Joy

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

2nd Sunday of Advent

 “The Lord has done great things for usWe are filled with joy” (Psalm 125)By directing our attention away from ourselves to focus instead on what God has done and is doing in the Church and in each of our lives, today’s Mass readings provide a wonderful message of hope: It is the Holy One who ‘remembers’ us and comes to us in the wilderness of our lives and  makes us ‘jubilant’ as He came of old to the Israelites in their exile and as he came to John in the wilderness.  So it is in the wilderness of our lives – with it pain and heart break, its anxieties and preoccupations – that we hear the Word of the Lord inviting us to repent of our sinful and all too human outlook and to prepare  a way for His coming.   In the first reading the prophet Baruch invites us to take off the “dress of sorrow and distress” – whatever enslaves us –  and “put on the beauty of the glory of God and to wrap the cloak of the integrity of God around us.”  For us Christians we know that the ‘cloak of integrity’ is nothing other than our being “in Christ” through our Baptism. In Christ Jesus we are all “sons of God through faith – when we were baptised we were clothed with Christ” (Gal 3:26,27) who has become “our wisdom, our virtue, our holiness and our freedom” (1Cor 1:30).  Each of us can say “it is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”(Gal 2:10).  In the second reading St Paul suggests that it is our mutual love for each other which helps us become “pure and blameless for […]

By |December 9th, 2012|Liturgy|0 Comments

Novena to St Dominic – Day 8

Continuing our reflection on St Dominic in preparation for his feast, here is an extract from “The Genius of St Dominic” by Marie Humbert Vicaire OP.The Liberty of the ‘Poor Man’The Bull of Recommendation of the Order to the bishops of December 8, 1219, which already contained the essential terms of the Bull to the brethern of December 12, added a precision. It said that the Preachers ‘reject the burden of worldly riches so as to be able to run more freely (expeditius) in the field of this world’. Some months later the text in the Bologna Constitutions that is expressly attributed to Dominic would use the same word. If those who are deputed to study and preaching are set free from every temporal charge, it is ‘so that they can better fulfil their spiritual mission in a greater liberty (expeditius).’ The image behind the word is that of the expeditus, the light infantryman, more rapid and more efficacious than the one weighed down by a heavy equipment. From then on the image became current.Mendicany was a source first of all of mobility. Like the beggar, the Preacher was not tied down to any place or domain on which he depended for his living. He lived on his poverty just as much on his travels as when at home. It also meant a greater facility for getting occasions to preach. The first type of papal Bull of Recommendation that Dominic obtained for his Order already made it clear that ‘they preach the Word of the Lord faithfully and gratis’, ‘presenting themselves in the title of poverty’. The same disinterestedness would facilitate their installation in the towns, for if a church were assigned to them […]

5th Sunday of Easter

Gospel: Jn.14:1-12 Jesus said to his disciples: Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not I should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you and after I have gone and prepared a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too. In the above few sentences from today’s Gospel according to St. John, we are being prepared for the forthcoming celebration of our Lord’s Ascension in two weeks time. Jesus is telling us that he is going to prepare a place for us, yes, for each of us individually. This is truly an amazing statement from Jesus when we really think it through. We know so well those beautiful and encouraging words of holy Scripture – ‘eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered the human heart what things God has prepared for those who love him’ – but in today’s Gospel passage we receive a new emphasis on that text – Jesus makes it so personal when he tells us ‘I am going now to prepare a place for you’ – yes, for each one of us individually. He goes on to add ‘in my Father’s house, there are many mansions’ Isn’t that a very precious and wonderful thought to meditate on? Jesus continues – ‘after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too’. This is Jesus telling us as clearly as the stars shining in the mid-night sky, how […]

Gospel Reflection: 3rd Sunday of the Year

The Communion Antiphon for this 3rd Sunday of the year urges us to “Look up to the Lord with gladness and smile …”.Julian of Norwich, in the 15th Century, also reminds us that it is “in this, Our Lord wills that we be occupied – having joy in him for he has joy in us”.If joy, as has been said, “is gladness of heart in the presence of the Beloved” then “greatly ought we to rejoice that our soul dwells in him”.”For our courteous Lord wills that we be be as homely with him as heart can think or soul desire. But we must beware lest we take this homeliness so recklessly as to forsake courtesy.And he wants to have us, who will be with him in heaven without end, like himself in all things.If we do not know how we shall do all this, let us desire it from our Lord, and he will teach us, for that is his own delight and his glory.”We know that “he is the ground of all our life in love; he is our everlasting keeper and mightily defends us against our enemies. When we come to him in our weaknesses the says to each of us – ‘my dear darling I am glad that you have come to me; in all thy woe I have been with you. And now you see me in my love and we are one in bliss.”Blessed Henry Suso expresses a similar thought,when he wrote, “Be glad dear daughter, because you have found God whom you sought so long and so earnestly. Turn to him with shining eyes, smiling face and happy heart. Embrace him with the outstretched arems of your […]

By |January 25th, 2011|Liturgy|0 Comments

Divine Mercy Sunday

It is very fitting that the Church celebrates today – on the octave day of Easter – the wonderful mercy of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. At the Easter Vigil the Church burst in a prayer of praise and exultation calling on all creation to join in rejoicing: Rejoice O earth, in shining splendourChrist has conquered! Glory fills youDarkness vanishes for ever! – Alleluia.Rejoice O Mother Church! Exult in glory!The Risen Saviour shines upon you!The cause for this great joy is the fact that Christ has conquered sin and death. As we look around our world or, indeed, just look within our own hearts we can often be discouraged and feel overwhelmed by the darkness of sin and selfishness. But the great truth which we celebrate at Easter, and especially today on Divine Mercy Sunday, is that no matter how many sins weigh on our conscience we have only to turn to Jesus and mercy and forgiveness are ours – what a wonderful cause of joy and peace and thanksgiving!!When the Risen Jesus appears to the apostles on Easter Sunday evening He breathes on them and says:”Receive the Holy Spiritfor those whose sins you forgivethey are forgivenfor those whose sins you retainthey are retained” (Jn 20:19 – 31)It is interesting that St John has Jesus appear to the disciples where they are locked away behind closed doors – terrified! Again this detail can be encouraging for us who sometimes feel too frightened to open the door of our heart to the Lord – He can come inside the locked doors of our insecurity and fear and obstinacy with His healing love and mercy.At the renewal of our Baptismal vows at the Easter […]