Called to be Saints

Homily for Sunday, November 6, 2016
All Saints’ Day

This morning I am going to preach two homilies – don’t worry, both short.  On this All Saints’ Day I want to say something about saints, how we are all called to be saints.  And then I want to say something about our country’s forthcoming election.


First, about saints.  In September I attended a panel discussion at Boston College for the new movie, “Ignacio de Loyola:  Soldier, Sinner, Saint,” about Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.  Taking part in the panel discussion were the lead actor who played Ignatius, Andreas Munoz, and also the associate director, Catherine Azanza.  Both Andreas and Catherine said some insightful things about saints. Continue reading


“It’s not that good works are over-rated…”

Sermon for Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Feast of the Transfiguration

Icon of the Transfiguration, Greek

Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may by faith behold the King in his beauty.
From the Collect for the Feast of the Transfiguration

It’s not that good works are over-rated, but sometimes our focus on doing good works can lead us to forget that, sometimes, Jesus simply desires that we just be with him.  It’s easy to think that being a Christian is about working and accomplishing and doing good for Jesus, and it’s easy to overlook the fact that maybe, sometimes – or maybe even a lot of the time – Jesus wants us simply just to be with him, and – as today’s Collect says – to just “by faith behold the King in his beauty.” Continue reading

Treasures New and Old

Sermon for Sunday, July 27, 2014
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52


“Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m going to begin today’s sermon with a car.  My first car was a 1977 Chevette that I bought when I was in college for $100 from a music professor at Carleton College.  The best I can say about that car is that the price was right, and that it made me forever grateful for cars that start and get me where I need to go.  The stories I could tell about that car stalling in the middle of nowhere in Minnesota…  To try to better care for that car and restart it when it stalled, I began purchasing tools and also a toolbox that I stowed in the rear of the car.  I bought a wrench for the oil plug; pliers and socket wrenches to see if could replace the spark plugs; a utility knife and screwdriver to clamp the hoses; jumper cables for when the battery became low.  I still have that toolbox, and over the years it has acquired more tools: a hammer for driving nails to hang pictures in early apartments; drill bits to hang anchors in early apartments; multiple kinds of screwdrivers; a hacksaw for I can’t remember what; electrical tape for early attempts at electrical repair; and so on.  More recently, my toolbox has acquired tools from my grandfather: his beautiful antique plane; his old, wood-handled putty knife; his hatchet; an even an old hand-drill, which – as fun as it is to think about using it – I’ve never actually used it. Continue reading