As Christians we are to have faith, faith that can up root a tree

On the Gospel of Luke (17:5-19)

Without a doubt this gospel passage does appear to be quite cryptic and confusing. We are told by Jesus ‘were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea”, and it would obey you”. Then we are given an example of a slave being ordered by his master to do something, and not receiving any praise for carrying out the orders given to him. What on earth has the gift of faith to do with the expectation of a master from his slave? What on earth is Jesus trying to say to us today?

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Pope Benedict: the ‘Yes’ of the other enabling the begging man to ‘live’

On the Gospel of Luke (16:19-31)

Lazarus wasn’t loved, in fact it was even worse he was ignored. As far as the rich man was concerned Lazarus didn’t exist. Thus it appears that God’s anger was provoked not because the man had money and ‘feasted sumptuously every day’, but because he missed the frequent opportunities to turn and let Lazarus know that he was good; that he existed.

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The dishonest and wasteful steward

On the Gospel of Luke (16:1-13)

In this week’s gospel, Jesus tells his disciples about a dishonest and wasteful steward who in the end wins the approval of the rich man whose property he looked after. In reflecting on society in general, we see that there is a constant push to achieve success at all costs. For many today, salvation comes with being successful in this life and not though striving for the eternal salvation we hope for as Christians. For Christians, though we know that success in this world can be good, we really aim for true happiness in the beatific vision when our journey on earth comes to an end. It is this hope that sustains us so that even when trials come our way in life, our faith shows us that there is a much bigger picture where our lives are in the hands of God whose love for us has no end. Success in this world is not the ultimate goal for us as Christians and we can therefore better cope with the difficulties that come our way by looking at the goal that we strive for of unity with God in paradise.

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The Prodigal Son

On the Gospel of Luke (15:1-32)

The parable of the prodigal son is one of the most famous and discussed stories of Jesus. The father welcoming his wayward son back with a warm embrace has become an ionic image of forgiveness and God’s love for each one of us. In response to the narrow minded grumbling of the scribes and Pharisees who complain “This fellow welcomes sinner and eats with them”, Jesus shows us how the mercy of God smashes apart such hardhearted and narrow ideas, drawing all of us, despite our faults and failing to his embrace, calling us to true conversion of life.

 

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Whoever does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple

On the Gospel of Luke (14:25-33)

On a first reading this Sunday’s  Gospel  seems quite hard. Having to “hate his own father and mother and wife […] and even [ones] own life” (Luk 14:26 RSV) in order to be a disciple of Jesus seems almost outrageous.

The obvious option would seem not to take this saying of Jesus literally. The family was a very important aspect in Jewish society: Moses commanded to “Honour your father and your mother” (Mar 7:10 RSV).  Even Jesus himself rebukes the scribes and Pharisees for neglecting this command as “[they] no longer permit [a man] to do anything for his father or mother” (Mar 7:11-13 RSV) if they give everything to God (Corban).

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Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus

On the gospel of Luke 14:1, 7-14.

The Pharisees were watching Jesus closely or even scrupulously (παρατηρεω). The people in power in Jesus’ time were eager to catch Jesus doing something that was unlawful, and subsequently to condemn Him. This was despite the many miracles he worked and the power of his teaching. Indeed because of these they saw Jesus as a threat to their power and influence over the people. His teaching was a challenge to their view of God and religion. They watch Jesus captiously, not wanting to learn from him, but to find something to condemn. Each time His opponents try to catch Jesus out they end up silenced by the way Jesus responds to them, they cannot refute divine wisdom with earthly wisdom, no matter how hard they try.

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The narrow door

On the Gospel of Luke (13:22-30)

In today’s gospel Jesus gives his hearers a stark warning, concerning their place in his kingdom. Those who heard Jesus were mainly Jews, who presumed that their place in Gods kingdom was sure. After all they were children of Abraham. As such they followed the moral and liturgical laws handed on to them, which was the assurance of their place with God. They, unlike the gentiles, had the guarantee of being the chosen people of God and as such were to receive a place in Gods kingdom, entering through the narrow door, the Jewish law, which was open to them only.

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Semper paratus – always ready!

On the Gospel of Luke (12:32-48)

A friend of mine who was a seminarian in America woke up every morning to a neighbour’s call of ‘are you ready’! To which he replied ‘always ready’. The words of Christ in Sunday’s gospel are strong and forceful and call for a radical way of living; to always ‘stand ready’ in waiting for the Lord. But we, by nature, are impatient animals. Who likes to wait in a queue? Whether it be in the doctor’s clinic or near a toll bridge most of us want to get done with the doctor, or to the other side of the toll bridge, so we can get on with our day’s business.

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We must strive to put God first

On the Gospel of Luke 12:13-21

In this week’s gospel, Christ gives a parable which highlights an issue that seems to prevail in the society in which we live. The parable tells of a man who becomes wealthy on account of a good harvest. Because of his wealth, the man is able to live an easy life, not having to worry about his needs. In this light, the man falls into the trap of becoming unconcerned about his state of being and begins to take things easy and live as though he had “not a care in the world.” God, however rebukes the man for not worrying about the state of his soul and his relationship with God.
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Prayer is a gift of God

On the Gospel of Luke (11:1 -13)

The Gospel is taken from the Gospel of St. Luke chapter 11 (1-13). This passage begins with Jesus in prayer, and after He is finished, some of the disciples ask Him to teach them how to pray. Subsequently Jesus teaches them the “Our Father”, the same prayer that we still pray today.

In prayer we communicate with God. It is seeking to engage in a relationship with God. We can read, especially in the Gospel of Luke, that Jesus frequently went off alone to pray. In the midst of his busy ministry, of preaching and healing Jesus encountered His Father, He sought communion with the Father early in the morning or late in the evening, when all was quite. He “gave himself unto prayer” (Ps. 109:4) as the psalmist says.

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