A Joy Most Ravishing – Br. James Koester

Life Profession of Jim Woodrum SSJE

Exodus 33: 7 – 1, Psalm 139: 1 – 12, 1 John 4: 7 – 12, John 15: 9 – 19

Well I am certainly impressed. Never in a million years did I imagine that so many people would show up today. I really only expected the brothers, the guests in the guesthouse and our regulars at the Saturday Eucharist. But look at you! You have come from near and far: Georgia, and South Carolina, from New York and parts in between. You have come from any number of places around Cambridge and Boston, and all to show your dedication, your devotion, your loyalty, your faithfulness, your friendship to someone whom we are told, was of remarkable life and learning.[1] And you are all dressed up to boot! That’s all pretty impressive, and we are honoured by your presence at this celebration today. The one person that I don’t see here though, surprises me by his absence. I don’t see the Mayor of Boston here. And that surprises me. Of all the people who should be here, he’s at the top of the list. Why isn’t he here with us today as we celebrate the feast of St. Botolph, the Patron Saint of Boston? Continue reading

The Body and Blood of Christ: Corpus Christi – Br. Curtis Almquist

Br. Curtis AlmquistPreached at Emery House

The Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for the Body of Christ), has been celebrated since the late 13th century in the western church, remembering what Jesus said at the last supper when he pointed to the bread which he called “his body” and the wine, which he called “his blood.”  In the church calendar, we first remember this on Maundy Thursday; however Maundy Thursday is a rather complicated memory.  The name “maundy” comes from the Latin, mandatum, which is a command.  Jesus commands us “to do this,” the very thing that we do here at this noonday: to name and claim Christ’s being really present with us in the form of bread and wine, the very thing he promised.  And there is a second commandment which we remember on Maundy Thursday: Jesus’ calling us to “love one another as [he] has loved us.”[i]  One of the many ways we are to show this love is in the washing of one another’s feet.  And then, on Maundy Thursday, things go downhill as we remember Jesus’ later going to the Garden of Gethsemane, pleading with his disciples to stay with him, watch with him, to be really present to him… then Jesus is seized by the governing authorities, he is flogged, his disciples abandon or betray him, the crucifixion happens.  In the heart’s memory, the institution of the Holy Eucharist on Maundy Thursday is overshadowed by so many layers of suffering. Continue reading

Sermon for St. Justin, Martyr – Br. David Allen

davidallen_1

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

Today is the Feast of Justin, martyred in Rome, 167 A.D.

Justin was born early in the 2nd Century, near Shechem in Samaria.  He was brought up as a pagan.  In his youth he began to study philosophy.  He searched for a philosophy that would be true to his view of life.  After some searching he adopted Platonism.  But not long after he had chosen that he met an old man at the sea shore who convinced him of the truth of Christian teaching.  It was a chance meeting, but one having great significance.  Justin said of this encounter, “Straightway a flame was kindled in my soul!”  Soon after that he was baptized.  As a Christian Philosopher, wearing the robe of a philosopher he taught Christianity.

At about the middle of that century he gathered some students and formed a school of Christian philosophy in the city of Rome.  During this period he began writing in defense of Christian doctrine and beliefs.  Three of these writings have survived. Continue reading