics is within reach, if we are willing to collaborate, make personal sacrifices for those with greater needs. John’s gospel provides a great pivot this morning. It is all about thirst: Jesus’ and that of the woman at the well. I wonder . . . If we can quench the thirst of a Messiah, a Samaritan woman, and an entire town, can we begin to consider how to feed, welcome, clothe, heal, and liberate, too? The well is deep. We need to find a bucket.
March 22: Fourth Sunday of Lent
Readings: 1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a / Ephesians 5:8-14 / John 9:1-41
Audio and video of this Liturgy of the Word was originally streamed live on our Facebook Page.
March 29: Fifth Sunday of Lent
Readings: Ezekiel 37:12-14 / Romans 8:8-11 / John 11:1-45
April 5: Palm Sunday
Readings: Matthew 21:1-11 (37) / Isaiah 50:4-7 / Philipians 2:6-11 / Matthew 26:14—27:66
April 12: Easter Sunday
Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37-43 / Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8 / John 20:1-9 or Matthew 28:1-10