Baptism of Feet – Br. Mark Brown

Br. Mark BrownExodus 12:1-14/Psalm 116:1, 10-17/1 Corinthians 11:23-26/John 13:1-17, 31b-35

This evening we enter the highly charged atmosphere of the great three days, the culmination of our year: the Triduum. We celebrate events that have changed the history of the world and now change us.  Today is “Maundy Thursday”: “Maundy”, from Latin “mandatum”, mandate or commandment.  We hear the new commandment from the lips of Jesus, the “mandatum novum”: “love one another”.

His words come in the midst of a tense and complicated drama: a final meal together, conspiracy and betrayal, some unsettling words about body broken and blood poured out, a disciple reclining in the bosom of Jesus*, a puzzling ritual of a kind of baptism of feet, agony in a garden, an arrest, a trial… Read More

Love Is His Meaning – Br. James Koester

Exodus 12: 1-4 (5-10) 11-14; Psalm 116: 1, 10-17; 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26; John 13: 1-17, 31b-35

As you know, during the year we welcome literally hundreds of guests at Emery House. They come from all over. Many come from some sort of religious background, but not all. Some come because it is their practice, others because they are curious. Some are drawn; others are sent. Some come for the quiet and silence, others for rest and healing conversation. A few find out about us from the internet and others are sent by a friend or their parish priest, while others have been long time friends of the Society. Most come to us by car, but some will fly long distances and arrive ultimately by bus. Read More

The Scandal of Service – Br. James Koester

Exodus 12: 1-4 (5-10) 11-14; Psalm 116 1, 10-17; 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26; John 13: 1-17, 31b-35

As you can imagine, incorporation into a monastic community is no easy thing. When a man comes into our community, suddenly everything, and I mean everything, is new and strange. The place is new and strange. The ways things are done are new and strange. And the people … well enough said about the people. One thing that is quickly evident is that every household and community has its quirks and monastic communities no less so than others. Sometimes those quirks are on full display for everyone to see, but on occasion those quirks are evident only to those “in the know” and are revealed to others only over time. Few of those sorts of quirks can be explained. Most of them must be intuited. And that is where the monastic rubber hits the road. Over time, a man either “gets it” and begins to fit in, and feels as if he fits in, or he doesn’t “get it” and never quite fits.

Tonight we have one of those community quirks on full display for everyone to see, and we either “get it” or we don’t. But there is a twist tonight, for unusually all the disciples “get it” this time, and most of us, even with hindsight don’t. We miss the enormous significance of what is taking place before our very eyes. Read More