Years ago, while a Franciscan novice, my fellow friars and I attended a gathering of all the Franciscan novices, men and women, who lived in the Eastern United States. During our week-long gathering, each group was responsible for leading morning or evening prayer or animating the Eucharistic celebration. One morning, a group of Franciscan sisters was responsible for morning prayer. Just before we were to begin, the leader of prayer explained that we would not be using the traditional words associated with the sign of the Cross. Rather, we would say “In the Name of the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier.” She explained this was a way to remove the gender bias from the opening of prayer and to make all feel welcomed. Continue reading
This day’s gospel is a well known story of an encounter during which Jesus is asked: “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus reply is clear and unambiguous:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There are people, average like us and quietly going about life, that have moved to the national spotlight. We now know their names: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Philando Castile and Trayvon Martin – and these are just the recent ones that made national news. The nation is moved in outrage. Yes, all lives matter, but Black Lives Matter. As someone pointed out: all houses on the block matter, but when one of them is on fire, it matters more.
Do you recognize the name Christian Cooper? He is a young black man — a birdwatcher — who was reported to the police May 25 by a young white woman, who called 911 to say that “an African American man” was threatening her in New York’s Central Park merely because he asked her to comply with the park’s posted regulations to leash her dog. Continue reading
President Trump recently announced “The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now, this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.” While his powers to do so were questionable to say the least, I am glad that he considers houses of worship and their religious services essential. I would not disagree on that particular point, but would note that a large percentage of citizens do not attend weekend worship services at all plus another group of of households that participate irregularly. My Church has its own C&E Catholic faithful (that’s Christmas and Easter only – although to be fair, Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday are also part of that particular mix). So, while I would agree on the essential nature of Mass and worship services, obviously they are not essential in the minds of all. Continue reading
Holy Trinity Sunday is celebrated on the first Sunday following Pentecost in most of the liturgical churches in Western Christianity. It is a solemn celebration of the belief in the revelation of one God, yet three divine persons. Yet, It was not uniquely celebrated in the early church! Continue reading
Ever since the shift to daylight savings began my “inner alarm clock” wakes me up somewhere between 3:00 and 3:30 am. I am used to early rising, but really. And yes, naps are required at point(s) during the day. I was chatting about this yesterday with a friend who remarked, “You know, my 90 year-old aunt has the same problem…” Yikes! My new measure is one of even-more-senior citizens? Oh well, I am still young at heart. Continue reading
Note: This Sunday marks our first Sunday public Mass since the beginning of the pandemic closures. It has been a busy week getting ready, planning, re-planning, and making sure our staff and volunteers are ready. Deacon Ray is taking on the homily responsibilities at the Mass I will celebrate. But in case, you might be interested, here is my homily from 2017.
When I was a child growing up in the 1950s Catholic milieu, we prayed “In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” We didn’t give it a lot of thought. We were kids. We also did not particularly make the connection between the third person of the Trinity and Casper the Friendly Ghost or any of his not-so-friendly counterparts. But at some point, the phrase “Holy Ghost” gave way to “Holy Spirit.” Continue reading
It is Memorial Day 2020. My thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost a loved one who died while actively serving their country. In the morning, before the sun was up, I celebrated a private Mass (lots of those these days!) for all those we honor on this day, for my Naval Academy classmates who have already gone on to God’s bright glory, and in thanksgiving for all our parishioners who have served and are serving their country. God’s blessings be upon all. Continue reading
Study of the Sacred Scriptures is a lifetime project. In a certain sense you can devote all your energies to the Gospels – or even just to one of them. There is so much richness and depth that it can leave you wanting more and more from the one book. And you might just not get around to the other books of the Bible. Sure, you might venture into the epistles of Paul, but never quite make it the other epistles, like the Epistle of Jude. Continue reading