Lectio Divina

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

4th Sunday of Lent – Year C

I think if I had to choose just one Gospel passage to reflect on for the rest of my life I would choose the parable of the Prodigal son. Already I have probably spent more time with it than any other piece of Scripture mainly because it raised issues for me and I knew that if I could stay with it until it revealed God’s word to me, it would change me. For a long time I couldn’t get my head around the idea that the Father could love these two sons so much, that they could be in the presence of such love, and not experience it. How could it be? I can understand it happening with a human parent. Many of us I’m sure only under stood how much our parents loved us, when we got to the stage in our own lives, where we were able to see how much we loved others in spite of our woundedness and oft times the damage our unresolved issues may have caused. But this is God. His love is untarnished by human sin or weakness. There are no projections, no hidden agendas, no demands. Then how is it that one son takes off and the other stays but seems to resent being deprived the very thing he stays for, his Father’s love and approval? He was physically present but was as oblivious to the depth of his father’s love for him as his brother was. And I, when I let the unsettled feelings I had around all this surface, found myself resenting God, blaming God for not getting through to them, or not making it clearer. In my head I knew the fault couldn’t […]

25th Sunday of Ordinary Time

What, for me, is the parable of the Vineyard labourers saying? Firstly, it is a parable about the Kingdom of Heaven. It is telling us the kind of God our God is – the God revealed by our Lord Jesus Christ. The Father in the person of his Son Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is a God who seeks us his fallen human creatures from dawn to dusk i.e. from the dawn of creation to the end of time. His one desire is to reunite the whole human race to Himself in Christ. It is through the Church in the Sacrament of Baptism that we enter the Kingdom of Heaven.In the parable we see those called at daybread and right through the day to the 11th hour. At the close of the parable we see how the words of the 1st Reading at Mass are borne out – that God’s ways are not our ways. We see the utter generosity and love of God in His payment of the workers – the last comers receiving one denarius like those called at daybreak and receiving it first! The first comers who had borne the heat of the day compared their lot with those who had come at the 11th hour and became very dissatisfied to the point of almost scorning the denarius on which they had agreed. Some of us might have a sneaking sympathy for them!Where did they, and if so ourselves, go wrong? They were working out of strict duty, obligation and rights – love was lacking. They had not come to know, in the biblical sense, their Master, so did not love Him or His ways. Our brother, St Albert the Great, speaks […]

By |September 19th, 2011|Liturgy|0 Comments

St Mary Magdalene – 22nd July

Today is the feast-day of St Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles, and Patroness of the Order of Preachers. We’re lucky to have her! As I think about her now, you know, she’s quite an inspiration, a good teacher.In the Gospel according to John, we read:”Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb, …”(John 20:8-11)Just these few verses got me thinking – about how the disciples left and she stayed. They went home, but she had no home to go to. JESUS was her home – that’s why.The disciples had left everything to follow JESUS, but I suppose here you could say that as yet JESUS didn’t wholly possess them – they had left everything, but as yet they hadn’t given Him their very selves, they didn’t realise that they couldn’t do without Him. So they went home … sad? yes; …lost? yes, probably; …confused? surely; …disappointed? I think definitely so. They didn’t have JESUS any longer, He was gone. Where were they to go? What to do now? They had homes, they could pick up their lives again, the lives – the everything – they had left and try to keep going … that would fill the void that JESUS had left in them.But when JESUS reached out to Mary that first time, and saved her – she had been about […]

Third Sunday of Advent

This 3rd Sunday of Advent is traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday – The Latin word ‘Gaudete’ means rejoice! On the Advent wreath the pink candle is lit – there is an air of expectancy that the Lord’s coming is near.The entrance antiphon for the Mass of this Sunday invites us: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near. 1st Reading – Zephaniah 3:14-18Responsorial Psalm: Isaias 12:2-62nd Reading Philippians 4:4-7Gospel: Luke10-18Each week we, as a community share our reflections on the Sunday Mass Readings – having spent the whole week prayerfully reflecting on them during lectio divina – here we share two reflections from this evening:Reflection 1Last week John the Baptist had “proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” – This week we meet John again in the Gospel. Today there is a feeling of expectancy in the air as the people approach John and ask what they must do? nobody is excluded – all are invited to repent and to show their repentance by their lives i.e. share with the needy, act justly, no imtimidation, be content with our lot etc. John points beyond himself to Jesus who is coming with His “winnowing-fan in his hand to clear his treshing-floor”. When reflecting on these lines of the Gospel I was led to see my own heart as the ‘threshing-floor’ and the ‘winnowing-fan’ as the loving breath of the Holy Spirit. God stands at the door of my heart during these last days of Advent and waits for my reponse as He waited for Mary of Nazareth’s reponse for His Word to take flesh in her womb. Mary’s reponse […]

By |December 11th, 2009|Liturgy|0 Comments

WORD OF LOVE?

The Readings for this Sunday’s Eucharist could be said to be difficult – difficult to understand and difficult to accept – at least the Reading from the Book of Daniel, and the Gospel from St Mark. Here is just a little ‘piece of my mind’ that I would like to share, on the Gospel, as I tried to see a little more than what at first meets the eye.I reminded myself that as I hear: ‘This is the Gospel of the Lord’ I must remember that this is a word of love – so if I can’t find the ‘love’, then I must take a closer look. As we were reminded here during the week, we must not only accept the words of Scripture which appeal to us – all Scripture, every syllable, is a communication of the love of God to each of us. So I looked again, and the words which caught my attention were there in the parable of the fig tree: ‘.. know that he is near; at the very gates’..With the help of our community sharing on the readings for today, what came to me was the conviction and the promise of Jesus, that he is with us – always – to the end of time. The Gospel opens, giving an idea of the end of the world almost, a great depression, a great sense of hopelessness and of nothing to live for – even the stars and the sun and the moon will fail. But why are we told this, if not to be invited to keep our eyes open – ‘see these things happening’ and ‘know that he is near’. Don’t […]

By |November 15th, 2009|Liturgy|0 Comments

‘cups and pots and bronze dishes’

22nd Sunday in Ordinary time Yr BGospel from Mark 7:1-8;14-15;21-23‘cups and pots and bronze dishes’What are these before the Lord? … nothing …and not only nothing, but empty.Why do you hide behind them?Why do you make them out to be so important?Why won’t you follow Me?You – not the cups and pots and bronze dishes – you are the one I want, not these empty, lifeless things. They are only useful for holding and carrying, but I want you to contain Me – I want to live and be alive in you.We are invited to give up trying to control God, trying to make God out to be what we think He should be. But, we don’t believe in God so as to be able to force His hand, to have control over how He acts, to tell Him how to be God. God is not complicated, as we make Him out to be. He has given us His Son, who is the Way the Truth and the Life. He has given us everything, and still humbly asks us neither to ‘take from’ nor ‘add to’ what we have been given – don’t try to perfect Him who is already perfect, who is God.When I come to the Lord, then, and don’t know what to do or say, and almost helplessly cry out ‘Lord, all I want is you’, I should remember and believe that they are the same words He speaks to me: ‘My child, My beloved, … all I want is you’.So, shake off the fear of unworthiness and unclean-ness – or, at least, be an honest hypocrite before God. Give Him the fear, but give Him […]