Liturgy

Good Friday – Veneration of the Cross

A short video clip from our veneration of the Cross during the Commemoration of Our Lord’s Passion today.

Daffodils

As I wandered round our garden, a few days ago, looking sadly at our “hosts of golden daffodils” which had given us so much joy and delight in recent weeks, but now were withering and dying in the bitter April winds that were sweeping across the lawns, Isaiah chapter 53 came spontaneously to mind :
“See my Servant……

as the crowds were appalled on seeing him, so disfigured did he look that he seemed no longer human…

Like a sapling he grew up in front of us, like a root in arid ground.

No look to attract our eyes,

without beauty, without majesty we saw him….

a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering.”
There, in the dying daffodils, I could visualise Jesus writhing in pain, being bent to the ground, buffeted by the wind – his skin drying up…. many flowers had already fallen – rejected – no longer any use to decorate our altars or tables. Yes, there he was, crushed for our sins, symbolically portrayed by the dying flowers. And as I looked around and saw all the other rows of daffodils – another line of Scripture came to mind, this time from Matthew 9 :

“And when he saw the crowds, he felt sorry for them, because they were harassed and dejected like sheep without a shepherd.”

 
So many sad and broken people in our country, in our world – hungry – yes, for food, but deeper still a hunger and yearning for – they know not what.
They have never heard or, having heard, rejected him – the One who died for us all, only to rise again after three days in the tomb, in a glorious resurrection giving radiant life to his little children.
Yes, the daffodils too will […]

Reflection on the Readings for Palm Sunday

The First Reading for Palm Sunday is taken from Isaiah (50:4-9) – which seems a very good start to the week ahead. Worth thinking about and contemplating … ‘Each morning he wakes me to hear: to listen, like a disciple …’ St Dominic is said to have carried with him wherever he walked (and he certainly walked, … and walked … and walked ….) the Gospel according to St Matthew. He is a good model for us who profess to be Dominicans, and Isaiah too has very appropriate advice for us, I think. We cannot begin to understand what the Lord has done for us, unless we listen to what is happening and said in all the events of Holy Week; we need to be people whose ears are attuned to God, so that we may the more sincerely open ourselves to receive all He wants to give us … and to remember that He has died for this very reason. May the Blessed Mother of God and our St Dominic be with us to accompany us in our journey through the week; and intercede for us and for all those around the world who will not have the joy or the freedom to share in the Liturgy; for those who have not the faith to know how they are loved; for those who do not know the wonder of the gift of life.

Dare to Believe?

Inspiration …Next Sunday’s Gospel from Matthew speaks about ‘your virtue’ going ‘deeper than that of the Scribes and Pharisees.’  This is prompted a very interesting reflection just a while ago, as Sisters in our Community shared a little, the words of this Gospel with which they have been praying during this week.You will remember that in Luke’s Gospel, when the sisters Martha and Mary welcomed the Lord to their home, Mary sat at his feet and listened to Him (cf Lk 10:38-42).Well, the connection in my head and in my reflection was that Jesus is our virtue – God is our virtue.  We believe and we know that the source of all goodness is in God … in fact is God working in us, with our free desire to be and to do good.  We are not by any means puppets or marionettes!  But the thought that came to me was simply that Goodness, and consequently virtue and wisdom, along with all that we associate with God … is a Person: is personified in God Himself.How amazing!  Jesus, then, is telling us that He is our virtue and more .. He who is God wants us to possess this virtue – to possess Him.  Almost as though He would like to be a marionette for us, ‘our puppet.’  He wants to dwell very deeply within us, within YOU … you are as essential as that to Him.   Why?LOVE.  The love of the Lord is utterly mind-boggling, that He would make Himself small enough to fit inside us.  It is a very amazing gift to have been called like Mary, to sit at His feet and listen to Him.  And when we listen, sometimes what we hear […]

By |February 12th, 2014|Liturgy|0 Comments

5th Sunday of the Year

 LIGHT for the World… YOU! This morning in all the readings at Holy Mass, we heard that the effect and the fruit of all our acts of charity is light.And throughout the books of the Bible, we come across this idea or image of light as being always something by which we can see the truth, see in truth.  Light and truth, then, go together … and when we meet Jesus, at last, in the Gospels … and when we are aware of His nearness to us in our own lives – we know that Light and Truth are a Person:the One who is our God. So, God who is Light, is also the Creator of all light, and in this morning’s Gospel, Jesus said to His disciples: “You are the light of the world …No one lights a lampto put it under a tub …” These words are very striking and powerful if we put God in the place of the “one” who “lights a lamp,” because in doing so, you see … YOU are the lamp He has lit – YOU are the light of the world …  God did not ‘light’ you up so as to hide you under a tub!  God created you to shine, and to shine for everyone. So, it seems that in a world where belief in God is not often highly regarded and is at times even scorned – for us who believe, Jesus is setting before us an invitation and a challenge.    We are to believe fearlessly and unashamedly in the Light – Light that is Him, and also Him in us.  We have been so filled with Him that He cannot be contained in us.  He dares us to know, […]

By |February 9th, 2014|Liturgy|0 Comments

3rd Sunday –Cycle A – 26th January 2014

   We read about darkness, deep shadow and oppression in Isaiah; factions, jealousies and rivalries tearing the Corinthian Christians apart; and in the Gospel her hear about the arrest of John the Baptist, Jesus’ need to withdraw from danger and people suffering from all kinds of disease and sickness. Reflecting on this morning’s Mass Readings one can surmise that the world of Isaiah, Paul and Matthew was not too different from the world in which we live.Yet in the midst of all this darkness, oppression, uncertainty and sin Jesus proclaims the Good News to us as much as to the people of Galilee– inviting us to repent, to have a change of heart!Peter, Andrew, James and John must have experienced the transforming power of Jesus’ love and responded to his invitation to repent and have a change of heart in order to be ready to respond so spontaneously and radically to His invitation to follow him and participate in His mission to be fishers of people.Jesus calls us to repentance because the kingdom is close.  The essence of the kingdom is that a new relationship with God is on offer.  Repentance is the human disposition through which God freely draws us into this relationship with Himself.  Transformation of life follows from repentance – which is our new relationship with our God.Our faith assures us that the darkness will never entirely overpower the light of the Gospel – the light which has shone in our world of darkness when the Son of God, the true Light, pitched his tent among us.  However we may rightly ask the question why has not this Light conquered the darkness? Why are so many people continuing to be blind […]

By |January 26th, 2014|Liturgy|0 Comments

Second Sunday of Year – Cycle A

 As we read in this morning’s Gospel, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming towards him and said – ‘Look, there is the Lamb of God’.  Indeed it is good that John invites us to look at Jesus.  But what is Jesus’ immediate re-action when he perceives our gaze?  Is our ability to look at Jesus, an answering gaze because He has first looked deeply into our hearts?What do we see in this look of Jesus?  Perhaps it is Julian of Norwich who gives us the most beautiful answer to these questions cf. Revelations of Julian of NorwichChapter 71.‘Glad and merry and sweet is the wistful and lovely looking of our Lord into our souls.  For  he is ever turned towards us in longing love and it is his will that our souls look gladly to him which is no less than he deserves.’‘And his dream is that he will lift us up by his grace and draw our outward regard into the inward, and make us all at one with him and with one another’ Julian then goes on to  remind us that there are three ‘lookings’ of our Lord.The first is the look on his face at his Passion, which was seen while he was still alive, though dying.  His looks then were mournful and sorrowful, yet at the same time they were glad and cheerful for he is God.The second look is one of tender pity and compassion which he shows to all who love him and who hold on to his mercy.  Here he ceaselessly regards us especially when we fall – a look that would melt our hearts with love and break them with sorrow for having hurt him.The […]

By |January 20th, 2014|Liturgy|0 Comments

The Baptism of the LORD

This is better late than never – a reflection on last Sunday’s Gospel, on the feast of the Baptism of the LORD.“And yet you come to me.” The wonder of God.  When JESUS came to John the Baptist at the Jordan, John said to Him, “I need to be baptised by you, and yet you come to me!”  And yet you come to me! At the end of the season of Christmas, what after all could be a more perfect transition to the Ordinary Time of the Church’s year, than to wonder at the feast of the Baptism of the LORD?  It seems to sum up all that we had been longing for throughout all of Advent, and in each encounter with the LORD in the feast days of Christmas; and this day seems also to equip us for the journey ahead – how we must live and how we are to imitate Christ. And yet you come to me! Even the greatest man to have been born of a woman, did not understand the God whose coming he had to proclaim.  It is encouraging, in a way, to realise that God confused and perplexed even the greatest saints.  And yet you come to me! Still, these words of St John encapsulate the whole mission of Christ: even before His birth, while still in the womb of His mother, He would come to Elizabeth and her unborn baby; He would come to be born and laid in a manger far from the busy-ness and distractions of a restless town, so that at His coming He might be found – and in being recognised – He might be wondered at.  He chose obscurity and littleness, not by accident but by […]

By |January 19th, 2014|Liturgy|0 Comments

Happy Christmas to all our readers

We wish all our readers of this blog the peace and joy of Christmas Christmas reflection “God sent His Son born of a woman to enable us to be adopted as sons” – can we ever grasp the depth of this mystery which we celebrate tonight? Eternity will not be long enough to plumb its depths.I would like to reflect a little on Mary’s role in this mystery of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word of God.  “She is the one who opened her heart to faith and her bosom to her Maker” as we read in St Bernard during the week.  She put her young life at the disposal of her Creator – and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.  But Mary’s role did not end there – she continued to ponder the Word in her heart and accompanied her Son to the foot of the Cross where she received another mission from His dying lips: “Mother, behold your son!” Yes Mary is to continue to bring forth Christ in all those entrusted to her until the end of time.St Paul wrote to the Galatians: “My children, I am going through the pain of giving birth to you all over again, until Christ is formed in you – how I wish I could be there with you at this moment and find the right way of talking to you.” (Gal 4:19).  How these words can be applied to Mary – our gentle mother who longs to see Christ coming to birth in each of her children.  But like her Son she will not force herself on us – she waits patiently for our free response.  She knows from her own […]

By |December 24th, 2013|Liturgy|0 Comments

O Emmanuel – God is with us – 23rd December 2013

  An extract from the writings of Benedict XVI.‘At the heart of this mystery is the paradox that the glorious God decided to manifest Himself in the helplessness of a child who is overlooked by adult society and comes to the world in a stable.The powerlessness of a child has become the proper expression of God’s all subduing power, for the only force He employs is the silent force of truth and love.  It was in the defenceless weakness of a child that God wanted us to have our first encounter with saving mercy.  How comforting it is to see the peaceful tranquillity of God and thus to experience the security emanating from a power that in the end will be stronger than any other force and will outlast the loud triumphal cries of the world’.Our mother, Mary, in her generous and humble response to God’s invitation to participate in this  mystery of the Incarnation teaches us ‘that only with Christ has authentic joy made its appearance and the only thing of ultimate importance in our lives is to learn to see and know Christ, the God of grace, the light and joy of the world’.In Him do our hearts find joyWe trust in His Holy Name – God is with us.

By |December 24th, 2013|Liturgy|0 Comments