Growth in patience

In chapter 13 of Matthew's Gospel, we are presented with a series of 7 parables (of the 40 or so that Jesus tells during his recorded ministry) - which provokes a first question - what is a parable? For most of Christian history, parables have been treated as...

The secret of joy

Jesus makes today a series of fairly bizarre declarations about himself and his position. He tells the disciples - who at the beginning of this chapter 10 of Matthew's gospel are commissioned and sent out to share in his mission - that anyone who prefers 'father or...

Declare before God

Commitment Sunday The Gospel today invites us as a church to ‘declare ourselves before God’ as good stewards. God loves giving – he gave no lesser gift than the wonderful gift of Jesus to ensure that we are not alone in this life. We are also invited to not be afraid...

Corpus Christi – Lessons in Love

This Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ does not only draw to a conclusion this extended season of Easter Feasts – it also draws together the whole of the mystery and wonder that we have been celebrating since the beginning of Lent. The twin feasts of Trinity...

Trinity Love

For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son… The famous and beautiful Gospel today (from John 3 verses 16-18) is the last part of a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, a man who is called a leading Pharisee and leader of the Jews. Even though he is a...

Personal Pentecost

The Gospel today (from John 20 verses 19-23) takes place on the evening of Easter Sunday. Mary Magdalene, who is the first apostle to see the Lord tells them about her encounter with Jesus. Now these disciples also see him. By saying it happens on “that day” perhaps...

Ascension – Absence and doubt

The first question that emerges on this feast of the Ascension is why sometimes it is better for a person to leave. For parents, that day when a child leaves home to go to university or on their first big European back-packing working-holiday, the absence can be...

Easter 6 – The odd power of God

As we move towards the great feast of Pentecost, the readings begin to focus on the expectancy and hope of receiving the holy Spirit. We have the first of four passages in the Gospel of John regarding the coming and promised Paraclete. As Jesus tells the...

Easter 5 – Living Stones

One of the interesting things about the season of Easter - and to a lesser extent, Advent and Lent - the ordinary pattern of our Sunday readings is changed. For example, in Year A, when we read from the Gospel of Matthew, our Sunday readings are taken (more-or-less)...

Easter 4 – An invitation to life

Whenever you read a gospel passage, one of the first things to keep in mind is that the division of the text into chapters and verses is historically recent - and sometimes is not the best. So in reading any given passage, we need to always begin with the section...

Two on the road

The story of two disciples walking along the 60-stadia road from Jerusalem to Emmaus is rightly considered one of the greatest examples of resurrection life and discipleship-in-community ever written. One of the problems with this text is just how rich it is. There is...

Easter 2 – Breath and life

On the second Sunday of Easter (or the eighth day of Easter), the church always offers before us John 20 for our Gospel reflection, commemorating both the first appearance of Jesus to the church on Easter Sunday, and then his second appearance eight days later, on the...

Resurrection Is (Easter Sunday)

One of the limitations of celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus is that for so many people in the church, they still operate with a tri-part understanding of creation, even though they know that this is not the case in the physical universe or according to the laws of...

A Resurrection Worldview (Easter Vigil)

This year our parish celebrated the Easter Vigil early on Easter Sunday morning (beginning at 5am) as a Dawn Mass, rather than early in the evening on Holy Saturday night as has been the custom. In part this was because I never liked the fact that during the Easter...

The Gospel of Good Friday

Although we read the Passion story last Sunday during the Mass of Palm Sunday, that Gospel is always taken from one of the three Synoptic Gospel accounts, depending on the liturgical year. But on Good Friday, there can only be one Gospel that will be our guide and...