Gospel

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

Third Sunday of Advent – Gaudate Sunday – 2013

 The day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus over two thousand years ago, is drawing very close. The Church’s Advent Liturgy is unbelievably rich in helping us to reflect and pray on this unfathomable mystery of God’s stupendous gift to us of His only begotten Son.In today’s Gospel from St. Matthew, we read: ‘John the Baptist in his prison heard what Jesus was doing’. St. Matthew says ‘his prison’ not just ‘prison’.  This leads us to reflect on how all of us can be in some kind of prison at one time or another in our lives – the prison of fear, of insecurity, selfishness, depression, pride, prejudice, illness, unbelief, poor self image – the list is endless.  Whatever it may be, we too, like John the Baptist, can hear in the Gospels, what Jesus said and did, and of course, we hear him in the teaching of the Church.A few weeks ago Pope Francis in his Angelus message to thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square said: ‘I would like all of you to consider a medicine,” at this point he raised a little box for the crowds to see.  The Pope continued: ‘It is a special medicine to make the fruit of the Year of Faith more concrete’-  and I’m sure we could add to the Pope’s words of encouragement -, to make our whole life more fruitful  when we are healed of what it is that imprisons us – ‘Take it!’ said the Pope,  It’s a Rosary which one can pray also the chaplet of Divine Mercy, spiritual help for our souls and for spreading love, forgiveness and brotherhood everywhere’.  ‘Don’t forget to take it,’ he repeated, ‘because it does good.  […]

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

Second Sunday of Advent Year A

  While reflecting on this Sunday’s Readings I was attracted towards the First Reading from Isaiah- towards the peace and harmony portrayed and established between animals, nature and in this instance little children –to quote some lines;The wolf lives with the lamb…with a little boy to lead them.The cow and the bear make friends.The infant plays over the cobra’s hole;into the viper’s lairthe young child puts his hand.And then the following beautiful words bring us consolation and hope in the midst of our war torn, violent and suffering world:They do no hurt, no harm,on all my holy mountain,for the country is filled with the knowledge of the Lordas the waters swell the sea. If only this were the present reality! Yet, Advent is the season of hope and we are called to keep this hope alive. These beautiful words of Isaiah paint a panorama of the harmony that reigned at the dawn of creation, only to be broken by sin and  they also describe the messianic peace that will come about with the coming of the Messiah- of Jesus, our Saviour. John the Baptist asks us to prepare his way by seeking a change of heart – by repentance.What struck me especially in this passage from the Old Testament were the three references to children – the little boy, the infant and the young child- children not adults were part of these scenes of peace and harmony. In connecting this  to the repentance and  change of heart recommended in the Gospel I was reminded of Jesus’ saying in Matthew 18:3 “ Unless you turn ( or have a change of heart) and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom […]

By |December 8th, 2013|Liturgy|0 Comments

First Sunday of Advent – 2013

 Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5                 Romans: 13:11-14                 Mt24:37-44 The Mass readings for this first Sunday of Advent provide us with a wake-up call: St Paul tells us “you must wake up now” and in the Gospel Jesus tells us to “stay awake!” while the Prophet Isaias invites us to “walk in the light of the Lord.”  So as we begin a new Church year we are invited to come into the light – to remove the blinds from the windows of our hearts and to let the light shine in – remembering that the true Light is Jesus Himself.  He is the True Light shining on us and who desires to penetrate and posses our inmost being.  The struggle between light and darkness is a perennial one – it is the struggle in which we are all engaged – the struggle to keep our hearts free and not to allow ourselves to be enslaved by false attractions – the struggle to keep our hearts free for God alone.  It is the struggle about which Paul speaks in the letter to the Romans: “no drunken orgies, no promiscuity or licentiousness and no wrangling or jealousy.” And he advises us: “Let your armour be the Lord Jesus Christ; forget about satisfying your bodies with all their cravings.”   Today there is a lot of darkness in the world around us – at times it would seem that the powers of darkness are let loose but we know that the light will eventually triumph.   More than ever before it is necessary for us to “give up all the things we prefer to do under cover of the dark and arm ourselves and appear in the light.” We must let nothing enslave […]

By |December 1st, 2013|Liturgy|0 Comments

33rd Sunday – Year C

The beauty of nature – especially the trees – has been quite stunning this autumn – perhaps it is the result of the beautiful summer and autumn weather we have had.  Walking around the garden these past weeks I have watched the leaves change to various hues of green, gold, brown, yellow and red.  As I watched their beauty increase day by day I was drawn to reflect on the example of the tree.  At the very moment when its beauty seemed to be at its zenith, and one would wish it to remain so for ever, I noticed that the leaves gradually began to fall to the ground. The trees did not resist but allowed their beautiful garments of leaves to fall one by one to the ground – to wither and die in the soil which in turn will nourish the new growth which will blossom in Spring.  If we look closer we will notice that this new life is already in a tiny bud – hidden and well wrapped which pushes the leaves off the branch.  The tree seems totally detached and is prepared to stand in its nakedness to face the cold frost and snow, the wind and rain of winter confident that this new life will spring forth in all its beauty with the warm rays of Spring sunshine.  And so the cycle repeats itself.Can I learn something from the example of the tree by being prepared to let go of all that I cherish and that I cling to whether it be real or illusory and be willing to expose my naked being to the “Sun of Righteousness” who shines lovingly on me with “healing in its rays?”  […]

By |November 17th, 2013|Liturgy|0 Comments

21st Sunday of Year C 2013

 “They will proclaim my glory to the nations” (Isaiah 66:20)There are several themes running through this Sunday’s liturgy and the one that spoke most to me was the call to “proclaim my glory to the nations” and the invitation to be a witness “to my glory”v.19.I found these words of life extraordinary – really like a rallying call to us, coming almost immediately after our Cardinal consecrated Irelandto the Immaculate Heart of Mary.Is the Lord calling us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus as the Gospel today tells us – “Through towns and villages Jesus went preaching…” Lk.13.22  proclaiming the glory of his Father to both Jews and Gentiles alike.Remember how after the miracle at the Wedding of Cana ‘He let his glory be seen and his disciples believed in him’ Jn.2.12  and later he prays ‘Father, I have given them the glory you gave to me that they may be one as we are one’ – thus he prepared and strengthened them for their future work of Evangelisation.How are we to be witnesses of this glory of Jesus today?  For some it will mean going ‘through our towns and villages, teaching and sharing the good news that we have a Father who loves us, who in fact is madly in love with us.  Just take the time to look into the face of a little flower – it ‘has neither spun or woven its own beauty, yet not even Solomon in all his glory is arrayed like it.’  Jesus himself tells us ‘there is no need to be afraid Lk.12.2  little flock, for it has pleased your father to give you the kingdom.’ The prophet Isaiah also tells us about this good […]