1 May 2017 Monday of the Third Week of Easter Homily

1 May 2017 Monday of the Third Week of Easter Homily

 

Acts 6:3-15

Psalm 119

John 6:22-29

Stephen has “the face of an angel”.

The Sanhedrin finds his words are blasphemous “against Moses and God.”

For the Sanhedrin the message of Jesús was destructive not only of the Temple but also of the religious customs of the people.

Stephen is hauled before the Sanhedrin by “Cyrenians and Alexandrians and people of Cilicia and Asia…..”  What the Sanhedrin faced was an international incident.  The Sanhedrin did not want Rome to be disturbed by problems in places like far away Jerusalem.

 

Jesús’ signs are very few in John’s Gospel but they are very dramatic.

Jesús feeds five thousand men and his disciples see him walk on water.

The sign of bread, Jesús explains, is a sign of eternal life.  The food that endures for eternal life is not “perishable”.

The “work” of God is first of all to “believe in the one he (God) sent.”

“Believing in the one he (God) sent” is not “physical” work.

“Faith” work is very taxing and at times very difficult.

“Faith” work can only be done with the presence of God’s grace and gift.

With faith in God let us ask the one God sent to share with us the faith to believe. We then can do the “work of God”.

When we break open the word and break the bread we share the work of the one God sent to us.

When we have our eyes and hearts opened, we share in the eternal life of the one who is and does the work of God.

 

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Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter Homily 26 April 2017

Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter Homily 26 April 2017

 

Acts 5:17-26

Psalm 34

John 3:16-21

The Sadducees had a serious problem with the followers of Jesús.

While the Pharisees believed in angels, the after life and resurrection the Sadducees had little tolerance for such “flighty” ideas.

Jesús could argue with the Pharisees about all manner of things but he did share their thoughts on Resurrection and  “spiritual beings”.  

Hence the angels who help the “Apostles” stage a rather lackadaisical jail break.  

How did they get “transported”  through walls and bars?

Where were they from the time of the “breakout” until morning when they “went to the temple”?

I would not go to Hollywood or “Intelligence Services” to find the answer.

The answer is, of course, that this is a story of “faith” and the power of the Lord at work.

The prisoners are missing when it is time to move them from jail to the “Court” (Sanhedrin).

The prisoners are taken back into custody “but without force, because they were afraid of being stoned by the people.”

The tables are, at least temporarily, turned.

“Stones” will turn up again in this drama as this is the method used to execute Stephen the first martyr (witness) for the faith.

The Holy Innocents, John the Baptist and Jesús might be said to share that title in some way.

 

When we hear the word “religion” we could think of fire,  hell fire, brimstone, burning sulphur and other unpleasant images we have been exposed to.

John’s Gospel has other images “coming to the light”, “eternal life”, “being saved”, “truth”.

The light overcoming darkness is especially consoling as the Gospel concludes today with these words:

“But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,

So that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.”

 

May the truth set us free to come to the light so our “works may be clearly seen as done in God.”

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Feast of Saint Mark, Evangelist April 25, 2107 Homily

Feast of Saint Mark, Evangelist April 25, 2107 Homily

 

First Peter 5:5-14

Psalm 89

Mark 16:15-20

 

The work of the Evangelist Mark we may conclude was to accompany Peter in his ministry in Rome.

Babylon was the code word for Rome and Mark is thought to have worked there in Christian community.

The advice to the community is about humility and patience. Solidarity in suffering with other believers “throughout the world” is also a part of the advice given by Peter.

Think of  believers in God, the Lord, the Divine Presence, the Divine who “suffer” for their beliefs because their beliefs are not respected by people with other “beliefs”.

Jesús in the Gospel of Mark gives a simple and universal command to the Eleven, to all believers and to us.

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”

After Jesús instructs the Eleven he “was taken up into heaven..”

The Eleven respond by following the command of Jesús to  preach everywhere.

We are told in the conclusion of the Gospel: “The Lord worked with them (the Eleven) and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.” 

 

May we be faithful to the word and may the Lord’s signs be worked in and through us.

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18 April 2017 Tuesday Octave of Easter Homily

18   April 2017 Tuesday Octave of Easter Homily

Acts 2:36-41

Psalm 33

John 20:11-18

Peter must have been persuasive.

“Three thousand were added that day.”

This must have been before the “record keepers” got involved in tracking who was in and who was out of the community.

Needless to say this report is inspired and true in the sense that it conveys the attraction and tremendous growth of the early community.

Peter’s message is forceful. The people were “….being cut to the heart” .

Peter  inspires these first listeners to embrace the one they crucified.  “..this Jesús” Peter proclaims has been “made both Lord and Christ.”

The response to Peter’s message  is life changing: “repent and be baptized..”

 

Mary Magdalene weeps and after seeing the tomb is empty. The angels know something Mary does not know or see.

Mary comes to see Jesús.

John presents coming to know Jesus as a gradual process of “seeing” and “coming to believe” that Jesus is prophet, Messiah and Son of  God.

Mary is told not to “hold on to Jesús”.

Jesús cannot be controlled or limited. He must continue about the Father’s business.

Mary too has “business to attend to”.

She brings a message to the disciples.

“I have seen the Lord.”

Is that not our work as well?

“We have seen the Lord”,

let us be about his business.

 

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15 and 16 April 2017 Easter Vigil/Easter Sunday Homily

15 and 16 April 2017   Easter Vigil/Easter Sunday Homily

Matthew 28:1-10

“Do not be afraid!

I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.

He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.”

The angel says this to the “two Marys”.

The twelve who “would die with” Jesus are apparently nowhere near the scene of suffering, death and rising.

“Jesus the crucified” has become “Jesus the raised.”

Jesus fulfills his promise,

Jesus calls us to overcome our fears,

to die to sin,

to come to new life.

 

We have heard once again, this night and Easter day, the story of our redemption,

of our being lost:

through sin,

through slavery,

through suffering,

through darkness,

through death.

We know that Jesús’ death and resurrection

“finds” us,

“shows” us the way,

overcomes sin with grace,

overcomes slavery with freedom,

overcomes suffering with healing,

overcomes darkness through light,

overcomes death through resurrection.

 

Last night / today through

baptism,

confirmation and

first eucharist we welcome new members into the Body of Christ.

We welcome our sisters and brothers,

We encourage them not to be afraid.

We promise to share our faith with them in Jesus who was crucified and died.

Jesús now is raised for us.

We,  welcome new members into our community.

We, will  all renew our baptismal promises.

 

We must not only remember and think but also live

Saint Paul’s command to us.

“….you too must think of yourselves

as being dead to sin

and living for God in Christ.”

“Living for God in Christ” is the challenge and promise we

remember, celebrate and renew on this most holy night and day.

 

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14 April 2017 Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion Homily

14 April 2017 Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion Homily

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Psalm 31

Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9

John 18:1-19:42

 

Jesus was obedient to death on the cross.

Jesus’ obedience brought him to perfection.

Jesus’ perfection, the Letter to the Hebrews tells us, caused Jesus

to “become the source of eternal salvation.”

 

Jesus, as we meet him, in the Passion according to John “accepts

the cup” that his “Father gives him.”

 

Jesus understands he must be “lifted up” on the Cross if he is

to be obedient,

to drink the cup,

to be the source of eternal salvation.

 

We are fairly certain that Peter denies Jesus three times.

All of the Passion narratives testify to this fact.

John tells us Peter “who had a sword drew it,

 struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear.

The slave’s name was Malchus which means “king”.

The high priest’s name Caiaphas means “one who seeks”.

 

Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword in its scabbard,

Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?”

 

Peter misunderstands the nature of the Kingdom Jesus

announces.

The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of justice, mercy and peace.

Jesus does not depend on Peter, the disciples or persuasive speech.

Jesus depends, trusts, accepts and fulfills the Father’s will.

 

In a way Jesus places Pilate, Peter and us on trial.

 

Jesus asks us if we trust in his Father’s kingdom or in the

kingdom’s we create, build, support, finance, approve.

Jesus’ power, the power of the Kingdom does not come from

swords,

weapons,

kings,

presidents,

mayors,

senators,

generals,

CEO’s,

banks,

“successful financial instruments” and investments.

 

Jesus power

to lay down his life,

to take up his life,

to do the Father’s will

comes from the Father.

 

Jesus is

the source of everlasting salvation,

gives life,

because he became perfect

through the obedience he learned in suffering.

 

 

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13 Abril 2017 Jueves Santo de la Cena del Senor Homilia

13 Abril 2017 Jueves Santo de la Cena del Senor Homilia

Éxodo 12:1-8, 11-14

1 Corintios 11:23-26

Juan 13: 1-15

Diácono Duane Fischer

 

Durante la última cena que Jesús compartió con sus discípulos, Jesús tomó una toalla y la ató a su cintura. Luego echó agua en un recipiente y empezó a lavar los pies a los discípulos y a secárselos con la toalla que tenía en la cintura. Cuando Pedro protestó, Jesús le dijo: “A menos que yo te lave, no tendrás heredad conmigo”. Debemos ser lavados por Jesús para tener una herencia de vida en el Cielo con Jesús.

 

Jesús se ha ofrecido a lavar a cada uno de nosotros. Muchos ya han aceptado y han sido lavados, mientras que otros apenas han aceptado la oferta para ser lavado. El sacramento del Bautismo es el lavamiento que Jesús ofrece a todos nosotros. Algunos aquí esta noche han aceptado la oferta de Jesús de ser bautizados, recibir la Confirmación y la Primera Comunión durante la Vigilia Pascual.

 

El Bautismo, junto con la Confirmación y la Sagrada Eucaristía son los sacramentos que nos unen plenamente con Jesús. El bautismo nos limpia del pecado, nos convierte en hijos de Dios, hermanos y hermanas de Jesús.La Confirmación nos fortalece con el Espíritu Santo que habita en nuestra alma, nos unimos con Dios. La Santa Comunión nos une por completo, aun más perfectamente con Dios en la persona de Jesús.

 

San Pablo escribió a los Corintios que Jesús tomó el pan, lo rompió y dijo: “Esto es mi cuerpo que se entrega por ustedes”. Luego tomó la copa de vino diciendo: “Esta es mi sangre, bébanla en memoria mía”. Debemos comer el pan que es el Cuerpo de Cristo y beber la copa de vino que es la Sangre de Cristo. Nos unimos a Jesús de manera perfecta cuando tomamos Su Cuerpo y Sangre en nuestros propios cuerpos. No podemos ser más santos que ese momento cuando comemos el Cuerpo  y la Sangre de Cristo.

 

Jesús le preguntó a sus discípulos después de lavar sus pies si se daban cuenta de lo que había hecho por ellos. Lo llamaron Maestro, y ciertamente El era su Maestro. Si el Maestro lavó sus pies, actuando como el siervo o el esclavo, también ellos deben lavarse unos a otros los pies, sirviéndose el uno al otro. Jesús nos ha dado un modelo a seguir, así como el lo ha hecho también nosotros debemos hacerlo. Si estamos unidos perfectamente con Jesús una vez hemos recibido la Santa Comunión, también así estamos unidos el uno con el otro.

 

Somos una sola familia a través de Cristo, con Cristo y en Cristo. Debemos servirnos y ayudarnos unos a otros, como lo hizo Jesús con sus discípulos y con todos los que conoció. Si actuamos como lo hizo Jesús, siendo siervos de todos a quienes nos encontramos, entonces compartiremos su herencia, que es la vida eterna en el cielo.

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13 April 2017 Homily Holy Thursday of the Lord’s Supper

13 April 2017 Homily Holy Thursday of the Lord’s Supper

Exodus 12:1-8,11-14

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

John 13:1-15

Deacon Duane Fischer

 

During the Last Supper that Jesus shared with His Disciples, Jesus took a towel and wrapped it around His waist.  He poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the Disciples, drying them with the towel around His waist. When Peter protested Jesus told him: “Unless I wash you , you will have no inheritance with me.”  We must be washed by Jesus to have an  inheritance of life in Heaven with Jesus.

 

Jesus has offered to wash each of us.  Many have accepted and been washed already, while some have just recently accepted the offer to be washed.  The Sacrament of Baptism is the washing that Jesus offers to all of us. Some here tonight have accepted the offer of Jesus to be Baptized, and to receive Confirmation, and to receive First Holy Communion during the Easter Vigil Saturday.

 

Baptism, along with Confirmation and Holy Communion, are the Sacraments that join us fully with Jesus. Baptism washes us from sin, we become children of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus. Confirmation strengthens us with the Holy Spirit dwelling in our soul, we become joined with God.  Holy Communion joins us completely, even more perfectly with God in the person of Jesus.  

 

Saint Paul wrote to the Corinthians that Jesus took bread, broke it, and said “This is my Body that is for you.”  Then He took the cup of wine saying “This is my Blood, drink it in remembrance of me.”  We are to eat the bread that is the Body of Christ and drink the cup of wine that is the Blood of Christ.  We become joined with Jesus in a most perfect way when we take His Body and Blood into our own bodies.  We cannot get any more holy than that moment when we eat the Body and Blood of Christ.

 

Jesus asked His Disciples after He washed their feet if they realized what He had done for them.  They called Him Master, and indeed He was their Master.  If the Master washed their feet, acting as the servant or slave, they should also wash each others feet, being servants to each other.  

 

Jesus has given us a model to follow, just as He has done we should also do. If we are each joined perfectly with Jesus after receiving Holy Communion, we are also joined perfectly with each other. We are one family through Christ, with Christ and in Christ. We should want to serve and help each other, just as Jesus did for His Disciples and all whom He met.  If we act as Jesus did, being servants to all whom we meet, we will then share in His inheritance which is eternal life in Heaven.   

 

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12 April 2017 Wednesday Holy Week Homily

12 April 2017 Wednesday Holy Week  Homily

 

Isaiah 50:4-9

Psalm 69

Matthew 26:14-25

 

Isaiah knows the cost of being faithful.

Isaiah “opens” his ear to the Lord GOD each day.

The prophet knows his suffering will not be without the Lord’s company.

Isaiah remains open and “turns his back to those who beat” him.

How much time do we put in on our “presentation” of self, of hair, of face?

Isaiah does not even “shield his face from buffets and spitting.”

Isaiah “sets his face like flint” because he has total confidence that the Lord GOD is his help.

 

We meet in the gospel today the ultimate lack of confidence, fear of suffering and inability to fall into the hands and care of the Lord God.

Judas, at the Passover meal is confronted with Jesús’ prediction about what plan Judas is executing. I imagine the Passover meal as a family like, intimate, joyful celebration of close friends. 

However, sin, betrayal, greed and selfishness are not checked (put  away) at the door opened for participants at the Passover meal.

 

Judas hears from Jesús what Jesús knows: Judas will betray Jesús.

Judas learns the “thirty pieces of silver” come  at a very high price.

The Passover celebrates: liberty, freedom and new life.

May we freely trust that the Lord, in great love, will protect, and guide us to the Kingdom.

 

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1 April 2017 Tuesday Holy Week Homily

11 April 2017 Tuesday Holy Week  Homily

 

Daniel 49:1-6

Psalm 71

John 13:21-33,36-38

 

The “light to the nations” motif is one that we return to often in this Holy season.

Isaiah, in darkness, speaks about being “a light to the nations” as a result not of his own efforts but of the LORD’S constant and abiding action.

The LORD chose the prophet and chooses us from birth, from our mother’s womb and can never abandons us.

It is possible, we know, for a parent to abandon a child. It is not possible for the LORD to abandon us.

 

I can imagine the early Christian community searching the scriptures for insight, guidance, hope, encouragement at moments of testing and suffering.

We can and do identify with the Coptic Christians in Eguypt who suffered bombings during their celebration of Palm Sunday.

Jesús knows a great deal in  the Evangelist John’s account of Jesus’ last days.

Judas will betray Jesus. 

Peter promises “I will lay down my life for you.”

It turns out Jesús is the one who will “lay down his life” for Peter, for Judas, for you and for me. 

“Laying down his life” for us is how Jesús “glorifies God”

 

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