Wounded with Divine Love – Br. Geoffrey Tristram

Before I came to this country, I was the rector of the parish of St. Mary’s Welwyn in Hertfordshire, just north of London.  It is a very ancient parish, part of the building had been paid for by King Edward the Confessor – and on one of the walls there is a panel listing all the rectors of the parish with their names and dates.  They go back for a thousand years.  It was always a strange feeling to read the names – Saxon names, Norman French names – and then right at the end, my name! Read More

St. John Chrysostom – Br. David Allen

Today we commemorate Saint John Chrysostom, one of the great Bishops of the Early Church.

I first became aware of Saint John Chrysostom in my teens through the Prayer of Saint Chrysostom at the end of the Services of Morning and Evening Prayer in our Prayer Book.  I think others have done so also.

That prayer has given many of us a strong reminder of Jesus’ words to his disciples, “When two or three are gathered together in [Jesus’] Name [he] will be in the midst of them.” (BCP p. 102 & Mt. 18:20) (N.B. These words are also found in the homily preached by John Chrysostom just before he went into exile.)
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Bernard Mizeki – Br. Geoffrey Tristram

 This week, there is a great festival taking place, drawings tens of thousands of people.  It’s not a pop concert, or a political rally.  It’s taking place in Marondella, Zimbabwe.  For this week marks the anniversary of the death of Bernard Mizeki, who gave his life as a martyr, serving the Shona people of Africa.

We brothers of the SSJE have a special devotion to Bernard because he became a Christian through the ministry of our brotherhood in Cape Town, South Africa.  We used to run a school there and as a young man Bernard attended night classes.  It was through meeting and talking with our brother, Frederick Puller, that he became a Christian – and was baptized on March 9, 1886.

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Suffering for the Sake of Christ – Br. David Vryhof

A sermon for the Feast of Blandina and her Companions
I Peter 1:3-9 and Mark 8:34-38

There are times when the path to which God calls us leads us into trouble or difficulty.  Being faithful to that path, being obedient to that call, can prove to be very costly.  We have only to recall Christ’s agony in Gethsemane to know that this was true for Jesus, and he assures us that it will also be true for many of those who choose to embrace and follow him on the Way.  Read More

Steadfastness of Faith – Br. David Allen

1 Cor. 1:18-25; Jn 12:44-50

Today we honor Justin, martyred in Rome in the year 167 (A.D.)

What is there about a martyr that makes him, or her, significant?  How can any of the martyrs help us to grow in the Christian faith?  One way is for us to be mindful of the witness of the martyrs. (cf. SSJE Rule. of Life, Ch. 38) Read More

How to Abide – Br. David Vryhof

“Abide in me as I abide in you.” John 15:4

In these few words Jesus reveals the secret of the abundant life he is bringing into the world and which he offers to each of his disciples. This is the secret not only to our own happiness and fulfillment, but also to our fruitfulness, our ability to positively influence others by bringing them to share in the Divine Life. This is the abundant life he is offering us, a life lived in union with the Triune God, a life of untold blessings and riches, far beyond any abundance that the world can offer us.

When we pause to think of how desperately people in our world seek for happiness and of the ends to which they are willing to go to find personal fulfillment, we can wonder that such a simple path has been outlined for us.  “Abide in me as I abide in you,” says Jesus. “Join your life to mine, and my life will be yours.” All that I am and have I give to Jesus, and all that he is and has he gives to me. And in this union there is joy and safety and happiness and riches beyond measure. “I came that [you] might have life,” he reminds us, “and have it abundantly!” (John 10:10) Read More

Saints Philip and James – Br. Curtis Almquist

John 14:6-14

In the calendar of the church we remember today Saint Philip and Saint James, both of them chosen by Jesus for his original circle of twelve Apostles.  But here I must make a disclaimer: we know almost nothing about them.  This Apostle James is not James, son of Zebedee, who, with his brother, John, had lobbied Jesus to sit at his right hand and left hand when Jesus came into power in Jerusalem.1  Nor is this James, brother of Jesus, traditionally known as the author of the Epistle of James and sometime Bishop of Jerusalem.2  This is James #3, son of Alphaeus, whom we know nothing about.3   This James is often called “James the Less,” which is not exactly flattering, but helps avoid some confusion with James #1 and James #2, about whom we know more. Read More

Saint Alphege – Br. James Koester

Feast of St. Alphege, Abbot of Bath, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Martyr, 1012

Some of you may remember that a few years ago I spent Holy Week and Easter at Canterbury Cathedral. During one of the liturgies on Maundy Thursday I was seated up in the sanctuary near the High Altar. At one point I looked down at my feet and found that on the floor beneath me the name Alphege had been incised into the floor. When I asked later I found that this was not simply an inscription but was the actual place where St. Alphege, the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1006 to 1012 was buried. Today marks the 1000th anniversary of Alphege’s death at the hands of Danish soldiers. Read More

Reason and Revelation – Br. Geoffrey Tristram

In this homily for the feast day of Thomas Aquinas, Br. Geoffrey Tristram follows the theologian in exploring the connections between human reason and revelation, to celebrate how the intellect can discover—and help others to discover—God, in all places, even the least likely ones.

This sermon currently is available only in audio format.

Lydia, Dorcas, & Phoebe – Br. David Allen

Acts 16:11-15; Lk 8:1-3

We all know what a significant contribution is made to the total life of the Church by women. But, very little emphasis has been given to the significance of the contribution that women made to the life of the early Church, although it must be obvious to anyone paying attention to the reading of the Epistles and Gospels of the New Testament that women have been very much involved in the life of the Church from the very beginning. To my knowledge it is only within the past 50 years or so that women have been elected or appointed to major roles in the Episcopal Church.  Read More