The better part

On the Gospel of Luke (10:38-42)

The Gospel for this 16th Sunday of ordinary time presents us with the story of the visit of Jesus to the home of the sisters Martha and Mary. Martha is a kind and caring host who, we are told, welcomes Jesus into her home. She then gets herself into a frenzy of activity preparing everything for the Lord. By contrast, Martha’s sister Mary sits at the Lords feet, savouring his presence among them and listening attentively to what he has to say. Is it any wonder that Martha complains bitterly to the Lord about the apparent inactivity of her sister? “Please tell her to help me”, Martha demand of Jesus. In response Jesus gently tells Martha not to fret over so many things. Instead be like Mary who has chosen the better part. That’s all very well we might ask. But such an attitude will not prepare the food or get the house clean and indeed there is truth in this. But perhaps it would be better to say that if we did this all the time then nothing would get done. But that is not what Jesus is saying to Martha and to us.

Read more

Go, and do the same yourself

On the Gospel of Luke (10:25-37)

At the beginning of this week’s gospel passage, we see a lawyer, someone who is well versed in the art of arguing, confronting Jesus with a question. It is written in the passage that the lawyer was trying to “disconcert” Jesus, or, in other words, embarrass or upset Jesus. So many times, we ourselves ask God questions while thinking that we know the answer ourselves and simply want God to conform to what we feel is the best response to a given situation.

Read more

Preach the gospel to all nations

On the Gospel of Luke (10:1-9)

In today’ gospel  (Luke 10:1-9) we see the Lord appointing his disciples to go ahead of him to preach the gospel to all peoples and thus pass on the gift of faith which they had already received from Him.

The desire to pass on our faith is one of the essential aspects of being a Christian and one which motivated St. Dominic to found the Order of Preachers. Now, as in St. Dominic’s time, there is great need to preach Christian values to a culture which has largely forgotten the gospel and is increasingly influenced by forms of Gnosticism and of New Age Spirituality which are incompatible with Christ’s teaching and implicitly deny that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world.

Read more

The Presence of Jesus

On the Gospel of Luke 9:51-62

This week’s Gospel is again taken from the Gospel of Luke chapter nine (Lk 9:51-62). The time is drawing near that Jesus will be taken up to Heaven and He sets His eyes on Jerusalem. At the end of the opening paragraph we read that “he set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luk 9:51 RSV). The use of the word ‘ face’ or ‘presence’ (προσωπον) seems interesting here. ‘ Face’ here can be denoting the physical face of a body, but also a presence. In the Gospels of Luke, where the word is used as face, it always has to do with the presence of the person.

Read more

Feast of Corpus Christi

In countries where the great feast of Corpus Christi is moved to the Sunday, as in Ireland, the Gospel is taken from Luke 9:11-17.

The first line that struck me is “Send the crowd away […] for we are here in a lonely place” (Luk 9:12 RSV). It is not because it is specifically striking on itself, but because it is often used in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke when Jesus is going to a place to be alone with God. Strictly speaking the word (ἔρημος) means ‘dessert place’ or ‘uninhabited place’, and it is clear that it is not a ‘lonely place’ in the strict sense as “there were about five thousand men”  (Luk 9:14 RSV).

But as it unfolds it might maybe not be a silent place Jesus often went to in order to pray to the Father, it became defiantly a place of an intimate encounter with God. It is an ‘ordinary’ encounter, as it is an ordinary setting and it involves basic human needs as bread and fish. But it it is also an extraordinary encounter, both because Jesus miraculously multiplies the five loaves and two fish, apparently without anybody being initially consciously aware of it, but also because it foreshadows the extraordinary encounter being made available to us by the Holy Eucharist.

Read more

Jesus taking a firm stand

This weeks Gospel is from Mark 10:2-16. On reading it, it seems a difficult gospel to comment on, and as I don’t have time to write a reflection tomorrow I will leave it short.


As so often, the “Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” (Mar 10:2 RSV). Divorce is, or at least can be off-course, a very sensitive issue. It is very easy to take a hard-line on the matter but because marriage is something that is so the core of somebodies live, it can turn somebodies life completely upside down when difficulties arise. So I will continue with caution, I guess writing to the multitude and not at specific individual cases, as I do belief it is very important that the multitude understands the sacredness of marriage, and through deeper reflection might come to a deeper experience and depth of its truth.

Read more

The life of virtue

This Sundays Gospel reading is from Mark 9:38-43,45,47-48.

What jumped out at me straight away when reading this Gospel this morning was the the beginning of the passage:

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.” (Mar 9:38 RSV)

It was not necessary a pleasant experience… it was not because I thought John did it because he thought the man did something evil, something wrong and wanted to stop him for that reason. No, it was because I felt that it might be a challenge to me on the address of jealousy. Not in John’s reaction, as we don’t know why he tried to stop the man, but in my own encounter with the Word of God. 

For he was teaching his disciples (Mar 9:31 RSV)

It seems that all is getting back to normal… the last two weeks have been a pleasant mix of reflection and proclamation, of quietness and busyness, but I am glad that next week we will resume into the “more normal” life with the start of college and more regular community life…


However it really was a week to remember and indeed not easy to forget. In the beginning of the week I posted the short video account of the two professions last Sunday, and I just finished the account of the reception of the habits


But as I said, I am trying to get back to normal, so a short reflection on the Gospel of this week, from the Gospel of Mark 9:30-37. Reading it this morning, two things struck me, one regarding the first part of the reading, the second regarding the second part.

Read more