Posted in Easter on Apr 09, 2016
Unlike before his death, when Jesus was more or less “on tap” for his friends, now they feel much more his absence – and when he does appear to them, it’s never when – or how – they expect. This time, they’re out fishing – back to the old job. But no success. An irritatingly simple suggestion from a stranger on the shore, and they net a record catch. ‘It is the Lord.’ They have a resurrection moment, the passage from the sterility of death to the abundance of life.
Posted in Easter on Apr 02, 2016
The apostle Thomas reminds his fellow apostles of the hellish death Jesus had undergone: ‘Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe.’ For Thomas the pain of Jesus’s death and the pain of his own loss seem to be insurmountable.
Posted in Lent on Mar 26, 2016
Tonight we celebrate the defeat of death. St Paul wrote to the Romans: 'As Christ was raised from the dead by the Father's glory, we too might live a new life.' Death has no dominion over us. This sounds wonderful but what does it mean?
Posted in Lent on Mar 19, 2016
There were three Herods, all of the same ruling dynasty, all mentioned in the New Testament, though Luke does not make this clear and I suspect most Christians, then and now, assume there was only one nasty Herod. First there was King Herod the Great, a ruler with a blood-thirsty reputation. He was King when Jesus was born. He welcomed the magi to Jerusalem and then schemed to kill baby Jesus and did manage to kill the Holy Innocents.
Posted in Lent on Mar 12, 2016
The Scribes and the Pharisees ask Jesus: “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”
Posted in Lent on Mar 05, 2016
What is today’s Gospel parable really about? Mercy is clearly central to the parable. The father is lavish in his mercy. The younger son receives more mercy than he expects. The elder son is chided for thinking the mercy shown is excessive and in some way unfair on him. This could be summed up as ‘Be merciful as your heavenly father is merciful.’
Posted in Lent on Feb 27, 2016
Moses, an exile tending the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, priest of the Midianites, sees something strange: a bush blazing, but not consumed, and ambles across to inspect it further. There’s no sense in the opening lines of this episode of any particular urgency on Moses’ part, rather a welcome interruption of the tedium of herding.
Posted in Lent on Feb 20, 2016
Why did this happen? We might answer by saying - Jesus, their Lord and Master, was to be condemned as a blasphemer and rebel, mocked, publicly flogged, and hung, naked, to die horribly on a Roman gibbet. His followers would need some reminder of who he really was, to see them through this ordeal.
Posted in Lent on Feb 13, 2016
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’ These are fitting words to end the Lord’s Prayer. They summarise of all our petitions, for the basic prayer we make is, ‘Save us!’ But at a deeper level, these are words which Jesus Christ taught us in order to bring us into his life.
Posted in Ordinary Time on Feb 07, 2016
The words that St. Luke records a kneeling Simon Peter as addressing to Jesus—“leave me alone”—don’t seem like an auspicious start for the one chosen to be leader among the apostles. But, as our first reading from the Prophet Isaiah reminds us, reluctance on the part of those chosen to be missionary prophets of the Lord is not a new thing. Within seconds, though, Simon is on his feet and has abandoned everything to follow Christ. What has happened?