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Sts. Caius and Soter

Cauis and Soter, Popes of the early Church, are both venerated in tradition as martyrs, though no reliable account of their martyrdom survives today.St. Soter was born in Fundi, in Italy. The date of his birth is unknown but we know that he was Pope for eight years from 166 until his death in 174.Soter´s papacy was an example of what seems to have been the remarkable tradition of generosity exercised by the bishop of Rome. This tradition and Soter´s personal charity and paternal love for his universal flock can be evidenced from a letter to Pope Soter by Bishop St. Dionysus of Corinth, quoted in the 4th century “Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius�: “This has been your custom from the beginning, to do good in manifold ways to all Christians, and to send contributions to the many churches in every city, in some places relieving the poverty of the needy and ministering to the Christians in the mines, by the contribution which you have sent from the beginning, preserving the ancestral custom of the Romans, true Romans as you are. Your blessed bishop Soter has not only carried on the habit but has even increased it, by administering the bounty distributed to the saints and by exhorting with his blessed words the brethren who come to Rome, as a loving father would his children." (IV, xxiii, 9- 15)In the same letter of Dionysus we learn that Pope Soter had written a letter to the Corinthians which was read in the Church alongside the epistle of St. Clement and was held in high esteem.Though his kindness extended to all persons, he was a fierce opponent of heresy, having been said to have written an encyclical against Montanism – the teachings of a heretical sect which believed that a Christian who had sinned gravely could never be redeemed.Pope St. Caius reigned for 13 years from 283 until his death in 296 just before the Diocletian persecution. He was a relative of the Emperor Diocletian – instigator of one of the last great persecution of Christians in the early years of the Church. Early in his papacy Caius decreed that a man must be a priest before he could be ordained a bishop.He is said to have been driven into hiding in the catacombs for eight years whence he died a confessor, however the source from which this information is gleaned is considered unreliable by most historians.Both St. Soter and St. Caius are buried in the cemetery of St. Calixtus and are venerated on the date of the death of Pope St. Caius.

Sitting In Opposition – A Sermon On Matthew 27:57-66 For Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday – Matthew 27:57-66 I am always struck by the contrast between this day, Holy Saturday, and the rest of Holy Week. The crowds, shouting, and turmoil of Good Friday have given way to silence and stillness. There is no meal or intimacy like on Maundy Thursday. The excitement and hope of Palm Sunday’s triumphal entry have ended with two women and a sealed …

Aligning Our Lives – A Sermon On John 18:1-19:42 For Good Friday

We tend to let the cross and Jesus’ death overshadow not only this day, but the entirety of our faith, as if it is the thing and the only thing. But what if it’s just one more thing, one among many? I do not mean to diminish or negate the cross on this day. But there is more to Jesus, his life, and this day than just his cross and death. It’s a part of the story but it’s not the whole story. So I want to try and enlarge the meaning of the cross and this day.

This Is Our Night – A Sermon On John 13:1-17, 31-35 For Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday – John 13:1-17, 31-35 “You will never wash my feet,” Peter says to Jesus. What’s that about? What’s going on with Peter?  I don’t know but I have a guess. I think it’s about more than having his feet washed. In fact, I don’t think it’s even about his feet. I think it’s about feeling vulnerable, exposed, and uncertain about taking his share …

Judas, More Than A Betrayer? – A Sermon On John 13:21-32 For Wednesday In Holy Week

Wednesday in Holy Week – John 13:21-32 What comes to mind when you hear the name Judas?  For most of us, I suspect, the first thing we think of is betrayal. Judas is the one who betrayed Jesus. Judas is the one who made a deal with the authorities. Judas is the one who sold out. Judas is the one who “went out” into the …

A Weak and Troubled Soul – A Sermon On John 12:20-36 For Tuesday In Holy Week

When has your soul has been troubled? What troubles your soul today? What’s it like for you to recognize and feel your own weakness? Are you scared, embarrassed, ashamed? Do you feel inadequate, defective, vulnerable? What’s your prayer in those times, “Father save me from this hour?” 

What Really Matters? – A Sermon On John 12:1-11 For Monday In Holy Week

Monday in Holy Week – John 12:1-11 Adaptation of original photograph by José Carlos Casimiro from Maia, Portugal – Contemplando o Douro | Contemplating the Douro river, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons  This morning as I was gathering my things to come to church I was thinking about everything that needs to get done this week: all the Holy Week liturgies and sermons, the regular …

Without A Why – A Sermon On John 12:1-8

"The rose has no why; it blossoms because it blossoms. It pays no attention to itself, nor does it ask whether anyone sees it." What if we were to live like the rose, without a why? What if we blossomed simply because we blossomed. What if there was no motive or seeking to our blossoming; to be noticed, to be praised, to accomplish? What if we fragranced the world because we couldn’t do anything but fragrance the world? The rose is going to do what it’s going to do regardless of whether anyone sees or smells it. It’s beauty and fragrance are not means to an end. It has no why. 

The Burning Bush: What If? – A Sermon On Exodus 3:1-15

The burning bush story is one of call and response. Something is being called for in the name of God. And I can’t help but believe that call and response is also the story of our lives. Something is being asked of us in the name of God.  The burning bush experience does not happen apart from or in spite of every day life but in the midst of life, in the keeping of our flocks. That’s what Moses was doing when this happened. He was keeping the flock of his father in law. He was doing the ordinary routine things of his life, the same things he did the day before, the week before, and the month before. Burning bushes show up as we keep our flocks of routine and every day life; marriage, parenting, work, friendships, errands, church, reading the news, household tasks. 

Opening To Life – A Sermon On Luke 13:31-35

The Second Sunday in Lent – Luke 13:31-35 When was the last time you went to bed thankful and amazed by what the day had given you, something you had not planned or foreseen? Maybe it was a conversation, a chance meeting with someone else, a moment of hope or beauty, a truth or insight that changed you, an experience when you felt really alive. …