This Week

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+00:00 November 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+00:00 November 22nd, 2013|Categories: Gospel Reflections|

True Prayer

IN THE PARABLE of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, Jesus dismisses the first approach to prayer and praises the second. The proper approach to prayer is the attitude of humility, recognising one's faults and failings. Confronted with the goodness and holiness of God all of us fall short of the mark. 'God be merciful to me, a sinner' puts us into a right relationship. Luke 18.9-14 But what happens now? The utter difference of God leaves us with nothing we can see or touch. God's hiddeness and silence may mislead [...]

2013-11-21T10:22:30+00:00 November 21st, 2013|Categories: GodTalk|

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+00:00 November 15th, 2013|Categories: Gospel Reflections|

From Death to Life Eternal

FROM DEATH TO LIFE ETERNAL ALTHOUGH the dead are constantly in the prayers of the liturgy, the Church invites us to make a special point of praying for the dead during November each year. So in churches and in private at this time, Christians will be making a special point of bringing before God those who have gone before us. That ancient tradition may well make those who observe it conscious of their own mortality - though this reality is something that can come to mind in many ways. Intellectually, we [...]

2013-11-12T11:55:15+00:00 November 12th, 2013|Categories: GodTalk|

Becoming Christ for Others

BECOMING CHRIST FOR OTHERS WE KNOW very little about the first disciples apart from the Gospel accounts. But what we do know, more importantly, is what it means to be a follower of Christ Jesus. There is a story about someone who died and who was awaiting his entry into heaven. He imagined he’d lived a good enough life; nothing special, but on the whole he thought he’d been OK. He was confident he couldn’t be accused of any deliberate wrong-doing. When he eventually came face to face with Jesus he [...]

2013-11-05T10:21:00+00:00 November 5th, 2013|Categories: GodTalk|

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+00:00 November 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+00:00 October 25th, 2013|Categories: Gospel Reflections|

Finding God in All Things

IT IS difficult for some people to ‘find God in all things’, because they assume God can be found only in good situations. (Just as some think of love more in terms of ‘falling in love’ than ‘staying in love’ which calls for constant care and consideration.) But a moment’s reflection on Good Friday should make it clear that God is present in what humanly appear to be the most disastrous situations. Jesus’ acceptance of this human disaster brought his resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit to all humanity [...]

2013-10-24T11:41:05+00:00 October 24th, 2013|Categories: GodTalk|

Accepting Disappointment in Love

WHEN WE ARE young and hear sadness in love songs, we think that the sadness and disappointment are a prelude to the experience of love. Later we come to realize that the sadness and disappointment ultimately originate not from the fact that love has not taken place, but from the finite, limited character of human love itself. Why is disappointment part of the experience of every relationship, friendship, and marriage? Because the very way that we are made precludes ever having, in this life, a oneness of mind, heart, and body [...]

2013-10-21T08:47:12+00:00 October 21st, 2013|Categories: GodTalk|