Sunday, June 26, 2016

Call to Live the Fruit of Spirit

6th Sunday after Pentecost – Proper 8 (Year C)
1 Kings 19.15-16, 19-21; Psalm 16; Galatians 5.1, 13-25; Luke 9.51-26
Sunday, June 26, 2016 – St. Paul’s Emmanuel, Santa Paula

On the journey of faith, we frequently talk about being called to follow Christ, of being called to God’s service. In some circles, this notion of call is the exclusive domain of those who are ordained. While some are called into a particular form of ministry involving ordination, all of us who follow Jesus are called into life with him, into his service. All Christians are called by God to their own unique ministry.

All our scripture lessons for today deal with aspects of call. Our Old Testament and Gospel readings are call narratives – stories of individuals being called to God’s service or to follow Jesus. In 1 Kings we hear how Elisha is called to replace Elijah as God’s prophet. Elisha is working in a field when Elijah walks by him, throws his mantle – the symbol of his authority – over Elisha. No words are spoken, but Elisha knows what this means. He drops what he’s doing and follows after Elijah. In Luke’s Gospel, we hear three call narratives. In the first, someone apparently perceives a call to follow Jesus and expresses this desire to him. And to the other two, Jesus himself issues invitations to follow him.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Vatican Statement on Orlando Massacre

A statement released by the Holy See Press Office Director, Father Federico Lombardi SJ, on the Orlando massacre which has been described as the worst mass shooting in American history:

The terrible massacre that has taken place in Orlando, with its dreadfully high number of innocent victims, has caused in Pope Francis, and in all of us, the deepest feelings of horror and condemnation, of pain and turmoil before this new manifestation of homicidal folly and senseless hatred. Pope Francis joins the families of the victims and all of the injured in prayer and in compassion. Sharing in their indescribable suffering he entrusts them to the Lord so they may find comfort. We all hope that ways may be found, as soon as possible, to effectively identify and contrast the causes of such terrible and absurd violence which so deeply upsets the desire for peace of the American people and of the whole of humanity.

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Sunday, June 05, 2016

A New Lease on Life

3rd Sunday after Pentecost – Proper 5 (Year C)
1 Kings 17.17-24; Psalm 30; Galatians 1.11-24; Luke 7.11-17
Sunday, June 5, 2016 – St. Paul’s Emmanuel, Santa Paula

There is an expression – “new lease on life.” Originally referring to recovery from illness, by the mid-19th century the expression came to be applied to any kind of fresh beginning. Particularly an opportunity to be successful or happy after experiencing a series of difficulties. While the phrase “new lease on life” was not in existence in the first century, today’s Gospel reading gives that expression a whole new meaning.

Jesus is traveling to the village of Nain, and comes across a funeral procession. A young man has died, leaving his widowed mother. Immediately, Jesus’ attention is drawn not to the dead man, but to his mother. She is obviously grieving. Any mother would at the loss of her child. But Jesus has compassion on her for other reasons, as well. Because of her vulnerability. We may not really pick up on this, as women in contemporary Western society do not face the same vulnerability as the woman in the Gospel.

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