Monday, January 24, 2011

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Is 8:23-9:3-1
1 Cor 1:10-13, 17
Mt 4:12-23

In a land overshadowed by darkness, a Light has arisen. The Light starts in this land and spreads throughout the world, bringing light and a new message, a message of great hope and love. The Light dispels the darkness everywhere with this simple but vastly important message. Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. That’s it, that is the entire message. The kingdom of heaven is at hand, it is here, now, not waiting in some dim and distant future, not unattainable, but here, now, for us to seize. All we must do is repent and follow the Light. I know, it sounds pretty simple, maybe too simple. It can’t be that easy, can it? Well, yes, it is that easy and that hard as well. Drop everything and follow the Light, everything, as in everything that comes between you and the Light, everything that would keep you in darkness. As Jesus walked along the beach he saw Simon and Andrew, two brothers, fishing, their livelihood. He said follow me, and they dropped everything and did. Further along Jesus saw two more brothers, James and John, also fishermen. Again he said follow me, and they dropped everything and followed him. They followed as he spread the light, the light of the Good News of God, that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, all we need do is repent and follow, all we need do is step from the darkness into the light. The call we receive may not be quite so dramatic, but our response needs to be the same as the brothers. Repent and follow. Simon, Andrew, James and John followed because they heard the word and realized that the Jesus is the Light. Let us also step into that light, follow the light, and leave the darkness behind forever.

Deacon John
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jan. 23, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Is 49:3, 5-6
1 Cor 1:1-3

Jn 1:29-34

We would be loathe to admit it, but most of us live relatively insular lives. Think about it, yes many of us are educated, we read, we have a wide circle of friends, and some of them may even have slightly different points of view than we have. Yet we do the same things, go to the same places, speak with the same people, rarely stretching the boundaries of our relationships. Even more, we do not very often stretch the boundaries of our beliefs. Within that insular world, within the boundaries of those beliefs, we may even stand out, we may even be an example to all those around us to are in basically the same place we are. Is, that enough, or do we need to be more? The Baptist saw Jesus coming and proclaimed, Behold, the Lamb of God. John tells us clearly, that this is the one for whom the people of Israel had been waiting, the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who would save the people of Israel. He was, after all, a Jewish messiah, right, meant to save God’s chosen people. He is that indeed, but is that all, or is that not enough? In the first reading God says, It is too little, the LORD says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. I will make you a light to all the nations, all the people of the earth, because salvation is for all people, we are all chosen by God. Jesus goes beyond the insular world of his time and place, beyond a particular people, Jesus is for all people. Jesus came to do God’s will, and that will was to save all, not just a few, not only a certain group, but all people, all people beyond that insular world Jesus entered. We too are called, we are asked to do the will of God. Is it enough to attempt to do that will, to live as God asks, only within the insular boundaries of the world we have entered? When we say here I am Lord, I come to do your will, we are called out of that insular world, we are called to stretch beyond who we are, to become who God asks us to be. It’s not easy, we may not even be sure how, but if we say Here I am Lord, and allow ourselves to be stretched, we just might be that light that helps spread God’s salvation to the nations.
Deacon John
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jan. 16, 2011

Sunday, January 02, 2011


Is 60:1-6
Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6
Mt 2:1-12

Epiphany: an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure b: a revealing scene or moment. This is part of the definition of the word epiphany as found in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. It’s a somewhat funny sounding word, and one that is not often used in daily conversation. For most of us this Feast we celebrate today is just about the only time we encounter the word. Consequently, we don’t think much about it, it’s just a funny sounding word that we encounter once a year. Maybe we didn’t even realize it has a meaning beyond this feast day. Yet it does have a meaning, and that meaning expresses perfectly what this day means. A baby is born, not an unusual occurrence at all, yet this birth is different. The birth of this baby brought angels to sing and celebrate, shepherds to come and see this child, this child proclaimed as the King of Israel, the Messiah, the one for whom Israel had been waiting, the King of Israel, the Messiah, the Jewish Messiah. What could this possibly mean to the rest of the world? What difference did it make, why should anyone else care that a king was born for the people of Israel. The birth of this child was also the occasion for the rising of a star. This new light in the sky drew wise men from the east, wise men who came to honor this baby, this king, this messiah. They came to pay homage because this king, the one who brought this new light into the heavens, was bringing a new light to the world, the whole world. This baby was bringing a light to brilliant to be contained, a light meant for the world, a light that would illuminate everything, everyone, everywhere. These wise men knew, this new king came not just for Israel, but for all nations, for all people. This was the illuminating discovery, the illuminating realization, the illuminating disclosure, that this king came for all people, for all time. This baby came for them, this baby came for us. The light this baby brought into the world is with us still, a light meant to shine on all people, a light that reveals the love of God, a love that is light for all of us, for all time. This is our Epiphany.

Deacon John
Feast of the Epiphany
Jan. 2, 2011