Epiphany, Feast of the Epiphany, Matthew 2:1-12, Sermon, Star of Bethlehem

God Insists – An Epiphany Sermon On Matthew 2:1-12

Whatever God’s insisting for you might be, whatever the “it” is in your life, “it” is God desiring, maybe even needing, to be seen, known, experienced by you. Epiphany happens at the intersection of God’s insistence and our response, and it requires both. A star that is not seen and followed is just another luminous ball of gas. A journey that has no guiding star is just another road trip. You and I give existence to God’s insistence through our actions, our words, our lives.  Continue reading God Insists – An Epiphany Sermon On Matthew 2:1-12

House Blessing, Epiphany, Blessing of Chalk

Blessing Chalk For An Epiphany House Blessing

There is a tradition of blessing homes on the Feast of the Epiphany and during the weeks that follow. One way of doing this is to use blessed chalk to mark the doorway as follows: Marking the doorway to one’s home is rooted in the Old Testament. Holy Scripture reminds us that God has at times commanded his people to mark their doors. The Israelites … Continue reading Blessing Chalk For An Epiphany House Blessing

Epiphany, House Blessing, Blessing of Chalk

Epiphany House Blessing Using Chalk

The Church has a custom of blessing homes on the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6) and the weeks following. Family and friends gather to ask God’s blessing on their homes and those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our … Continue reading Epiphany House Blessing Using Chalk

Easter, Epiphany, Epiphany Proclamation,

Epiphany Proclamation of Easter 2019

The ancient Church had a practice of announcing the dates of Easter as well as other feasts and fasts that do not have a fixed date. Since the Epiphany is a fixed date feast (January 6) and also the last major fixed date feast before we enter the Easter cycle which is characterized by moveable dates, it was a convenient time to proclaim the date … Continue reading Epiphany Proclamation of Easter 2019

Christmas Proclamation, Christmas, Liturgy, Nativity of Jesus

The Christmas Proclamation

The Christmas Proclamation as it is sometimes called comes from the Roman Martyrology. It is usually read on Christmas Eve before the Midnight Mass. The proclamation sets the birth of Jesus in relationship to events of the Old Testament as well as the Greek and Roman worlds. It is a way of dating Jesus’ birth different from modern dating systems. The National Catholic Register offers … Continue reading The Christmas Proclamation

Luke 1:39-56, Sermon, Advent 4C, Advent, Hospitality, Impossible, Estrangement, Stranger, Sermon, Mary, Elizabeth, Visitation of Mary

Hospitality Heals Our Estrangement – An Advent Sermon On Luke 1:39-45

Throughout our lives we find ourselves in circumstances or situations that are strange, new, incomprehensible. They’re beyond our previous experience and more often than not they leave us feeling estranged from ourselves, an alien in our own life. You know what that’s like, right?

I wonder if that’s exactly how Mary feels. I wonder if her leaving in haste is the outer expression of her inner estrangement. I wonder if her leaving home reflects that she is not yet at home in herself.  Continue reading Hospitality Heals Our Estrangement – An Advent Sermon On Luke 1:39-45

Advent, Advent 3C, Sermon, Luke 3:7-18, John the Baptist, Repentance, Spiritual Life

It’s About Ordinary Life – An Advent Sermon On Luke 3:7-18

I remember asking the what-to-do question in my teen age and early adult years as I thought about and made decisions. I asked it during my separation and after my divorce. I asked it after our son Brandon died. I’ve asked it after I said or did something that hurt another. I’ve asked it when I felt lost, overwhelmed, powerless, scared, or guilty. I’ve asked it when the pain of the world is palpable, when those I love and care about are hurting, when others are dealing with the hardships and the difficulty of life. What then should I do? Who and how do I want to be in this moment?

Does any of that sound familiar in your life? When have you asked the question? And what was going on? Continue reading It’s About Ordinary Life – An Advent Sermon On Luke 3:7-18

Sermon, Funeral, Funeral Sermon, Death, Resurrection, Music, John 14:1-6

The Music Hasn’t Ended, The Key Has Changed – A Funeral Sermon

The music of Gene’s life did not end at his death. Though we might be able to name the day and maybe even the hour of Gene’s death, he never knew that moment. He simply moved from this life to a new life. The music hasn’t ended, the key has changed. And that means we must learn to listen in a new way. We must listen with the ears of our hearts.  Continue reading The Music Hasn’t Ended, The Key Has Changed – A Funeral Sermon

Advent, Advent 2C, Sermon, Repentance, Luke 3:1-6, Future

What Has Laid Claim To Your Life? – An Advent Sermon On Luke 3:1-6

What do you see when you look at your past?

What are the feelings and thoughts?Regardless of how we view our past, regardless of what did or not happen back then, to the degree we are enmeshed, entangled, or enslaved to our past, “we can expect the future to look like the past” (Caputo, The Weakness of God, 169). We repeat the same patterns, tell ourselves the same old stories, and listen to same old voices. And not much changes. Life becomes static and we are stuck in the past trying to live a life that is no longer. 

John’s call for repentance is the call for us to face and deal with our past. Continue reading What Has Laid Claim To Your Life? – An Advent Sermon On Luke 3:1-6