Jim Penczykowski’s Homily from April 7, 2024

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This “octave” of Easter Sunday is sometimes called “low Sunday,” because no one expects the liturgy to compete with Easter Sunday for ebullience and pageantry. Others call it “doubting Thomas” Sunday because the Gospel passage from John chapter 20 does not vary from year to year. The Roman Church has more recently dubbed it, “Divine Mercy” Sunday. Preparation for this homily leads me to title it, “open to change”  and “challenged to change” Sunday. If you grew up in a muti-generational household, you know how different the perspectives can be from one era to another. For instance, I grew up …

Lynne Smith’s Homily from Easter Vigil, March 30, 2024

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Easter Vigil – 2024                          Mark 16:1-8               Lynne Smith, OSB             This is not the good news we are used to hearing at Easter time. Where are the stories of Jesus’ post resurrection appearance? Where is the joy at seeing him again? Where are the alleluia’s? Mark’s Gospel ends abruptly with amazement flight. We expect this of the male disciples in Mark. But not of the women too! Because of the other Gospel accounts, we expect the women to be the stars. They get what Jesus taught and are the first to believe. But not here. They too flee …

Leora Weitzman’s Homily from Good Friday, March 29, 2024

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Good Friday • Isaiah 52:13–53:12 • John 19:16–30 • 3/29/24  Standing near the cross, you feel the magnitude of what has happened. You have felt something like this at other deaths, other endings. Yet this time, there is something more, a strange sense of waiting. Tonight and tomorrow are pregnant with something.  Speaking in the voice of one of the Magi, T. S. Eliot writes, “I had seen birth and death, / But had thought they were different; this Birth was / Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.”  Now, at the other end of the story, …

Colleen Hartung’s Homily from Palm Sunday, March 24, 2024

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Palm Sunday, March 24, 2024 Bearing Witness: What is left for us to do Colleen D. Hartung Palm Sunday at HWM is high ritual framed by a bountiful proclamation of the Word. We expect it.  It is part of our ritual pattern.  But I realized for the first time as I was researching and sorting through this abundance for today’s homily that our tradition of juxtaposing the readings of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem with the reading of the Passion is not a universal practice across Christian denominations.  After figuring this out, I did a quick survey of my neighborhood …

Patti LaCross’s Homily from March 17, 2024

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Six months of remotely watching the bombing, displacing, and starving of Palestinians in Gaza has been exhausting: How much more can they survive? How can the whole world watch this horror and not stop it? And when it ends, how can life, and eventually hope, be restored? It’s an unfathomable challenge. Yet people of all faiths and cultures throughout millenia learn that hope is necessary for life to continue. In the aftermath of the Babylonian conquest and destruction of Jerusalem, Jeremiah witnessed the terror he had warned of: the kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem destroyed, the Israelites crushed and removed …

Jim Penczykowski’s Homily from March 10, 2024

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Liturgical tradition gives this Sunday the title of “laetare” or “rejoice” Sunday based on its midpoint in the season of Lent and the opening word of the entrance antiphon. Alas, the scripture passages in this cycle of Lent do not come anywhere near rejoicing, at least at first blush.  But good news awaits. Psychotherapists frequently ask, “How do you feel about that?” Persons undergoing psychotherapy frequently have difficulty identifying and naming feelings or emotions. One psychotherapist of my acquaintance banned only one response to her prompt about feelings. She banned her patients from saying, “I feel confused.,” because she contended …

David McKee’s Homily from March 3, 2024

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Third Sunday of Lent March 3, 2024 Exodus 20:1-17 1 Corinthian 1:18-25 John 2:13-22 Well, it’s been a difficult few weeks trying to come up with something meaningful to say this morning about our readings.  It’s one of those times when there doesn’t seem to be any common thread that ties the texts together; or at least I couldn’t find one.  Faced with that fact, I found myself attracted to the passage from Paul’s letter to the Christ-followers in Corinth.  Still, after reading a bunch of commentaries on the text, and pondering and taking notes distractedly for many hours, I …

Leora Weitzman’s Homily from February 25, 2024

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2/25/2024 • 2nd Sunday in Lent • Gen 17:1–7, 15–16 • Rom 4:13–25 • Mk 8:31–38 When Jesus gets stern like this, I like to think he’s just warning us about spiritual laws of nature that won’t spare us if we neglect to heed them. The spiritual law here is the paradox that “those who seek to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for the Holy One, and the message of the Holy One, will save it.” What does this mean? In college, I was good at classwork but shy. Since I liked explaining …

Roberta Felker’s Homily from February 11, 2024

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Holy Wisdom Monastery The Transfiguration 2 Kings 2:1-12; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Mark 9: 2-9 February 11, 2024 Roberta Felker (Peter, on the mountain) Not the light but how it spoke, his transfiguredflesh an instrument of consonance and discord.As if that were not enough, Elijah? Moses, too? James grabbed his knife. John stood mute, dis-figured by fear. And I? Well, some people act. Somewait, and then there are those who think out loud. Let’s build three sheds! I shouted, instantlyregretting it. What I meant was hold still, but my wordsnever come out right. When light stopped throbbing, tympani broke the sky. It …

Jim Penczykowski’s Homily from February 4, 2024

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Labels and names will be my focus today as we try to locate the “good news” in the scripture of the day. First off, labels and names are slippery and shaky. For instance, to the English in 1431, Joan of Arc was a heretic. But to the French, Joan was a martyr and saint. In our day labels and names are used to paint persons and groups into a societal corner so they can be better exploited by the powerful and wanna be powerful. For example, a person or group called a terrorist by one side might be called a …