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

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

GIVING AN ACCOUNT OF OUR FAITH 1 Pet 3:15-18

 

This text from the First Letter of St Peter, a text that is most often regarded as a baptismal homily or instruction, is one that we should reflect upon often in terms of our commitment to mission. St Peter tells us that proclaiming the Gospel is not an option for a Christian. Of course we can choose to refuse to share our faith with anyone but then not only would our faith be untrue to itself, it would also die! St Peter reminds us here to always be ready to share what we have received with anyone who asks about it.

 

I even think that it is a good idea for us to have a few short testimonials prepared that we can easily draw upon when the right situation arises. It can never hurt to be ready with a short personal testimony or simple Gospel presentation that can be shared in two or three minutes. Peter suggests that at least part of our motivation for doing this will comes from reverencing the Lord Jesus in our hearts. In other words, if we truly treasure the gift of faith and salvation we have received, then we will be well on the way […]

By |May 21st, 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

MY FATHER IS A GARDENER Jn 15:1-8

Fairly soon after my conversion experience as a eighteen year old I read a book by Colin Urquhart which was titled as is this reflection. It was a very instructive experience as I learned very early on that God was like an orchardist – he prunes his trees with the intention of maximizing the amount of fruit for harvest. Now I am a very logical sort of person, I like reading maths books for fun and relaxation, (logical – seems to me to be more like crazy, I hear you think) and so a God who wants to maximize the benefit he gets from his disciples is a sensible God.

 

With this in mind I was ready when he started to prune my life and cut out many things which really did not serve me in the call to holiness. It may have been a little or a lot painful depending upon the instance in question, but it was all worth it because I knew what the goal was and I trusted the Gardener. I cannot explain why I was convinced that the Gardener desired the best for me but I am pretty sure that the fact he sent his Son […]

By |May 17th, 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

ARE WE REALLY TEACHABLE? Jn 14:21-26

One of the roles of the holy Spirit is that he will teach us all we need to know about the spiritual life. This task will be impossible unless we are teachable, that is, we need to embrace the virtue of humility and be ready and willing to learn about the new way of life we have embraced as disciples of Jesus. It takes a lot of humility to remain teachable throughout our lives because the danger is that after a few years of walking in the ways of Jesus we begin to think that we know all that we need to know and so become less and less teachable.

 

The question we have to ask ourselves is whether or not we want to embrace the fullness of the grace that God has for us. This is the big question. We may think we have reached that fullness already but the reality is that we never reach the fullness of the graces of God in this life – maybe some of the true mystics of the Church come close but even they will be the first to admit that God is much bigger and grander than they have experienced. We need […]

By |May 15th, 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

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Acts 2: 14a. 36-41 Repentance and Baptism are the constant catch cries of evangelization in the Early Church. The path to salvation is still the same today. Nothing has changed. Well, maybe that is not quite true. I think that today there is far less urgency related to evangelization and this is a scandal. We have been entrusted with the most important message of all time, one that is integral to the gift of eternal life, and there is a seeming lack of urgency in spreading it! I wonder what has gone wrong!

Jesus, help me to recapture a sense of urgency regarding living and proclaiming the Gospel to the world. Help me to take every opportunity I get to proclaim the Good News of salvation.

1 Pt 2: 20b-25 I doubt anyone will avoid suffering in their lives. As this is so, we may as well get used to the idea of suffering being a part of our lives as Christians. Christ suffered for us – therefore we should not expect to be immune from suffering! Our attitude in suffering is important as it can be redemptive or not. Our sufferings become intercession for the redemption […]

By |May 7th, 2017|Daily Scripture|0 Comments