Joseph S. Pagano

The Rev. Joseph S. Pagano is an Episcopal priest who serves in the Anglican Parish of Pasadena and Cormack in Newfoundland, Canada. He is a faculty member in theology at Queen’s College in St. John’s, Newfoundland. His most recent book is Common Prayer: Reflections on Episcopal Worship.

Sermons and Bible Studies

Upside Down, Tuesday in Holy Week – March 30, 2021

March 30, 2021

RCL: Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 71:1-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; John 12:20-36 In our epistle lesson, Paul deflates claims of believers who puff themselves up. The First Letter to the Corinthians is addressed to a church experiencing divisions and scandals. A lot of them. Part of the problem seems to be a group of self-styled, super-spiritual people. […]

Forgiveness, Pentecost 15 (A) – September 13, 2020

September 13, 2020

[RCL]: Exodus 14:19-31; Psalm 114 or Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35 Have you ever heard this warning: Be careful what you pray for – you might get it. Watch out – you just might get what you are after. Here’s a prayer many of us pray at least once a week – forgive […]

Come to Me, Pentecost 5 (A) – July 5, 2020

July 05, 2020

[RCL]: Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67; Psalm 45: 11-18 or Song of Solomon 2:8-13; Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 In our Gospel lesson, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am […]

Modern-Day Donatism and the Gospel, Proper 25 (C) – 2019

October 27, 2019

[RCL]: Joel 2:23-32; Psalm 65; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; Luke 18:9-14 At a recent church gathering, participants were told to come ready to answer the following question: Which ancient heresy do you think is most prevalent in the church today and why? These questions can be awful, maybe reminding us of those party games where […]

Astounding, Day of Pentecost (C) – 2019

June 09, 2019

[RCL]: Acts 2:1-21 or Genesis 11:1-9; Psalm 104:25-35, 37; Romans 8:14-17 or Acts 2:1-21; John 14:8-17, (25-27) In our lesson about Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the first disciples and they started to speak in different languages, the crowd, we are told, responds in interesting ways: they were confused, they were […]

The Angels’ Question, The Great Vigil of Easter – 2019

April 21, 2019

On the first Easter, very early in the morning, the women come to the tomb with spices to anoint Jesus’ body. They find the stone rolled away so they enter the tomb, but they do not find Jesus’ body. Two angels in clothes that gleamed like lightning appear and the women bow down in fear, […]

Let Me See, Proper 25 (B) – 2018

October 28, 2018

The ancients used to call sight, “The Queen of the Senses.” I suspect this enthronement of the sense of sight is still understandable to us. After all, what is lovelier than seeing the orange fire of the sky at sunrise? What is more beautiful than the burning leaves of autumn? What touches our hearts more […]

Names, Holy Name Day – 2018

January 02, 2018

Names can tell us a lot about people’s characters and the roles they play in a story. One of the pleasures of reading literature is discovering the meaning of characters’ names. Authors will often give their characters names that tell us something important about who they are and about what they will do in the […]

The Beatitudes and Barriers, All Saints’ Day (A) – 2017

November 01, 2017

When we hear Jesus’ beatitudes, what do we think? Maybe, we think, “Wow, these are the most beautiful words I have ever heard.” We may think, “Wow, these are beautiful words, but like so many beautiful words, they’re fanciful, and they can’t really be followed in the real world.” We may think, “Wow, these are […]

The Ultimate Act of a Merciful God, Monday in Holy Week – 2017

April 10, 2017

At the regular celebration of the Holy Eucharist, we hear these familiar words: “After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, ‘Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many […]

Here’s How Much I Love You, Christmas Day (III) – 2016

December 26, 2016

In the movie “Cool Hand Luke,” Paul Newman plays Luke, a prisoner in a Florida prison camp, who refuses to conform to prison life. In a famous scene, Luke tries to escape, but he is caught and dragged back in shackles and brought to the captain of the prison. In order to make a lesson […]

The Test of all Happiness Is Gratitude, Proper 23 (C) – 2016

October 09, 2016

Gratitude has become something of a hot topic among psychologists recently. And what is really interesting is that the research is showing is that gratitude is good for you. It seems as though gratitude has a number of positive benefits and it correlates with higher levels of well-being and health. Grateful people report higher levels […]

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Christopher Sikkema