Homily for First Evening Prayer of St. Mary the Virgin

August 14, 2020; St. Stephen’s, Maple

Jeremiah 31:1-14

“Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel!”

I speak to you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Life has always involved struggle, on a personal and societal scale. From the struggle of the exiles in Babylon addressed by Jeremiah, to the struggle of Black and Indigenous lives here in North America, from the everyday stresses of parenting, to the challenges of staying connected in the middle of a global pandemic. We can wonder if we’ll actually make it through, wonder where our hope is to be found, be it personally or as a society. The stark Christian answer, in fact, is that on our own we aren’t up to the challenge, can’t hope to make it through.

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Homily/Reflection: Easter 4A

May 3, 2020; St. Stephen’s, Maple

It feels strange, even disingenuous, to reflect on Christ the Good Shepherd at a time like this. When we feel locked up in our pens just as the pastures outside are turning fresh and green again. By now, many of us are past tired of screens, masks and gloves, zoom calls and uncertain futures. For some of us, tensions in our homes and families that had been managed are now threatening to boil over. And just as the winter of frost and snow is giving way to the springtime of rain and breeze, and then the summer of sunshine and opportunity, we’re still cooped up inside. Where are these beds of green pastures that David so famously sings about?

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Sermon: Maundy Thursday

April 13, 2017   St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux, Toronto

  • Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14
  • Psalm 116:1, 10-17
  • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
  • John 13:1-17, 31b-35

“This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.”

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On all other nights, we eat leavened and unleavened bread. Why on this night do we only eat unleavened bread?

Every year growing up, I would ask these questions at our annual Passover Seder. It was the most important night in our family’s year, and it began one of the most important parts of the Passover ritual. The questions would spark an extended retelling of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt—our people’sexodus from slavery—by God’s “mighty hand and outstretched arm.” This retelling would include the account of the first Passover from our first reading this evening.

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“Pour thy grace into our hearts”: Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Source: Prayer Book Society of Canada Facebook page. Available here.

(Luke 1:26-38)

“The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be with me according to your Word.”

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”

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Sermon: Epiphany 5A

February 9, 2020; St. Stephen’s, Maple

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I

At the parish in Scarborough where I did a student placement, the priest would often say, “the first instinct of a Christian is to stand up, and reach out.” A Christian is someone who is in the habit of serving; a Christian responds to the needs of others almost as a knee-jerk reaction. A Christian is committed to doing the types of things we hear in Isaiah: “loose the bonds of injustice…share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house.”

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