Vineyards of En-Gedi | Homiletic Explorations into Communion, community, and evangelization
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  • The practical spirituality and ministry implied in the I Corinthians 5 reading is too much to pass up; the gospel story of the prodigal son provides a concrete example of what Paul is talking about for the Church. Reconciliation shows itself in the qualities of justice, joy, thanksgiving, humility, and wisdom. The joy in this Laeta...

  • Lent means to transform us into conformity with Christ in the flesh and in the resurrection. So the Lenten sojourner witnesses the transfiguration of Christ, and thus is enabled to enter into a deeper understanding of th Paschal Mystery for one’s self. Thus, a significant milestone in the Lenten walk with Jesus is attained. Lent ...

  • Human life is frail, given to the distractions of the world and subject to the whim of bad luck and needing to be set free from the oppression of the world’s domination. God appears to Moses and in the person of Jesus Christ to save us from slavery to sin and to accompany us in mercy on our own journey to Jerusalem. The readings ...

  • The gospel story is so well known and so many readers get fixated on whatever Jesus mysteriously wrote in the dust of the Temple pavement. Sometimes the main message of the personal encounter with Jesus is missed, but perhaps this is the binding link for the readings. If anything, the highlights of the Philippians reading are key t...

  • The readings challenge us to think about the dynamics and psychology of sin from the view of these ancient texts. Recognition of the truth of the human condition and authentic honesty about ourselves will result in an increase of yearning for Jesus. Sin is never comfortable to discuss, and yet it should not be in a “hell fire and...

  • The Ash Wednesday proclamation focused on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, each the opposite of money, power, and fame. The gospel makes us consider the ways of the world as opposed to the ways of God. All God’s blessings belong to God; we return our money, power, fame and we praise God alone. How do these readings mature us in o...

  • Lectionary CatechesisFr. Alan Hartway, CPPS Guardian Angels Parish in Mead, CO Thus Lent begins. God desires conversion of heart; our Lenten practices are directed to that goal or end. At the same time, the three penances commended by Jesus are done for others who have less than we have ourselves; at any angle, penance has som...

  • The anointed one, foretold in Cyrus according to Isaiah, and fulfilled in Jesus Christ comes to save us through the trial of baptism, death to sin and an assent to God’s grace in the resurrection. The readings are about lamentation for the effects of sin; this is what Pope Francis means by a renewal of compunction, the gift of te...

Homiletics Notes / 30.05.2019

"Looking on" phrase points to the visual nature of this passage and of faith. Remember "blessed are those who have seen and heard". Seeing leads to believing. This is not just a physical seeing, but a spiritual insight; it is a looking deeper. Luke opens with the "presentation" of Jesus to the disciples. They saw, and what they saw was the whole kergyma, the life of Jesus, and in the context of God's overarching plan for salvation. What follows this passage is Pentecost, the birth of the Church, and the commission to preach this very kerygma, so that other may "see and believe." We are such a visual culture ourselves. We see, perhaps too much on the internet, and this seeing leads to all kinds of problems and falsehoods that we see and believe. Yet believing this kergyma, played out before our very eyes, we don't believe. We need to se with much more discernment and using the tests given to us by the Holy Spirit, as to what is true or what is fake. ...

Homiletics Notes / 29.05.2019

There's a choice for the second reading. In the Hebrews choice, the Ascension event appears in priestly and temple language and imagery. Blood (in the Book of Leviticus) is life, so that life offered in sacrifice becomes a sharing and a gift of life. Blood removes sin, which is death, and restores life. Through the life, through the blood of Jesus we, too, are able to be with him in life in the heavenly sanctuary. This life is available only through a sharing in the blood/life of Christ. The hearts sprinkled clean historically references Exodus 24 and the "bodies washed in pure water" references the exodus passage through the Sea of the people of Israel. (Exodus 14-15) This last reference is the going up of the people of Israel to the promised land. Eucharist and Baptism are profoundly connected here in this text. We, too, have made and indeed are still making this same journey of faith. The challenge is to enable people to see that this pattern in Christ is the pattern for us to which we ought to be conformed. For this confession of faith gives life. ...

Homiletics Notes / 28.05.2019

The question Jesus raises in the Gospel requires a decision. Have I received this Holy Spirit Advocate whom Jesus sends or have I received the spirit of this age and place (this culture) in which I live. It is far easier and complacent to accept the spirit of this age. I think it is difficult for Americans to imagine something other than what we already have. largely because it is very comfortable for us. WE have confused this for the reign of God. It is not. As soon as that is said, of course, it sounds like heresy and treason, to say nothing of a lack of gratefulness. Yes, it is very sweet, but it is not the reign of God. It is actually the middle class bourgeoisie. When Jesus says go into the whole world, he means to penetrate the world with such an impact on society and culture so as to change it profoundly. Pope Francis speaks of this in Evangelii Gaudium. Our impact has been damaged and compromised for so many reasons. So when it comes to the "power from on high", it is very different from my own accumulation of power from below. I tend to trust my own power more that this other power, even having evidence every day to the contrary. How to talk about trusting and receiving this "power from on high?" ...