Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Peace is Ours to Do ~ A homily with City Road Methodist Church by Rev Elaine Pfaff ARCWP; March 17, 2024

 Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15; Hebrews 5:5-10 John 12:20-33 ~ Fifth Sunday of Lent,  

Here we are, together again in prayer on the Fifth Sunday of Lent in 2024.  Let us continue to pray that the words spoken and the words heard give glory to God and benefit the Body of Christ  ~ whom we are.

Next Sunday is Palm Sunday, the day on which we witness Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem on a donkey or a colt, depending on which Gospel we’re reading.  The essential point being that Jesus entered Jerusalem in peace while dominating powers of authoritarianism entered the city from another direction, ready and willing to exert violence.  And so this Lent I’ve been praying to answer the invitation of Lent in 2024 to be a time of peace making.  And I’ve been praying for the national and global refusal of violence, the refreshment of peace for all of us on the Planet.  Peace is ours to do.

It's a costly doing, isn’t it, Sisters and Brothers?  The readings today are piercing.  Among the prophets, there’s no-one like the prophet Jeremiah to alert us to the price of peace.  Jeremiah, called the weeping prophet, the one who openly complains to the Mystery we call God “You duped me!” in chapter 20 v7.  Some translations say “You seduced me!”  But … all of them say, “And I let myself be duped; I let myself be seduced.”  Eventually we say yes - yes to uncovering the image of God written “on our hearts” at the very core of us. Because life here on Planet Earth simply doesn’t work until we recognize who and Whose we are as bearers of God’s image.   Then we think and move from an authentic core within ourselves.  It is ours to do.  

As Jesus did when he moves from his real self in Hebrews today.  We see Jesus embracing his place among the people, even as he’s understood by some to be priest above the matters of God.  Jesus knew that being above the matters of God was not his to do.  Nor is it ours to do, we would all agree.  We want to do what matters to God.  And for that, we can look to the Gospel today for a measure of authentic living that matters to God.              

We know that the Gospel comes to us after an oral tradition in which a version of the story was told to a particular local community. The New Testament, better called the Christian Testament took form in writing 49 years after Jesus’ earthly life, and the writing continued afterwards as late as the mid-2nd century.   It was translated from Greek and ancient Hebrew to Latin, several forms of the English language throughout the centuries, to German in 1534, and now of course we have more than 250 translations in modern languages.  The earliest writings in the Christian Testament were copied by scribes who went beyond interpretation of Scripture, which Jesus confronted.

When Jesus is said to have predicted his own death in John 12 today, we’re guided well to a vision of our own humanity endowed with innate goodness.  The kind of goodness that would not execute Jesus or anyone else.  Which brings me and many others to confront the use of the death penalty in North Carolina.  How can we sentence someone to die, whether they are guilty or innocent?    

A landmark case came to a close in Smithfield NC last week on March 8th.  The Johnston County Courthouse was filled for a hearing of expert witnesses and attorneys arguing that racial discrimination played an impermissible factor in sending Hasson Bacote to death row in 2009. This case is not about the innocence or guilt of Hasson.   The hearing, based on the Racial Justice Act of 2010, is historic.  We’re awaiting the judge’s decision as we speak.  All eyes are on Hasson Bacote’s appeal, which is the first of many.

There are one hundred thirty-six inmates live on death row in North Carolina.  One. Hundred. Thirty – Six. 

I and various other church and civic groups urge the State to find alternatives to the death penalty for Hasson Bacote and the others on death row.  North Carolina must join the other 28 other states in the US that abolished the death penalty.  Globally, we are part of the 14% who execute prisoners.  The short list is comprised of the most authoritarian regimes on earth.  Let’s remember how Jesus entered Jerusalem  in direct opposition to such authoritarianism.  The death penalty is wrong. 

We’re about to enter Holy Week.  What’s really ours to do? 





Sunday, March 17, 2024

Prayer Attributed to St. Patrick

Roman CatholicWomen Priests Canada's online magazine, The Review, at

 rcwpcanada.altervista.orgfeatures the following original and linked articles:

  • Meet the female Anglican bishop who spoke to Pope Francis about women’s ordination
  • RCWP Canada Bishop's Message: Practicing Forgiveness

  • The Church
    • Eliminating differences with gender ideology is terrible danger, pope says
    • Church must revisit concept of complementarity, women say
    • The Catholic Church needs married priests now

  • The New Cosmology
    • The Unemployed Trinity and a Fragile Earth: Refocusing the Christian God

  • Message to the Editor
  • RCWP Canada Links

  • Indigenous Relations
    • It's time for the Catholic Church to return Indigenous land

  • Books
    • Women Called to CatholicPriesthood: From Ecclesial Challenge to Spiritual Renewal

  • L'autre Parole
    • Les Brèves

  • Synod  2021 - 2024
    • Synod Documents
    • Timeline for Synod Reports Towards October 2024
    • New Consultors for the General Secretariat of the Synod
    • Pope Francis indicates ten themes for Synod Study Groups
    • The dates for the Second Session have been set
    • Catholics not as polarized as often portrayed, new synod consultant says

  • Reflections and Homilies on the Sunday Readings of the Roman Missal and the Revised Common Lectionary
  • Francis comic
  • for the previous issue of The Review (March 1 - 14, 2024)

Felix Kryzanowski
Editor, RCWP Canada's The Review