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Showing posts from February, 2019

Presentation of Our Lord: Mary, Simeon, and Anna--Three Windows onto the Life of Faith

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark.
Feast of the Presentation The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, also known as Candlemas. Like all the Feast of the Epiphany season, it’s a celebration of light—the light of God’s divine love that bursts forth in the person of his only son Jesus Christ—God’s unique disclosure to God’s people in human form. I want to tease out some dimensions of this story from three different perspectives—Mary and Child, Simeon, and the Prophetess Anna the one whom we hear never leaves the Temple. Candlemas is Feast that speaks to a reality that’s going on right here and right now in this very place. The challenge is to see and live from the reality to which Candlemas points, and to resist the temptation to treat it as something akin to those opening lines of Star Wars: “Long ago in a galaxy far, far away….” God spoke, and God is still speaking to us through the Holy Scriptures a…

Epiphany 3C: Outside the Water Gate--Seeing How Jesus Sees and Reading How Jesus Reads

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark 3rd Sunday After the Epiphany, Year C The Reverend Tyler B. Doherty, Priest-in-Charge
In our passage from the prophet Nehemiah, we have this scene of Ezra reading the entire book of the law, which God had given to Moses, to the gathered people of Israel who have recently returned from exile. The first thing they do as a reconstituted people is listen to their story, to remind themselves of who and whose they are who they are called to be. The law is read outside the Water Gate—a place outside the Temple where everyone, even the ritually defiled, could be present. The story belongs to everyone. And rheir identity as a listening people, a people who discover who they are not by listening to the cocktail chatter of their own self-centered fears, desires, and petty grudges, but to how God has spoken is revealed. God speaks—in creation, in the calling of his people, in the giving of the law, in the liberation of his people, in the raising …

Rat-Catcher & Potato Head

For weeks we’d hear it gnawing at the wood slats
of the chain-link fence rustling through leaves heaped in the corner
of the yard by the neighbor’s cinderblock garage and once a
glimpse of long pink tail black fur eyes little pricks in the dark sparked
by the porchlight one afternoon out of the blue
a feathered slash & rat clutched in talons snatched
away spirited off over the parking lot kids’ sandbox
Mr. Potato Head stoic under his bowler not batting an eye

                                                6 February 2019

Biblical Proportions

Ten minutes ‘til noon mass        I’ve just kissed my stole checked my fly     taken off my watch & marked the collect
when the heavens           open up thunder- snow hail                  strafes chapel slates
                                   wind gust grabs the junipers    by the scruff of
     the neck and gives them a good why I oughtta shake
     “no frogs or locusts yet, I guess,        let us proceed…”
                                and we do crossing ourselves                 and on to talitha cum little girl                      get up and go
                                     out the broken front                                 door that won’t close                                      God’s body and blood                                             in our bellies                                                                                 5 February 2019

Poem for Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday
       Oops something’s spooked the covey of sociable California Quail        from the Baptist Church’s scraggly             errant juniper
       & they scuttle all a-tizzy all a-chortle        droopy plumes               bobbing                              as they cross the street
                “Stop! Look! Listen!”
or not
to phew! refuge behind the neighbor’s        garbage bin hidden                 to no one but themselves

                                                                                                3 February 2019