• van

The call: ‘Free love’ Christianity

Since the 1970’s we have been sold this idea of ‘free love’. You can have all the pleasure of love without the burden of commitment. GK Chesterton makes very clear that the term ‘free love’ is the ultimate contradiction, “as if a lover ever had been, or ever could be, free. It is the nature of love to bind itself”.

Most Christians would argue against the idea of ‘free love’ in human relationships, yet we so often persist in holding a similar idea in regards to our faith. Somehow we believe that it is possible to love Jesus and still be free to do whatever we desire. This version of ‘free love Christianity’ says that we can call ourselves followers of Christ, yet be in complete control of when and how we follow him. We want to have the pleasure and benefit of heaven, without the unfortunate consequence of having to surrender our will to him as well. As Chesterton would say, “Let us have the fragrance of sacred purity without the sorrows of self-restraint…Let us have the splendour of offering ourselves without the peril of committing ourselves”. If we truly want to take up the call to follow Jesus, we […]

By |October 31st, 2014|The Call|0 Comments

DOES GOD HAVE FAVOURITES? Phil 1:1-11

Does God have favourites? I do not think so? Do some people seem to have a much easier lives than others? Yes, this seems to be true? However, I wonder if it is actually true in reality. If there is one thing sure in this discussion it is that each of us has to live our own lives and no matter how much we may wish to, we cannot swap what we have for another person’s life! It is also impossible for me to know what it means to live somebody else’s life. If I am poor and I look at a rich person and think they have got it easy, how do I know this is true? They may have it easy in terms of their response to the needs and requirements of this mortal life, here on earth, but that is not the whole situation! The real question pertains to whether or not they are making the right decisions in the questions that pertain to eternal life, not the life of this world!

Let me explain. Nobody lives their life in a moral vacuum. Each of us is morally obliged to care for the brothers and sisters around us. […]

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

ARE YOU AFRAID OF DEATH? Lk 13:31-35

The above question confronts us with the mortality of our existence. It asks us to reflect upon the truth that we will all die at some time or another – be it slow or be it fast it is death that comes at last! From a purely human or mortal point of view it would seem then, that death has the final say! However, we as Christians know that this is not the case because Jesus has risen from the dead and has conquered the grave. In the light of this revelation Christians need no longer fear death. Death becomes in reality the final ‘checkpoint’ that has to be passed before moving on to eternal life, that is of course, as long as you have lived a life in accordance with Christian principles.

Jesus is not afraid of Herod and what he might do in response to his preaching the Gospel. Jesus knows that he is doing what his father wants him to do and thus he believes and trusts that whatever happens, the Father has all things in hand. Herein lies the difficulty for us because often this ‘having things in hand’ does not always correspond to what we think […]

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

GOD IS A GOD OF ORDER NOT CHAOS Eph 6:1-9

There is a tendency within our cultures today that is ultimately a result of the philosophy of individualism running out of control, whereby people, especially the young, seem to thing that any sort of authority or control as exercised over them is wrong or unneeded. This is simply untrue! There is a natural order of control or authority that is absolutely necessary for the good-functioning of our human communities. Without order and authority there would be chaos, and believe me, amoral or even immoral chaos is not something any of us wants!

In the First Reading today Paul places before the reader some (this is not an exhaustive list of relationships) examples of authority within his era’s communities. He tries to situate the relationships of authority within our understanding of obedience to Christ and also such that these relationships will be understood to be circumscribed by love. Thus there are demands for both obedience and love within Paul’s understanding – demands designed to protect the human dignity of all involved.

It is healthy for us to regularly reflect upon the relationships we have with others, family, friends, employees and employers etc in order to discern whether or not we are living them […]

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

Simon and Jude COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS Lk 6:12-16

Sometimes I wonder how I would have gone as one of the apostles. I wonder, given the circumstances of actually meeting Jesus in the flesh, whether or not I would have had the courage to follow him in the first place, let alone becoming a martyr for my faith after he had ascended into heaven. These wonderings may be a bit of a waste of time but they have led me to a deeper response to Jesus in that I have come to be convinced that unless we make a radical choice for God and act upon it, we will get caught up in the midst of the world and all of its values and agendas and become insipid or virtually useless as a witness to the Gospel! This may sound a bit of a harsh call to you, but I still think it is true nonetheless. Let me try to explain myself.

In reflecting upon the lives of the saints I have come to realise that they lived radical lives. Yes, they were ordinary people like you and me, but they made choices that led to their living lives quite out of the ordinary! What made them do this? Was […]

By |October 28th, 2014|Daily Scripture|1 Comment

Will you drink the cup?

Fr Bony Abraham MGL preaches about the call to love our neighbour in this homily for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary time.
By |October 27th, 2014|CRADIO, Homilies|Comments Off on Will you drink the cup?

UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW LK 13:10-17

We have a moral obligation to seek to implement the Law of God with love and not just a simple literalist spirit. We need to ask ourselves the question, “What is the intention of God in giving us this particular law?” Jesus challenges the synagogue official to look carefully at what he is saying and to be reasonable in his application of the law. The officials tended to be very understanding in the application of the law to personal situations but absolutely legalistic, and according to Jesus, totally unreasonable when applying it to others. It seems that those who were least able to argue for and defend themselves were the ones most likely to be victims of their legalism.

There is no room for us to be complacent in this regard as each of us will find ourselves in similar situations many times during our lives, both on the giving and receiving end! We do well to remember the beatitude that tells us that mercy will be shown to the person willing to be merciful to others!

Sometimes there are laws that are absolute, such as the call to respect the dignity of human life at all times. However, even these need […]

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

WHAT IS THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT? Mt 22:34-40

Let us never forget the answer Jesus gives to the above question as it is the basis of how we should prioritise our lives. We neglect to reflect upon this Gospel encounter to our own detriment and pain. One of the reasons we experience so much disorder and struggle in our lives is that we do not focus them on God. Rather, we focus upon our own limited understanding of what we want out of life. I can assure you now that God’s will for your life will bring far greater fulfilment than anything you could imagine or ask for from him! Do you believe that?

Before you answer the question, think a bit about the structure of your day and where you place your daily prayer time and Scripture reading – is it given priority? Or do you fit it in whenever there is a spare moment. Jesus knew his need for quiet and so goes off into the desert or into the mountains to pray at regular intervals. He does so to maintain his relationship with his Father and his commitment to his Father’s will and not just his own. This is the model for Christian discipleship that we […]

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

LIVING THE TRUTH IN LOVE Eph 4:7-16

The above heading describes the central principle of discipleship. It is the example that Christ has given us to follow. It sounds as though it should be easy to do, but for all who have set themselves this task they have found it much easier to say and understand than to put into practice!

The thing that makes it so difficult is temptation and sin. This is the constant struggle of the disciple, namely to reject temptation and sin and embrace the will of God for our lives. The times when we fail to do this should not discourage us. We need to get up and get on with life, repent of our sin and set our eyes back on the goal and move forward. The Reading tells us that the goal of life is to “grow in every way into the head who is Christ;” furthermore, the way this happens is that ‘living the truth in love’ allows the body and all its parts to be strengthened and come together in unity and love.

Each Christian has to decide to make these principles his or her own if they want to progress in the life of holiness. Once the decision is […]

By |October 25th, 2014|Daily Scripture|0 Comments
  • Discouraged

The Call: Fight the good fight

It has been said that the best way to defeat your enemy is not to beat them on the battlefield, but to destroy their will to fight. This is something that every Christian needs to understand very clearly.

Scripture tells us that ‘the one who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world’ (1 Jn 4:4). If God is for us, no one can stand against us (Rom 8:31). We know that God is more powerful than the enemy, yet every day we find ourselves defeated as we fall into sin and temptation.

Discouragement is the devil’s favourite weapon. He knows that he can not win if we have the whole power of God on our side, so he simply destroys our will to fight. This feeling of discouragement can rise up at any time. In the most subtle ways, we find that our thoughts become negative and we lose hope. We need to be constantly on guard against this movement in our spirit, and recognise it as a spiritual attack. If anything, this sense of discouragement should encourage us, because we realise that the enemy would not be trying to destroy our will to fight unless […]

By |October 24th, 2014|The Call|1 Comment