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.


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 […]

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
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    Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – 14th September

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – 14th September

At Vespers this evening we will sing: “This is Love’s great deed that death should die, when life itself was slain up the tree.”  Here we are faced with a paradox – a paradox which human nature has always found difficult to grasp – and which is even more difficult nowadays.  At Lauds we sang: “The holy Cross shines in splendour”; “The holy Cross shines upon us, in the Cross is victory, in the Cross is power.  By the Cross every sin is overcome.”  We may ask ourselves if we experience some of this victory and power in our daily lives. And if not why not?The following passage from St Andrew of Cretewhich we read at Office of Readings is particularly beautiful: We are celebrating the feast of the Cross, whereby darkness was dispelled and the light restored. We are celebrating the feast of the Cross and with the Crucified One we are raised up, leaving behind us the earth and sin so that we may possess what is above. How great the Cross! What blessings it holds! He who possesses it possesses a treasure.  More noble, more precious than anything on earth, in fact and in name, it is indeed a treasure, for in it and through it and for it all the riches of our salvation were stored away and restored to us.The folly of the Cross is truly a great mystery!  At the very moment when Jesus is most helpless and vulnerable, nailed to the Cross immobile a great hollow space is dug out, as it were, in His heart for us; he reaches out to embrace sinful humanity, He speaks out both His and our ‘yes’ to the Fatheras He […]

By |September 15th, 2013|Liturgy|0 Comments

The Cross and Veritas

There is a very close link between the Cross and Veritas (Truth) – the motto of the Dominican Order. “The Cross verifies the truth about God and the truth about humankind”- (Pope Benedict)The truth about God: When we look at the Cross we are left in no doubt of God’s infinite love – the Cross is the epiphany of God’s infinite love for us sinful creatures – at the very moment when we are turned away from Him and lost in our own selfishness He turned as it were against himself in order to raise us up and save us. This is how God loves.The truth about humans: the Cross reveals the dignity of every person – how precious we are in God’s sight that He should die for us!But the Cross does not rob us of joy – the contrary is true as we sing in the liturgy: “through the Cross joy has come into the whole world” and with it freedom. Jesus has taken the burden of our sin on Himself and has already achieved our eternal salvation. Our task lies not in anxious striving to achieve our own perfection but in opening ourselves to receive the gift. “At the very moment when he identifies with our sin, ‘abandoned’ by the Father, Jesus ‘abandons’ himself into the hands of the Father”.(Pope John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte 26). We in our turn can abandon ourselves and those we carry in our hearts to the loving mercy of our God in the sure hope that “all will be well”.