Posted in Ordinary Time on Jan 21, 2017
After the testing in the wilderness, Jesus is ready to begin his preaching, but everything seems to go wrong. John the Baptist is arrested and so Judea, the heart of the Holy Land, becomes too hot for Jesus. He even leaves his home territory of Nazareth for Capernaum, “the Galilee of the Gentiles”, as it was called.
Posted in Christmas on Jan 07, 2017
Among your Christmas cards, assuming you are still displaying them at home, is sure to be at least one celebrating the Epiphany. Three gorgeously attired, exotically crowned men, romping across the outback on camels perhaps? Perhaps a vast procession overwhelming the holy family, with three men presenting a precocious baby Jesus with precious gifts?
Posted in Christmas on Dec 24, 2016
“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.” At last, the journeys’ end. For there have been different paths. Mary and Joseph, having travelled down from Galilee, at last arrive weary into Bethlehem. The shepherds, making their way down from the hills in the surrounding countryside, will soon reach the stable.
Posted in Advent on Dec 17, 2016
Matthew in today’s gospel calls our attention to the names given to Jesus – names which focus our attention on this child’s role in the history of God’s acting to save his people: Jesus, which the Evangelist glosses as “the one who is to save his people from their sins”; and Emmanuel, which, echoing Isaiah’s prophecy, we’re told means “God-is-with-us”.
Posted in Advent on Dec 10, 2016
Everyone in the world knows that Christmas is coming. That’s wonderful. Many, however, may not know very much about Christ. In the Church, we imagine ourselves not knowing, waiting for Christ. John the Baptiser was waiting. When Jesus came to him for baptism, he recognised him as Messiah – Christ. A year or more later, however, John himself was held in prison, for speaking ‘truth to power’. He asked Jesus for confirmation.
Posted in Advent on Nov 26, 2016
Turn off the electric lights, as today you light the first candle on the Advent wreath. See how that single flame dispels the darkness. Its very being proclaims: “the night is almost over”. Every human person is born in the night, born in the darkness of original sin, born into a world that is evidently – and perhaps ever more so in this past year – under the sway of the Enemy.
Posted in Ordinary Time on Nov 19, 2016
Christ’s mission is as priest, prophet, and king. As priest, he is the mediator between God and human beings. As prophet, he is the messenger of God, the actual word of God made flesh. As king, he establishes peace and justice in the world, achieved through serving others.
Posted in Ordinary Time on Nov 12, 2016
The simplicity of that advice is quite striking. St Paul is wise in recognising the fragility of our resolutions, the wearing down and wearing out of our good intentions in the abrasiveness of daily living. It is the concluding line of St Paul's advice to the Thessalonians in today's second reading and it is strangely missing from the lectionary.
Posted in Ordinary Time on Nov 05, 2016
In today’s Gospel the Sadducees take on Jesus. The issue concerns the resurrection of the dead, and we are told that the Sadducees did not believe in this doctrine. Jesus refutes them by arguing that there will be a new order in the world to come, in which those who are resurrected from the dead no longer marry or die.
Posted in Ordinary Time on Oct 29, 2016
The author of the Book of Wisdom is concerned with the goodness of God and the intractability of evil. He admits the second quite openly. There is enough that is radically defective in the make-up of the world to alarm us – alarm us precisely by its intractability, by the fact that there is so little, and sometimes nothing at all, we can do about it.