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

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

STRUGGLING TO REMAIN TRUE TO GOD Jn 15:18-21

 

There is a great danger in the Prosperity Gospel movement in that it fails to recognise that suffering, in one shape or form or another, is always going to present even, and perhaps more so, in the lives of the holiest of Christians. We cannot escape suffering. If you study the lives of the mystics of the Church you will discover that they all underwent quite significant levels of suffering – physical, emotional or psychological.

 

The prosperity Gospel says that a person with faith in God should experience only blessing and wealth in their lives. Any suffering or poverty is simply due to a lack of faith! This is far too simplistic to even approach being true. It forgets the fundamental truth of Christ’s passion and death for a start! And, practically speaking, there is no convincing argument to support the claim. On the contrary, all the evidence is in the other direction!

 

One of the most evident features of Prosperity Gospel Churches is the youthfulness of the congregation. Once a person starts getting old, and sickness becomes more prevalent, they begin to realise that the premises of Prosperity Gospel thinking are fundamentally flawed and they drop out and return to […]

By |May 20th, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

THIS I COMMAND YOU … Jn 15:12-17

Does love command? I think it does! It is in the very nature of love that it is an invitation from one person to another. However, when we understand what love is and have received the love of God into our lives this invitation to love others becomes a de facto command as anything less than love for our fellow human beings is not good enough nor worthy enough of Christian love.

 

The example that Jesus gives us of loving us while we were still sinners is an incredibly strong example and one that is very difficult to follow. It is also the basis upon which we can understand the commanding nature of love in that there is nothing that anyone can do to us that would excuse us from the responsibility and duty to love our neighbour! Love is not simply the invitation to enter into a relationship – it encapsulates everything else that is needed to make that relationship endure unto the end.

 

Jesus speaks of how we are his friends and that we have moved from a servile to friendship basis for our relationship with him. Masters command their servants and their servants obey. Friends invite other friends into […]

By |May 19th, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

…HE HAS NO POWER OVER ME Jn 14:27-31a

 

The title of this reflection is critical to the life of disciple of Jesus. Jesus tells us that ‘the ruler of this world’ is coming – that is Satan is alive and kicking so to speak. However, the important thing about all of this is not that Satan is still alive but that he has no power over Jesus, and because of his generosity with us, us as well. Do you believe this, or not? If not, then you are going to find it virtually impossible to grow as a disciple of Jesus; if yes, then the possibilities are endless.

 

Jesus is aware, even before he has endured his passion, death and resurrection, that he is going to be victorious. He is telling his disciples, and that includes anyone who chooses to follow him, that they will share in his vicory too. Why? So that we will all be able to return to the Father. Sin has separated us from our Father in Heaven – Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden for eating fruit from the tree of Good and Evil; Jesus has come to dwell with us in order to reunite us with his Father. […]

By |May 16th, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

TO WHOM ELSE CAN WE TURN? Jn 14:1-6

Earlier on in John’s Gospel Jesus has turned to the disciples and asked them if they want to leave him as there are many deciding to give up the life of discipleship because it is too hard. In today’s Gospel we hear the expanded reason why Peter tells Jesus that they do not want leave. In Chapter six the reason given is that there is no one else to whom to turn and follow. Here we find this expressed in more positive ways in terms of Jesus being the Way, the Truth and the Life. What does this – nay, what should this mean to us?

 

There is no simple answer that fits every person. Each of us must discover for ourselves how it is that Jesus is our Way, our Truth and our Life. We cannot allow our faith to rest on the shoulders of others alone. We must personalize it for our own needs and requirements. Each of us is an individual person, unique in the eyes of both God and the world. We all have our talents and we all have our needs. Jesus can meet these needs and develop our talents only if we know him […]

By |May 12th, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

KEEP IT SIMPLE AS THAT IS THE BEST WAY Acts 2:14, 22-33

As a student I loved mathematics. Even today I will read mathematical books for the pleasure of doing so – I will even work at mathematical problems for the fun of the challenge. It is a weird sort of reality that when you are a mathematician it is the simplest proof of a theorem that appeals to you the most. It would seem that something that is complicated and difficult would be more appealing but it is not. Apart from the fact that a simple proof will be more readily understood by the many, it is simply more beautiful than something complicate and difficult to understand. The greatest writers use a minimum of words to convey their ideas; it is much easier to write a 2000 word essay on a given topic than a 500 word one as you have to use your words more carefully and precisely.

Having said that read through the proclamations of the Gospel that Peter and Paul and the other apostles make in the Acts of the Apostles. They are all the more remarkable and powerful because of their simplicity and clarity of ideas. What homilies, if any, do you remember well? I am sure they […]

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

BLESSINGS FOLLOWING ON FROM BLESSINGS Lk 8:16-18

Sometimes it is difficult to accept the way in which others might seem to be wealthier or more endowed intellectually or more blessed than we seem to be. If we are sensible about this we will realize that there are certain things in life that we just cannot change! Or can we change them?

The most important thing that we have in this life is our relationship with God. Everything else pales into complete and utter insignificance in comparison to our relationship with Jesus. With this in mind, we do have the power to change many of the things in our life for the better! Maybe it is not ‘to the better’ in the sense that the world might understand this concept, but it is ‘to the better’ in regards our journey towards eternal life. The latter is far more important than the former.

The person whose faith is truly alive will be constantly experiencing a drawing deeper into relationship with God. The deeper we go with God, the less the ways and priorities of the world will seem important to us. In fact, some of the saints became so engrossed in their relationship with God that they would forget to eat, […]

By |September 19th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

BEING A GOOD STEWARD OF OUR GOODS Lk 16:1-13

There is a big difference between being a steward of the wealth that God has blessed us with and with being beholden to that very same wealth. In the former we are in control of all of our actions. In the latter, wealth or the desire for it is the controlling force in our actions. The Gospel today asks us to examine where we stand on these matters. It is important for us to be honest with ourselves here as if we are not, that is just the opening that the devil is seeking in order to deflect us from the path of true discipleship and lead us into a position where it is money or mammon rather than God that is the focus of our lives.

Jesus tells us a story about a man who knows how to get what he wants in this life, however, he has forgotten about the life to follow, that is, eternal life. He may well be successful in obtaining everything that he wants here and now, but what about eternal life. How will all the things of the world benefit him then? This is a crucial concept that we must grasp early in life […]

By |September 18th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

EVERYONE HAS A ROLE TO PLAY Lk 8:1-3

We live in a society that talks a lot about equality and where there are all sorts of anti-discrimination laws. There is no doubt in my mind that all people are created equal and ought to be treated as such. This does not, however, mean that we are all the same. The Holy Spirit has gifted each of us differently and it takes each of us, using the gifts and talents that we have at our disposal to make the Church and the world work well. If one person on a team slacks off, the whole of the team is affected, as others have to do a little extra to compensate.

Another way of looking at things is to consider that each person is unique and if they fail to live up to their gifting or talents then there is no one else who can actually do what they do, or more correctly, be who they are meant to be as God’s gift to the world. That is, I cannot be you and you cannot be me.

It is for these reasons that it is important for us to discover the gifts that God as given to us so that […]

By |September 17th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments