Sermon for the Second Sunday in Lent

Scripture Readings

I wonder what Nicodemus was thinking when he went to Jesus that night in Jerusalem. I wonder what he was hoping for.

I find myself feeling quite sympathetic towards Nicodemus. He was an elite member of his society who had a lot to lose. We are told that he belonged to a respected community, that he was a recognized leader and an admired teacher. It would have taken a certain humility for someone with that status to approach a seemingly uneducated upstart from unfashionable Galilee as courteously as he did.

Sermon for the First Sunday in Lent – Preached by Br Daniel

Scripture Readings

Br Daniel
Br Daniel

We all have an identity.  Be it as someone’s brother, sister, mother, uncle, cousin. We all have some kind of relationship to someone.   It is tempting to think that our identity is very personal, and that we have even created our own.  I’m sure we’ve all have spells of “finding ourselves”.  Yet, despite all our efforts at finding ourselves, it turns out that our identity is firmly and unavoidably rooted in our relationships.  We cannot be a child without parents, we cannot be a friend without friends.  You get my point.

So pretty much everything we might say about ourselves involves other people, and sometimes even animals! And who we are ultimately evolves from our relationships with so many other people.  Above all, our identities are also rooted in our relationship with God, and especially being his beloved children.

February 2023 News

Life during the past month or so was unusually full for the Brothers at the Priory. Our monastic choir was also unusually full, with seven of us joining in song and chant during chapel prayers for much of the time.

The main feature was the visitation by Br Robert James, the Superior of our Order. He arrived from the US on Monday 23 January and stayed until Saturday 18 February. This was the first time he was able to return to Volmoed since the start of the pandemic, and it was good to have him with us in person for conversations about our life and work and about our future. While here, Br Robert taught novitiate classes on aspects of liturgy, and also had fruitful discussions with the monastic community on this topic.

Sermon for February 12

Readings for the day…

Jesus seems to be on a bit of tear this morning… He seems to be saying “let’s take the various demands of the law of Moses and up the ante. For example, you know you should not commit adultery – but I say if you’ve even looked at another person, you have already committed adultery.” It sounds like trouble for those of us who are human.

Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany – By Br Robert James OHC

Scripture Readings

Br Robert James OHC
Br Robert James OHC

We’re all looking for a way to deal with the challenges, uncertainties, and difficulties of life. We want some assurance that the direction of our life will offer meaning and connect us to something larger than our individual stories. So how do we move forward? Well, our Gospel today points the way.

January 2023 News

Volmoed welcomed a substantial number of guests during the festive season. As a result, our Christmas and New Year’s Day (on which we observe the Feast of the Holy Name) chapel celebrations were well attended with many joining us for coffee/tea and confections afterwards. We are pleased to be able to offer hospitality in this way. Our monastic community brought the old year to a close in fellowship with several of the residential Volmoed community and friends on New Year’s Eve.

New Year Sermon for the Feast of the Holy Name

Scripture Readings

Today has quite a lot of significance attached to it. In addition to being the first day of a new year, within many traditions including the Anglican Church it is the Feast of the Holy Name, which used to be called the Feast of the Circumcision. It is also the day when the Catholic Church gives honour to Mary as being the Mother of God. As we move from the old year into the new in the midst of all the struggles of our world and of our country, we are invited to turn first towards Jesus in grateful recognition that God is with us in him.

Christmas 2022 at Volmoed

Much of our Christmas tradition and, for that matter, much of our Christian tradition is built around the notion of good news. In fact, the word Gospel could just as accurately be rendered “good news.” And so, on this Christmas morning, we can rejoice that we are hearers of good news… of glad tidings. But while the news may be good, it’s not simple and it’s not easy. So, let’s savor this good news for a bit.

Sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Scripture Readings

The Gospels of Luke and Matthew tell the story of Jesus’ coming into the world from very different perspectives, so divergent that at times they seem almost to be two different stories that have characters with the same names. Luke focusses on Jesus’ mother Mary and her extended family. Joseph her husband is there in the background for much of the time. In Luke’s story, there is considerable preparation for the birth, with angels appearing well in advance to inform various characters of what will be happening. There is still danger and difficulty, but at least they know what’s going on and why.

By contrast, Matthew focusses on Joseph, though still without giving him a speaking part. There is no preparation in Matthew’s account. We are introduced to Mary and Joseph as a betrothed couple for whom life has suddenly become complicated. Mary somehow has a child in her womb. Perhaps she has some sense that it’s God’s doing, but Joseph doesn’t yet know that. Joseph must assume that the child is another man’s doing, and so he has a problem.