Sermons

Sermons preached at various occasions by Brothers of St Benedict’s Priory

Thursday at Volmoed – Sermon for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 22B)

Readings for Sunday

Given that the Pharisees supply an answer to their own question readily enough when Jesus prompts them to do so, they certainly don’t seem to have been seeking enlightenment from Jesus. If, as Mark tells us, their question was asked as a trap, it doesn’t appear to have been much of one.

However, I’m told that marriage had come to be regarded mostly as a legal arrangement between families, and divorce raised the question of how that legal arrangement could be terminated. It seems this was a hot topic of debate among religious scholars of the time.

The Pharisees were trying to catch Jesus in a position of unorthodoxy. There was also a deeper trap: John the Baptist had literally lost his head by directly challenging the divorce and remarriage proceedings of King Herod.

Thursday at Volmoed – Sermon for Trinity Sunday by Br Daniel

Scripture Readings for Trinity Sunday

Brother Daniel
Br Daniel

The desert father, Evagrius of Pontus, once observed: “God cannot be grasped by the mind. If he could be grasped, he would not be God.”

This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday, and Evagrius might have had this in mind when he made the above statement.

It is certainly true that the doctrine of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – has been the source of much confusion, misuse, and controversy through the ages.

Easter V on Thursday at Volmoed

Scripture Readings

This morning, we have a different agricultural image to consider. Last week, it was sheep farming; this week, it’s vine growing, which is somewhat more familiar to us, here in this part of the country. In today’s metaphor, Jesus says that he is the vine and his disciples are the branches, and by extension so are we, who have been brought to life by him.

Sermon for the Second Sunday of Easter – Thomas the Realist, by Br Daniel

Readings for Today

Brother Daniel
Br Daniel

So, Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen, indeed, and the Easter cry isn’t only for Easter, of course. For while each and every Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection, we have 49 days between Easter and Pentecost in which to focus our attention on the resurrection and all that God accomplishes through it.

At the same time, I am also mindful, on this day and with this text, of what God does not accomplish and, I suspect, so are all of us. We are in the midst of a seemingly endless pandemic, our economy is dismal, we are swamped by crime and corruption, infrastructure is collapsing around us, thank goodness not so much in our part of the world, and each one of us has personal difficulties or tragedies to contend with.

And so, sometimes we come to church on Easter or in the weeks after, and our alleluias ring hollow and Easter acclamations wear a bit thin. If this is you, or if you think it might characterize some of your friends and family, then the story of Thomas is right on the money!

Annunciation/End of Lent/Palm Sunday at Volmoed

(no I didn’t forget the reading link… there are just not any appropriate readings…)

We are coming to the end of Lent. This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday when we remember Jesus’ triumphant arrival in Jerusalem and his Crucifixion, though the two did not happen on the same day… It makes for a Sunday of much joy and even more sorrow.

But this is not just the last week of Lent… today is also the feast of the Annunciation – a Solemnity for our Roman siblings, a Festival for our Lutheran siblings, and in the Anglican Tradition a Principal Feast. Our Orthodox siblings count it as one of eight major Feasts of our Lord – since what is being announced to Mary is the incarnation of Jesus. Throughout Christian Tradition it is a big deal. So, we’ll come back to it…

Sermon for the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Readings for the day

As Lent progresses we are called to turn our thinking from repentance, our work at the start of Lent, to Jerusalem – specifically Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem… a journey of sacrifice that leads to crucifixion. 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.

First Sunday in Lent

Readings for Lent 1B 

The compilers of the Lectionary clearly want us to think about water and baptism today. And, I have to admit, knowing that I am meant to think about it makes me want to think about anything but baptism…  

Rebellion is not a bad place to start. After all, it was rebellion that set the stage for Noah and the flood which leads up to the passage we heard from Genesis. Those Lectionary Compilers opened the door on the Story of Noah… so let’s spend some time with it. We, not us personally, but we the human race, rebelled against God to the point where God really lost it. 

Sermon for the 5th Sunday after Epiphany Year B

Readings for this Sunday

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 a bit pedestrian. 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.

Sermon for Advent II – exploring the season, COVID, and the apocalypse…

Today’s Readings

Here we are – part way through Advent. How did that happen?

At this point in the year 2020, it’s become pretty much a cliché to say this year is like no other we have known. And it’s true that most of us have not known such a year, but our forebears certainly have known years this bad and far worse. Even some alive today will remember the Advent seasons during the Second World War – which were no doubt more somber. Still – this is a different Advent then we’re used to and that should prompt some different reflection.