2020 Homilies

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
ReadingsIsaiah 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
ReadingsIsaiah 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
ReadingsIsaiah 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 
ReadingsMalachi 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
ReadingsIsaiah 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
ReadingsSirach 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
ReadingsLeviticus 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
ReadingsGenesis 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
ReadingsGenesis 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
ReadingsExodus 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
Readings1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a / Ephesians 5:8-14 / John 9:1-41

During the period of restricted social contact during the  Covid-19 pandemic, the Community of Saint Peter have suspended our regular Sunday Mass.  Audio and video of this Liturgy of the Word was originally streamed live on our Facebook Page.

We forget that King David began as a shepherd and was not even present when Samuel arrived to anoint a king. His “bright eyes” got Yahweh’s attention. It was the potentially “bright eyes” of the one born blind that got Jesus’ attention, not far from a well and pool at Siloam. Whether Jesus worked a miracle or used mud to force the eyelids open, the fact is the blind one could now see. The whole town should have been delighted, but there were reservations. Why? “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”


March 29: Fifth Sunday of Lent
ReadingsEzekiel 37:12-14 / Romans 8:8-11 / John 11:1-45

During the period of restricted social contact during the  Covid-19 pandemic, the Community of Saint Peter have suspended our regular Sunday Mass.  Audio and video of this Liturgy of the Word was originally streamed live on our Facebook Page.

Death and resurrection were central themes for a first century church, current themes for a 21st century believer. Death deals with us daily. We need to reach for resurrection just as often, just to keep up. We are a people of faith, part of a nation that was caught off guard. Collectively, we can learn enough from this exposure to be better prepared for the next. If Lazarus can be called forth from a tomb, we can be awakened from slumber.


April 5: Palm Sunday / Passion Sunday
ReadingsMatthew 21:1-11 (37) / Isaiah 50:4-7 / Philipians  2:6-11 / Matthew 26:14—27:66

During the period of restricted social contact during the  Covid-19 pandemic, the Community of Saint Peter have suspended our regular Sunday Mass.  Audio and video of this Liturgy of the Word was originally streamed live on our Facebook Page.

This recording includes music, the reading of the Passion, and a homily.  The homily begins at time 34:00.

Who is seeing more clearly these days: those with the most information at their fingertips, or those who are as concerned about their neighbor as they are about themselves? We have time to reflect, even as we feel lost in the crowd.


April 9: Holy Thursday
Readings: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14 / 1 Corinthians  11:23-26 / John 13:1-15

During the period of restricted social contact during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Community of Saint Peter have suspended our liturgical gatherings.  Audio and video of the Liturgy of the Word for this Holy Thursday night was originally streamed live on our Facebook Page.

When was the last time we were asked to do so much for so many, and the best way to serve them all was just to take very good care of ourselves? Would we like to live in a world like that? We do.


April 10: Good Friday
ReadingsIsaiah 52:13—53:12 / Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9 / John 18:1—19:42

If we want to keep this a Good Friday, we should find a moment to walk in another’s shoes. This is how we die with others, before it is time to die on our own


April 11: Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday evening)
Readings: Genesis 1:1—2:2 / Genesis 22:1-18 / Exodus 14:15—15:1 / Isaiah 54:5-14 / Isaiah 55:1-11 / Baruch 3:9-15, 32—4:4 / Ezechiel 36:16-28 / Romans 6:3-11 / Matthew 28:1-10

Fire, Water, Word. Each and all essential for life in Community. All are signs – of the abundance and the generosity of our planet. This evening is a welcome respite from the news that is getting old. Easter can do that. It can raise us up from whatever keeps us in darkness.


April 12: Easter Sunday
ReadingsActs 10:34a, 37-43 / Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8 / John 20:1-9 or Matthew 28:1-10

These days, if lives are being saved it is love that is doing it, with overtime. If spirits are being sustained it is mercy that is prompting caretakers to give a little extra. If weary souls are celebrating fevers broken and breathing restored, it is faith that will have carried them through.
These are sacred functions in a secular world.


April 19: Second Sunday of Easter
ReadingsActs 2:42-47 / 1 Peter 1:3-9 / John 20:19-31

In the Acts of the Apostles this morning, Luke testifies that all things were shared in common and distributed according to one’s needs. I respectfully suggest that Jesus breathed these four on the disciples because these were what he believed they needed most: Peace, Mission, The Spirit, A fresh start.


April 26: Third Sunday of Easter
ReadingsActs 2:14, 22-33 / 1 Peter 1:17-21 / Lk 24:13-35

Audio and video of this Liturgy of the Word was originally streamed live on our Facebook Page.  This recording includes music, the Scriptural readings of the day, and a homily.  The homily begins at time 19:00.

Emmaus is a state of mind, a place we go when overwhelming events force us out into more open spaces, onto familiar paths so we aren’t stressed. We can just walk, and allow confusion to settle, dismay to subside, and gratitude rise to the surface.


May 3: Fourth Sunday of Easter
ReadingsActs 2:14a, 36-41 / 1 Peter 2:20b-25 / John 10:1-10

Audio and video of this Liturgy of the Word was originally streamed live on our Facebook Page.  This recording includes music, the Scriptural readings of the day, and a homily.  The homily begins at time 14:50.

Isn’t it interesting that we never hear the scriptures speak about “the BEST Shepherd.” GOOD will do. A good one will know the sheep, sacrifice, die for sheep. You can’t get any BETTER than that.


May 10: Fifth Sunday of Easter
ReadingsActs 6:1-7 / 1 Peter 2:4-9 / John 14:1-12

Audio and video of this Liturgy of the Word was originally streamed live on our Facebook Page.  This recording includes music, the Scriptural readings of the day, and a homily.  The homily begins at time 15:30.

Even though we can’t gather at one table during the Covid19 pandemic, we are still baptized into this faith that calls us to service. In Acts, we learn how the early Christians set the foundation for the social mission of the church, which endures today. In times of crisis, our mission is even more evident, more urgent. Wearing a protective mask doesn’t limit our sight. Where should we be looking to serve? With whom should we be making eye contact? How can we envision being the Body of Christ in these uncertain times?


May 17: Sixth Sunday of Easter
ReadingsActs 8:5-8, 14-17 / 1 Peter 3:15-18 / John 14:15-21

Audio and video of this Liturgy of the Word was originally streamed live on our Facebook Page.  This recording includes music, the Scriptural readings of the day, and a homily.  The homily begins at time 14:30.

We are not in the same place; we are the place. We are in Jesus. Jesus is in us. And there is no other place Jesus would rather be. There is no better place for the Spirit to start something new. Abba God continues to bless us, even as we are dying, grieving, or struggling . . . because we live in God, and God in us.


May 24: The Ascension of the Lord
ReadingsActs 1:1-11 / Ephesians 1:17-23 / Matthew 28:16-20

Audio and video of this Liturgy of the Word was originally streamed live on our Facebook Page.  This recording includes music, the Scriptural readings of the day, and a homily.  The homily begins at time 14:30.


May 31: Pentecost Sunday
ReadingsActs 2:1-11 / 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13 / John 20:19-23


June 7: The Most Holy Trinity 
ReadingsExodus 34:4b-6, 8-9 / 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 / John 3:16-18


June 14:  Corpus Christi 
ReadingsDeuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a / 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 / John 6:51-58


June 21:  Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
ReadingsJeremiah 20:10-13 / Romans 5:12-15 / Matthew 10:26-33


June 28:  Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a / Romans 6:3-4, 8-11 / Matthew 10:37-42


July 5:  Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
ReadingsZechariah 9:9-10 / Romans 8:9, 11-13 / Matthew 11:25-30


July 12:  Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
ReadingsIsaiah 55:10-11 / Romans 8:18-23 / Matthew 13:1-23 or 13:1-9


July 19:  Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
ReadingsWisdom 12:13, 16-19 / Romans 8:26-27 / Matthew 13:24-43 or 13:24-30


July 26:  Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings1 Kings 3:5, 7-12 / Romans 8:28-30 / Matthew 13:44-52