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Wilderness

We begin this new season of Lent by journeying with Jesus into the wilderness of temptation. The gospel today begins with Jesus being driven immediately into the wilderness of Israel - perhaps into the Judean desert, or into the southern desert of the Negev....

Isolation and Healing

Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!”...

Choose Good

One of the great dangers of modern life is our obsession with proving how valuable we are. This is seen in the busyness with which we surround ourselves. Being "so busy" becomes this strange and perverted badge of honour. Even though Jesus may well have been extremely...

Amazed and astonished at Authority

Over the last few weeks during the readings from the beginning of the Gospel of Mark, we have heard of the first teaching and preaching of Jesus in his call to repentance because of the breaking in of the kingdom of God. Last Sunday we heard the call of the first four...

Call and Response

Last Sunday we were invited by Jesus in the Gospel of John to “Come and See” and this week when we resume in the Gospel of Mark and hear the first words of Jesus in this Gospel, we are invited to “repent and believe the Good News” and to join with Jesus as he walks...

Come and See

The first Gospel that we hear as we plunge back into the season of the year with Mark in year B is not from the Gospel of Mark, but from the first chapter of the Gospel of John (John 1:35-42). The Gospel opens with John seeing Jesus walking by and John declares to two...

Mystery revealed

The key to understanding what this feast day of the Epiphany is all about is not so much in the specific details of these strange visitors from the East coming to offer gifts and worship to the newborn king of Israel, but in the bigger picture of what these magi...

Covenant and Ritual

When we first meet Abram, it is in Genesis 12, and he is invited by the Lord to leave his kindred and his father's house and go from that country to a land that God will show him. Abram is mostly faithful to this - he probably brings to many of his possessions and his...

Refugee Jesus

Christmas can be a very confusing time. We have mixed together a veritable plethora of traditions, myths, consumer ideals and cultural detritus along with vestiges of gospel stories and religious music and artwork to create this weird celebration of this annual...

Open

The Gospel from Luke 1:26-38 presents the familiar scene of the Angel Gabriel being sent by God to announce to Mary that she would become a mother to the Son of God. This is one of the passages that I spent many hours pondering during my recent thirty-day Ignatian...

Rejoice in Joy

On the third Sunday of Advent there is the cry of joy and the imperative call to rejoice and be glad. In the midst of the craziness of this time of year it might all seem to be too much. Yet Paul quietly calls us to focus in the series of short commandments that he...

Good news

The Gospel of Mark was written, most likely, around the year 65 in the city of Rome. It was a very turbulent period, after the great fire that had raged for seven days through the city in July 64. The Emperor Nero needed someone to blame for lighting the fire –...

Stay Awake

Happy new year! (Such a geeky liturgical thing to say!) We begin this new season of Advent today, and with this Sunday the whole cycle of the church’s year begins again. We switch from listening to the gospel of Matthew and begin to listen to the first of the gospels...

Christ, the King of Justice

Justice is something that we learn very early as children. We have this strong instinct for when something doesn’t just seem to be fair. Perhaps as a result, justice is one of the most profound longings of the human race. When there is no justice, then we know that...