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Scripture Reflections

With the arrival of the Fifth Sunday of Lent, our Lenten journey is almost over. The concept of Lent as a journey, rather than a time of denial, has been frequently suggested and promoted by Pope Francis.

A few years ago a friend of mine,  a fellow priest,  shared this story with me: He and his brother were the joint heirs to their father’s estate. Several months before their father died, he called his son, the priest, saying he wanted to talk about something very important.

Suffering and tragedy are things that we don’t want to reflect on or think too much about because of the pain that it brings into our lives. If we look at the world today, there are so many natural and human made disasters.

Today we are invited to reflect upon the Transfiguration of Jesus. Jesus takes Peter, James and John up the mountain to pray and when he was at prayer he is transfigured.

This Sunday the 6th of March, the Universal Church enters the sacred time of Lent. Marked by the celebration of Ash Wednesday, we are reminded both by tradition and Gospel that this is a sacred time, a penitential time, to consider the beauty of humanity in God’s creation, but also to remember the limitations we have as human beings.

One of the mid- 20th century’s most influential people was Helen Keller. Born in the USA on 27th June, 1880, she went blind and deaf as a young child due to an incurable disease.

There’s this story about the US Civil War when President Abraham Lincoln was being briefed by his generals on the state of the war. His generals said to him, “In order to win this war, we must destroy our enemies”. The president replied, “I agree fully. We must destroy our enemies to win the war”. Then he added, “Let us make them our friends”.

Being a Christian, in this time, is not easy. To be a disciple of Jesus is very challenging, but not impossible. We call ourselves disciples because we have identified ourselves fully with Jesus’ mission; with His vision of life.

Over the past few Sundays, we have heard in the first readings a focused theme – that of ‘Hearing God’s Sacred Word’. On the Third Sunday, in the reading from the book of Nehemiah, we heard the prophet Ezra proclaiming God’s Word in the assembly of the people, after their return from exile.

In Jesus’ day, if  there were reality tv shows in which least popular contestants are voted-off, the chances are he would be the first to get the boot! At least that’s the impression one gets while reading this Sunday’s Gospel.

When Jesus began his ministry in Nazareth , he stood before a group of faithful people who had gathered in the synagogue there, and he quoted words that had been written by the prophet, Isaiah, centuries before: “The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted and broken hearted.” (Luke 4:18) 

I’m unashamed to say that I’m a “Mama’s Boy”. Whenever I needed something and I couldn’t get it from my dad, I always turned to my mum and without a doubt my dad would give in.

Saturday, 08 January 2022 15:02

The Baptism of the Lord

Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord and, with it, conclude the Christmas season. Last week we celebrated Jesus’ manifestation to the world as the Light of the Nations, and today we celebrate the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus begins his ministry with his baptism through John the Baptist in the river Jordan.

During this Christmas Season, I am sure we have been touched by the rich expanse of our human story that this Season offers in utter simplicity.

Sunday, 26 December 2021 08:26

The Feast of the Holy Family

I feel squeamish when I see those paintings of Jesus, with Mary and Joseph, which depict this trio as the ideal family!  In reality, no one in the Middle East, either now or 2000 years ago, would consider a mother+father+child as a family unit.

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