Translate

Friday, November 28, 2014

THE REVEREND RICARDO FROHMADER: ¨...the Advent season begins on somber notes as we are reminded of our failure to keep awake, to increase the spiritual wealth God has entrusted us with and to love Him as he manifests himself in others.¨


HOMILY FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT 2014 (B)
             Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18;1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37
If we summarize the Gospel readings of the past three weeks, we see that forethought and preparedness for welcoming the arrival of the Lord are vital. While and until he comes, we are his stewards. We will be asked to give an account of what we have done with what is his when he returns. All things are his and he expects us to make good use of them and to multiply them. When he comes, the charitable, the compassionate, the generous and the loving will be welcomed into his kingdom. Not so the selfish or the hard of heart. We must be watchful, we must be diligent in his service, and we must love our neighbors.
This is the first Sunday of Advent. It marks the beginning of our liturgical year. Last Sunday was the last in Year A. This now is year B, and all our readings for this year will be those pertaining to that year. Still the themes that were broached during the last three weeks, the Day of the Lord in the Old Testament in which the faithlessness of Israel is punished and the coming of the Lord as the Bridegroom, as the Master, and as the Judge continue into today’s readings.
The reading today from the Book of Isaiah is written in the context of a people in exile in Babylon. The Temple of Solomon has been destroyed, and the Israelites scattered.  The prophet longs for the day when the Lord will remember that his people are the clay that he, as the potter, formed and continues to form. The prophet reminds the Lord that we are his creation, sinful and lost though we may be, and asks that God not remember our iniquity forever. “Now consider, we are all your people”. It is as if God needs to be reminded that he is our maker and we are all  his people.
The Psalm asks for the Lord to come and help us. “How long will you be angered despite the prayers of your people?” The Psalmist asks God to send the Messiah: “Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand, the son of man you have made so strong for yourself”. Recall that we followers of Jesus see the Son as being seated at the right hand of the Father.
Our Gospel repeats the theme of the last few weeks-the world will be shaken by apocalyptic catastrophes. In the midst of these the Son of Man will come to gather his elect from the four corners of the Earth. It may happen in the near term: “Truly I tell you this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Were we to read no further, it sounds as if the coming of the Son of man will take place within the lifetime of his disciples. Then the statement is qualified: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away until all these things have taken place. But that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”.
Almost two thousand years later we are still waiting for the Son of Man. Every year, someone decides that they know the exact day and hour when the Lord will return. So far they have all been wrong, sometimes comically, sometimes tragically. What we do affirm as members of the Anglican Communion is that the Lord Jesus will return, but we do not know the time when he will come. That said we long for a time when he will return, to put an end to the brokenness of our world and of our lives. We long for the suffering of humanity to end, for a cessation of weeping and mourning, for an end to death and destruction, for physical hunger to cease, for justice to be established, for the strong to cease oppressing the weak, for the sick to be healed and captives freed. If we pay attention to what is going on in this world, we realize how prevalent these wrongs are and how badly we need a liberator, a healer, a shepherd.
The longing we feel for the Messiah to come again should not lead you or me to wait passively, as if we were at a bus stop, or at an airport waiting for a flight delayed by weather. We are waiting,  so let us wait actively. “It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch”. We know the master’s business. Scripture tells us what he wants from us.
In the master’s absence, shouldn’t we all be about his business? Shouldn’t we be taking care of the world that he has left in our charge? Shouldn’t we be looking after our neighbors? Shouldn’t we be helping the less fortunate? Shouldn’t we be active stewards of God’s creation? If the master has left on a journey, do we want him to return to possessions that have been dilapidated and despoiled?  Brothers and sisters, the Lord is calling to each of us to do our share in preparing for His return, and that means much more than passively waiting. Think back on the Gospel proclamations of the past three weeks, as well as today’s. The Bridegroom we long for wants to find us prepared to light his way. The master who has journeyed far away wants to find that the wealth he has entrusted to us has been increased.  The Son of man, as he separates us into two categories, sheep and goats will judge us by how successfully we have discerned him in the poor, the hungry, the afflicted, the sick, the prisoners, all those who cry out to us for help, for love. How successfully, how consistently do we recognize Jesus in those around us, and especially in those in need?
These may not be comfortable reflections for you. They aren’t for me. I don’t know how well I do in recognizing the Christ in those around me, and in responding to that Christ in them. What I do know is that this Advent season provides us with an opportunity to reflect on our lives and our relationships. I also know that the Advent season begins on somber notes as we are reminded of our failure to keep awake, to increase the spiritual wealth God has entrusted us with and to love Him as he manifests himself in others. These somber notes, we will see, bring us at the end of the Advent season to something joyful, which is the celebration of the Incarnation of God in the form of a new born infant, almost two thousand years ago, Because he came once already, we are not afraid to say “Maranatha”- Come Lord Jesus!, Come!
AMEN
Ricardo+
PLANNING TRAVEL TO GUATEMALA? 


Saint Alban Episcopal Mission, Antigua, Guatemala


You are invited to join us for English services every Sunday at Noon.

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.


St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is an outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA


The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of Central America

The Rev. Ricardo Frohmader
Associate Minister
Saint Alban Episcopal Mission
Antigua Guatemala

2366 0599; 3344 9146

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

THE SEASON OF ADVENT: All are invited to St. Alban Mission, noon on Sunday, November 30th, Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua, Guatemala. Ricardo+




On Sunday November 30,we begin the Church season of Advent. Our liturgical color will be purple shading to blue. Purple symbolizes the penitential part of preparing for the Incarnation of Our Lord. Blue is in honor of our Lord's Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Before each service we will light the Advent candle for that Sunday.  We will have an Advent wreath at Saint Alban. On the Advent wreath there are places for five candles, three purple, one pink and one white. The first two purple candles are the candles of Peace and Hope.  The third purple candle is the candle of Faith. The white one is lit on Christmas Eve and is called the Christ candle. The pink candle is lit on the third Sunday of Advent, and is the called the "gaudete" candle, for the Latin word for "Rejoice" It signifies Joy. Traditionally it has marked a lightening of the penitence and fasting that accompanied Advent.


I invite you to join us at Saint Alban, at noon on Sundays as we prepare for the coming of our Lord. I wish you a blessed Advent, and a blessed Thanksgiving Day- may yours be filled with the joy of sharing with family and friends.

In Christ

Ricardo Frohmader+
Associate Minister
Saint Alban Episcopal Mission
Antigua Guatemala
2366 0599; 3344 9146

PLANNING TRAVEL TO GUATEMALA? 



Saint Alban Episcopal Mission, Antigua, Guatemala



You are invited to join us for English services every Sunday at Noon.

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.


St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is an outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA


The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of Central America

The Reverend Ricardo Frohmader 
Associate Minister of St. Alban Mission
Antigua, Guatemala

Sunday, November 23, 2014

TODAY - Christ the King Sunday - NEXT WEEK - The First Sunday of Advent

SJF • Proper 29a • Tobias S Haller BSG
Jesus said, When the son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory... and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
We come now to the last Sunday of the church’s calendar year — you know our calendar doesn’t quite match up with the secular and civil calendar that starts in January. Our church year starts on the First Sunday of Advent — next Sunday — and so this church year ends this week.
It ends with a celebration that goes in some places by the name of the Feast of Christ the King. It’s a reminder of who our King is, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the one under whose feet, as Saint Paul told the Ephesians, all things are put in subjection.
Our gospel today shows this our King in action. The Son of Man comes in his glory, sits on his throne, and executes judgment. Talk about an executive order! For this is not just an order, but a judgment; and a chilling judgment it is. For those who are rewarded are not great heroes and martyrs. No, the reward of blessing is given to people who did very ordinary things: who fed the hungry and gave the thirsty something to drink, who welcomed the stranger and clothed the naked, who cared for the sick and visited prisoners.
And those who are judged guilty, are not perpetrators of horrible crimes — those who here are sent away into eternal punishment are not mass murders and terrible villains. No, they are people who simply failed to do the same things the blessèd ones did: who gave no food to the hungry or drink to the thirsty, who shunned the stranger and provided the naked with nothing to wear, who didn’t care for the sick or visit those in prison.
And the reason these two groups of people are judged as blessed or cursed is because those they served or rejected were not just anybody — they were the King himself in disguise.
Thanks to In a Godward Direction, sidebar
Thanks to Tobias S. Haller, BSG
PLANNING TRAVEL TO GUATEMALA? 


Saint Alban Episcopal Mission, Antigua, Guatemala


You are invited to join us for English services every Sunday at Noon.

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.


St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is an outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA


The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of Central America

The Reverend Ricardo Frohmader 
Associate Minister of St. Alban Mission
Antigua, Guatemala

Saturday, November 22, 2014

PADRE MICKEY'S DANCE PARTY: Saint Cecilia, Martyr at Rome

Saint Cecilia, Martyr at Rome

Today is the feast of St. Cecilia, a young woman who was martyred in Rome around the year 230. She is the patron saint of musicians because, according to the Acts of Cecilia, she heard heavenly music on her way to her wedding. She was one of the most venerated martyrs of the Ancient Church and her feast has been celebrated in the Roman Church since the fourth century. TheActs of Cecilia was written in the fifth century, and its text was the basis for the version in the Golden Legend, a collection of the lives of saints written in the thirteenth century. What follows is my retelling of the story of Cecilia according to the version of the tale in the Golden Legend.

St. Cecilia was born of noble Roman lineage. Her parents were Christians and Cecilia was baptized as a baby. She “fostered and nourished the faith of Christ from the time she lay in her cradle,” she kept the gospel in her heart and said prayers day and night. At an early age she dedicated herself to remain a virgin. Her parents arranged a marriage with a young man named Valerian even though he was not a Christian. When the day of her wedding came, she heard heavenly music and sang in her soul, “O Lord, I pray that my heart and body may remain pure so that I may not be confused or perplexed.” That night, when she and Valerian retired to the Wedding Chamber, she said, “My sweet, beloved husband. I have a secret to tell you. Promise that you will tell no one what I am about to share with you.” Valerian was curious and promised to tell no one. Cecilia said, “I have an angel that loves me and protects my body whether I am asleep or awake. I have dedicated myself to be a virgin for the glory of God, and I am afraid that if you try to take my virginity the angel will kill you. But if you promise to love me only in a holy and pure manner, he will love you as I love you and will protect you, too.” Well, as one might expect, this wasn’t exactly what Valerian wanted to hear on his wedding night, and he said, “If you want me to believe this, I will have to see this angel. And if it turns out that there is no angel and that you love someone else, I swear that I will kill both you and your lover with my own sword!” Cecilia said, “If you believe and are baptized, you will see the angel.” She then told Valerian to to the Via Appia, three miles outside of Rome. There he would see the Bishop of Rome, Pope Urban, working with the poor and the sick. Valerian was to tell the pope what Cecilia said and listen to the pope, and if he believed what Pope Urban said, be baptized. Valerian followed instructions, and Pope Urban was happy to talk with him and baptize him. Pope Urban said, "One God, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all, above all, and in us all, everywhere. Do you believe this?” Valerian responded, “There is nothing truer under heaven!” and was baptized. Then he returned to Cecilia and the Wedding Chamber. When he entered the Wedding Chamber he saw Cecilia talking with an angel. The angel had two crowns of roses and lilies. He gave one to Cecilia and one to Valerian and said, “Keep these crowns with a pure and undefiled body for I have brought them from Paradise and they will never fade or lose their scent or wither. They can only be seen by those who live chaste and pure lives. And because you listened and followed Cecilia’s wise counsel, what ever you wish shall be granted to you, Valerian.” Valerian told the angel, “There is no one in this world more dear to me than my brother, and I want him to know the truth of the gospel, too.” The angel replied, “Your petition pleases our Lord, and you both will come to him by the palm of martyrdom.” A few days later, Tyburtius, Valerian’s brother, came to visit the newlyweds. He was amazed because he smelled roses and lilies but didn’t see any in the room. Valerian told him that he and Cecilia had crowns of flowers which he couldn’t see, but if he believed he would see them, and he then preached the gospel to his brother. Tyburtius was converted that day and baptized by Pope Urban. After that he saw angels everyday and was constantly blessed by God.PLANNING TRAVEL TO GUATEMALA? 


Saint Alban Episcopal Mission, Antigua, Guatemala


You are invited to join us for English services every Sunday at Noon.

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.


St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is an outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA


The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of Central America

The Reverend Ricardo Frohmader 
Associate Minister of St. Alban Mission
Antigua, Guatemala