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3rd Sunday of Lent – Year C

 鈥淪trong is His love for us鈥 鈥 we could say that this phrase from the responsorial psalm sums up the message of today鈥檚 Mass readings.Our God is a 鈥榗onsuming fire鈥 who 鈥渇orgives all our guilt鈥 and 鈥渉eals our ills鈥 (Ps 102).  He is 鈥渃ompassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.鈥滻n the Gospel Jesus explains in the parable of the fig tree which did not bear fruit that he is always prepared to give us a second chance, to give us more time, in the hope that we will repent of our sins and failures.  鈥淕ive it (ie the fig tree) one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it 鈥 it may bear fruit next year!鈥 (Gospel – Lk 13:1-9).It is the same God who appeared to Moses while he went about his daily work of tending the flock […]

1st Sunday of Lent – Another Reflection

Having set for myself a headline for Lent 鈥淚t is your face, O Lord, that I seek, hide not your face鈥 鈥 it is encouraging to find that Jesus in today鈥檚 gospel gives me inspiring texts to guide me on my way. His responses to the devil can become ours. Indeed each of these quotes are taken from the book of Deuteronomy, that story of the people of Israel鈥檚 forty years wanderings through the desert to the promised land 鈥 a blue print of our struggles too on our journey home to our Father鈥檚 house. 鈥楳an does not live on bread alone鈥 鈥 Though immersed in, and in need of many material and tangible things to sustain us in life, yet our faith tells us that this is not our real life, no, our real life is the faith we have in the Son of God who loved us […]

By |February 19th, 2013|Liturgy|0 Comments

First Sunday of Lent – Reflection on Deuteronomy

In today鈥檚 First reading at Mass, taken from the Book of Deuteronomy, we are presented with the prayer of the Jewish man to God on presenting to Him the first-fruits of all the Lord had given to him. In a few short – actually long! 鈥 sentences, he summarises all the Lord has done for him since the call of Abraham, through the formation and election of Israel; her persecution at the hands of the Egyptians; to her deliverance and after wandering in the desert, at last, entering into and taking possession of the land given to her by God. (That was a fairly good imitation of the long sentences!!)And this is the First Sunday of Lent; that time of year again 鈥 already 鈥 when we know we would like to make a concerted effort to be cleansed of everything that separates us from God; prevents us from […]

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

Palm Sunday

During the past week as I reflected on St Mark鈥檚 Passion narrative,(Ch 14 &15) which we heard at Mass this morning, my attention was drawn to the woman who broke the jar of ointment and poured it out on Jesus鈥 head 鈥 a very good symbol of our monastic contemplative way of life. St Mark tells us that she broke the jar and poured out the precious ointment while the disciples murmured and criticised her action as being wholly foolish and wasteful: 鈥渨hy this waste? Ointment like this could be sold and the money given to the poor! And they were angry with her.鈥 We hear similar comments regarding our way of life: 鈥渨hy waste your life away within an enclosure apparently doing nothing while there is so much need in our modern world.鈥 However Jesus praised the woman鈥檚 action saying: “leave her alone […]

5th Sunday of Lent

The Gospel passage we read at Mass today from St. John, is very full and pregnant with food for thought and reflection as we approach the holiest week of the year. As I reflected on the text I could see glimpses of the entire life of Jesus from the beginning of his public ministry, his death, Resurrection and glorification 鈥 a text that can surely help us 鈥榗ome to know the Lord鈥 and put us in touch with what is happening at this stage in his life.The pilgrims are arriving in Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover, including some Greek converts who want to 鈥渟ee Jesus鈥. This is the desire in the heart of all of us. 鈥淚 would like to see Jesus鈥. Jesus responds as He always does throughout the Gospels, and very pointedly in St. John鈥檚 Gospel, which always has many layers […]

3rd Sunday of Lent

Towards the end of today鈥檚 Gospel passage (Jn 2.35) , St. John shares with us the empathy he has with Jesus. He tells us: 鈥渕any believed in Jesus鈥 name when they saw the signs he gave 鈥 but he knew them all and did not trust himself to them 鈥 he could tell what a person had in him鈥 鈥 or as another translation puts it 鈥︹滼esus would not give them his confidence; he had knowledge of them all, and did not need assurances about any one, because he could read all hearts鈥. (R.Knox).Among those referred to in this passage, there were obviously some who were enthused about Jesus and his miracles but it seems there was no real depth to their enthusiasm; among the crowd too, would no doubt have been some of the hypocrites who so often tried to catch Jesus out in what he said […]

Lent Week 2 – Monday

A few words on to-day鈥檚 Gospel 鈥 Lk 6:36-38:It opens with the words: 鈥淛esus said to his disciples: 鈥楤e compassionate as your Father is compassionate.鈥 Perhaps the most important words in this passage are: 鈥榓s your Father鈥. God is our Father! As the Christmas Preface puts it: 鈥渢he wonder of our making is only surpassed by the wonder of our coming to life in Christ鈥 (old translation) 鈥 i.e. by our Baptism we are inserted right into the heart of the Blessed Trinity 鈥 into the family and inner life of God. We are sons and daughters of God the Father, sisters and brothers of Jesus, the Son of God and we have the Holy Spirit living in our spirit- thus making us cry out 鈥楢bba, father鈥 and to proclaim Jesus as Lord. So that is why Jesus can ask us to have the […]

2nd Sunday of Lent – The Face of Christ

This morning鈥檚 Gospel account of the Transfiguration is so rich and full in ideas and teaching (as is every event in the life of Christ) that it is difficult to pick one out for reflection. We all know the story so well 鈥 Jesus becoming radiant 鈥 aglow 鈥 transfigured in the presence of the three chosen Apostles, Peter, James and John 鈥 then Moses and Elijah appeared in glory also and were talking with Jesus about his 鈥榩assing鈥 which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem.There is one little detail I want to say a few words on 鈥 鈥淗is face shone like the sun鈥 this is in the account given by Matthew and Luke not in Mark from which today鈥檚 account is taken. I have been struck very, very often by the number of times the word 鈥榝ace鈥 comes into the Psalms, the Hymns etc. in […]

1st Sunday of Lent – Desert Experience

In this morning鈥檚 Gospel St Mark tells us that 鈥渢he Spirit drove Jesus into the desert and he remained there and was put to the test by Satan鈥 (Mk 2:12f)鈥 a very stark picture at first glance!Immediately before this passage we read about Jesus鈥 Baptism when He, the sinless One, took on the burden of our sins and was baptised by John. The heavens were opened and the Spirit descended on him and the voice from heaven declared: 鈥淵ou are my Son, the Beloved, my favour rests on you.鈥 Strengthened in the conviction of being the Beloved of the Father, at once the Spirit drove Jesus into the desert鈥..In the Old Testament the desert symbolised both the place of testing and the place of intimacy with God. We read in the Book of Deuteronomy: 鈥淩emember the long road by which the Lord led you for forty […]

By |February 26th, 2012|Liturgy|0 Comments

Lent and Vocation Discernment

A few thoughts for the beginning of Lent.I have always found Lent to be a very fruitful time for Vocation Discernment. I think it was because since I was a small child the high point of Easter for me was Holy Saturday night when, having intensely lived all that God had done for us in Christ (during the Triduum) I renewed my Baptismal Promises. I think part of the attraction was that it was a real, public, solemn, formal commitment to God that I could make before I was old enough to make my First Communion. So I always saw Lent as a time to prepare to make this re-commitment. To examine my life and see where I was failing to live as a Christian; to give more time to God (prayer, 鈥榟oly鈥 reading, daily Mass etc.) and also to do things for others 鈥 Jesus said 鈥淭ruly, […]

By |February 23rd, 2012|Vocations|1 Comment