GETTING OUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT Mt 16:21-27

 

It is a very scarey thought to think one can be totally successful by the standards of the world and yet fail utterly to enter the Kingdom of God. The only way to guard against this happening is to ensure that in every decision we make we remember that we live in the world but we are not of the world. Perhaps the area of our our lives where this is most clearly seen is in our relationship with advertising. We never see an advertisement that tells us to delay our earthly pleasures for the sake of better ones in the Kingdom of Heaven! In fact, we are far more likely, indeed it is the underlying basis of all advertising, that we see exactly the opposite – namely, get it while you can for it may not be here tomorrow!

 

This get it while you can attitude is totally antithetical to the values of the Kingdom of God that are always looking to the future, eternal life in fact, as the motivation that guides us in the here and now. Jesus addresses this in the way he reminds us that it is useless to gain the whole world (now) and […]

By |August 31st, 2014|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

LIVING UP TO YOUR POTENTIAL Mt 25:14-30

I can remember receiving one report card in high school where my dad sat me down and it was very clear that he was not happy. There were a number of teachers who said that I was not as well-behaved as I should have been and so I thought I was about to get a lecture on respect and ‘being a good boy.’ However, I was wrong! He was not happy about the bad behavior but he was even more unhappy about something else that one of the teachers wrote. In effect she had written that I was not living up to the potential I had as regards the quality of work I was submitting. It was this that had really gained the ire of my father!

 

Jesus addresses a similar sort of thing in today’s parable. We have all been blessed with talents and gifts from God and we should be putting them to good use. Admittedly, we cannot use all of the gifts all of the time so we have to be sensibly when assessing ourselves in this regard. However, this is not an excuse to sit back and be lazy about using our gifts. God gives us our […]

By |August 30th, 2014|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

Beheading of John the Baptist THE INTEGRITY TO SPEAK UP Mk 6:17-29

 

In many ways John the Baptist could be seen as a moral activist. He knows how powerful Herod is and yet he dares to tell him that his marriage to his brother’s ex-wife is immoral. The weird thing about this is that Herod does not seem to be too worried about what John has to say. It is his wife that has a problem with John and it is she who conspires with her daughter to have john killed at the first available opportunity. Unwittingly, it is Herod in his fear of what the people might think of him if he fails to live up to his promise, who provides that opportunity.

 

Herod actually likes to listen to the preaching of John – perhaps he was even in some sort of conversion process – because it gives him something to think about and probably challenges him to be a better person. John would have been quite an interesting person to meet in that he had spent many years in the desert as somewhat of an eremetic recluse. When he eventually reappeared he preached a message of repentance and baptism. What can we learn from John the Baptist today?

 

John was a man […]

By |August 29th, 2014|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

A TRULY GREAT SAINT AND THEOLOGIAN Mt 24:42-51

 

Tod ay we celebrate the feast day of a truly great saint and theologian, namely St Augustine. As a young man he was not renowned for his faith but for virtually the opposite. Whatever Augustine did he did with gusto, and so when he sinned he did so greatly. He gave in to many of the sexual pleasures of his time and kept a mistress for many years. He even had at least one son that we know of. Yet when the time came for conversion in his life when he went to Italy in search of greater learning he eventually surrendered himself and his enormous intellect to the grace of God. For me he is probably the greatest of all the theologians of the Church as he he is the first to really comment on all the various branches of theology in a systematic manner. He is the most quoted of all the saints in both the Prayer of the Church and the Catholic Catechism.

 

St Augustine was baptized when he was 32 years old after arriving in Milan and being enraptured by the preaching of St Anselm, then the bishop of Milan. A few years later Augustine was ordained […]

By |August 28th, 2014|Daily Scripture|0 Comments
  • cardboard

The Call: The Cardboard-self

Imagine a world where every person carried in front of them a life-sized cardboard cut-out of themselves. This cardboard cut-out would be a the perfect image of themselves; their best picture, professionally ‘photoshoped’ to create the most perfect appearance. Whenever these people met each other, they would push their perfect image of themselves forward and request that the other person talk to the picture and not look at the real person behind.
Some might say that this is what our world has become. We celebrate perfection so much that we now hide behind a false image for fear that other people might see who we really are. As Christians, the real danger is when we do this to God. We come to prayer and present to God our ‘best selves’. We assume that since we do not like our ‘real-self’, surely God would not be pleased with it either.
It should be obvious that God would hate being presented with this ‘cardboard person’ as much as we would. He loves us in our real-self with all of its imperfections; he definitely does not like our pretend-self. If you feel that you are not encountering God in your prayer, perhaps it is because […]

By |August 27th, 2014|The Call|0 Comments

I DON’T WANT TO BE A WHITE-WASHED TOMB Mt 23: 27-32

 

If there is one thing I do not want to be called it is a ‘white-washed tomb.’ ‘What is that?’ I hear you ask. Think about it for a moment in the context of our reflections over the last couple of days and I am sure you will discover the answer for yourself. Just in case, it is a hypocrite. Why? Well, think of the contrast of the inside of a tomb (rotting and decaying flesh and bones) and the look exteriorly of a pure white and fresh coat of paint. Ahh, you have the image now!

 

The white exterior corresponds to the looks of a life of virtue and the inside of the tomb to exactly the opposite. It is within our own power and our own power alone to determine which it is that we are! This truth is at the heart of a virtuous life in that the individual alone makes the decisions regarding the degree he or she pursues the life of virtue. Yes, the grace of God makes it possible to do so, however, without the decision of the individual (albeit aided by grace), it is impossible for God’s grace to do anything to bring about […]

By |August 27th, 2014|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

MAKING THE VIRTUOUS LIFE OUR FOCUS Mt 23:23-26

 

Following on from yesterday’s reflection it is good to spend a few moments discussing the nature of a virtuous life as it seems that there are not too many people who manage such a life. Yes, we all have our moments of virtue but what makes a saint stand out against all the rest of us is that his or her virtuous moments are sustained for long periods at a high level. It is relatively easy to get it right once in a while and even less frequently manage to string a few of these moments together for a longer period of time, however, the true life of virtue is much more than this.

 

When we study the lives of the saints, and this is what we should spend some time doing in order to be inspired by them, we should be opening our hearts to the graces that make possible their response to God’s call. I wonder how many lives of the saints you are really familiar with? It would be a travesty of the gift their lives are to the Church for us to be familiar with only a few! Why limit ourselves unnecessarily when there is so much […]

By |August 26th, 2014|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

Jesus is Lord

There is a big difference between knowing that Jesus is the messiah, and actually believing it. Fr Ken Barker MGL speaks about the significance of Peter's statement in this homily for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary time.
By |August 25th, 2014|CRADIO, Homilies|Comments Off on Jesus is Lord

LET US TRY TO AVOID THESE ‘WOES!’ Mt 23:1-12

 

Jesus is holding nothing back when he criticizes those who he sees as hypocritical in their words and deeds. Let us do everything in our power to try to avoid becoming the subjects of these ‘woes!’ The path to this end is really rather simple, namely making sure our actions support what we say in our words. It is nevertheless not an easy task to remain consistent in this regard. It is far easier to say something than to do it! It is often a real struggle to do what we know we should be doing, and thus avoiding the accusation of hypocrisy.

 

It all has to do with the desire for integrity in our lives. I am sure that we all agree that this is desirable, however, it is often not the case even among those who are in the higher echelons of power of whom we would normally assume such integrity. Experience and history has taught us that we should never assume that this is the case and that we should always be careful in our commitments lest we promise more than we can deliver! It is very natural that we all want to give our best and do […]

By |August 25th, 2014|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

WHO DO YOU SAY THAT JESUS IS? Mt 16:13-20

 

This is the classical question of faith that indicates the type of relationship each of us has with Jesus. There is no doubt in my mind that everyone who desires to be a disciples of Jesus must answer this question for themselves and then persevere in ensuring that their lives reflect the answer that they make. There are many aspects to any relationship and the same is true for our relationships with Jesus. Depending on the individual, the focus could be one of many things and that focus will reflect the style and character of one’s relationship with God.

 

In the same way, our life experiences shape not only our image of God but our character as well. This is important to recognize as it helps us to develop the necessary compassion we need to develop our relationships with one another. If someone grows up without a father-figure in their life due to the death or absence of their father, then they will have difficulty understanding someone who might be talking about the Father’s (God’s) love for his children. We need to be compassionate and wise enough to recognize these sorts of difficulties that we will meet regularly in a life […]

By |August 24th, 2014|Daily Scripture|0 Comments