Passion and Lament

25 March 2018

Lent, Seasons, Series

Wow. That was pretty intense. To read about all of that violence and hatred and to think that all of this happened to Jesus – of all people. Even people that really don’t know much about Jesus know that he was a great guy. He was innocent, and did all he could to love and…

Lamentations 3 – Anger and Hope

18 March 2018

Lent, Seasons, Series

Today we arrive at the centre and many would say the climax of the Book of Lamentations (Eka) – and the intensity of the grief and lamenting increases. A new character takes the stage with a new, more complex, and more interwoven story to tell. The voices of the Narrator and Daughter Zion vanish, to…

Lamentations 2 – Being Angry with God

11 March 2018

Lent, Seasons, Series

On this Laetare Sunday with its wonderful readings that focus our attention upon the rich, saving love of God, it is tempting to dwell with them for some time. But we will continue to reflect on this long-neglected book of Scripture, the book of Lamentations, which in Hebrew is called “Eka” – the Book of…

Learning to lament in a culture of denial – part 1

4 March 2018

Lent, Seasons, Series

We live in a world that loves being distracted. We so often suffer or grieve without knowing how to do it appropriately. When you attend a funeral in a western country, everything is very controlled and proper. Sometimes people will begin to sob with little control – but that is the exception. In other cultures,…

Revolution 5 – The Revolution Continues

2 April 2017

Lent, Seasons, Series

The early Christian message is not well summarised by saying that Jesus died so that we can go to heaven. That way of looking at the gospel and mission both shrinks and distorts what the Bible actually teaches. It ignores Jesus’s claim to be launching God’s kingdom “on earth as in heaven” and to be…

The Revolution 4 – Atonement

25 March 2017

Lent, Seasons, Series

When Jesus knew that it was his time to go up to Jerusalem to face the passion and death – why did he choose the festival of Passover? Surely if his actions were going to bring about the ultimate covering over of sins, he would choose the great festival of expiation – the Day of…

The Revolution 3 – New Goal, New Humanity

19 March 2017

Lent, Seasons, Series

Paul is often accused of being dry and clinical in his writing – but sometimes he can open us to the most beautiful and stunning statements about the love and mercy of our God. The second reading today – from Romans 5 – provides us with such a statement. He tells us: But this is…

The Revolution 2 – Covenant and Cross

12 March 2017

Lent, Seasons, Series

When Jesus told the disciples that he was going to suffer and die, or as he does in today’s Gospel, tell them not to speak of the transfiguration vision until after he had been raised from the dead – what was the story that they had in their heads when they would later tell the…

The Revolution 1 – Why did Jesus die?

5 March 2017

Lent, Seasons, Series

As we enter into this new season of Lent, the Church offers us very evocative readings to guide our journey. But it seems that there is an even more fundamental truth that lies at the heart of the Christian faith – which is the question of “Why did Jesus die on the cross?” Although the…

Temple builders

19 February 2017

Season of Growth, Series, Year A

The first question that Paul addresses today in I Corinthians 3 is whether he in fact is the founder of Christianity. It had been commonly claimed that Jesus only ever intended to proclaim the coming of the kingdom of God by reforming Judaism, not to begin a new religion, and Paul is accused of being…

Spirit Wisdom

12 February 2017

Season of Growth, Series, Year A

Although it may seem that St Paul is having an each-way bet today, he is not. He says that although the Cross is foolishness for the wise and a stumbling block for the Jewish people, there is still a wisdom that is at work here – but it is not a wisdom that is available…

Proclaim Christ Crucified

5 February 2017

Season of Growth, Series, Year A

When pondering the nature of God, Paul could have spoken about the various ways that God had been revealed across the centuries, the different qualities of God, the effects of God, or the ways to encounter God, based on philosophy or rhetoric – common in Greek culture. Instead Paul focuses on one basic element -…

Somebody boast

29 January 2017

Season of Growth, Series, Year A

The liturgy presents us with the final section (26-31) of chapter one of First Corinthians today, which means we have jumped over verses 18-25 which provides the essential context of the passage. Paul speaks in a powerful rhetoric about the cross – ironically telling us that God will destroy the wisdom of the wise. It…

Preaching Jesus united

22 January 2017

Season of Growth, Series, Year A

Corinth was located at the end of a neck of land attaching the Peloponnese peninsula to mainland Greece and having a port facing east (Cenchreae) and another with access to the west (Lechaion), Corinth was geographically predestined to be a corridor of commerce and a potpourri of cultures. Ships could be hauled across the isthmus on chariots on the 6km paved…

Grace and Peace in Corinth

15 January 2017

Season of Growth, Series, Year A

Each liturgical year, the second readings for the first eight weeks of the Season of the Year are taken from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians. In Year A we read sections from chapters 1-4; in Year B from chapters 6-10; and in Year C from chapters 12-15. The letter is also read at key points in…

Four Transcendentals: Beauty

18 December 2016

Advent, Seasons, Series

We come to the final transcendental this week as we encounter Beauty. Over the weeks of Advent we have journeyed through these ideas that are present in every single thing, indeed in being itself – ‘Omni ens est unum, bonum, verum et pulchrum’ – that all being is one, good, true and beautiful. “The quality…

Four Transcendentals: True

11 December 2016

Advent, Seasons, Series

When John the precursor asks the question of Jesus – are you the long-anticipated Messiah – or are we to wait for someone else? – he taps into the long tradition of the prophets and holy people of Israel who had longed for a new David to set them free from all of their oppressors…

Four Transcendentals: Good

4 December 2016

Advent, Seasons, Series

All being is one, good, true and beautiful (Omne ens est unum, bonum, verum et pulchrum) The word Good is very commonly used in the scriptures (more than 500 times), but it can mean one of ten things: useful; pleasing / agreeable; advantageous / profitable; fitting / appropriate; abundant / full-measure; generous / benevolent; sound…

Four Transcendentals: One

27 November 2016

Advent, Season of Growth, Seasons, Series, Year A

One small piece of wisdom that has come down from the ages (it was first stated in Greek philosophy, and then offered into the Christian tradition through the writings of the Eastern fathers, St Augustine, and then codified in scholastic philosophy through the writings of St Thomas Aquinas) is the Latin phrase: omne/omnia ens est…

Living Simply 4 – Today Matters

6 November 2016

Season of Growth, Series, Year C

In the Gospel today (Luke 20:27-38), a group of Sadducees (the only mention in the Gospel of Luke) come to Jesus with a question, involving a bizarre scenario about seven unfortunate brothers and their common childless wife. Although the context of the resurrection of the dead is presumed, Jesus doesn’t complete the argument, leaving it…

Living Simply 3

23 October 2016

Season of Growth, Series, Year C

In order to be able to live simply, sometimes a bit of perspective is going to be helpful – so we need to go on a journey today into the vastness of the universe – which scientists just last week announced was even bigger than previously known. Gospel reflection Unless we are in the legal…

Living Simply 2

15 October 2016

Season of Growth, Series, Year C

“In a few hundred years, when the history of our time will be written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important event historians will see is not technology, not the Internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time – literally – substantial and…

Living Simply 1

9 October 2016

Season of Growth, Series, Year C

When you look at the Gospels and the ministry of Jesus, there are many things that strike you. But one thing that is not present is any sense of Jesus being distracted and worried about so many things all happening at once. Somehow he manages to keep this focus on the thing that is happening…

Prayer 101 – 2 Beginning to Pray

24 July 2016

Discipleship, Season of Growth, Series, Teaching, Year C

We are invited deeply into relationship with a God who as a good father wants to give good gifts to all of his children – and especially the gift of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was a little child, as was the tradition at the time, his mother Mary would have taught him how to…

Prayer 101 – Learning to Pray

17 July 2016

Season of Growth, Series, Year C

In today’s gospel, we see Jesus arriving at the house of Martha, who in good near eastern tradition is very attentive to the hospitality of Jesus. But when Martha’s sister Mary is able to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to him while he taught, Martha remains distracted by all the serving. Mary…

Discipleship 3 – Moments of Conversion

3 July 2016

Discipleship, Season of Growth, Series, Teaching, Year C

Jesus today sends out the larger group of his followers to become disciples – those who have learnt from the master and now share in his mission to proclaim that the kingdom of God has drawn near. It is this passage of scripture (Luke 10:1-9) that was the inspiration for the new logo for the…

Discipleship 2 – Following Jesus

25 June 2016

Discipleship, Season of Growth, Series, Teaching, Year C

Discipleship 2. Called to follow Jesus Jesus sets his face resolutely towards Jerusalem (Luke 9:51) The kingdom of God: We are called to follow A time of Social unrest • Violence by Roman soldiers • High taxation • Tensions within the Jewish community • The Jewish people had returned from exile God would become King…

Hope of New Creation 4 – Building for the kingdom at Pentecost

15 May 2016

Easter, New Creation, Seasons, Series, Solemnity, Teaching

One of the things that strikes me about the celebration of Pentecost, are its Jewish roots. When the disciples met in the upper room on that day, they almost certainly would have reflected upon the passages of Exodus 19 and 20 which detail the events around the arrival of the Hebrew nation at Mount Sinai,…

Hope of New Creation 3 – Heaven and Paradise

8 May 2016

Easter, New Creation, Seasons, Series, Teaching

On this feast of the Ascension, we ponder the event of Jesus ascending into heaven as told in the Lukan literature – the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. The other synoptic Gospels do not record the event at all, and John only hints at it by telling Mary of Magdala that…

Hope of New Creation 2 – Purgatory and Hell

1 May 2016

Easter, Seasons, Series

Moving into the second week of this series, we need to look at the question of what happens in the moment of death and the personal judgement that each person receives before God. What are the possible options regarding our judgement, what are the possible destinations, and how long does the process of purification take…

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