Signs of the Spirit

As we move through the Easter season, the liturgy today moves in its focus from looking back to the events of Easter, to looking forward in anticipation of the gift of the Holy Spirit poured out upon the Church at Pentecost. All the readings today provide insights and guidance concerning the life in the Spirit and how this can be recognised and discerned. We are given a range of different hints across the readings today about what it means to live in the Spirit and to long for the Spirit to work in our lives.

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Easter 6A. 8’21”.

Chosen race and royal priesthood

During Easter we have been reading from the first letter of St Peter, and we come today to what must be one of the most extraordinary declarations in scripture. Peter addresses a mixed community – young and old, men and women, gentiles and Jews, leaders and members – and to each person he reminds us that Jesus has drawn very near to us and wants to make us into living stones to form a spiritual house. Then, using words that were once addressed to the tribes of Israel gathered with Moses around the mountain of Sinai, he then declares that we share in this same dignity and more – of being a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. Strangely the liturgy omits verse 10, which declares, ‘You were once no people, but now you are God’s people; once you had no mercy, but now you have received mercy.’ 

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Recorded at Mater Dolorosa, 12noon (Mass with Disciples of Jesus Community, 8’54”)

Sunday 5A in Easter. 1 Peter 2:4-10.

The road from Emmaus

This powerful resurrection story is well known and often repeated. It shows the creative power of Luke’s narrative and has intrigued saints and scholars over the centuries. One saint who has a wonderful commentary on the story is St Bede the Venerable, the famous 8th century English historian and doctor of the Church. He brings his analytical insights to the narrative to provide us with the power of this story for our own lives.

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Easter Sunday 3A. Luke 24. 9’36”

Peace be with you

‘Peace be with you’ – this is the greeting that Jesus proclaims to the disciples when he appears to them – even if they are locked behind closed doors for fear of the same fate falling on them as has just happened to Jesus. But the peace that Jesus promised, and the peace that he now gives to them is much more than the absence of fear, conflict, violence or noise. This peace, the true ‘shalom’ of the Lord, is infinitely creative and becomes one of the true signs of the new creation that happens in the resurrection. This is the peace that we are invited to share in and to be ambassadors of the peace that is only known in the wounds of Jesus.

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Recorded at St Brigid’s, 9am (9’43”)

Easter Sunday 2A – Octave Day (John 20)
Divine Mercy Sunday, Beatification of Pope John Paul the Great