Second Sunday of Lent

In the Lenten Series on this past Wednesday evening, I talked a little bit about the Satan – the prosecuting attorney in Hebrew. Like Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, this being is an attribute of God who has been given an individuality and a personality. All of these beings are charged with bringing to life these divine attributes in our physical world. Our scriptures tell us that no one can “see” God and live. That “seeing” is not with our bodily eyes, but with our minds. We cannot understand God in the fullness of his being. At most, we can experience Continue Reading →

First Sunday of Lent

“The reign of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel.” That’s the meaning of this Lenten season. It’s simple. Or is it? The meaning of the Scriptures is never really “simple.” That’s why I expend so much time and energy in these homilies digging deeply into the meaning of the words. Over the centuries, people have tried to explain the Scriptures using contemporary ideas. In most cases, the result has been the distortion of the original message. When the meaning of the Scriptures is distorted, we become confused and frustrated, and, before long, we’re tempted to give up Continue Reading →

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Why do we care about this nameless leper? After all, the gospels tell us that Jesus cured many people — perhaps hundreds — over the years of his ministry. Of these, there are twenty-six individuals mentions. There are eighteen people cured (fourteen in the Synoptics — Matthew, Mark, and Luke — and four in John). In addition, there are five cures of demoniacs (all in the Synoptics), and three times, Jesus raised people from the dead (two in the Synoptics and one in John). Of these people Jesus cured, all but two are nameless. The exceptions are Bartimeus, cured of Continue Reading →

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Let’s talk about healing this morning. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus comes to Simon and Andrew’s home where Simon’s mother-in-law is sick with a fever — and he cures her. In several places in our Christian Scriptures, we’re told that Jesus came into the world to preach, and heal, and suffer. In all four of the gospels, Jesus is continuously presented to us as a healer — and more than a healer, because, in at least three instances, we encounter Jesus raising the dead: the daughter of Jairus, the son of the widow of Naim, and, of course, Lazarus. I have Continue Reading →

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“What have you to do with us, you who are reading this? I know who you are — a Holy One of God!” How does that make you feel when you read those words? Really kind of creepy? If you’re like me, you’d read along in today’s gospel and think something like, “Oh, the demon recognized Jesus as the Messiah.” You might not immediately catch how threatening those words could be.Yet, They are threatening on so many levels. We’ve all had strangers phone us and call us by name. Don’t we answer, “Yes?” with a certain hesitancy? We may ask, Continue Reading →