Year A

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…

The Cost of Discipleship

2 September 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

Just before our Gospel today, Jesus asked the disciples who the people and then who they said he was. Simon Peter, speaking on behalf of the other disciples, declared that Jesus is not just another prophet like the crowds say he is – Jesus is the true, anointed King of Israel, and the Son of…

Who is Jesus?

26 August 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

I bought a Google Home recently – it’s a voice operated speaker that lets you geek out to control your music, lights and find out stuff. It comes with a guide to let you know the kind of questions that you can ask it. One of the questions that it suggests is: “Hey Google, who am I?”…

The Canaanite Woman’s need

20 August 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

This is a very difficult gospel. It is hard to listen to, and hard to pray with a gospel where Jesus appears to be so sexist and racist, especially in the light of ongoing violence in so many countries around the world, all of which is based on discrimination and hatred because of difference. We…

Walking on Water

12 August 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

The Gospel begins with Jesus sending the disciples off in their boat, while he sends the crowds home. Just before this passage, he had heard that his friend and cousin, John, had just been executed by the ruthless tyrant Herod. He wanted some time alone. He needed some time alone. So he went off in…

Transfigured and transformed

6 August 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

Have you ever had an experience that was so sublime, so magical, so amazing – that you struggled to share all its details even with a close friend? Maybe the event wasn’t even all that weird or far out – but all the elements came together in a way that you know that mere words…

Treasures of the Kingdom

30 July 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

Today we conclude a three-week series of readings from the thirteenth chapter of Matthew’s gospel. This chapter is jam-packed with parables and their explanations. The section today has three short parables drawn from ordinary life – a treasure that is hidden in a field; a fine and valuable pearl that is found by a merchant,…

Growth in patience

23 July 2017

Season of Growth, Year A

In chapter 13 of Matthew’s Gospel, we are presented with a series of 7 parables (of the 40 or so that Jesus tells during his recorded ministry) – which provokes a first question – what is a parable? For most of Christian history, parables have been treated as allegories – with many different interpretations available….

The secret of joy

1 July 2017

Discipleship, Season of Growth, Teaching, Year A

Jesus makes today a series of fairly bizarre declarations about himself and his position. He tells the disciples – who at the beginning of this chapter 10 of Matthew’s gospel are commissioned and sent out to share in his mission – that anyone who prefers ‘father or mother’; ‘son or daughter’ to me is not…

Declare before God

24 June 2017

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

Commitment Sunday The Gospel today invites us as a church to ‘declare ourselves before God’ as good stewards. God loves giving – he gave no lesser gift than the wonderful gift of Jesus to ensure that we are not alone in this life. We are also invited to not be afraid – the most common…

Scroll to Top