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24 December 2023


Embracing the True Nature of God: A Reflection on Mary’s Encounter with Angel Gabriel Challenging the Common Perception of God As a religious leader, I often find myself questioning the common perception of God. Many people tend to view Him as grumpy and easily angered. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. When God…

Epiphany – the choice of the Magi

3 January 2016

Christmas, Epiphany, Seasons

In considering the account of the Magi arriving in Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the gospel is already richly told. Even so, many traditions, legends and carols have added all kinds of details to the story, most of which cannot be supported by the text itself. When the magi arrive in Jerusalem, they would first have…

Co-workers in the kingdom

22 November 2015

Season of Growth, Solemnity, Year A

The Feast of Christ the King is a relatively new feast day in the Catholic scheme of things. This is the ninetieth time that it has been celebrated, since Pope Pius XI instituted the feast day through an encyclical letter called Quas primas (In the first) which was published on 11 December 1925. Initially the feast…

Apostles breaking down barriers

19 July 2015

Season of Growth, Year B

We meet the disciples of Jesus today as they return from their missionary journeys where they went out in pairs to not only proclaim the message of salvation but they were also tasked to heal the sick and bring release to those bound with evil spirits. They return no longer as disciples – but they…

Continuing to leave our nets behind

26 January 2015

Discipleship, Season of Growth, Teaching, Year B

Growing up on a farm that had been in my family for several generations on the south coast of NSW, my brothers and I were aware of the desire that my father had that one of us would continue the tradition and farm the land. Once we had each moved away to study and work,…

Mary and Gabriel

21 December 2014

Advent, Seasons

The scene that is presented in the Gospel today is one of my favourites. We read from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, verses 26-38. The angel Gabriel appears to announce the birth of a child and follows the pattern established in the Hebrew Scriptures: the angel says, ‘do not be afraid’; the recipient is…

Good goats did it for me

23 November 2014

Season of Growth, Solemnity, Year A

Bad sheep and good goats Justice is something that we learn very early as children. We have this strong instinct for when something doesn’t just seem to be fair. Perhaps as a result, justice is one of the most profound longings of the human race. When there is no justice, then…

Sharing Talents

16 November 2014

Season of Growth, Year A

The parable of the talents has a number of unusual qualities. Unlike most of the parables, which seem to be aimed at farmers and fishers and other country folk, this parable is aimed at people who are familiar with the workings of a market economy. So while it was good, prudent and standard Jewish practice to…

King for the world

25 November 2012

Season of Growth, Year B

The sense of royalty that we have is very muted. We live in Australia in a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as our head of state. Yet, the role of the Queen (or her representatives in the Governors and Governor General) within our lives is very limited, and severely restricted under the constitution and…

Who is Jesus the Messiah?

16 September 2012

Season of Growth, Year B

The Gospel passage today is taken from the centre of the Gospel of Mark – not only is it the literal centre chapter, but it is also the place in Mark where the ministry of Jesus takes a definite turn. Jesus and his disciples are on the move. Last week, in Mark 7, we heard…

David, Mary and the Ark

18 December 2011

Advent, New Creation, Season of Growth, Seasons, Teaching, Year B

After journeying through this season of Advent with the prophet Isaiah, and then for the last two weeks with the witness of John the Baptiser, it is only on this fourth Sunday of Advent that we finally are presented with the figure of Mary to accompany our Advent reflection. When we encounter her in the…


4 December 2011

Advent, New Creation, Season of Growth, Seasons, Teaching, Year B

Literature in the classical world was often concerned to set the scene and provide an overview of the whole text from the very first line of the text. When we come to a text like the Gospel of Mark, we may be tempted to pass over the opening line of the Gospel – which we…

Images and coin inscriptions

17 October 2011

Season of Growth, Year A

The heat continues to rise between Jesus and his persecutors. Now the Herodians, who normally would not associate with the Pharisees, join forces to ask an impossible ‘yes or no’ question of Jesus – either answer would get him into trouble with his supporters or even arrested and killed by the Romans. The answer that…

The fruit of creation

2 October 2011

Season of Growth, Year A

The parable in today’s Gospel from Matthew 21 continues directly from the parable last week (and leads naturally into the final parable of judgement in this trilogy, which we will have next Sunday) and again is addressed to the chief priests and elders gathered in the temple forecourt, while the crowd looks on, on the…

Wheat and weeds in the shining sun

17 July 2011

Season of Growth, Year A

How many times have we heard something described as an ‘act of God’ or a disaster of biblical proportions, and wondered in our hearts – if God is indeed all-loving and all-powerful – then where is he in these times? Why doesn’t he step in and prevent these disasters? Why do we see such powerful…

Chosen race and royal priesthood

22 May 2011

Easter, Season of Growth, Seasons, Year A

During Easter we have been reading from the first letter of St Peter, and we come today to what must be one of the most extraordinary declarations in scripture. Peter addresses a mixed community – young and old, men and women, gentiles and Jews, leaders and members – and to each person he reminds us…

Offer the left cheek

20 February 2011

Season of Growth, Year A

A story told by Eugene Peterson (the author of The Message Bible – a translation in very contemporary English) of the day when the tables were turned on Garrison Johns – the school yard bully who had beaten up on Eugene every day after school for seven months – highlights the way that we have…

Building the kingdom with Christ the King

21 November 2009

New Creation, Season of Growth, Solemnity, Teaching, Year B

Sunday 34 in the Season of the Year – Feast of Christ the King (B) Sometimes, especially when we live in a Constitutional Monarchy like we do in Australia, and we have strong democratic beliefs – and perhaps even more so if we are republicans – the idea of celebrating Christ as King can seem…

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