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The Call: Open to Christ?

“We, as the Church, accompany Our Lady in this path of waiting,” the Pope said. “The Lord comes two times: that which we commemorate now, the physical birth and when he comes to conclude history.” However, he noted, there is a third coming of the Lord: that which occurs every day.”

“The Lord visits His Church every day!” the Pope exclaimed. “He visits each one of us and our souls enters into this similarity: our soul resembles the Church, our soul resembles Mary. The fathers of the desert say that Mary, the Church, and our souls are feminine and that which is said of one, can similarly said about the other. Our soul is also waiting, in this waiting for the coming of the Lord, an open soul that cries: ‘Come, Lord!’”

“For this the Church invites us to pray this “Come!”, to open our soul and that our soul be, in these days, vigilant in waiting. To keep watch! What happens in us if the Lord comes or if he doesn’t come? If there is a place for the Lord or if there is a place for parties, for shopping, for making noise…Is our soul open like the Holy Mother Church […]

By |December 31st, 2013|The Call|0 Comments

HE IS ONE OF US! Jn 1:1-18.

Sometimes we can draw deeper meaning from the Scriptures if we are able to study them in the language in which they were originally written. This does not mean that we have to be able to do this, only that we are more likely to discover deeper and even new meanings from the Scriptures if we study them in their original form. Let us look at an example in today’s Gospel.

In verse 14 John tells us, in the English translation that, “Jesus came to dwell in our midst.” This is a reasonable translation of the Greek verb in the sentence. It does not, however, capture the full meaning of the verb. The Greek verb that is translated as ‘dwell’ literally means, ‘to pitch one’s tent.’ Dwell is an adequate translation but it fails to capture the full meaning carried by the Greek verb. When we hear the word ‘dwell’ we readily think of living in a ready-made house. However, when we think about ‘pitching a tent’ there is a lot more effort involved in this. It is a far more deliberate choice involved here! It is a choice that requires a fair amount of effort on the part of the […]

By |December 31st, 2013|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

PRAYING NIGHT AND DAY Lk 2:36-40.

It might seem like a bit too much to ask of a person for them to be praying night and day in the temple, or in the case of a Christian, a Church or Chapel. This is the case only if we have a very limited vision for prayer, that is, prayer is recitation of the devotional formulas in front of the Blessed Sacrament. There is far more to prayer than this! Our whole life ought to be one big prayer to God!

This is what the prophetess Anna is teaching us in today’s Gospel! Her life becomes a symbol or, better still, a living example of what all our lives should be – namely, a living sacrifice to God! The big question is: How is this possible in the midst of the busyness of our lives?

Any successful person will tell you that one of the keys to his or her success is the ability to prioritize well. It is important for us to realize that NOT every good thing we CAN do SHOULD be done. This can be hard to accept at first but is quite logical when we think it through properly. Jesus gave a certain priority to prayer […]

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

Holy Family FAMILY LIFE Lk 2:41-52.

One of the constant concerns of the papacy over the last 30 years has been to strengthen our understanding of the role of the family in society. Without the family, in fact, society as we know it will crumble until it ceases to exist! Why do I say this? Simply because the family is the most basic unit of society and without it – without the values that families pass on to their children, the moral structure of our society will disappear.

Thus the family must always be a constant focus in our lives as Christians. We must do all that we can to try sand strengthen Christian families in particular or we will find that the values that the Gospel has given us will fade away from public life. If we give in to the secularistic tendencies of our world and place more value on things like jobs and money, then we will find that our society will reflect that trend. Society will lose a sense of the value of familial relationships and fail to protect them with its laws and policies of government.

If we open our eyes and look around us I think that we will see that this […]

By |December 29th, 2013|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

Holy Innocents THE DIGNITY OF HUMAN LIFE Mt 2:13-18.

There is so much in this world for which we should be thankful! However, the daily advances in the technological and biological sciences are not necessarily a blessing if there are not used in accordance with the principle of the absolute dignity of human life. Just because  we CAN do something, technologically or biologically speaking, does not necessarily mean that we MAY do it morally speaking. This principle is not knew to humanity’s understanding and nor is its application to real-life situations. We have had the ability to kill one another from time immemorial yet society has always recognized the truth of the commandment – Thou Shall not Kill.

We live in a world where it is possible to terminate the life of the unborn child at will. More and more the ability to do this is being sanctioned in our legal systems. We talk of the Jewish Holocaust of WWII, the massacres in Rwanda and in the countries that were once a part of Yugoslavia – yet we hear little said about the millions who die every year as a result of abortion and infanticide. Why is this?

I think it has something to do with our desire to control our […]

By |December 28th, 2013|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

St John THE MYSTICAL EVANGELIST Jn 20:2-8.

The title I have chosen for this reflection is a little misleading in that all of the Evangelists are mystics in their own rights. It is just that the Gospel of John seems to be more so in that it often refers to many of the mysteries of our faith. John was obviously a deep thinker. He was not satisfied with simple explanations of realities that failed to express them truly. Even if it meant leaving our understanding of articles of faith open to the mystery of God and His Holy Spirit, this did not deter him in his writings. In many ways this is the beauty of John’s Gospel – the openness to the transcendent that he places in the Gospel can be the launching point for many fruitful meditations and reflections.

There was a time in my life when I feared uncertainty and all that uncertainty meant. Now I have learned to love it and embrace it with faith, trusting that if and when necessary, the Holy Spirit will give me whatever understanding I need at any given time! I think that this type of attitude captures something of the essence of the meaning of the word, ‘faith.’ As […]

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

St Stephen THE CROWNED ONE Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59.

As you have all probably realized by now my name is Steven, an alternative spelling of Stephen. There was a time that I wondered what my name meant so I looked it up in a dictionary of names and their meanings. I found out that it is Greek in origin and means literally, ‘crowned one.’ Great I thought, my name has kingly meaning. It was only later, when I was talking to my dad about the meaning of my name that I discovered that the reference to being crowned in relation to St Stephen, the first martyr, is a reference to being crowned with the crown of martyrdom. This was not so appealing as being crowned with a royal crown as we understand it being a part of the royal family who rules a particular country here on earth!

It was not until many years later, when I began to study the lives of the martyrs and saints that I began to understand that the crown of martyrdom is far greater than any crown that the kings and queens of this earth will wear. To receive the crown of martyrdom is to receive the crown of eternal life! It is to […]

By |December 26th, 2013|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

The beauty of this child

Fr Ken Barker MGL opens up the beauty of this encounter with the Child Jesus in this homily recorded live on Christmas Eve at St
By |December 25th, 2013|CRADIO, Homilies|Comments Off on The beauty of this child

Christmas Day THE LIGHT HAS COME Jn 1:1-5, 9-14.

The coming of the Son of God among us as a man is one of the most important events in human history. God chooses not to remain somewhat aloof and distant from His creation and joins us as one of us! This is really quite a remarkable truth to dwell upon. On of the images that John the Evangelist uses to present this reality to us is the image of the light coming in to the midst of darkness and banishing the darkness forever.

The whole interplay of the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus is played out within this image. There are forces of darkness, that we might also call ‘sin’ that seek destroy Him. Just when it looks as though the powers of darkness have won, when Jesus hangs dead on the cross, we find, a few days later, that He is not dead any more, but has been raised from the dead by the glory of God the Father!

The little child that is born this day, 2000 or so years ago in a town called Bethlehem, has all this awaiting Him and more. As we begin to follow His journey, which is in reality, our journey of […]

By |December 25th, 2013|Daily Scripture|0 Comments
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The Call: Humilty of Heart

Earlier this year, the Queen of England met some soldiers that had returned from fighting in Afghanistan. While the soldiers all stood to attention, one Fijian soldier sat on the ground and lowered his head. Most of the people present failed to understand that this was a sign of respect in the Fijian culture. As with many traditional cultures, people show respect towards royalty by making themselves lower than the king or the queen.

This same concept has often been mentioned in the writings of Catholic Saints. If Christ is our king, how can we expect to stand above him, or demand more respect than he received. As St Bernard of Clairvaux once said, “as members of that head, crowned with thorns, we should be ashamed to live in luxury; his purple robes are a mockery rather than an honour”.

As we prepare for Christ to come among us as a child, so humble and small, perhaps we need to question whether we need to humble ourselves so that our life shows true honour and respect to our king.

 

By |December 24th, 2013|The Call|0 Comments