WHAT IS THE MIND OF GOD ON THIS MATTER Mt 19:3-12

Sometimes we can approach a situation and look at it from every aspect except the one that matters most. This most often occurs when we are considering issues of morality. The first place we look for answers is in our feelings, which are notoriously unreliable when it comes to indicating the truth; next we look to all the various so-called experts on our subject, the psychologists, sociologists and so on; then we might try the politicians, the philosophers and anyone else who thinks they should be considered an authority; finally we might look to God and the Scriptures and see what they might have to say to us.

This is all the wrong way around! Jesus tells us that we should start with what God intended for the human person when it comes to questions of morality. His use of the phrase ‘in the beginning’ reminds us that there is an original authority and intention in the creation of human life and we ignore it to our own peril. Unfortunately it seems that today’s society is quite willing to embrace the possibility of peril in its blind search for pleasure and the easy way out of a difficult situation. It is […]

By |August 18th, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

PASSING BETWEEN THE WATERS Jos 3:7-10, 11, 13-17

I like the imagery of sea or river being banked up and people being able to pass between the two walls of water. It seems here that the author of this section of the Old Testament wants to make some sort of comparison with the parting of the Red Sea at the beginning of the journey to the Promised Land. The two events of passing through the Red Sea and the Jordan River mark a boundary within which a certain epoch of Jewish history is marked out for us – the 40 year sojourn in the desert. Let us look a little more deeply into this idea.

The beginning of the journey to the Promised Land is marked by an extraordinary victory of the armies of Pharaoh when the sea swallows them up as they attempt to follow Moses and company through the divided waters. The forty years that follow are a time of purification and preparation for the reception of the Land God promised to Abraham about 600 years earlier. It is not that easy to move from a place of slavery in Egypt to being the masters of their own land and lives. God must first teach them how […]

By |August 17th, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

Assumption LIFE WILL PREVAIL OVER DEATH 1Cor 15:20-26

Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the turning point of the battle between good and evil. It proves to us that the power of the love of God that raises Jesus from death is greater than death itself. Death has been overthrown as a fundamental power of life on earth. In the movie Meet Jo Black there is a line at the end of the movie where Jo reminds us that there are only two sure things in life – death and taxes. Well, this is not really true in more! Death is certain only to the degree that it is our mortal death that is the beginning of eternal life. Death’s certainty no longer has any sting attached to it – it has been mitigated by the resurrection of Jesus to the point that we need no longer be afraid of death and should even welcome it when it comes as we know that it is the necessary passage to a greater form of existence for all eternity.

This may sound a little philosophical but it is important to reflect upon how we understand death as this will be critical to the way we approach living our lives here on […]

By |August 15th, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

St Lawrence LAYING DOWN OUR LIVES FOR THE TRUTH Jn 12:24-26

St Lawrence, a deacon of the Early Church died for his believes by being roasted over a fire! I do not think any of us would see this as an enjoyable experience so we have to ask ourselves the question, “Why didn’t Lawrence renounce his faith and so avoid such a terrible death?”

When I read the lives of the saints it is quite easy to see that in each of their lives something has happened that they cannot deny even if such a position is the cause of great suffering. In other words, they have come to know the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ as not just a friend but as a Saviour and there is nothing that is going to separate them from this relationship with Him! Their conversion to Jesus, their faith, is so strong that they experience an inability to let go of it, even in the face of death by fire!

Each time I think of sainthood or martyrdom in these terms I am inspired to pray for such a grace for myself. However, it seems that I do not have it as I very soon find myself back in the mundane struggle with sin that […]

By |August 10th, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

MAKING DO WITH WHAT WE HAVE Mt 15:21-28

When I was a child I remember being told that there was always someone else in a worse situation than me. This was usually in response to continued complaints on my part as to the way I was being unfairly treated in comparison to my brothers and sisters. This is not to say that we should never complain or that the statement itself is always going to be true. Today I tend to think that the real meaning behind such a statement is as simple as, “Stop complaining and make the best of the present situation that you can!”

In the Gospel we hear Jesus telling a Canaanite woman that He cannot help her, as His primary mission is to bring the Gospel to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. This answer, however, is no deterrent to the woman and she boldly replies, “but even the dogs eat the leftovers that fall from their masters’ table!” Here we see the woman making the most of a difficult situation. It is quite clear that Jesus’ main intention is to reach out to the Jewish communities in the area. However, the woman has noticed that many of the Jews are refusing […]

By |August 9th, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

Visitation MARY IS OUR MODEL FOR FAITH Lk 1:39-56

 

Elizabeth recognises that Mary carries within her a child that is very special. Admittedly, seeing that the child is the Son of God, it is a completely unique situation, so perhaps we might even expect her to be able to sense something. I like to think that what Elizabeth sensed of Mary, namely that she was carrying within her womb the Christ child, should be true of us all. That is, when we come into the presence of others our faith in God should be so great that it is tangible to them in some sort of fashion.

 

I know this sounds as though I am putting a lot of pressure on Christians to manifest their faith without speaking a word, but it should be possible. People ought to be able to discern that we are men and women of faith even before we have told them that we are such. The way we live our lives – the compassion with which we relate to others, the charity we share with those in need, the time we spend with the lost and lonely and many other works of mercy and love, ought to reveal to anyone who knows us or […]

By |May 31st, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

THE FATHER WILL GIVE US ALL THAT WE NEED Jn 16:20-23

The promise of Jesus at the end of today’s Gospel Reading is not a blank cheque for anything that we might happen to desire.There is a context in which the promise is made that clearly indicates to us that the person asking blessings of the Father is a disciple whose aim is to proclaim the Kingdom of God. This effectively limits the promise to those things that we need for our faith walk with Jesus.

 

That’s a bit of a pity, I hear you comment under your breath. Well, yes and no. It is ridiculous to think that God is going to give everyone everything they want without any basis for it. It makes a lot of sense that he would give all that is needed for the proclamation of the Gospel as that is his stated aim all through the Scriptures and at the heart of every revelation through the lives of the saints since. I think what Jesus is really saying is that those who seek to serve the Kingdom will not find God wanting in providing the means to do exactly that.

 

The saints know that this is true – it is one of the secrets of their […]

By |May 26th, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS AS THEY SEEM Jn 16:16-20

In one of the psalms we read that crying may endure through the night but joy comes with the morning. This is often so true of discipleship. Jesus tells his disciples that it will look as though the powers of the world have triumphed and that they, his disciples, have lost, however that is not the case. Things are not always as they first seem to be, as there sorrow will ultimately be turned to joy!

 

Jesus is referring at least in the first instance to his own passion, death and then resurrection. The first two aspects of which reflect defeat and the the third final victory. The first two are overcome by the third! This is also often the pattern of discipleship. There are many false starts and dead ends in the life of a disciple of Jesus as we learn how to listen to God’s will and then put it into action. There are times when we make mistakes and have to turn back to find the right path again, but in the end, if we keep faith with the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us, we triumph. This is God’s work in us.

 

Even if […]

By |May 25th, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

GIVING GLORY TO GOD IN OUR LIVES Jn 16:12-15

The importance of embracing the truth in our lives becomes evident when we understand that our lives are supposed to give glory to God. There is nothing more integral to the glory of God than the beauty of truth. As we reflected yesterday, we live in a world trying to sideline the importance of truth. We do this to our own peril and the peril of the society in which we live! If we want a just society then it must be built on the truth or not at all.

 

When convenience and personal preference are the primary guides to decision making, we are in a lot of trouble. When expediency and pragmatism are the foundations of our moral reasoning we are also in trouble. Yes, they play a part, but only in so far as they are in the service of truth. Truth is the bedrock upon which society must build its norms and practices. The Roman Empire collapsed because its society had degenerated to the point of virtually becoming amoral in its approach to many things. Western society today is quickly approaching the same level of amorality in its approach to many issues surrounding human reproductive practices. There is […]

By |May 23rd, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

BEING CONVINCED OF SIN IN OUR LIVES Jn 16:5-11

Do you want to be convinced of the sin in your lives? I hope so! This is one of the roles of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian. We live in a day and age of denial and the primary denial that is taking place concerns the nature of te human person. Many academics are denying that there is anything fundamental to the structure or the psyche of the human person such that there might be demands made upon the actions of the individual. They might not say it in the words that I have just used but what I have just expressed is the fundamental basis of the relativistic scepticism that permeated much of today’s society. There are no absolute truths is the catchcry of this trend; what is true for me may not be necessarily true for you. This may be the case but there must be some truths regarding the human person or there is no basis for morality or any sort of ordered society.

 

Access to abortion is one of the key issues. Abortion in its most basic description is the killing of an innocent, unborn child. Proponents of abortion on demand will use […]

By |May 23rd, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments