Join us for a beautiful service of mediation, readings, music and prayer, featuring All Saints musicians on violin, cello, whistle, harp and Irish pipes.
Christians are right to be concerned with the seriousness of sin. But what does it mean to be guilty of an “unpardonable sin?” During the pre-Lenten season the propers direct our attention to the parable of the sower and how we respond to Jesus’ divine claims. In this homily, offered 60 days before Easter (Sexagesima), February 8, 2015, Fr. John shows us the great dangers of persistent impenitence toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus baptism preceded his announcement that he was the anointed one who came to proclaim liberty to the captives. His baptism signaled the inauguration of the New Creation, breaking into history. All of this was anticipated in the jubilee Sabbath of Lev. 25
Isaiah 61 is a detailed statement of the Messianic era, in which the very principle of freedom, liberty – heaven-like conditions – would arrive.
In heaven there is no debt, only the Lord’s free men; in heaven there are no slaves, only the servants of God; in heaven, no one can be dispossessed of their inheritance. In heaven there is no sorrow, because God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. In heaven there is no distinction of race, the nations will participate in the economy of the kingdom of God. The coming of Messiah to earth is the coming of heaven; it is the coming of a new creation.
The baptism of Jesus is celebrated annually during the Epiphany season, and it is an opportunity to reflect upon and improve our own baptisms. In today’s Old Testament lesson, Isaiah foresees the time when Messiah would be anointed to comfort those who morn and to proclaim liberty to the captives. Jesus himself fulfilled these words during his first sermon in the synagogue. In this homily, offered on January 18, 2015, Fr. John explores what Isaiah was talking about, and how Jesus brings in a new creation.
During the Epiphany season we hear from the Gospel lesson about Christ who, at age twelve, astonished the doctors of the law, both teaching and asking them questions. Christ is set forth first as the Wisdom of God, well before he displays any of God’s power through his miracles. Christians are called upon to imitate this in the epistle of the day, by not being conformed to the world, but by transforming their minds. In this homily offered on the first Sunday after the Epiphany, 2015, Fr. Davidson urges us towards the wisdom of God.
Epiphany is a significant feast of the Church, older than Christmas, and it introduces a space of “ordinary time” in our calendar. It heralds the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, personified by the Magi who brought worship to the newborn king. They are the first ‘stand-ins’ for the Gentile nations who would come to Jesus – and who are still coming. The Christian claim has always been that Jesus is Lord, and that this claim is immanently relevant to the kings of the earth. Herod certainly thought so. Caesar figured it out, too.
At present, however, the visible Church seems a little obscured by the conflict raging around us. Like you, I have a sense that terrorist acts have escalated in frequency and severity. It matters not if they are coordinated events. There are a bunch of people on the planet who buy into the doctrine of Islamic Jihad, and they have awakened to their common enemy. And the common enemy is the secular, decadent, post-Christian West.
We are committed now to one thing: the secular state and the total individualization of freedom, untethered from any moral code. This manifests itself in almost every area of civil life – personal and institutional. Moreover, those who govern us insist upon governing with the creed that there is no universal or transcendent principle by which to govern. Nevermind that this commitment is in itself a transcendent, insisted upon as rigidly as the most committed jihadist. To Islam, our very existence is an affront to the prophet, and deserves annihilation. That, too, has been the claim of Muslims since Mohammed.
Which brings us down to the question in this conflict: which side will prevail? I would guess that it would be the side that has the will to push its ideology to its logical conclusion. At present, it is apparent which side is serious about taking the fight to the other. The terroristic incursions from Islam may be nothing more than sharp jabs in the early rounds of long fight, but there is little doubt that Islam is in it for the knockout.
Rallying around a military that seeks to prop up our secular monstronsity is a real temptation. After all, Vietnam taught us that we have to “support the troops” at all costs. And, of course, we live here; this is our home; and if the fight comes to our cities, we will be affected.
Just remember that both sides in this fight are each pursuing idolatry. Neither side has any use for our Lord. Both sides repudiate the claims of Jesus Christ that are promulgated through his Church. Both sides should be looking back to our Persian ancestors who found Christ, the Lord.
God called is son, Jesus, out of Egypt. We can only understand this when we become more familiar with Israel’s story in the Old Testament. In this homily, offered on the second Sunday in Christmastide 2015, Fr. Davidson shows how’s Israel’s exodus from Egypt confirms the identity of the Messiah, and our own exodus from the bondage of sin.
I tell my students that there are three great sins in America today. I didn’t get this out of a book; and maybe your list would be different than mine. These three sins, dominate the entire West – not just America – and they have one thing in common: they all militate against life. Abortion is the taking of a life; national debt chokes the life out of capital formation and economic activity that is essential to the development and use of life-sustaining resources; and gender confusion is the complete narcissism of self love that is by definition sterile and anti-life.
….read more here>>> Holy Innocents
The Feast of Holy Innocents is an observance from which we wish we could turn away. Since the fourth century, however, the Church has asked us to look. On this day we commemorate the first martyrs of the church, to whom St. Augustine referred as the “first buds of the church killed by the frost of persecution.” In this homily Fr. John discusses the meaning of the slaughter of the innocents by Herod in St. Matthew 2, and its application to the national sin of abortion. This homily was offered on December 28, 2014 on the Feast of Holy Innocents.
The Christian mystery of the Incarnation can never be contemplated without a quick glance forward to his Second Coming, at which Jesus will judge the “quick and the dead.” This helps push back a little more firmly against the culture for the nurture and cultivation of those graces of patience, selflessness, mercy, which are frequently threatened by the consumer superficiality that marks our current season. The secularization of Christmas relentlessly plays to the weakness of our being, and would pluck from us the fruit of the spirit.
Advent piety perceives that it is impossible to celebrate the Lord’s birth except in an atmosphere of sobriety and joyous simplicity and of concern for the poor and marginalized. The expectation of the Lord’s birth makes us sensitive to the value of life and the duties to respect and defend it.
Advent piety intuitively understands that it is not possible to celebrate coherently the birth of him “who saves his people from their sins” without some effort to overcome sin in one’s own life, while waiting vigilantly for Him who will return at the end of time.