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

PARDOXICAL SIGN OF VICTORY Jn 3:13-17

St Paul leaves us in no doubt as to the centrality of the cross of Jesus as a central symbol of the Christian faith. The Gospel today from John supports this point of view. John links the cross with the healing power of the bronze serpent in the Old Testament. Here we are given a sense of the power of the cross to save. Just as those who looked upon the bronze serpent were healed of the poisonous snakebite, so those who look upon the cross of Jesus and surrender to its work in their lives through faith, will be saved from their sins.

The cross of Jesus at first sight looks like a defeat for Jesus! However, when we see that Jesus has been raised from the dead by the Father, we realise that the cross is not a defeat but in fact the instrument of final victory over sin. Because the cross is the instrument of victory over sin it becomes the universal symbol of Christianity.

The cross is the Way of Salvation for all who believe. The cross is the only Path to Eternal Life for all people. The cross is at the heart of the Christian faith – […]

By |September 14th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

BUILT TO LAST Lk 6:43-49

The other day I was walking along a beach in Zambales and I saw a house being built right at the high tide mark on the beach. It struck me as quite a silly place to build a house because, not only would the waves of a storm threaten its foundations, it was also built right beside the bank of a stream that emptied into the sea which was already causing erosion problems with the foundations on that side of the house. I very much doubt that the house will survive too many typhoon seasons!

Sometimes it seems that we do not make sensible decisions about where and how to build our houses. This is not only the case with houses, but it also seems to ring true regarding the foundation of our spiritual lives as well. Too often as a priest I come across people who have built their spirituality around a particular experience, or set of experiences, that are slowly fading away and taking their faith with it. The only way to build a faith that will endure the test of time is to build it upon a solid commitment to Jesus! Without this it will be destined to […]

By |September 10th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

LIGHT AND DARKNESS Lk. 4.31-37

For those early risers out there you would appreciate the morning- it’s a wonderful part of the day when dawn is breaking forth and the first rays of the sun catch the tall trees glistening after the night moisture. If ever I am up at that time I do appreciate these times of glory of God. We all know the power of the sun to illumine the day, the soft light of the moon at night. Scripture is flooded with these two images of darkness and light.
The light overshadows the darkness and that is precisely what happens when Jesus the Son of God is in town! Even the demons shudder as they are exposed to the brilliant light of the Son. They scream and call out, knowing that their reign of darkness has been conquered in the light of Jesus’ coming. Jesus speaks in the power of light and acts in the light. All that comes to him is exposed by the light of day.
The image of darkness and light is also within. Anyone who sins lives in the darkness. Anyone who seeks to follow the teachings of Jesus in obedience and faith will always have the light of life. […]

By |August 30th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

HUMBLE THYSELF! LK 14 1, 7-14

One of my fondest memories is that of having Christmas lunch with the brothers in Australia. It was a tradition within our community that we open our home to those who were less fortunate and to share Christmas with us. It was a very joyful occasion and full with food, laughter and celebration. There were many characters that we would invite, those whom you would rather pass by in the street. But it was these simple and humble folk that made it all the more joyous feast that it was. At the end of our celebration they would be fighting over the food to bring home. So much for kindness and sharing and humility!
Jesus teaches us today how we are to act at table when we are invited to a party. To take the lowest place, to sit and eat with the less fortunate. He teaches us the way of hospitality – which a common theme flowing through the Gospel of Luke.
Jesus also teaches us about the grace of humility which seems to have vanished into thin air these days! St Francis of Assisi taught that humility is knowing who God is and knowing who I am. Humility is not […]

By |August 28th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

GOD IS FAITHFUL 1 Cor.1.1-9

In the day and age of advanced communications, I think we tend to lose something of the personal touch of a handwritten letter. Even when I am writing letters to folks back home it can be computer typed! Although some correspondents remain “old fashioned”, I will respond to them through written communication. When one writes a letter, it seems more expressive since they are sharing something of themselves. Isn’t it a joy to receive letter in the mail? A brother priest of mine receives letters from his mother every month without fail, still written by hand with the personal touch.
In the New Testament, we have a series of letters written by Paul, the great missionary and apostle to the Gentiles. He writes very personally, expressing his love and concern for the churches. These letters were read aloud as the people gathered to hear the news from their friend. Sometimes the letters were full of challenging comments; it depended on what they needed to hear! These letters make good reading and prayerful reflection even today.  Sometimes we can pass them by as times of the past. However, they can be very good practice for daily Christian living. Take one of his […]

By |August 25th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

WHY INVOKE THE IMAGE OF JONAH? Mt 12:38-42

 

Most scholars agree that there is at least an element of the apocryphal in the story of Jonah and the whale – is it really possible for a whale to consume a person and then spew them out on the shore at a later date? Well, regardless of the veracity of this story, Jesus uses it to make a point during his ministry and the point is precisely to emphasise that no matter how fantastic the story of Jonah and the whale is, even more amazing is the reality the people are experiencing in the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God into their lives through the miracles and preaching of Jesus.

The wisdom of Solomon is not apocryphal and it drew visits from royalty coming from east and west. The wisdom of God is being manifest in the words of Jesus in a way that is far greater than through Solomon. Fort example, Jesus actually speaks the forgiveness of sins of those who repent. The forgiveness of sins is part of the wisdom of God for our salvation. Yes, I say wisdom, because only through the reasoning of God could anyone have arrived at the plan of salvation that Jesus implements. […]

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

LIVING A TRULY BALANCED LIFE Lk 10:38-42

It is important when we reflect upon this story of Jesus’ encounter with Mary and Martha that we remember to place it in context. Jesus is not telling us that serving a visitor in one’s home is a bad thing to do. He is simply saying that there is a time to serve and a time to just sit and reflect upon life. We need to find the right balance between the two! I think we all know at least one person who tends to hide behind busyness in order to avoid having to relate to the people in his or her life. This is what Jesus is addressing. We must find time in our lives to serve those around us; we must also find the time to simply be with them and to enjoy one another’s company. This is the essence of human relationships.

We live in a world that rewards activism and industriousness to the point that we tend to forget about the need for silence. I was reading a book the other day and one of the points it was making is that, generally speaking, people today lack silence in their lives and thus are unable to reflect […]

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