Church of the
Annunciation

7580 Clinton Street
Elma, New York 14059

716.683.5254

August 06, 2017

Transfiguration of the Lord

I was intently listening to a conversation with a family – 3 generations talking about turtles on the beach in Venice, Florida. The small turtles break through the sand at night and claw & crawl their way to the sea. They spend 2-3 years in the relative safety of their food source of green seaweed off the coast and then venture forth into the ocean. Years later (35) they return to this exact beach, climb ashore and lay eggs for a new batch of turtles. Locals and visitors are keenly protective of these creatures. Off shore artificial lighting is shaded or directed away from the sand to allow the turtles to navigate. Does their inner GPS catch the light of the moon & stars or is it the gravitational pull of earth & moon? Volunteers keep vigil and place flags were the eggs are buried in the sand. No one should offer help to the turtles making their way to the water because human intervention will disrupt the turtle’s navigation compass. I was captivated listening to the story of these amazing turtles. It shows even a small creature becomes a sacrament of the creator.

Jesus takes Peter, James & John (not to the seashore but) up a mountain. There Jesus is transfigured. His face shines like the sun and his clothes appear white as light. God’s glory is revealed. Behold, Moses & Elijah appear conversing with Jesus. The disciples are filled with awe and fear. Then they hear God’s voice: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Peter, James & John will keep the vision & voice inside as they journey down the mountain slope with Jesus. It will become a sustaining memory when they experience the horror of the cross. Jesus is a sacrament or sign of God’s sacrificial and redemptive love for humanity.

Like Peter, James & John, we need to keep the vision of Jesus and the voice of God within us as we face the challenges that come to disciples who wish to inaugurate the Kingdom of Heaven. Like the turtles on the beach in Venice crawling to the sea we will catch the attention of others and reveal the mystery of God’s providential care. Like the turtles too, as we venture forth into the deep, we hope eventually to find our way home.   

More Homilies


July 30, 2017

17th Sunday Ordinary

Jordan Spieth, after winning the British Open in dramatic fashion, was asked about golf being the # 1 focus in his life. Surprisingly, Jordan said the most important thing for him is his faith, family & friends, girl friend and then golf. Remarkable how this golf champion, who has won three majors before his 24th birthday, sets his priorities. In the Gospel according t...

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July 23, 2017

16th Sunday Ordinary

What is the Kingdom of Heaven? How can we understand and describe something that we cannot readily see or measure or touch? Jesus chooses to use the language poetry and parable to offer sketches of God’s Kingdom. Jesus engages our imagination and draws us into the metaphor to give us a sense of its meaning and mystery -- like solving a riddle or putting a puzzle together...

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July 16, 2017

15th Sunday Ordinary

Our devotion finds expression in art. There are paintings of Mary dating back to 1346, the early Renaissance, of Mary sitting on a cushion just above the ground with baby Jesus sitting on her lap looking at the viewer(s). The “Madonna of Humility” depicts both Mary’s earthy or lowly station and her favored status in the eyes of God. “Humility,” according to St. T...

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June 25, 2017

12th Sunday Ordinary

“Terror on every side!” These are the words the prophet Jeremiah uses to describe his situation of adversity. They seem sadly contemporary. Every day we hear news of reports about the atrocities carried out by ISIS -- indiscriminate attacks against all humanity and civilization. This past week ISIS destroyed an historic mosque. How would I respond to the threat of loom... READ MORE

June 11, 2017

Most Holy Trinity

The only way we can say something about God is because God reveals the divine. Some propose that there is a God gene or chromosome, a DNA receptor, in human beings that is responsive to this communication from God. God, enshrouded in a cloud, reveals God to Moses on Mt. Sinai. God says to Moses and to the Hebrew people: “The Lord, the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, s... READ MORE

June 04, 2017

Pentecost

Why are there so many Jews in Jerusalem? They have traveled great distances to commemorate the Jewish feast Shavout. It recalls the Hebrew people camped at Mt. Sinai – 50 days after departing Egypt. Here Moses receives the 10 Commandments and God enters into covenant with  the People of Israel. St. Luke tells us in ACTS on this feast, after the Ascension of the Lord... READ MORE

May 28, 2017

Seventh Sunday of Easter

In the comic strip: “For Better or Worse” – Elizabeth can’t sleep. She goes to her older brother Michael’s room. He is awake too. They both can’t sleep. Michael: “I can’t sleep, Elizabeth…I’ve never known anybody who died before.” Elizabeth: “Me neither.” Michael: “Mrs. Baird was such a nice lady. I can’t believe she’s gone.” Elizabeth: ... READ MORE

May 25, 2017

Ascension of the Lord

St. Luke in Acts says it simply: “He was lifted up and a cloud took him from their sight.” We can imagine how difficult it is for the apostles. Jesus, with them for three years of public ministry and then after his crucifixion and death, with them as Risen Lord, is now gone! They can no longer physically hear, see and touch him. They are in shock, staring at the heaven... READ MORE

Displaying Homilies -3 - 1 of 343

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