We begin to sit at the feet of Jesus as he shares the sermon on the mountain with his disciples (including us) and begins by reminding us that at the heart of Christianity is the desire of God that we should know fullness of life (blessing) in him. When we examine the series of eight blessings, perhaps we should first start with the ones that seem closest to the nature of God (sharing his hesed / mercy and peace) and conclude with those that might point in the direction of things that could prevent us from experiencing this life of beatitude.
Recorded at St John Vianney, 8.30am (10’21”)
I did not record a homily last Sunday during my time with NET Ministries in Queensland.
In last Sunday’s feast of the Baptism, we saw that Jesus – despite the expectations of John the Baptist – identified with sinners and went down into the muddy waters of the Jordan River. This week in Brisbane we saw first hand the destructive power of nature in the floods that have devastated so many communities and destroyed so many lives and properties. The question naturally is asked – where was God in the midst of all this. In light of last Sunday’s Gospel, and our first reading today (1 Corinthians) we can see that God is where Jesus is – right in the midst of the water. Where was God? Well, where was the body of Christ – the Church? And we saw that the Church was right in the midst of the Brisbane community – helping people to evacuate, preparing houses, providing shelter, helping to clean up, offering counselling, praying for protection.
Recorded at St Mary Magdalene Church, Bardon (9’11”)
Isaiah 49; I Cor 1:1-3; John 1:29-34
The Baptism of the Lord. When we celebrate the feast, we can forget just what it would have meant for those who were there the day that Jesus arrived at the Jordan River to be baptised by John. John preaches that the Messiah will come to cleanse and purify with his fire and power – instead, Jesus presents himself as just another sinner needing to be cleansed and purified. Rather than the Holy One of Israel, the first public action of Jesus is the sinner of Israel, joining other sinners like us in the muddy waters of the Jordan. What does this teach us about our lives?
Recorded at Emmanuel Community Eucharist, BEAT School of Music, St Laurence’s College, Brisbane (7’51”)
Feast of the Epiphany. The journey of the magi provides us with an opportunity to reflect on our own relationship with Christ and the lengths that we go to seek out truth and bring our lives in worship before the child king in Bethlehem.
Recorded at SJV, 6pm (7’00”)
Recorded at SJV, 10.30am (6’41”)