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 / 11.03.2019

I miss the starry skies of night, the silence far from cities, the sweep of the Milky Way, and the aurora borealis. Here so near the light pollution of the city, perhaps on a very dark night the new moon, one might see only a couple hundred stars. God gave us the stars so that we can be filled with awe and wonder, and in seeing them we will know our place. Tolkien wrote in his essay "On Faerie Tales", that humans find two things most deeply satisfying: first to survey the cosmos, and second, to experience a sort of oneness with the cosmos. This is the experience of Abraham and divine guest. God has called him from Ur of the Chaldeans to a new land. Abraham trusts God. Yet, now in the tent on the plains, a question arises, almost a plea and an argument. Abraham has no children, and wonders about his future. God responds by recounting the past. In other words, God is the Lord of history, and really does penetrate our human experiences in some mysterious way. The question of children leads to questions about possessing the land. Here then we have the traditional biblical blessings from the covenant: children wealth, length of days, peace! ...

Homiletics Notes / 09.03.2019

The people remember that they were wandering Arabians, "strangers in a strange land," until God saved them. When we tell the story of our own ancestors, it doesn't seem like we even know the story, nor do we remember what and how much God has done great things for us. The homily could begin to enumerate these actions of God that then lead us to thanksgiving and praise. The "land of milk and honey" captures the sense of the luxuries God gave them. The description of this primitive ritual goes on to command a feast which includes the alien and the foreigners among them. In sharp contrast, we seem to think that there's no enough to go around, and to hoard for ourselves we have to build walls, implement security systems, and lock the doors. The great temptations the modern world in our culture are money, sex, power, fame. Hence even the Church has much to repent this time of Lent. ...

Homiletics Notes / 08.03.2019

Romans 10 is a part of the letter in which Paul gives an account of the relationship between the early Christian community and its Jewish heritage. Our confession of faith saves us, not some ethnic lineage. The passage is a mini-kerygma, which is "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again." Among believers, God shows no partiality or distinction. These partialities and distinction that we make are signs of sins of bigotry and and prejudice. The "word is near you" is the same word pattern as "the kingdom of God is near you." It is very clear in the Greek. Actually the word "near" in the sense of "immediate" and "now" come first in the sentences, which means it is the most important and startling thing in the simple proclamation. ...