Our Lady of Sorrows THE FAITHFUL DISCIPLE Jn 19:25-27.

Mary is the supreme example of discipleship that we have to study. Her entire life is given over to the service of God’s will to the point that she stands at the foot of the cross as her son breathes his last. If we desire to be a disciple of Jesus, this is the path that we will have to walk as well. Mary is a woman who never shirked her responsibilities and thus was with Jesus until the end. In this, I pray that we will follow her example.

Mary as the Lady of Sorrows is a picture of faith in the midst of the turbulent situations of her life. It cannot have been easy for her to follow her son’s life of ministry and see that the establishment despised him. Nor would it have got any easier as He approached His final days. Throughout all of this Mary’s faith remained constant. She does not play a major role in the ministry of Jesus except to implore Him to work a miracle at the Wedding Feats of Cana when the wine runs out. She remains in the background; yet when she appears she is always portrayed as a woman of […]

By |September 15th, 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

JESUS CALLS YOU! Jn. 1.45-61

The Church honours the life of St Bartholomew, known in scripture as Nathaniel. The evangelist Philip brings him to Jesus. Nathaniel is under the fig tree, perhaps resting and reading under the shade and protection from the hot sun. His response is typical of the Jews of his time – can anything good come out of Galilee? Jesus affirms this Jewish-ness and Nathaniel, in faith, affirms Jesus as the King of Israel.
The narrative we have in the gospel is typically a call narrative. There is a call or invitation to come and follow. There is a response on the part of the one called, usually a doubt, concern or rejection. There is a response and finally acceptance of the call. In this simple narrative, Philip seeks out Nathaniel and calls him. The response of Nathaniel seems derogatory and offensive. Philip makes the response valid, inviting Nathaniel to come and see. Then there is an acceptance on the part of Nathaniel, who makes the amazing acclamation of faith. Finally, on the part of Jesus there is mission statement. Legend has it that Bartholomew was skinned alive.
Jesus will call us in normal everyday circumstances. Not many of us have the spectacular lightshow […]

By |August 24th, 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

ST BONAVENTURE AND THE MIND OF GOD Mt 12:1-8

St Bonaventure is one of the greatest if not the greatest theologian of the Franciscan Order. His writings on the mind and heart of God for his people are still important sources of thought hundreds of years after his death. It just goes to show that the truth is immutable and endures from age to age. This is why we need to seek the truth and make it the foundation of our lives and reject the fads of our times when they are shallow and meaningless.

The Saints of the Church discover truths about the Christian life that command their attention and energy and so set them o n a path that becomes an example for all precisely because they are seeking and living the truth. This is what sets apart lives that will be remembered for their everlasting significance and those that will be forgotten by the next generation, or even the next fad culture! I think there is something in us all that desires to leave a legacy for the generations to come, but how many of us are willing to focus our lives to the extent that this will be possible?

Sportsmen and women have a singular purpose in […]

By |July 15th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

GOD: SIMPLE OR COMPLEX BEING? MT 11:25-27

One of the great dilemmas of Christianity is that its theology is so complex, yet the call to be Christian is so simple! Why the disparity between the two? There is a disparity between the two because God caters for all types of people. There are some who are satisfied with a simple understanding of God and the call to do his will is simply that – discern what God wants you to do and do it! However, there are others who are more interested in plumbing the depths of the nature of God and his relationship with us, his creation and they will not settle for anything less than the best understanding they can get.

Is one the right way, and the other the wrong way? No! Each of us is created as an individual and no two relationships with God are ever going to be the same. It is similar to how some people are happy to put the key in the ignition and drive the car and others want to pull the engine apart and figure out how it all works! One of the critical things to remember is that it is up to the individual to direct […]

By |July 13th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Gn 3: 9-15. 20 Today is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Philippines as today is one of the patronal feasts of the Philippines. Yes, it does seem that we are celebrating a feast that ascribes to Mary an unfair advantage, but she would still have had to deal with temptation like the rest of us, perhaps even more so as I am sure the Devil would have worked very hard to deflect her from her destiny to become the Mother of God.

Mary, pray for me so that I might have the single-mindedness of heart you had for the will of God. Help me to be inspired by your purity of love and so grow in holiness today.

Eph 1: 3-6. 11-12 The first three chapters of the Letter to the Ephesians proclaim the wonder and glory of God and his plan of salvation. Each one of us has a part to play in this plan. God has assigned a job to us all. Are we going to be faithful enough to complete it or will he have to find an alternative way to get our job done? God does not ask anyone else to do what Mary did […]

By |December 8th, 2015|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

GOD’S CHOICE IS OFTEN QUITE SURPRISING Mt 9:9-13

I often wonder why God chose me to become a priest. I can think of many who would have seemed to be a much better choice than me. I am not complaining about His choice, but there are times when I wonder what it is in me that led God to have this call upon my life. Ultimately I suppose, I just have to learn to trust in His wisdom and do the best that I can with all that He entrusts to me. This will certainly make for a very exciting sort of life as God’s will unfolds for me and I watch Him work His marvels in the lives of those whom I meet and minister.

I am sure Matthew, a tax collector no less, must have had similar musings from time to time. Tax collectors were one of the most hated professions in Israel during the Roman times because they were the ones who were seen to be not only corrupt and defrauding people of their rightful money, but also as traitors to the Jewish nation as they were cooperating with the Roman occupiers to raise money to finance the occupation! It is not surprising that the Scriptures […]

By |September 13th, 2015|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

CHRISTIANS OUGHT TO BE DIFFERENT Lk 6:27-38

It is a myth to think that living the Christian life is going to be easy! One has only to read today’s Gospel to see that this is not the case. Jesus clearly places before us a call to go above and beyond what is the easy response to conflict situations in our lives. It is not enough just to ignore our enemy and not get into a fight wit him or her – we have to love our enemy! This is all too much and it is probably one of the reasons why Jesus found that many people did not want to follow His teachings.

As Christians we are called to a distinctive way of life that involves wholeheartedly embracing all that Jesus teaches. We cannot ‘pick and choose’ the parts of His teaching that we like and discard those that might be a little difficult. It is all or nothing when it comes to faith in Jesus Christ.

However difficult His teachings may be, on deeper reflection I think that it is possible to see the wisdom in them all. Let us take the example of loving our enemies. There are many places around the world where there is violence […]

By |September 10th, 2015|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

GROWING IN LOVE AND CARE OF THOSE AROUND US Mt 9:32-38

One of the first and most important characteristics that a religious leader must have is a pastoral heart. That is, he or she must have a genuine care and concern for the welfare of the people for whose care they have been entrusted. This is normally a gift – it is not something that can be learnt! Even when the gifting is there, it takes a lot of work to truly develop the gift to its full potential. In the Gospel today Jesus laments the fact that the leaders of the Jewish people have failed in their pastoral duty to care for the people. As is mentioned in the prophet Ezekiel, God is looking for men who will care for the People of Israel as a true shepherd cares for his flock.

It is okay and even necessary to have visionary people in leadership as well but without pastorally minded people to back them up, a community will not prosper. There are few things that evoke greater levels of pity in me than coming across a community that is floundering and falling apart because there is little or no pastoral care of its members. At the same time we must also […]

By |July 7th, 2015|Daily Scripture|0 Comments