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

Agents of Reconciliation

Homily for Sunday, November 13, 2016
Twenty Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Malachi 4:1-2a
Luke 21:5-19

christ_on_corcovado_mountainJust to be clear, the church in her lectionary cycle chose today’s readings before Wisconsin and Pennsylvania turned red late Tuesday evening…

Next Sunday is Consecration Sunday, the Sunday on which we are invited to make a pledge of financial support to Trinity Parish for 2017.  In just a moment, I’m going to tell why Ashley and I make it a priority to give generously, but first I want to say something about the election.

Last week in my homily I spoke about how our nation is counting on us to be Christians, to be agents of reconciliation.  I spoke about our nation’s polarization, and how we Christians have it in our DNA to hold together two seeming opposites: how Christmas unites heaven and earth; how the person of Jesus unites human and divine.  I referred to Paul in 2 Corinthians about reconciliation:  “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself… and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us…”  I quoted Bp Gates on paranoia versus metanoia – fear vs love.  And I urged us to focus, not on what divides us, but on how many good people are in this country, on both sides of the political divide, and to see past stereotypes to see more like God sees – that all are God’s beloved children worthy of our respect and even love. Continue reading

The Gift of Resilience

Rector’s Remarks
Annual Meeting, January 24, 2016



Trinity Parish of Newton Centre

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. – Jeremiah 29:11


This year has been an extraordinary year in the history of our parishes – or, more properly said, in the history of our parish.  For as of this past December, our parish is one new parish.  With the merger of our two parishes into one new parish, God is doing something new here in Newton.   And I, for one, am curious to see what God might be doing in our one new parish here in Newton. Continue reading

Make Room for even Better Hopes and Dreams

Sermon for Sunday, December 20, 2015
Fourth Sunday of Advent

corn_fieldThis morning I am going to talk about Mary and angels, and also about hopes and dreams. But I don’t want to begin there. I want to begin with a soccer game and the setting aside of hopes and dreams.

I knew, right then, that a mid-life crisis was in my future. There, at the edge of the field after Shaw’s soccer game was over (he was maybe in the fourth grade) … Well, let’s just say I was taken right back to my youth. To endless summer days in the rural Midwest, to the smell of the earth, the sound of the wind blowing through rows of corn, an achingly blue sky overhead, and that youthful yearning, awakening. That figure, those curves; I’d seen them somewhere before… “Dodge Challenger, 1972!” I thought. Only it wasn’t the ’72; it was the 2008, the first year in which Dodge reintroduced the model. Continue reading