Salvation History

Fruitful Vineyard

8 October 2023

Year A

Reflecting on Love, Grief, Loss, and Justice: A Journey Through Poetry, Prophecy, and Gospel Today’s sermon was a deep dive into the themes of love, grief, loss, and justice, as portrayed in love poetry, the writings of the prophet Isaiah, the psalm, and the gospel.  Love Poetry and the Prophet Isaiah: A Tale of Grief…

Hope along the road

23 April 2023

Easter, Seasons

Sunday 3 in Easter, Year A In this Catholic Mass, we celebrate the 3rd Sunday of Easter with a focus on the Gospel of the road to Emmaus (Luke 24). Join us in exploring the theme of Hope along the road as we reflect on the journey of the disciples on their way to Emmaus….

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…

Being Blessed

31 December 2022

Christmas, Seasons, Solemnity

Mary, Mother of God – Octave Day of Christmas My dear mother has kept a diary all her adult life. It does not contain her deepest thoughts, feelings or secrets, but it is an accurate chronicle of the events in her life and that of our family, with all the comings and goings, trips and…

The question of salvation

21 August 2022

Season of Growth, Year C

Sunday 21, in Year C. Jesus continues his road trip from Galilee to Jerusalem, which he begins in Luke 9:51 (eight weeks back on Sunday 13C) – heading for suffering and death. He knows the reality of rejection and disciples dropping off when the novelty wore off. He continues to invite us into God’s greater…

Gracious New Jerusalem

21 May 2022

Easter, Season of Growth, Seasons, Year C

Sixth Sunday in Easter, Year C. We arrive at almost the very ending of the bible with our reading from Revelation 21 today. We are given the vision of the new Jerusalem as it descends and heaven and earth are fully reunited once again. The city is enormous – 12,000 stadia (2,400km) in each direction…

Christmas Day – the Compassion of God

25 December 2015

Christmas, Seasons

There is an extraordinary line in the second reading today – ‘When the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of any righteous thing that we had done, but because of his mercy.’ (Titus 3:4-5) We have often understood Judaism and its focus on the laws and commandments of…

Pentecost as promise of a new life

24 May 2015

Easter, Seasons

To fully appreciate the significance of the celebration of Pentecost you need to remember the origins of the Jewish festival of Shavu’ot. Although according to the Book of Leviticus the festival celebrated a week of weeks after Passover (the fifty days) was a Harvest festival where the first fruits of the seven kinds of grain…

Abraham and the bound sacrifice of Isaac

1 March 2015

Lent, Seasons

Our first reading from Genesis 22 is often regarded as one of the finest examples of a short story in all or Western literature. In 19 short verses, the reader is taken on a terrible and shocking journey along with Abraham and Isaac – your only son, the son that you love – for three…

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…

Foreign faith

17 August 2014

Season of Growth, Year A

The Gospel that we are presented with today is hard to deal with (Matthew 15:21-28). We expect that when Jesus is presented with a situation of desperate need that he answer with compassion and mercy. Instead today, when he flees to the pagan northern region of Tyre and Sidon and meets a local woman in…

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…

An Apocalyptic Age

17 November 2013

Discipleship, Season of Growth, Teaching, Year C

One of the styles of biblical literature that causes great misunderstanding is apocalyptic. This is not helped by the many, perhaps more fundamentalist interpreters who attempt to find literal meaning in the events of the present world, when the only direct literal meaning concerns events at the time the texts were written. In this case,…

The Acts 7 Church

1 July 2013

Bible, Teaching

The speech that St Stephen gives in Acts 7 is the longest speech that St Luke records in the whole of the book – so clearly it is very significant for us. It reaches a climax shortly before the members of the Sanhedrin are so incensed by what Stephen says that they begin to pick…

Remember and believe

31 March 2013

Discipleship, Easter, Seasons, Teaching

I remember a day when I was bushwalking in the coastal range down the South Coast, and I had been walking for a while just below the ridge-line – so I was unable to actually get a view of the breath-taking coast-line. At one stage I saw a rocky outcrop that was just above the…

The true shepherd

22 July 2012

Bible, Season of Growth, Teaching, Year B

From the archives… I am away on holidays, visiting friends in Europe. So this is a homily from the archives. In order to understand our first reading from the prophet Jeremiah today, we need to understand what has been happening in the history and practice of Israel. We need to go back a few hundred…

View from on high

15 July 2012

Bible, Teaching

From the archives… I am away on holidays, visiting friends in Europe. So this homily description is from 2009. The linked audio (below) is from 2012. Sunday 15B – The view from on high (Ephesians 1:3-14) Everywhere you go, whenever you find an accessible high place, our ancestors have so often built a lookout there…

A sacrifice of blood

10 June 2012

Season of Growth, Year B

Although the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ is the only feast day during the year where the traditional Latin name is still well-known, to call the feast Corpus Christi seems to do some injustice to the richness of what today’s liturgy offers us. The readings today do not focus on the Body…

Seated at the right hand of the Father

20 May 2012

Easter, Seasons

The Feast of the Ascension can strike us a quite bizarre affair – especially to one who grew up on a diet of science-fiction and imagined that Jesus somehow managed to add flying and living outside of the atmosphere to his walking-on-water and multiplying food – as well as raising the dead and getting through…

The Hunger Games and Sacrifice

1 April 2012

Lent, Seasons

  Last weekend I joined the throngs – not in welcoming the Messiah to Jerusalem – but in watching the new hit movie, The Hunger Games – based on the first part of the popular trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. The action takes place in a future post-apocalyptic north America, where all that is left…

Sacrifice, obedience and the lamb

3 March 2012

Lent, Season of Growth, Seasons, Year B

Our first reading from Genesis 22 contains what is often regarded as one of the finest examples of a short story in all or Western literature. In 19 short verses, the reader is taken on a terrible and shocking journey along with Abraham and Isaac – your only son, the son that you love -…

Christmas Proclamation

26 December 2011

Christmas, Seasons

At the midnight Mass on Christmas Day (or Christmas Eve if you prefer) there is a tradition of reading the ‘Christmas Proclamation’ – which powerfully situates the events of the Nativity in the historical context of salvation and secular history. This is a recording of the beginning of Mass and the proclamation…Play MP3 (2’26”)Recorded at…


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…

Come Holy Spirit

11 June 2011

Easter, Season of Growth, Seasons, Year A

This feast is a demonstration of the unique Christian understanding of grace and salvation. Before this day, although the disciples knew of the reality of the resurrection of Jesus and the fulfillment of the many prophecies from the Hebrew Scriptures, they were still huddled together in fear – until the Spirit comes – then they…

Resurrection Day (Vigil)

23 April 2011

Easter, New Creation, Seasons, Teaching

The Easter Vigil provides us with the opportunity to be immersed within the story of our salvation and the continuing work of God – from creation to redemption. So it is only appropriate that we make Alleluia our song as we celebrate the day of Resurrection and become builders of the new creation.Play MP3Recorded at…

Longing for the Lamb

17 January 2011

Discipleship, Teaching

In last Sunday’s feast of the Baptism, we saw that Jesus – despite the expectations of John the Baptist – identified with sinners and went down into the muddy waters of the Jordan River. This week in Brisbane we saw first hand the destructive power of nature in the floods that have devastated so many…

Asteroids and kingdoms

15 November 2010

Season of Growth, Year C

Sunday 33 in Year C; Luke 21:5-19. In the Gospel, which takes place in the final days of Jesus ministry in Jerusalem, the country-yokel disciples remark on how magnificent the temple is. Thinking back to the impression that the very first time that I beheld the incredible magnificence of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome some…

The today of salvation

31 October 2010

Discipleship, Teaching

As we move into the final stage of our journey to Jerusalem in the gospel of Luke we find Jesus on the move through the town of Jericho. On the wings there appears this short, wealthy chief tax collector who for some unknown reason decides that climbing a tree is a good way to avoid…

Entering the gate of Jesus

21 August 2010

Season of Growth, Year C

Many years ago, when I was a uni student in Sydney, I wanted to head back home to Bega for a family function. These was the days before the Internet (remember those?) so I bought the bus ticket from a travel agent and duly headed into the Coach Terminal at Central Station to catch the…

Mary and the Ark

15 August 2010

The liturgy of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin presents a cacophony of images to us: the Ark of the Covenant in the temple of heaven; a woman clothed with the sun with the moon at her feet and a crown of twelve stars; a pug-ugly, fearsome and hungry dragon; and then by contrast the…

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