Br Scott Wesley

Chapter 2024 Sunday Volmoed

readings for the day

This meditation is primarily directed toward the Brothers from the Order of the Holy Cross, but I also tend to believe what Br George Guiver, Community of the Resurrection asserts in his new book, all Christians are monks… so you are not off the hook.

When Rob asked me if I wanted to preach today, he suggested it might be my swan song. I know he meant this is the kindest possible way, but spoiler alert – the swan dies. Here is a short poem in case you don’t remember the story: The silver Swan, who, living, had no Note, when Death approached, unlocked her silent throat, leaning her breast upon the reedy shore, thus sang her first and last, and sang no more: “Farewell, all joys! O Death, come close mine eyes! More Geese than Swans now live, more Fools than Wise.” I’m not sure why, but this feels relevant to Chapter…

I’m hoping that Rob meant swan song in the artistic sense… not that he has some peculiar knowledge about my imminent demise…

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Sermon for the Initial Profession of Br Josias Morobi

Readings used for the service

There is an old lament in monastic communities that people comes and they goes, but mostly they goes… It reflects the reality that many more people enter a Monastery than are ever life professed. It may seem surprising, but that is exactly how it should be. People come and test a vocation and that testing confirms that most people, even very wonderful people, are not truly called to be monks. So, they go. It is a healthy process – though it can be painful.

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Sermon for the Initial Profession of Br Aelred 

The sermon, in my opinion, is really meant as a time to explore the Gospel. And we generally think of the Gospel as the books known as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Well, today I intend to talk only about the Gospel, the good news of Jesus, but I don’t intend to even mention Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John… 

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Sermon for the 5th Sunday of Lent – St Benedict’s Priory

Readings for the day

As Lent progresses we are called to turn our thinking from repentance, our work at the start of Lent, to focus on Jerusalem – specifically on Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. Today’s scripture readings are clearly part of that shift.

The shift is not just a call to think literally about the city of Jerusalem and the pending crucifixion. Embedded within the shift is a call to change the way we think about God.

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Sermon for 5th Sunday after Epiphany

Readings for the day

Some passages in the Gospels all but preach themselves… today’s passage from Mark is not one of those passages… Some passages grab us with inspiring prose… and also, today’s passage is not one of those… I find this passage from Mark pedestrian at best. And as I looked around the internet at other people’s sermons for today, I discovered that I’m not alone. For many this Gospel passage seems to sit somewhere between dull and annoying.

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Feast of Holy Innocents – Volmoed 2023

Readings for the day

Today a few things come together that may not seem to have much in common. We are in the Octave of Christmas. And today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, which is part of Matthew’s story of Jesus’ birth. It is also, as chance would have it, the twentieth anniversary of my Monastic Profession in the Order of the Holy Cross.  

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1st Sunday of Advent 2023 

Readings for the day

Well – happy new year! That big event coming up where all the world watches a lighted globe drop atop a building at Times Square and fireworks at the V&A waterfront, or in various places (and, giving my ancestors their due) celebrates Hogmanay, is all an imposter. In the Church Year – the one that matters – the first Sunday of Advent is the beginning of a new year, the true new year… The church has no grand title for the year of our Lord 2024. It’s just humble year B… but a new year nonetheless… 

Now if we go hang about the Whale Coast Mall, everything will assure us that this season is all about getting ready for Christmas, the coming of Jesus into the world. I’m not sure our retailing brothers and sisters are all that clear about Jesus’ role in the season. But it is beautiful and comforting to have decorations and Christmas Trees strewn about, so I’m all for it. This world could use a little comfort. 

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Sunday Sermon – November 5 at Volmoed

Readings for this day :: Gospel for this day

A few things come together this week – in a random sort of way… It is the week of All Saints Day. In fact, many churches keep All Saints on this very day. All Hallows or All Saints Eve, Halloween as it is popularly known, was also this week; a day built around bringing many fearful superstitions to life. While many congregations keep All Saints on a Sunday, nobody seems to move Halloween… 

It is also the conclusion of the Colloquium here at Volmoed – a colloquium that has been considering faith in an age of darkness, fear, anxiety, doubt… It might not seem like the most obvious pairing, but just as Halloween pairs well with All Saints Day, I think the Colloquium pairs well with All Saints. Darkness makes the Saints seem brighter. And without a dose of darkness, All Saints runs the risk of being a shallow, triumphant and unnourishing sort of pudding. 

So, let’s add a dolop of darkness. 

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Sermon for the 22 Sunday of 2023- Volmoed 

Readings for the day

Part of the genius of the Gospels is that they teach in parables. Fables, myths, and parables fall into the same category of literary tools that are often called allegories. Allegories stay fresh even as cultures change because they speak in symbols – and symbols have meaning across generations. So, the parables of Jesus are as relevant now as two thousand years ago when Jesus told them. But the price of that relevance is that the meaning is not necessarily plain or obvious… Take for example the parable in this morning’s Gospel. It is a familiar story but what might it have meant when Jesus told it and what might it mean today… 

We have a vineyard with its winepress and watch tower, an absentee landowner, a group of difficult tenants, abused servants, and some obligatory priests and pharisees.  

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