July 31st THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE Mt 13:44-46

My father is an oyster farmer. I have spent thousands of hours working closely with him on the oyster farm and we have never discovered a pearl! Well, that is at least partly because the species of oyster he farms is not one that cultivates pearls except once in few tens of millions of oysters, but nevertheless we have discovered a different pearl that is worth far more than anything that an oyster can produce – our relationship as father and son. There is something healthy about working together with one’s father where there has to be mutual trust or someone can get seriously hurt or even killed. The mutual respect that has grown between my father and myslef over the years of work is something that endures up to now even though it is 25 years since I have worked in an extended manner with him on the oyster farm.

Our relationships with our parents are something to be treasured, respected and enjoyed. Too often the busyness of life and the demands of economic reality lead to a weakening in the familial ties to the point that they are sometimes lost! This is a tremendous loss for both the individual […]

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July 30 THE BATTLE Mt 13:36-43

As a child I remember I used to play games with my brothers and sisters and our friends that were basically great big wars of good versus evil. What epic battles we fought and the result was always predetermined! It did not matter what the odds were at the beginning, the good guys, whoever they were, always won in the end. Does this sort of scenario sound familiar to you?

Our lives form the battle-field for exactly this sort of battle! The battle of good and evil is played out every day in the choices that we make surrounding the things that we do. Sometimes we are more or less conscious of the nature of this battle, however, in either case the reality is that it is happening. We need to grow in or consciousness of this reality so that we can bring to bear the weapons of our faith on the side of good. We cannot afford to take the forces of evil lightly or we will be surprised by how quickly they might gain ascendancy over us. Even though we know that Jesus has already won the battle for us, presumption is one of our worst enemies as it […]

By |July 30th, 2013|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

Passionate Christianity

In this week's homily, Fr Dave Callaghan MGL says that in our prayer and in our way of life, we need to have a clear idea of what we want and a passionate desire to seek after it.
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July 29 ACTIVE VERSUS CONTEMPLATION Lk 10:38-42

Sometimes we experience the tension of the active life versus the contemplative life as a conflict. It is not meant to be a conflict, and wont be experienced as one, if we can find the right balance between these two parts of life according to the Gospel. Both are necessary for the successful proclamation of the Gospel. Without someone to preach the word and take it to those who have never heard the Gospel (active), no one would be converted. At the same time, we must never underestimate the contemplatives who give their lives in prayer, work and suffering as forms of intercession for the successful proclamation of the Gospel. We often forget them, but thanks be to God, they never forget us!

Martha has a predilection for work. She always has to be busy about doing this and doing that. Mary has a tendency just to sit there and listen to the wisdom of those around her. She has a quieter and more contemplative spirit. Jesus does not say that one is better than the other. He just reminds Martha of the goodness of contemplation. It is usually the busyness in us that takes over and thus pushes the contemplative […]

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July 27 CHOOSING THE GOOD Mt 13:24-30

St Paul tells us that we live in a world that is very wicked, however, by our lives we should redeem it (c.f. Eph 5:16). This is probably just as true today as when Paul originally wrote those words in the first century. The great challenge for us is to be able to recognize the good in our world and take hold of it while remaining faithful to discarding all that is contrary to the Gospel.

The parable of the weeds among the wheat that we read today directs us to this message. It also indicates how difficult it can be to separate the good from the bad. At times it may even be impossible to select the good without having a little bit of the bad come along with it! Here we must be very careful in what we are doing so that we do not let the bad get into the system in such a way that we cannot remove it at a later stage. An example might be that in order to compete in a team competition we may have to choose players who are not up to standard or may be a little coarse in their language […]

By |July 27th, 2013|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

Becoming Fire part 7 – Practical love

Fr Ken Barker MGL presents the seventh part of the Becoming Fire series. In this week’s talk he focuses on the virtue of Practical love. Love is the center of virtuous life, it is the virtue that lies at the heart of the church. Our desire to love needs to be something practical in our life so that our life is conformed to the image of Christ.

  Listen Now

By |July 26th, 2013|Becoming Fire, Becoming Fire Audio|0 Comments

July 23 WHAT IS THE TRUTH? Mt 12:46-50

People are sometimes a bit scandalized by Jesus’ treatment of His mother in this encounter. However, all He is doing is taking the opportunity to challenge the people who have gathered around Him at the time. Jesus has the utmost respect for His mother and would never dream of doing or saying anything that would insult her.

The rhetorical question, “Who is my mother?” is simply the launching pad for a very deep challenge of the commitment of those who desire to follow Him. It is also, in a certain respect, a compliment and tribute to His mother in terms of her own commitment to Him and to doing the will of the Father in her life!

Mary, the mother of Jesus, is presented to us as the perfect disciple. She is a model we would all do well to seek to imitate. And it is Jesus, her son, who presents her in this way. Mary’s commitment to obedience to the Father’s will has made this encounter possible. Without her ‘yes’ He, Jesus, would not be standing here and talking to them today! Then, with the further explanation, “Whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven is my brother, and sister, […]

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July 22 Mary Magdalene RESPONDING TO GOD’S GRACE Mt 12:38-42

 

The figure of Mary Magdalene in the Gospel is somewhat mysterious. She is sometimes identified with the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8:1-11) from who Jesus casts out seven demons and also as the first person to witness the resurrection (Jn 20: 1-2, 11-18). It is impossible to identify her exactly barring some new evidence or texts coming to light that help in this task.

As we honor her commitment to the Lord today we can do so under many different senses. The one I wish to focus upon is her willingness to let go of an old way of life and embrace a new one. This combines the witness of the two texts above in demonstrating that she moves from a life of sin (adulteress – note that she does not deny the accusations brought against her), to a life of witness in that God chose her to be the first witness of the resurrection. This is an enormous change, similar to that of Paul of Tarsus in its magnitude.

The reason I want to focus on this as it ought to be a source of hope and consolation for us that nothing is impossible for God. It does not […]

By |July 22nd, 2013|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

Carrying the Cross

A special presentation by Jim Murphy, a lay evangelist sharing his experience of walking across America with a six-foot tall cross.
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July 21 ACTION AND CONTEMPLATION Lk 10:38-42

 

One of the tensions, and it should be a creative tension rather than a destructive one is between the active life and the contemplative one. They are and so ought to be complementary both in an individual’s life and within the life of a community. Solitude and contemplation are healthy aspects of the spiritual life though rarely does a person have them as their predominant focus. This is usually the preserve of the contemplative religious orders.

It does not really matter how active one’s life is there will always be a need for contemplation and reflection. It is those of us who are driven by work (the workaholic personality) who find it almost impossible to respect this need because there is always something that needs to be done and I will be the one to do it! This sort of attitude is unhealthy and breeds a sort of messianic complex where I become indispensible to every aspect of my life and ministry. We are not mini-messiahs! Jesus is the only Messiah and we should realize, however difficult that may be, that it is he, Jesus, who is indispensible and not us.

The problem with workaholism and its relationship with reflection is that […]

By |July 21st, 2013|Daily Scripture|0 Comments