Gospel Reflections

Sermons and Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Epiphany – Year A (January 5th)

Feast of the Epiphany – Year A (January 5th) Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6 Psalm 72:2a, 7-8, 10-13 Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6 Matthew 2:1-12 Next Sunday we in this country celebrate the feast of the Epiphany, which continues the celebration of Christmas, with the reflection that the Jesus at whose coming we rejoice means good news, not just to those who already believe (Jews and Christians) but to those who hardly understand what we are saying or know what we are doing. Look at the first reading for the solemnity. It encourages us to [...]

2013-11-05T10:37:42+00:00January 3rd, 2014|Categories: Gospel Reflections|

Feast of the Holy Family – Year A (December 26th)

Feast of the Holy Family – Year A (December 26th) Readings: Ecclesiasticus 3:2-6, 12-14 Psalm 128:1-5 Colossians 3:12-21 Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23 Next Sunday, as always on the first Sunday after Christmas, is the feast of the Holy Family; it is perhaps the Church’s attempt to mend any breaches in our families that may have occurred during the celebration. It is an interesting take on the family that the readings for next Sunday provide. The first reading is from ben Sira’, and emphasises the privileged place that God gives to parents, “He [...]

2013-11-05T10:37:04+00:00December 24th, 2013|Categories: Gospel Reflections|

4th Sunday – Year A (December 22nd)

4th Sunday – Year A (December 22nd) Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14 Psalm 24:1-6 Romans 1:1-7 Matthew 1:18-24 Next Sunday is the final Sunday before Christmas; sometimes that is a signal for hysterical bouts of shopping and packing and menu-planning, but life might be easier if instead we were to pay attention to the readings for the day, which offer us a useful reminder of what the Coming of Christ is really about. Our first reading is recycled in Sunday’s gospel to help us understand what that Coming means; but it also has [...]

2013-11-05T10:36:20+00:00December 20th, 2013|Categories: Gospel Reflections|

3rd Sunday of Advent – Year A (December 15th)

3rd Sunday of Advent – Year A (December 15th) Readings: Isaiah 35: 1-6, 10 Psalm 146:6-10 James 5:7-10 Matthew 11:2-11 Without vision, the people perish. Next Sunday we shall be a little over halfway through the time of Advent (or “Coming”), and the readings invite us to go deeper into the vision that animates us at this time of the year. The first reading is directed in the first place towards the Israelites in exile in Babylon, inviting them to think that God might be recalling them home to Jerusalem (so [...]

2013-11-05T10:35:31+00:00December 13th, 2013|Categories: Gospel Reflections|

2nd Sunday of Advent – Year A (December 8th)

2nd Sunday of Advent – Year A (December 8th) Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10 Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17 Romans 15:4-9 Matthew 3:1-12 During this time of Advent or “Coming”, our task is to look out for the arrival of the One who is expected; and that also means that we are going to have to respond in an appropriate way. The first reading for next Sunday looks for a “Coming One”, who will “come forth, a shoot from the stump of Jesse”. The context into which Isaiah is prophesying is that of [...]

2013-11-05T10:34:44+00:00December 6th, 2013|Categories: Gospel Reflections|

1st Sunday of Advent – Year A (December 1st)

1st Sunday of Advent – Year A (December 1st) Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5 Psalm 122 Romans 13:11-14 Matthew 24:37-44 What time is it? Well, next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, and the beginning of the Church’s year. This is therefore a time when we might be expecting to listen with fresh ears to what the Lord is saying to us. That, I suspect, is the message of the readings for next Sunday. The first reading is from a place early in Isaiah’s prophecy; Israel was about to go to war, [...]

2013-11-05T10:34:00+00:00November 29th, 2013|Categories: Gospel Reflections|

Christ the King – Year C (November 24th)

Christ the King – Year C (November 24th) Readings: 2 Samuel 5:1-3 Psalm 122:1-2, 4-5 Colossians 1:12-20 Luke 23:35-43 Next Sunday the church’s year comes to its end with the feast of Christ the King. Now it is perfectly accurate to call Jesus our “King”, but whenever you speak of God or of his Christ, you have to realise that you are at the edge of language, and nothing can mean quite what you expect it to mean. In the first reading, we hear the tribes of Israel coming to David [...]

2013-09-25T12:34:55+00:00November 22nd, 2013|Categories: Gospel Reflections|

33rd Sunday – Year C (November 17th)

33rd Sunday – Year C (November 17th) Readings: Malachi 3:19-20 Psalm 98:5-9 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12 Luke 21:5-19 We are almost at the end of the year now, and that may be why a faint air of menace hangs over the readings for next Sunday. It is hard to be sure precisely what Malachi means in the first reading, but we can read it into our life and our time: “The Day is coming”. It is, it would appear, a somewhat challenging “day”, and “all arrogant people will be like stubble”. The [...]

2013-09-25T12:34:01+00:00November 15th, 2013|Categories: Gospel Reflections|

Solemnity of All Saints (November 3rd)

Solemnity of All Saints (November 3rd) Readings: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14 Psalm 24: 1-6 1 John 3:1-3 Matthew 5:1-12 Next Sunday, we in this country celebrate the feast of All Saints; in a sense this is our feast, if we get it right, but we have to recall what it is really about. The message is that God is in charge, and that we are created to be with God, and (audaciously enough) to be like God. This God invites us creatures, flawed as we are, to recognise the Creator, and so [...]

2013-09-25T12:33:17+00:00November 1st, 2013|Categories: Gospel Reflections|

30th Sunday – Year C (October 27th)

30th Sunday – Year C (October 27th) Readings: Ecclesiasticus 35:12-14, 16-18 Psalm 34:2-3, 17-19, 23 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 Luke 18:9-14 Who does God listen to? Not the ones you might expect, according to the readings for next Sunday. Again and again, unless we are careful, we shall find ourselves unconsciously supposing that God prefers the prayers of People Like Us. The first reading, however, written for Jews trying to live out their faith in an increasingly hostile and sceptical society, insists that “the Lord is a just judge, and does [...]

2013-09-25T12:32:23+00:00October 25th, 2013|Categories: Gospel Reflections|