Showing posts from August, 2018

Poem for Thursday Eucharist

Gloss on Matthew 24: 41-51
Plum tree leaf shadow shifts in
breeze glyphs sidewalk concrete bees
rummage courtyard Rose of Sharon for grub
‘keep awake therefore, for you do not know
on what day your Lord is coming…’ so knowing’s
a no-ing a closing of the door where waking’s
a yes a rest from ‘best practices’ managerial control
the Imperial ‘I’ lead me to that empty field
yielding stripped to just this— kid skipping in
with a fist

Year B Proper 16: Will God Indeed Dwell on Earth?

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark 1 Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, 41-43; Psalm 84 or 84:1-6; Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge
Last week we encountered Solomon at the beginning of his reign—embracing his littleness before God and his not-knowing how to go out or come in. We talked about how this littleness and not-knowing was not a source of shame, something to be covered up with a show of braggadocio and strength, but a sign for us of the openness, receptivity, and poverty of spirit that shows us what it means to walk the path to love. Like Solomon and the people of Israel, we are called to be a listening people, a people whose ears are tuned to something other than the same-old stories we tell ourselves about self, other, and God, that that new song, which we hear most clearly sung in the person of Jesus, might be the music that dances us out into the world as oil to heal, bread to feed, and water to wash. This week, we jum…

Year B, Proper 15: Ask What You Should Ask For--Littleness, Not-Knowing, and God Dancing in the Open Place of the Heart

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14; Psalm 111; Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge Ask What I Should Give You A couple of weeks ago we heard the story of John the Baptist and Salomé, Herodias’ daughter. The line we reflected upon was that powerful question of Salomé’s—“What should I ask for?” The response from Herodias was chilling—“John the Baptist’s head on a platter.” In her mind, the threat of John the Baptist to the maintenance of the status quo, of kingly power and control was so great that his death was the preferred option. In our story from 1 Kings, we find ourselves in the midst of succession planning with the people of Israel. King David is sleeping with the ancestors, and the throne has been passed to Solomon his son. We tend to think of Solomon as a grand old man, a wise sage who intervened in a custody battle gone horribly wrong. But here we find Solomon at the beginning of his reign. He c…

Feast of the Transfiguration, Year B: Prayer is What God Does in Us

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark Transfiguration Sunday, Year B The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge The Feast of the Transfiguration sets squarely before us the divine-human nature of Jesus Christ. Up until this point, the disciples see Jesus through Moses’ veil—the veil of military king, wonder-worker, or simple healer. Here, however—away from the hum drum realities of the life on the plain—the disciples see Jesus without a veil, just as he is in all his radiance. The scales of their preconceptions (Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t this Jimmy from Galilee?) fall from their eyes and they perceive Jesus’ humanity as shot through with the transfiguring light of the divine. But the Transfiguration is not just about Jesus. It’s also about the calling of each one of us to take up our identity as “people of the way,” as the first Christians we called, and to embark upon the spiritual journey from image to likeness, that our lives might shine forth with the…

Tuesday Bonus--I wrote this sermon on lectionary readings for Year B Proper 14 before realizing that we were celebrating the Transfiguration

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33; Psalm 130; Ephesians 4:25-5:2; John 6:35, 41-51 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge Taught by God: The Way of Love Back in Philadelphia some years ago, I had the opportunity to have lunch with Fr. Martin Laird, an Augustinian friar and professor at Villanova University. Fr. Martin is the author of what Maggie Ross calls the best book on Christian prayer in the last 200 years—Into the Silent Land. He is possessed of profound insight into the life of prayer, and, perhaps just as important, knows his poetry. His is as apt to cite Rilke, Mary Oliver, or Gerard Manley Hopkins as he is one of the Church fathers. So it was with great excitement that I sat down for lunch with Fr. Martin, even if I was rather self-consciously preoccupied with what it might look like to eat a bacon cheeseburger and fries contemplatively. All sorts of questions swirled in my mind as we talked about the Christian tradition o…

Year B Proper 13: Of Orange Chicken, the Nature of Happiness, and Baptism

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a; Psalm 51:1-13; Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35 The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life.” Have you ever noticed that there are some kinds of food that you eat that never really satisfy your hunger and only leave you hungrier? Take-out Chinese is like that for me. I’ll pile up great mounds of orange chicken, beef and broccoli, fried rice, and egg rolls only to discover half an hour later that I’m hungry again. In our gospel for today, Jesus is asking us to examine what we feed upon. You are what you eat. Be attentive to what you seek nourishment from and where you find it. Part of what it means to be on the spiritual journey, to learn to walk the path of love, is to learn the difference between the kinds of foods that don’t satisfy and the kinds of foods that offer enduring sustenance. We all have to eat. The question we c…