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Showing posts from November, 2017

Christ the King, Year A

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Christ the King, Year A: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24; Psalm 100; Ephesians 1:15-23; Matthew 25:31-46 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge
“It Depends What You Mean By ‘King’”
Kings and kingdoms. Most of us, especially here in the United States, have a rather ambiguous relationship with kings and kingdoms. Recall that Samuel Seabury, the first Bishop of the Episcopal Church, was consecrated in Scotland because he would not swear an oath of allegiance to the Crown, which was part of the rite in the Church of England. As students of history, we associate kings and their kingdoms with capricious despots who wield their power and authority with whimsical nonchalance leaving a bloody wake of victims in their path. Even dear Plato’s republic is not exempt—those sketchy poets, the ones who might imagine something Plato never thought of and sing a new song that no one has ever heard, are banished from the kingdom. And that’s how most ki…

Making Hamburger Out of Sacred Cows—Straight Talk on Saints and Saintliness

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark All Saints—Revelation 7:9-17; Psalm 34:1-10, 22; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge Making Hamburger Out of Sacred Cows—Straight Talk on Saints and Saintliness I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear talk about saints and holiness, I start to get a little itchy. My preciousness detector starts registers off the charts and I’m filled with an almost insatiable urge to make hamburger out of sacred cows. A lot of my aversion comes, I’m quite certain, from a misunderstanding of what saintliness and holiness actually looks like. Especially in a culture as moralistic, perfectionistic and Puritanical as our own, it’s easy to think that saintliness and holiness are all about speaking in hushed tones, gliding across the floor with implacable calm, and plastering a beatific smile (professionally whitened, of course) across our faces. And indeed, if that’s what saintliness is, if that’s what holiness i…

A Twinkling Mystery--A Sermon for All Souls

A Meditation Delivered at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark All Souls: Wisdom 3:1-9 Psalm 130; Isaiah 25:6-9;1 Corinthians 15:50-58; John 5:24-27 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge If you ever travel to Mt. Athos—the monastic republic studded with monasteries and hermitages on a rocky island off the shores of Greece—you’ll be confronted with what might at first be a shocking sight. Somewhere in every monastery, usually not even tucked too far out of view, is a pile of bones. After the monks die they are buried in their habits under a heavy slab of slate and then dug up after three or four years. The flesh having decayed, the smaller bones are placed with their confreres in metal-lidded ossuary and the skulls arranged in a kind of charnel house. Why on earth would they do such a thing? It all seems a little morbid, doesn’t it? Especially if you hear the abbot making jokes about the imperishable nature of polyester socks as they are wont to do! One of the purposes of All Souls i…