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
[RCL] Job 38:1-7, (34-41); Psalm 104:1-9, 25, 37b; Hebrews 5:1-10; Mark 10:35-45 In the rough and tumble world of the schoolyard, one of the most frequent insults kids hurl at each other is “loser.” As in, Joey so-and-so is a loser, or your big brother is a loser. And, as we all know, these insults […]
[RCL] Job 1:1; 2:1-10; Psalm 26; Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12; Mark 10:2-16 Today may be a Sunday when the preacher and the congregation are of one heart and one mind: the preacher doesn’t want to deliver a sermon on divorce and the congregation doesn’t want to hear a sermon on divorce. Likely many preachers have looked […]
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. […]
[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 […]
[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 […]
[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 […]
[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 […]
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, […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Sermons That Work podcast to hear this sermon and more on your favorite podcasting app! Recordings are released the Thursday before each liturgical date.