Homily for Epiphany 4C on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

A homily on God’s love as the thing that changes us to grow and deepen in our spiritual lives.

St. Paul’s well-known hymn to love contains 15 verbs about what love does (or doesn’t do). Usually in English we translate them as adjectives or abstract ideas: “Love is patient, love is kind…” See the NRSV Bible translation of this passage for an example.

Here’s one way to translate this poem with active verbs in their place:

Love waits and sticks with you.
Love cares and cherishes and treasures.
Love envies not, blusters not, flatters not.

It does not degrade, ego-trip, aggravate or slander.

It does not cheer for injustice, but rallies around the truth.

Everything it protects.
Everything it believes.
Everything it hopes.
Everything it endures.

Love never falls apart.

How would you try to translate this passage to reflect St. Paul’s poem to an active love?

Homily for Advent 3C on Luke 3:7-18

Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Luke 3:9

In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22:1-2

Homily for Advent 2C: “Do Not Be Afraid,” according to Luke 3:1-6

Verses quoted in my December 6 homily on Luke 3:1-6

  • “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard.” Luke 1:13 
  • “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Luke 1:30 
  • “Do not be afraid, [Simon,] from now on you will be catching men.” Luke 5:10
  • “Do not be afraid, [woman,] just have faith and she will be saved.” Luke 8:50
  • “Do not be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7
  • “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32
  • “Do not be afraid, [shepherds,] for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.” Luke 2:10-11