Archives for March 2019

From the Pastor – March 31, 2019

While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.  He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. (Lk 15:20) When we hear the Gospel for this Sunday, our mind immediately identifies it as the “Parable of the Prodigal Son.”  It’s so familiar that we could probably recite it from memory and likely explain it to others.  We call the son “prodigal” because what he did was “prodigious” meaning “extraordinary in size and degree.”  Calling someone a “prodigious” spender means they are a person who spends a lot of money.  And the son is call “prodigal” because he spent his money with a wasteful extravagance. Our eyes tend to be fixed on the prodigal son rather than on the father or the other son.  He’s the protagonist.  He’s the one who … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – March 24, 2019

There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none.  So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future.  If not you can cut it down.’ (Lk 13:6-9) I love the agricultural parables of Jesus.  Anyone who has ever planted and nurtured a garden can understand them.  We have such rich soil here in southern Louisiana that just about anything can grow.  So if something in our garden isn’t growing, we’re pretty quick to remove it. In this parable, it’s … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – March 17, 2019

While he was still speaking,  a cloud came and cast a shadow over them,  and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said,  “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”  (Lk 9:34-36a) What a difference a week has made.  Last weekend we heard of Christ going into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  And this weekend, Christ has gone from the desolation of the desert to the glory of the Transfiguration on the mountaintop where God announces Jesus as being His beloved Son.  But why do we go from one dramatic place to another during this first week of Lent?  Most of the Church Fathers saw the Transfiguration as a glimpse of the glory of Christ given to his disciples so that they might be strengthened to witness the scandal of the Cross.   And … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – March 10, 2019

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.  (Lk 4:1-2a) That little verse above is the reason behind the holy Season of Lent.  And all I can say is thank God for Lent! I always look forward to Lent.  And this year is no exception.  Christmas ran into New Year’ and Epiphany, then the longest king cake season ever, and then right on its heals Mardi Gras season started with eight days of parades in front of the church! Now that Lent is here, I’m happy to create my own little desert of calm by the Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  It’s the perfect remedy to the last two weeks of noise, feasting and excess.  Let’s all take a deep breath! One of the good … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – March 3, 2019

Jesus told his disciples a parable, “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?” (Luke 6:39) In New Orleans we give directions differently than some other cities. We don’t use “east, west, north and south” because it doesn’t make sense to tell people that the way to the West Bank is actually due east because of the curve the Mississippi makes at New Orleans. We might describe somewhere as “across the lake,” or “downtown,” or in Lakeview.” Those of us who live uptown might describe the exact location of our church as being on the riverside, downtown corner of Camp and Napoleon. It’s a little different in Rome. When my friends and I were walking in Rome and asked someone for directions, most Italians would just point in the direction we should go, and say … [Read more...]