Our Season of the Spirit

Homily preached by the Rev. James La Macchia
Trinity Parish of Newton Centre
March 5, 2017
The First Sunday of Lent – Year A

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
Psalm 32
Romans 5:12-19
Matthew 4:1-11

My Friends:

maxresdefaultIf you have been paying close attention to our election campaigns—at every level of government—over recent years, you will have noticed that we Americans seem to have a great hunger just now for “hope” and “change.”  Many candidates for elected office—some more strident and vulgar than others—have even made these elusive realities the explicit watchwords of their campaigns with such slogans as “Hope”; “Change You Can Believe In”; and “Make America Great Again.”  And this is hardly surprising in the wake of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression; widening income inequality; amoral globalization with its random winners and losers; and the protracted and continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, together with ancillary military operations in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and in Iraqi Kurdistan against ISIS.  And just when we in the west thought that the “Cold War” was a thing of the distant past, the world’s two largest nuclear powers are in a stand-off once again in east central Europe—this time in Ukraine, Crimea, and the Baltic nations—in what The New Yorker magazine has just this week officially dubbed the “New Cold War.”  War, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, economic recession, environmental degradation, predatory globalization, and expanding income inequality have made it clear to all save the most obtuse that our present course is simply unsustainable at every level of world governance.  We now need deep, structural changes and a new international system as a matter of mere species survival. Continue reading

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Signs of Ending & Letting Go

Homily for Sunday, November 27, 2016
First Sunday of Advent

6770916105_4081e531a4_bSigns of endings all around us, darkness, death and winter days,
Shroud our lives in fear and sadness, numbing mouths that long to praise.
Come, O Christ, and dwell among us!  Hear our cries, come set us free.
Give us faith and hope and gladness.  Show us what there yet can be. – Dean Nelson

Two years ago Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, my mother was diagnosed with cancer.   As many of you may recall, she died a month later, just after Christmas.  Two years ago today when my parents went to church, the opening hymn was the hymn we just sang:

Signs of endings all around us, darkness, death and winter days,
Shroud our lives in fear and sadness, numbing mouths that long to praise…

Neither could make it through the hymn.

Advent – the Church’s season of New Year that we begin today – reminds us that life changes, and that change always involves letting go.  Let me say that again:  Advent reminds us that life changes, and change always involves letting go. Continue reading