Thirst quenched by living water

The story of the woman at the well presents many strange scenes in this most beautiful Gospel. John 4 begins by telling us that Jesus learnt that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was baptising and making more disciples than John the Baptist (although it wasn’t Jesus who was baptising, but his disciples – apparantly) and for this reason he has to leave town and head north to the more peaceful lands of Galilee. But rather than go to usual – albeit longer road down to the Jordan river valley and up to the Lake, Jesus takes the shorter but riskier road through Samaritan territory.

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Recorded at Mater Dolorosa during Mass with the Disciples of Jesus Community. (12’07”)

Lent, Sunday 3A.

Goat or Calf?

During this Mass for the Anointing of the Sick, the Gospel of Lent week 2 Saturday was from Luke 15 – the parable of the Prodigal Son. We often focus on the younger son, but this brief reflection looks at the older son and compares the two by way of the two animals that the guests gather around in the party that is held to honour the return of the younger son – the fattened calf and the scrawny goat.

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Recorded at Mater Dolorosa, 9am Mass (4’45”)
Note, the first word of the recording was cut-off: it should be ‘To…”

The recording was made with the iPhone sitting on the pulpit, so the quality is not as good – but not bad.
Thanks also go to Rob Bell for the insights about the goat and calf in his new book, ‘Love Wins.’

Changed by cross and glory

On the second Sunday in Lent each year we join Peter, James and John to witness that incredible moment when Jesus is changed (in the Greek, metamorphoo, which you can probably discern from the word is an aorist indicative passive third person singular verb, which is a form of ‘metamorphosis’ meaning ‘to remodel’ or ‘to change into another form’) before their eyes to show his glory as the Son of God. The three apostles are joined by two other, more ancient witnesses – Moses and Elijah – as together they worship before the presence of the Lord. In Matthew’s Gospel, there are three prominent mountains – the one that we have journeyed with over many weeks before Lent began – the mountain where the Sermon of Matthew 5-7 was delivered; our mountain today (traditionally listed as Mt Tabor, but Mt Hermon, being closer to Caesarea Philippi where Mt 16 ends is more likely – but it is more inaccessible and less pilgrim-friendly); and the ‘high place’ of Calvary. All three need to be seen in the light of each other.

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Recorded at Mater Dolorosa, 6pm Vigil (8’25”)
Lent 2, Year A. Matthew 17:1-9

Garden and wilderness

As we begin this new season of Lent, we are taken back to the garden of Eden to witness both the life of tranquility and peace that originally existed and then the condition during and after the fall. When the serpent entered into the picture, the lies and deception begin to flow and the consequences are immediately felt. The coexistence of heaven and earth – with God living in peace with the humans in the garden and sharing life and enjoying each others company – all of this changes, and the man and woman discover they are naked. Now shame becomes a reality and they try to hide from one another by covering up behind their fig leaves. We think we are more sophisticated and hide behind titles, honours, work, houses, toys and gadgets. But the choice that Eve and Adam made are still open to us. Will we stay with the Lord in the garden, or will we allow the exultation of human freedom to drive God out of lives as we flee into the wilderness?

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8’02” (St Brigid’s, Gwynneville)
Lent 1A

(Last week was the Bishop’s Pastoral Letter for Lent, which was played in the place of the homily across the Diocese.)