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25 Mar

So Much Duality

Dear Parishioners,

Triumph and Tragedy. I can't help but think of that phrase, the title of the sixth volume of Winston Churchill's narrative of the Second World War, in association with Palm Sunday. There are so many contradictions and paradoxes in the event of Christ's passion. So much beauty; so much ugliness. So much good; so much evil. So much love; so much hate. Yes, a triumphant and a tragic moment in the lexicon of human experiences.

Veronica, Simon of Cyrene, and Joseph of Arimathea—such beautiful, caring figures who supported our Lord. Caiphas, Herod, and Pilate—such ugly, cowardly, and jealous figures who trashed our Lord.

God the Father—such a good figure, the benevolent creator of the universe, consubstantial with his Son, who loved his son and all those given to his son, and loved them to the end. The Devil, Satan himself—such an evil figure who hated the Father so much he would do anything to attack him, even killing his innocent son.

18 Mar

An Other Forty Days

Dear Parishioners,

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton underwent her own forty day trial. In the early 1800s, she and her husband planned a trip to Italy. It was hoped the Italian climate would improve William Seton's health, for he had tuberculosis. But, as the saying goes, God had other plans. Husband and wife were quarantined in the New York port for forty days, and William died on account of the quarantine. They were basically stuck on a cold, wet, and small ship with little food.

Elizabeth survived and continued on with the journey to Italy. Now, Elizabeth was an Episcopalian from a very wealthy New York family. A "high society" young woman, she was a skilled musician, equestrian, and conversationalist, not to mention both beautiful and highly intelligent, speaking French fluently.

11 Mar

He Who Can End the Fight

Dear Parishioners,

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).

There we have it. John 3:16. Perhaps the famous line in all of Sacred Scripture. The citation we see on signs at football games and on billboards. Why is this line so remarkable?

We could write a whole book on why. Here is one reason for your consideration: God does not start the fight, but he can end it.

God is blamed unfairly for many things. What is good is that he is God—he can handle the blame. But still, it's not always just, the anger directed at our God. Cancer—why did God do this? War—where is God to stop it? A tragic car accident–how could God allow this? The stray bullet, the divorce, the drug addiction, the teen suicide, and so on. Fingers usually point to God.

04 Mar


Dear Parishioners,

The one thing in Scripture we are told Jesus ever made, though he was a carpenter, was a “whip out of cords” (Jn 2:15). It's in our Gospel this Sunday: the scourging of the temple. It's amazing to think that this simple weapon could drive out the dozens and dozens of moneychangers, animals, and other traffickers. And though Jesus was a strong man (years of carpentry would have made him so), he was not that big and strong, such that he would intimidate people. It wasn't as if Dwane "the Rock" Johnson were cleansing the temple. How was Jesus able to disperse all these sellers and animals, and avoid arrest by the temple police and Sadducees? Author Frank Sheed writes, “there must have been something in the personality they could not stand against, in the blaze of the eyes or the icy condemnation in them; otherwise Jesus would have been beaten to the ground in the first few minutes, and the money-changing and the animal-selling would have gone on with hardly an interruption.”

Has a bright beam of sunlight ever drawn your eye to our stained glass windows, and you found yourself wondering what story they tell? They really do tell a story; we share it with our virtual tour.

Church Windows