Sermons preached at St. John's

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Sermons at St. John's
  • A good reason to write a book (Fr. David Houk)
    April 19, 2009 (St. John 20: 19-31). St. John puts his cards on the table and announces his motivation in writing his Gospel when he says, “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.” But can you trust him?
  • Let Easter happen (Fr. David Houk)
    April 12, 2009 (St. Mark 16:1-8). What can you say on a day when Jesus does it all, rising above all human effort and accomplishment? All you can say is, “Let Easter happen,” and open your life to Christ’s transforming power.
  • Walking the way of the cross (Fr. Bob Corley)
    April 5, 2009 (St. Mark 11:1-11; Mark 15:32-47). Our liturgical life in the Church is shaped by the command, “Do this in remembrance of me.” In Holy Week we open up the drama of the Passion of Christ in a pronounced way, and it grounds us in our identity in him. These events are so important to our identity that we go through the cycle of Holy Week each time we break the bread and share the cup together. It is in remembering Christ that we discover ourselves.
  • Showtime! (Fr. David Houk)
    March 29, 2009 (St. John 12:20-33). When some Greeks attending the feast in the Jerusalem approach the apostles and ask to see Jesus, the stage is set. The world is watching, and Jesus declares the hour has come to play the part he was born to play.
  • Do something impossible for God (Fr. Bob Corley)
    March 22, 2009 (Ephesians 2:4-10; John 6:4-15). Saint Paul once wrote to the Ephesians, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” From time to time, God will put on a good work before us that we might find impossible. When we say yes to the impossible, we create space for God’s power to work through us, opening ourselves up to do greater works than we can imagine on our own.
  • The Big Ten, law, and grace (Fr. David Houk)
    March 15, 2009 (Exodus 20:1-17; Romans 7:13-25). What do we make of the Ten Commandments? The better question is, “What are we willing to let Christ make of us?” By the grace of God, Christians are forgiven people who keep the law from the inside out.
  • Being a witness for Christ (Fr. Bob Corley)
    March 8, 2009 (Mark 8:31-38). In the Martyrs of the Church we find an inspirational witness for Christ. Saint Polycarp is such a witness. When told to renounce the Faith, he replied, “Eighty-six years I have served him, and he never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” Saint Polycarp was an old and gentle spirit when he came to the stake, but his life in Christ was young and vibrant. From his witness—and others like him—we have a model for living in such a way that cannot even be touched by death.
  • The wilderness is not a fun place to be (Fr. David Houk)
    March 1, 2009 (St. Mark 1:9-13). On the first Sunday in Lent we are driven with Jesus into the wilderness, the place where challenge, temptation, and trial are offered to those God loves, all for the purpose of strengthening our identity in Christ.
  • A lamp shining in a dark place (Fr. David Houk)
    February 22, 2009 (2 Peter 1:16-21; St. Mark 9:2-9). On the last Sunday before Lent, St. Peter reminds us that in the confusions and contradictions of life, we have the light of God’s Word: Scripture, God’s Word written, and Jesus, the Word made flesh.
  • Skin deep (Fr. David Houk)
    February 15, 2009 (2 Kings 5:1-15; St. Mark 1:40-45). Healing can be superficial or it can be profound. What’s the difference? Healing that goes to the heart has to do with the humility and cleansing we see in today’s readings.
  • Get to work! (Fr. David Houk)
    February 8, 2009 (2 Kings 4:8-37; 1 Corinthians 9:16-23; St. Mark 1:29-39). Watching Elisha, St. Paul, and Jesus in action, we get a picture of the Christian life that is not always emphasized in the modern American church. And yet, Christ calls men to get to work, perhaps even to get dirty, in order to accomplish something for God.
  • Christian Conscience (Fr. Bob Corley)
    February 1, 2009 (1 Corinthians 8:1b-13). The conscience is that little voice that distinguishes between right and wrong. This tool is formed in the Christian by the Holy Spirit, and through repeated exposure to the disciplines of worship, study, and prayer. However, there are times when we must not only consider our own conscience, but the conscience of other believers.
  • The compelling Christ (FR. David Houk)
    January 25, 2009 (St. Mark 1:14 20). Peter and Andrew leave their nets. James and John leave their father and the family business. And yet for all who get a glimpse of this Jesus, it is his commanding beauty, his irresistible truth, and his compelling goodness that draws disciples into his life and ministry, and they are never the same.
  • Sex in the city and sex in the kingdom (FR. David Houk)
    January 18, 2009 (1 Corinthians 1:11b-20). Corinth was a wild place, so much so that the city’s name became synonymous with sexual license. Yet, St. Paul called the Christians in Corinth to rise above cultural norms and live lives “in the body” for the Lord and for his kingdom.
  • Being spiritual and being human (FR. David Houk)
    January 11, 2009 (St. Mark 1:7-11). Spirituality and humanity go together, even though we may try to divide what is mystical from what is material, what we do at church from what we do during the week, how we pray from how we live. In Jesus, the Word made flesh, we see what an integrated, healthy, and whole human being looks like.
  • Christians: Agents of Life (Fr. Bob Corley)
    January 4, 2009 (St. Matthew 13-15,19-23). The Gospel of St. Matthew begins by developing a contrast between Christ, the newborn King, and Herod the Great. One is a bearer of Life, the other a bearer of Death. This theme of Christ causing Life to triumph over death runs throughout Scripture and the history of the Church, and should inform our stance as modern Christians on matters such as abortion.
  • The Great Mystery of Christmas (Fr. Bob Corley)
    December 24, 2008 (St. Luke 2:1-20). Fr. Corley talks with the children of the parish on Christmas Eve about the Great Mystery of Christmas: Jesus being both God and man. By being born in the flesh, God revealed himself to us in a way that he could lift us up to be with him.
  • But you promised! (Fr. Bob Corley)
    December 21, 2008 (2 Samuel 7:4,8-16; St. Luke 1:26-38). God makes many promises through the words of his Prophets, Jesus, and the Apostles. How can we know they are true? By seeing how Jesus is fulfilling the prophecies concerning the Messiah, we can know that God is trustworthy to fulfill all that he has promised.
  • It's all relative (Fr. David Houk)
    December 14, 2008 (St. John 1:6-8, 19-28). "Who are you? What do you say about yourself?" These are the questions put to John the Baptist in today's Gospel. And for him, understanding who he was--as well as who he was not--related to Christ, the coming Messiah.
  • O Lord, it's hard to be humble (Fr. David Houk)
    December 7, 2008 (St. Mark 1:1-8). John the Baptist's cry on the Second Sunday of Advent is nothing more and nothing less than a call to humble ourselves in light of Christ's coming. Fr. Houk offers a practical idea about how to do that.
  • Only the Father knows when the end will come (Fr. Bob Corley)
    November 30, 2008 (St. Mark 13:24-37). In an apocalyptic passage in St. Mark's gospel, Jesus is foreshadowing the end of the ages when he will come in glory and spendor to gather his elect. The day and hour of this event has been kept secret for our benefit, to encourage all to live a total life of faith, not to just be on "good behavior" when the time is close.
  • Christ the King (Fr. David Houk)
    November 23, 2008 (Ezekiel 34:11-17; St. Matthew 25:31-46). The bottom line of the Church Year is that Jesus Christ is King. Our challenge is to "crown him Lord of all" and make his kingship first in our lives.
  • The good news of God's wrath (Fr. David Houk)
    November 16, 2008 (Zephaniah 1:7,12-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10; St. Matthew 25:14-15,19-29). The God of the Bible loves the world enough to rid it of evil and cure its ills. The good news is that if we shed out complacency, and decide to care about what he cares about, he will cure us as well.
  • "Out there"? or "In here"? (Fr. David Houk)
    November 9, 2008 (Amos 5:18-24; St. Matthew 25:1-13). Being prepared to meet God face to face means shifting our focus from "What’s wrong with the world?" to "What’s wrong with me?"
  • The Quest for Immortality (Fr. Bob Corley)
    November 2, 2008 (Ecclesiasticus 44:1-10, 13-14; St. Matthew 5:1-12). The quest for immortality has a long tradition, involving such household names as Ponce de Leon and Ted Williams. Currently scientists continue this quest form of cryonics and biomedical gerontology. Immortality is more than a legend or possibility, it is a reality for those who find life in Christ Jesus.