Redemption

Behold the Lamb of God

15 January 2023

Season of Growth, Year A

As we move into this ordinary time of the year and this cycle of readings from what should be the Gospel of Matthew in Year A. We now have a reading from the Gospel of John – because we need to hear this witness of John the Baptist and John the evangelist presents him in…

Christmas Reversals by day

24 December 2022

Christmas, Seasons

We are all very familiar with the Christmas story and the Christmas Gospel that we just read from the Luke 2. But in some ways the story is even more familiar than we think – and yet still radically different. For we all know stories that begin about the rich and famous. Our newspapers and…

Christmas Reversals by night

24 December 2022

Christmas, Seasons

We are all very familiar with the Christmas story and the Christmas Gospel that we just read from the Luke 2. But in some ways the story is even more familiar than we think – and yet still radically different. For we all know stories that begin about the rich and famous. Our newspapers and…

Being Found

11 September 2022

Season of Growth, Year C

Sunday 24, Year C 3 Parables of Joy. Finding what was lost. Jesus hosts the tax collectors & sinners as his special, honoured guests. The accusation thrown against Jesus regularly – behold a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. A refrain. When we hear a set of parables like this,…

Truly Loved

15 April 2022

Easter, Seasons, Triduum

Good Friday – Solemn Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion First Reading ‡ Isaiah 52:13-53:12 He surrendered himself to death, while bearing the faults of many. Responsorial ‡ Psalm 30:2.6.12-13.15-17.25 Father, I put my life in your hands. Second Reading ‡ Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9 He learned obedience and became the source of eternal salvation for all who…

The Son of Man as Ransom for Many

16 October 2021

Season of Growth, Year B

Once again we meet foolish disciples who screw up the simple and easy job of being faithful disciples. What unfolds is even more terrible when you read the section of Mark’s gospel that comes immediately before the section we read this Sunday (Mark 10:35-45).  32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem. Jesus was…

Salvation has come to this house

3 November 2019

Discipleship, Season of Growth, Teaching, Year C

To fully appreciate the story of Zacchaeus you do need to understand how despised he would have been within the society of Jericho – itself already on the outside of acceptable Jewish society, given its reputation as a city of sin and its history of standing opposed to the kingdom of God. There were three…

Have mercy on me, a sinner

26 October 2019

Radio Program, Season of Growth, Teaching, Year C

The parable that lies at the heart of our Gospel this week, from Luke chapter 18, seems at first glance to be describing a religious event. In reality, like the parable that begins chapter 18 which we heard last Sunday – the one about the widow and the corrupt judge – this parable also is…

Cured and healed

13 October 2019

Discipleship, New Creation, Season of Growth, Teaching, Year C

When was the last time that you were so truly grateful for something that happened in your life that you had to shout out aloud in thanksgiving. I remember as a kid growing up on the farm, we would often help dad when he went to burn off in the steep gullies that were difficult…

The rubbish of the older brother

15 September 2019

Season of Growth, Year C

When I was in USA a few months ago, I visited the Great Smoky Mountains national park in Eastern Tennessee. It is a beautiful place, and the most visited of the national parks in America, attracting millions of visitors each year. And most of those visitors first go to the main entrance and visitors station…

Being more like Jesus

25 August 2019

Discipleship, Season of Growth, Teaching, Year C

When I was a student at Sydney University, there was one question that I was regularly asked – are you saved? Sometimes it was in the form of the “if you died tonight, where would you end up – in heaven or hell?” Perhaps this was because as an Economics student I had more time…

The kingdom received already

11 August 2019

Discipleship, Season of Growth, Teaching, Year C

The opening line of our Gospel today provides an essential description of the Christian message for us – if only we could receive it and live it. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased the Father to give you the Kingdom.” So often we live caught up in a false notion that…

Exclusion and Embrace on the Cross

25 March 2016

Easter, Seasons

To gather each Good Friday for prayer around an instrument of Roman torture is still a very strange practice to have. To sing songs and come forward in procession to touch, embrace or kneel before this sign of brutality and terrorism… It can also be a very difficult exercise to reconcile the fragility and weakness…

God is always enough

2 August 2015

Season of Growth, Year B

18B – Bread of life (John 6:24-35; Exodus 16: 2-4, 12-15) When you read the Gospel of John, you must always be aware of the broad canvas upon which John writes his Gospel. He is always mindful and aware of all that has gone on before in the past – the history of the people…

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…

Celebrating the Easter Experience

7 April 2015

Easter, Seasons

Entering into the experience of Easter is always a profoundly moving event. I found this year to be no different – even though it was the first time that I have had the chance to lead the liturgies in a parish that I am responsible for which added its own stresses. The liturgies and encounters that…

Wilderness now redeemed

22 February 2015

Lent, Seasons

As we move into the new season of Lent accompanied by the Gospel of Mark, the starkness of the presentation of the testing in the wilderness in Mark becomes quickly apparent. Whereas the other synoptic Gospels offer us more detailed descriptions including the fasting, the nature of the testing and the dialogue that occurs between…

Jesus and the isolated leper

14 February 2015

Season of Growth, Year B

Today in the Gospel (Mark 1:40-45) we find Jesus on the move from Capernaum, through the nearby villages of Galilee, wanting to preach there as well. A man with leprosy comes and falls at the feet of Jesus with a pitiable plea to match the fact that lepers in that society are not only pitied…

Service of a Woman Disciple

8 February 2015

Discipleship, Season of Growth, Teaching, Year B

We continue the day in the life of Jesus that the Gospel of Mark famously opens with. The four new disciples of Jesus travel with him as he leaves the synagogue and the now freed formerly possessed person and goes to the house of Simon and Andrew, where they find Simon’s mother-in-law sick in bed…

My child in whom I delight

11 January 2015

Season of Growth, Year B

The transition from the season of Christmas and the gathering around the manger scene to the arrival of the Magi to this feast of the Baptism of the Lord and the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus is a rapid one. We meet the adult Jesus who is presented as the answer to all…

God has drawn near in love

27 December 2014

Christmas, Seasons, Teaching, Technology

  I love technology. I love the fact that Google Maps is able to navigate you around traffic snarls – often allowing you to take the exit just before all the traffic has built up on the motorway. So cool! I was in Brisbane a couple of weeks ago for a wedding, and stayed with…

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…

The longing of Advent

30 November 2014

Advent, Seasons

As we begin this new liturgical year and return in Year B to the Gospel of Mark, it is a little odd that we don’t begin with the opening lines of the Gospel. Surely we should be reading from the Infancy Narratives in Mark. Oh wait – there aren’t any. Yes, that’s right, you can…

Perfected in the paradise of purgatory (All Souls Day)

2 November 2014

Solemnity, Teaching

When discussion turns to the last things – heaven, hell and purgatory – I am amazed how much of the discussion of such crucial questions in church circles is so muddy. We are talking about the destination for eternity – which most people know means a rather long time. In fact, we are more likely…

Thirsting for relationship and meaning

23 March 2014

Lent, Seasons

Thirst is one of those basic human needs that is hard to ignore. When you have worked hard on a hot day, or you have returned from a vigorous run or work-out, or you simply out in the heat of the desert, the need to drink and quench your thirst is usually significant. So, even…

O happy fault of Adam

9 March 2014

Lent, Seasons

At the Easter Vigil, there is an especially poignant moment during the singing of the Easter Proclamation, or the Exsultet, when the deacon or priest sings: “O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer.” (Roman Missal II translation) As we set out on the journey of Lent,…

Behold the Lamb of God

20 January 2014

Bible, Discipleship, Season of Growth, Teaching, Year A

When John the Baptist, sees his cousin Jesus coming towards him, it seems a little odd to declare “Look, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Presuming that John has not simply forgotten the name of his cousin, there must be something much deeper going on. As we have often seen…

The Choice to Rejoice

15 December 2013

Advent, Seasons

Pillar of Fire by night, by James Murnane (which I purchased last week) If you took a poll among first century Jews about their expectations of what the Messiah would be like, and what he (a female Messiah would not feature) would do – there would be many and varied replies….

Salvation has come to this house

3 November 2013

Discipleship, Season of Growth, Teaching, Year C

To fully appreciate the story of Zacchaeus you do need to understand how despised he would have been within the society of Jericho – itself already on the outside of acceptable Jewish society, given its reputation as a city of sin and its history of standing opposed to the kingdom of God. There were three…

Have mercy on me, a sinner

27 October 2013

Radio Program, Season of Growth, Teaching, Year C

The parable that lies at the heart of our Gospel this week, from Luke chapter 18, seems at first glance to be describing a religious event. In reality, like the parable that begins chapter 18 which we heard last Sunday – the one about the widow and the corrupt judge – this parable also is…

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