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 Advent on Dec 19, 2015
In the gospel today we read the story of the Visitation. Here at the beginning of his gospel, Luke has told us of two women, Mary and Elizabeth. Both are about to become mothers unexpectedly. The angel Gabriel has appeared, first to Elizabeth’s elderly husband Zechariah, and five lunar months later to Mary, an unmarried young woman.
Posted in Advent on Dec 12, 2015
In today’s first reading, from the Prophet Zephaniah, it is prophesised that God Himself will be doing the entertaining. God will dance for His people and there will be shouts of joy on a day of festival. This is no forced, artificial entertainment, but rather the crowning joy which the people will experience when God frees them from their enemies and He dwells among them.
Posted in Advent on Dec 05, 2015
In the Bible the landscape has particular significance as part of God’s creation it is seen as giving glory to God the Creator. The hills are called upon to ‘sing together for joy at the presence of the Lord’ (Ps 97 : 8), and, together with ‘fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy winds obeying his command’ to praise the name of the Lord (Ps 148: 9).
Posted in Advent on Nov 28, 2015
“May the Lord be generous in increasing your love.” That is a joyful prayer from our second reading and seems a fitting start for the Church's new year beginning this Advent Sunday. “May the Lord make you increase in love and abound in love” is another way of putting it. The reading continues: “May God our Father and the Lord Jesus strengthen your hearts in holiness.”