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RITUAL MATTERS

Feast of the Presentation February 02 2020 – 10:30 AM Saint Cecilia Catholic Community Malachi 3:1-4 | Psalm 24:7-10 Hebrews 2:14-18 | Luke 2:22-40
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, AMEN. One of the characteristics of Saint Cecilia Catholic Community is that we are highly ritualistic. We walk in processions. We use incense and bells, wear vestments, sing and chant, bow and genuflect, sit and stand, light candles, make the sign of the cross, and bow to the Altar. Many other churches have similar rituals, but usually not to the extent that we do here. The only churches here in the Coachella Valley where there is probably more ritual are our Eastern Orthodox sisters and brothers in the Greek, Coptic, Romanian, and Armenian churches. Just like us, they sing the entire liturgy and use incense, but their liturgies are three to four hours long. So be thankful that our Mass is a little over one hour most Sundays! The Christian attraction to ritual comes from …

THE BAPTISMAL COVENANT

BAPTISM OF JESUS – FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME January 12 2020 – 10:30 AM Saint Cecilia Catholic Community Rev. David Justin Lynch Isaiah 42:1-4;6-7| Psalm 29:1-4 Acts 10:34-38 | Matthew 3:13-17
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, AMEN. Throughout our lives, we make promises. We sign business contracts. We make marriage vows. We promise things to spouses, family members, and friends. Although for many and varied reasons we sometimes don’t keep promises, most of us at least try to do the best we can. When you become a Christian, you promised God certain things in your baptismal covenant. Of course, if you were a young child when you were baptized, as most of us were, someone made the promises in your baptismal covenant on your behalf. Whatever format the covenant had at your baptism service, the basic idea was that made a commitment to God. What exactly is a covenant in the biblical sense? It’s a promise to do or not do something for which there is a s…

THE NUMEROLOGY OF CHRISTMAS

FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY Saint Cecilia Catholic Community January 05, 2019 – 10:30 AM Rev. David Justin Lynch Isaiah 60:1-6 | Psalm 72:1-2;7-8;10-13 Ephesians 3:2-3A;5-6 | Matthew 2:1-12
       + In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, AMEN.        Tomorrow will be officially the Feast of the Epiphany that we celebrate today.  Over the past eleven days, the holiday season which started on Thanksgiving Day has been winding down though I hope, as Deacon Sharon preached on Christmas Day, that you will carry the spirit of Christmas in your hearts throughout the year. Christians enjoy twelve days celebrating the Feast of our Lord’s Nativity. To quote the Gospel of Luke for Christmas Eve, we heard the angels proclaim to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”        The messages on television and on the I…

MARY, STRONG AND NECESSARY

Christmas Eve December 24, 2019, 7:00 PM Saint Cecilia Catholic Community Rev. David Justin Lynch Isaiah 9:1-6 | Titus 2:11-14 | Luke 2:1-14


            +In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, AMEN. Tonight we celebrate the birth of Jesus. No human person has yet been born without a mother, Jesus included. As we all know, the Mother of Jesus was Mary. Traditional Christians often hold up the Blessed Virgin Mary as the ideal of what a woman should be, that is, meek, mild and submissive, or in colloquial terms, barefoot and pregnant.This view of Mary is both historically inaccurate and harmful, no doubt driven by the needs of insecure men who fear a loss of control over their lives and their world. The subjugation of Mary, the maligning of her as meek, mild, and mindless, has harmed millions of women over many centuries. Hiding within all the wonder and hurly-burly of Christmas is thousands of years of doctrinal female subjugation. These malicious ideas keep…

SAINT JOSEPH: NON-TOXIC MASCULINITY

Fourth Sunday in Advent, Year A December 22, 2019 – 10:30 AM Saint Cecilia Catholic Community Isaiah 7:10-14 | Psalm 24:1-6 Romans 1:1-7 | Matthew 1:18-24

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, AMEN.
At our Christmas Eve Sung Mass at 7:00 PM, I will have plenty to say about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Today, however, the spotlight is on her husband, Joseph. Today’s Gospel narrates the birth of Jesus from his viewpoint, whereas the story of the birth of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel, which will be sung on Christmas Eve, tells it from Mary’s perspective. Imagine two new reports about the same election, with one presented by Sean Hannity, and the other by Rachel Maddow.  Those presentations will be very different, I assure you. Not too much is known about Joseph.  He is not mentioned in the earliest Gospel, that of Mark, and he appears nowhere in the Pauline epistles, which chronologically predate the four canonical Gospels by several decades. To understand who he mi…