Ordinary Times

Sermons for Ordinary Times

A Sermon for the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (17/10/21): Jesus’ New Social Order

Mark 10:35-45 What does it mean to say “Jesus is Lord” when Jesus himself says:“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”“Jesus is Lord” is the earliest Christian confession. It is the first attempt to put into words who …

A Sermon for the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (17/10/21): Jesus’ New Social Order Read More »

A Sermon for the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (10/10/21): Impossible for Mortals, Possible for God

Mark 10:17-31 This is one of those occasions where Jesus leaves us with such a powerful image that we tend to lose sight of everything else that he said at the time. Preachers still sometimes run into this risk. You come up with such a good illustration, such an affecting story, that all your listeners …

A Sermon for the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (10/10/21): Impossible for Mortals, Possible for God Read More »

A Sermon for the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (03/10/21): Divorce and Little Children

Mark 10:2-16 As so often happens in Jesus’ ministry the Pharisees come to him with a question “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” Just for once there doesn’t seem to be a hidden agenda in the question. It doesn’t look like the Pharisees are trying to trap Jesus with an impossible …

A Sermon for the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (03/10/21): Divorce and Little Children Read More »

A Sermon for the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (26/09/21): Queen Esther

Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22 The book of Esther has a cast of characters. They are almost Pantomime characters: King Ahasuerus, Hamon the Agagite, Mordecai the Jew, And Queen Esther herself. Each of them is perhaps a little overdrawn, representatives of broader types of people. King Ahasuerus is the king of the vast Persian Empire. The …

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A Sermon for the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (19/09/21): At the Mercy of Others

Mark 9:30-37 God at the mercy of humansJesus tells his disciples, again:The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed he will rise again.Jesus is preaching and teaching. Jesus is working wonders. Jesus is causing a stir and creating a following. Jesus …

A Sermon for the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (19/09/21): At the Mercy of Others Read More »

A Sermon for the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (12/09/21): History vs God’s Action

Mark 8:27-34 The question of Jesus’ identity is central to Mark’s Gospel. It is the reason why he writes. He wants to tell us who Jesus is. And here, literally in the middle of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus raises the question the himself: “Who do people say that I am?” And moments afterwards, he asks again: …

A Sermon for the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (12/09/21): History vs God’s Action Read More »

A Sermon for the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (05/09/21): Faith in the Particular God

Mark 7:24-30 The encounter between Jesus and the woman of Syrophoenician origin unsettles us. Jesus has left the normal sphere of his ministry. He has come away from Galilee and entered the region around the city of Tyre. He has stepped outside of the land of Israel, the land given to and occupied by God’s …

A Sermon for the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (05/09/21): Faith in the Particular God Read More »

A Sermon for the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (29/08/21): You Can’t Catch Sin

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 Jesus says:It is what comes out of a person that defiles. To begin with hand washing seems like an odd thing to get into a dispute over. But it does looks like the disagreement between Jesus and the Pharisees, and it is a very forceful disagreement indeed, it looks like the …

A Sermon for the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (29/08/21): You Can’t Catch Sin Read More »

A Sermon for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time (22/08/21): Not Against Blood and Flesh

Ephesians 6:10-20 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the forces of evil in heavenly places. Paul at the point at which he was writing to the church in Ephesus was in prison. He was …

A Sermon for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time (22/08/21): Not Against Blood and Flesh Read More »

A Sermon for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (15/08/21): Munch My Flesh, Gulp My Blood

John 51-58 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day. Cannibalism is a universal human taboo. Eating human flesh offends and horrifies everyone. It is the domain of the deranged killer. The Hannibal Lectors of fiction and their very rare real …

A Sermon for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (15/08/21): Munch My Flesh, Gulp My Blood Read More »