The Scandal We Long For – A Sermon on Matthew 1:18-25

What is the most shocking part of today’s gospel (Matthew 1:18-25, Advent 4A)? What’s the thing that makes you wonder whether it really happened the way Matthew describes? What’s the hardest part to believe? For most people, I suspect, the thing that raises questions, controversy, and debate is Mary’s virginity. Aren’t virginity and pregnancy mutually exclusive? How is it possible for a virgin to be pregnant … Continue reading The Scandal We Long For – A Sermon on Matthew 1:18-25

Prayer and Praise to the Blessed Virgin Mary

O most Holy Virgin, he who gives you venerable and glorious titles does not fail to tell the truth; on the contrary, it falls short of your worthiness. Look on us benevolently from heaven! Govern us with peace; guide us, without intimidating us before the judge’s throne; and make us worthy to be seated on his right, to be transported to heaven and to become, … Continue reading Prayer and Praise to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Believing Like Mary and Elizabeth

What if we really believed God is uniquely present and active in the circumstances of each of our lives, speaking a word? What if we truly believed there would be a fulfillment of the word spoken? What if instead of allowing our circumstances to determine what we believe we allowed our believing to reinterpret the circumstances? That would be blessed believing, Elizabeth and Mary type … Continue reading Believing Like Mary and Elizabeth

Icon of the Theotokos

God’s Conspiracy Gives Life

Jesus “breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:22). Recall a moment when you held another person so close that you could hear his or her breathing, the sound of life. Maybe it was your husband or wife, a parent, your child or grandchild, a dear friend. Cheek to cheek. You could feel his or her breath brush across your … Continue reading God’s Conspiracy Gives Life

Magnifying Mary; It Is Truly Meet.

Today, August 15, is the Feast of St. Mary. As the one who on earth stood in the most intimate relationship with the incarnate Son of God, she, of all the human race, must have the place of highest honor in the eternal life of God. (Holy Women, Holy Men) “It is truly right to bless you, O Theotokos, ever blessed, and most pure, and … Continue reading Magnifying Mary; It Is Truly Meet.

Ave Regina Caelorum

The Feast of the Presentation of our Lord is the hinge between Christmas and the cross. It holds in tension life and death, light and darkness, the salvation Simeon sees in the child and the sword that will pierce Mary’s soul. With the Feast of the Presentation the Marian hymn following compline is the Ave Regina Caelorum. The anthem asks Mary’s prayers for our coming … Continue reading Ave Regina Caelorum

Witnesses and Interrogators – A Sermon on John 1:6-8, 19-28; Advent 3B

The collect and readings for the Third Sunday of Advent may be found here. The following sermon focuses on the gospel, John 1:6-8, 19-28. There are, today’s gospel suggests, two ways of approaching life and God’s presence in the world. One way is demonstrated by John. The other way is demonstrated by the priests and Levites. We are either witnesses or interrogators. John was a … Continue reading Witnesses and Interrogators – A Sermon on John 1:6-8, 19-28; Advent 3B

The Feast of St. Mary the Virgin, Dormition, and Assumption

Today, August 15, is one of the great Marian feast days. The Eastern Orthodox call it the Feast of the Dormition while Roman Catholics call it the Feast of the Assumption. They deal with the same event but the interpretation is a bit different. The Rev. Patrick Comerford offers the following distinction: The Orthodox Church teaches that Mary died a natural death, like any human … Continue reading The Feast of St. Mary the Virgin, Dormition, and Assumption

Annunciation Happens at the Virgin Point – A Sermon for the Feast of the Annunciation, Luke 1:26-38

The collect and readings for the Feast of the Annunciation may be found here. The appointed gospel is Luke 1:26-38. In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and … Continue reading Annunciation Happens at the Virgin Point – A Sermon for the Feast of the Annunciation, Luke 1:26-38