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Homily Texts and Essays

THIS LOVELY FRAGRANCE; WHEN INCENSE IS CONSPICUOUS BY ITS ABSENCE

A song I sang as a boy chorister began, “What is this lovely fragrance wafting like to the scents of flowers in spring?” I recall neither the rest of it nor the author’s intended meaning, but the words remind me of incense. The late Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, in his book, The Gospel and the Catholic Church, recognized that the intellectual insights of evangelical Anglicans are a valuable contribution to the life of the church, not the least of…

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LET GOD LIFT YOU UP!

Mary’s earthly body has never been found. In the Third Century, Christians believed that because Mary was the Theotokos, that is “God Bearer” she would therefore be spared the death experience of ordinary mortals not so chosen. Instead, God raised her to heaven, just like God did Enoch and Elijah (according to the Bible). Hence, we have the feast of the Assumption most of the Western Church celebrates on August 15. (For Eastern Christians, it is the Dormition, or Falling…

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GOING TO CONFESSION? IT’S BENEFICIAL TO YOUR PSYCHE!

Self-examination, repentance and forgiveness of our sins is not just for Lent. It should be an ongoing spiritual discipline for all times of the year.  Each of us deals with sin in our own way. Yes, I am a sinner, too, as we all are. I typically go to confession once a year, on Good Friday. For some, sin is a personal matter with God alone. For others, sin is a community matter. Many Christians, however, find private confession to…

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THERE IS NO ONE WAY TO PRAY

There is no one, proper way to pray. Since God made each of us uniquely, God does not expect us to all pray alike. Prayer, at bottom, expresses our feelings. Our prayers reflect our joys and sorrows, our pleas and our gratitude, our contrition and our forgiveness, and our aspirations and disappointments. Each of these are particular to each of us. Some prefer structured, liturgical prayer, while others find meaning in extemporaneous prayer arising out of particular moments when we…

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THE REAL PRESENCE OF JESUS AMONG US

On the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, many Christians celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, Latin for, “Body of Christ.” Unlike Maundy Thursday, which presents the Eucharist in the context of the Last Supper as a component of our Lord’s passion, Corpus Christifocuses on the Eucharist itself. Corpus Christi begs the question, what do we believe about the Eucharist? What do we believe happens to the Bread and Wine during Mass? And what are the implications of what we believe for…

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SERMON AT A QUINCEANERA

ALONDRA’S QUINCEANERA  St. John’s Church, Indio, CA 11-27-2010 Lessons: 1 Esdras 4: 14-32; Romans 12:1-8; Luke 10:38-42 In case you haven’t noticed, women are taking over the world. On January one, the California Supreme Court will consist of four women and three men, and the Chief Justice will be a woman.  California’s two United Statessenators are both women. Our representative in the United States Congress is a woman. In my own life, not only am I married to a woman…

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PUTTING DOWN THE MIGHTY FROM THEIR SEAT: HOW THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY INSPIRED ME TO PRACTICE LAW

As a teenager, my obsessions were not rock music and beer, but choir singing and acolyting. Sunday mornings, I sang countertenor at High Mass. Afternoons, I was thurifer at Evensong and Benediction. One verse of the Magnificat stood out: “He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away.”  That verse was later to define me professionally as a lawyer….

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SERMON AT ST. PAUL’S POMONA LABOR DAY 2008 – WHY CAN’T LABOR & MANAGEMENT COOPERATE?

Lesson: Sirach  38:24-37;39:1-11 Psalm: 8 Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16           + In the name of God, Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. AMEN. I love work.  I work as an attorney about ten to twelve hours a day Monday through Friday, another eight hours on Saturday, and usually three to four hours on Sunday. That’s about 70 hours a week. That may sound like a lot to you, but that’s down from the 80 hours a week I was working from about 1995…

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