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

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.

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.

First Sunday of Advent

(readings for today)

We should have noise makers and such – since this is New Year’s Day… We should be celebrating just as they will do in a few weeks at Times Square in New York, the Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh (where its Hogmanay, not New Year’s), or the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, which I gather is a major New Year’s hub. But that’s all in a few weeks. This week the Church celebrates the new Liturgical Year with the first Sunday of Advent. Hold the fireworks and noise makers for the other new year’s…  

Feast of Christ the King – Volmoed 

(Readings for the day)

Happy feast of Christ the King – a relatively new feast in the Church. It dates back all the way to the to Pope Pius VI in 1925. It was created to make a sort of bookend for the Pentecost season – The Day of Pentecost at one end and Christ the King at the other. Because otherwise we might not notice that it was Advent next week…  

Sermon for the Twenty Third Sunday after Pentecost

Scripture Readings

Perhaps it was the contrast that prompted Jesus to interrupt. He had just been considering the plight of a poor widow who had donated all she had to live on to the temple treasury and now here were some people speaking admiringly about the opulence of that Herodian temple itself. Jesus tells them it’s all going to come crashing down, and goes on to describe vividly what would happen before that.