Year A

Advent Bodies

17 December 2022

Season of Growth, Year A

Sunday 4 in the Season of Advent This week saw the release of the first post-Covid super blockbuster movie, the sequel to the 2009 movie Avatar, which is still the highest-grossing movie at the box-office (US$2.9b). I saw the new movie on the opening day, in 3D. Avatar: The Way of Water, runs to over…

Advent Hope

27 November 2022

Advent, Year A

Advent – Welcome! From the Greek word “parousia”, meaning arrival or coming: ready or not! 4 full weeks this year with Christmas on a Sunday. The longest it can be. Next year, with Christmas on a Monday, it is the shortest (3 weeks and 1 day). Won’t have Christmas on a Sunday again until 2033….

Christ the King

21 November 2020

Season of Growth, Solemnity, Year A

We have been on a pilgrimage with the Gospel of Matthew this year & arrive at this scene marking the conclusion of the public ministry of Jesus. We are presented with Jesus the king announcing a final blessing upon all of those who have been a blessing for others throughout their life. They receive the…

Fruitful Living

15 November 2020

Discipleship, Season of Growth, Teaching, Year A

“The parable of the Talents” Talent is just a Greek word, that the English translators fluffed, by writing it in English letters. Another translation is the master gave his servants 5/2/1 bags of gold. A talent is first a measure of weight – but there is much debate as to how much it is worth….

The Tragedy of the Unprepared Life

7 November 2020

Season of Growth, Year A

When we arrive in November, we know that there will be a change in the energy and movement of the liturgical year. Geared to the seasons in the northern hemisphere, there is increasing darkness and an apocalyptic turn as we hear the final passages of Jesus during the final week of his public ministry. It…

Called to be like Jesus

1 November 2020

Season of Growth, Solemnity, Year A

9 Beatitudes. Blessings. Jesus on a mountain proclaiming all these blessings on the crowd. Beatitude. Nice enough. Beginning of the most famous sermon of all time. On the surface it all seems simple enough – until you start to go below the surface. Who is being blessed? What does it mean? A question to keep asking…

The command to love

24 October 2020

Season of Growth, Year A

Anger is a difficult emotion that perhaps gets a bad reputation from our experience as children and being told that it is wrong to feel angry. Yet in our first reading from Exodus 22:20-26 we hear about the kinds of things that make God angry – when the widows, the orphans, the strangers, the foreigners,…

Give everything to God

18 October 2020

Season of Growth, Year A

We continue to read from the Gospel of Matthew (22:15-21) as we accompany Jesus during his final days in Jerusalem. He has made his triumphant entry into the city with a crowd of pilgrims, then he pulled the stunt in the temple, overthrowing the tables of the money changers. There was a question about his…

Wedding Invites

11 October 2020

Season of Growth, Year A

Weeping and grinding of teeth. Many are called but few are chosen. This is certainly a strange parable (or is it two parables?) of Jesus. It is told, like the two other parables that we have heard the last two weeks, not to the disciples or followers of Jesus, but to the Jewish religious leaders…

Bearing good fruit

4 October 2020

Season of Growth, Year A

At the beginning of Matthew 21, Jesus and his disciples arrived in Jerusalem making their triumphant entry – in the event that we commemorate each year on Palm Sunday. He makes his way to the temple and when he sees that this House of Prayer for all the nations has become a marketplace, he sets…

Actions speak louder and love matters more

27 September 2020

Season of Growth, Year A

“A Father had two sons…” It is such an evocative line. We will all know and have experience of the natural conflict that exists within families. The line probably activates the Parable in Luke 15:11-32 of the Merciful Father / Prodigal Son. It may also remind us of some of the ‘great’ sons and their…

A Generous God

20 September 2020

Season of Growth, Year A

The story that Jesus tells today is challenging (Matthew 20:1-16). It disturbs us, especially as children of capitalism and the sense of justice that we have developed. Surely the workers who were out in the vineyard all day long (and a 12-hour day is described) deserve to be paid more than the workers who only…

Mercy beyond imagining

13 September 2020

Season of Growth, Year A

Today we conclude the 18th chapter of Matthew. This fourth block of teaching centres around life in the community. It began with the question of who is the greatest in this new covenant community and culminates in this over-the-top story of abundant grace and mercy. Peter the impetuous again provides the fodder for the teaching…

Human Conflict

6 September 2020

Season of Growth, Year A

When we arrive at our Gospel today, we have jumped over a chapter and a half of the story from where we left it last week. We haven’t moved far geographically (from the northern reaches of Israel in Caesarea Philippi to the northern side of the lake), but we continue on this inexorable journey to…

Cross of Surrender

30 August 2020

Season of Growth, Year A

The Gospel today continues directly on from the one we listened to last week. The setting is still the very north of Israel – although the population was now much more pagan and gentile than Jewish. Jesus has taken the disciples away from the crowds to prepare them for the final journey to Jerusalem. He…

Personal Faith

23 August 2020

Season of Growth, Year A

But you – who do you say I am? To make sense of any passage in scripture it is necessary not only to read the actual text closely and carefully, we also need to read and pray the text within its context. Where does the passage fit within the flow of the narrative – as…

Great is your faith

16 August 2020

Season of Growth, Year A

Wow. This is a strange Gospel. A challenging Gospel. We can be left with the question – what the? Why does Jesus respond to this woman who acknowledges him as the Lord and Son of David with such indifference and hostility? How would you feel if you brought a loved-one before Jesus who you knew…

Staying in the boat

9 August 2020

Season of Growth, Year A

When we read or hear this Gospel scene from Matthew 14:22-33, it can be tempting to focus only on the mighty sign of both Jesus and then Peter walking on the water. This miracle has become almost a trope and a mere meme. The Netflix series from earlier this year, Messiah reaches something of a…

Christ, the King of Justice

25 November 2017

Season of Growth, Solemnity, Year A

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 we know that something is wrong from deep within…

Hidden Talents

18 November 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

When you get to the end of the year, there are always tests and exams and assignments for students. Some of these may be less serious – merely serving to help teachers know what they will need to spend more time revising in the new year. But for others, these tests will assess everything that…

The reality of heaven

11 November 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

What we come to when we wish to ponder the place where Jesus has gone, and where our beloved dead have gone to – it is not another where, not another place, but another way of being. Heaven is not some place elsewhere, but it is a different way of being – the place where…

Practice your Preaching

4 November 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

When you are setting out on a great adventure, you want the guide who is helping you to choose all the gear, plan your route, and help you train to have hiked the same planned journey – not just watched a video about it on YouTube or Discovery Channel. All too often we have guides…

The law of life

28 October 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

The question that Jesus is asked in the gospel today from Matthew 22 was a common one that the Rabbis of the day would be asked – “which is the greatest commandment of the Law?” Since in the first five books of the Hebrew scriptures, also called the Torah, the Rabbis had discerned a total…

Real Revolution

21 October 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

As an Australian, we can often feel small and forgotten, because we seem to be so far away from where all the action is happening. Our population is relatively small, we don’t have a huge army, or nuclear weapons to protect our vast land area. Yet we are also one of the wealthiest nations, with…

Wedding Party

14 October 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

Organising a party takes a lot of work. There’s the venue to be set up; the catering, entertainment and music; the invitations. If it’s a wedding then there’s all the ceremony stuff as well. When we throw a significant party, we’re happy to do lots of work and planning so that it will be a…

The Vineyard and the Stone

8 October 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

I remember always being a little annoyed and scared by this parable. We are used to Jesus talking about the landowner as God, his Father. But as the story goes on and the wickedness of the tenant farmers becomes clearer, I want to shout out to the landowner – no! Don’t send your son. They…

Doing the question

30 September 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

After Jesus had made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem at the start of chapter 21 of Matthew’s gospel, the question that everyone was wondering was – is he the one? Is he the long awaited anointed king, the one the Jewish people and leaders called the Messiah? So, Jesus tells a parable to the religious…

God is Generous

23 September 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts” says the Lord in the first reading. Which is such good news when I’m having a bad day and my thoughts are all over the place! This truth is so central to getting our heads around this gospel today. Our deeply ingrained sense of justice kicks in, and…

Reconciliation Flow

17 September 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

Peter asks a very valid question today: “How many times must I forgive a sister or brother (who has not even necessarily repented or asked for forgiveness) – as many as seven times?” He points to the reality that forgiving someone is not easy. It is one thing to forgive a person who asks for…

Learning to forgive

10 September 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

When you are in the middle of a fight – what do you do? Every day we see the results of not doing forgiveness and reconciliation well. On the world scale, it is the continuing threat of terrorism, wars, suicide bombs, ISIS, etc and on a more personal scale, it is seen in broken marriages…

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