The ADVENTure of a Lifetime!

On the Gospel of Matthew 24:37-44

Second Sunday of Advent

As the cities glow with glistening lights and our streets and shops fill with images of festive feasts and feel-good gifts each offering their own brand of ‘holiday happiness,’ it’s all too easy to slip into an easy-going superficiality at this busy time of year. Strikingly, like some fabled Old Testament Prophet stepping out from the mists of time, St. John the Baptist strides across our path in this Sunday’s Gospel. His cry is a call to each of us; to confront ourselves and our salvation and the hope and joy that truly is the coming of our Saviour into the world.

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Stay Awake!

On the Gospel of Matthew 24:37-44

First Sunday of Advent

The decorations are up in the streets, the advertisements are on TV, we go to Mass expecting some Christmas spirit… and we get this?: ‘you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect…’ The idea of a dramatic second coming, the need for vigilance, are not thoughts we normally associate with Christmas. Has the Church made a mistake?

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The Court of the King

On the Gospel of Luke 23:35-43

Christ the King

‘Save yourself’. That is what all the people said to Christ in today’s Gospel. ‘Save yourself’ : that was the kind of Messiah they would worship – a Lord of might and majesty; a spectacular miracle-worker; someone who was into self-preservation and keeping the people on his side. Read more

Do We Trust Him?

On the Gospel of Luke 21:5-19

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

The dramatic language Jesus uses to describe the end times may seem more fitting to a Hollywood blockbuster than the tranquil confines of the local parish church on a Sunday morning, yet, it is confirmation that the relative tranquility we now enjoy will one day be mightily disrupted. The ‘signs’ he mentions are true of every age – wars, revolutions, famines, plagues and earthquakes are very often tragic realities in many parts of our world.

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They Had It Made…

On the Gospel of Luke 20:27-38

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. They were the political and religious elite of Palestine in Jesus’ day. When I was younger, I lived in Jerusalem for a time, and I remember one day standing in the ruins of the house of a famous Sadducee called Caiaphas. I learned something that day about the Sadducees that is relevant here; they thought they had it made! The house was huge, and theirs was a life of luxury, comfort, and ease.

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Happy are They…

On the Gospel of Matthew 5:1-12

All Saints’ Day

The Sermon on the Mount occupies three full chapters in Matthew’s Gospel, and gives the main body of Christ’s teaching about the moral life. Later in Matthew, Jesus gives a summing up of morality: ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets too’ (Mt 22:37-40). Nice and simple, right? But life isn’t simple, and the paths to holiness are not as stark and monolithic as this neat summary might imply.

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Hosting Jesus

Luke 19: 1-10

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Jesus was in Jericho and was passing through the town. Everybody wanted to see Him. One can imagine the crowds as they crammed every space. There was a little rich man, the chief tax collector whose name was Zacchaeus, who had the opportunity of personal gain through unjust means but he too wanted to see Jesus! Zacchaeus was short in stature and could not see over the crowds gathered around Jesus, so he perched atop a sycamore tree hoping to catch at least a small glimpse of Jesus as he passed through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. As he drew closer, Jesus looked up noticing the little rich man and said to him: “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today” (Lk 19:5). The rich man hurried down with joy to go ahead to prepare to host Jesus.

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Truth in Humility!

On the Gospel of Luke (18:9-14)

To enter into a relationship with God we need to know ourselves and recognise God simply for who he is. He knows we will have trouble understanding Him, so he makes use of parables, which work like vivid picture-books revealing a God we can know and love. Like children, however, we ourselves are often confused as to who we are. Today’s Gospel calls us to look upon ourselves and our fundamental attitude to God.

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If you will, you can become all flame

On the Gospel of Luke (18:1-8)

Before I took the Dominican habit, I was a religion teacher in a secondary school. Teaching is a wonderful job, challenging and never dull, and most of my students were a pleasure to teach: engaged, switched on, curious, questioning. Like any teenagers, they could be difficult at times, but I could deal with a bit of misbehaviour or chattiness. However, the one aspect of classroom behaviour that I found impossible to deal with was apathy. When I was introducing what seemed to me to be a particularly interesting point of theology, nothing was more unwelcome than rows of glazed-over eyes, lacking any curiosity. I relished moments when students agreed with me passionately, or disagreed with me intelligently, but when I met lukewarmness, which is neither hot nor cold… well, Revelation 3:16 often came to mind.

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Your faith has saved you

On the Gospel of Luke (17:11-19)

Jesus and his disciples are on the move. In today’s Gospel we find them traveling in the border area at the south extremity of the province of Galilee, and at the north end where the Samaritans lived. It is within this setting of a racially mixed area that Jesus encounters the lowest of the low in society. Leprosy in biblical times was a terrible thing. It was looked upon as something far more than just a physical illness. Once a person caught it, they were considered ‘unclean’ and social outcasts. Healing a leper had not been done in Israel for seven hundred years. The possibility of such a cure was thought to be an earmark of the Messianic Age (Luke 7:22) when leprosy would no longer afflict people.

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