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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...

Hidden Talents

When you get to the end of the year, there are always tests and exams and assignments for students. Some of these may be less serious – merely serving to help teachers know what they will need to spend more time revising in the new year. But for others, these tests...

The reality of heaven

What we come to when we wish to ponder the place where Jesus has gone, and where our beloved dead have gone to - it is not another where, not another place, but another way of being. Heaven is not some place elsewhere, but it is a different way of being - the place...

Practice your Preaching

When you are setting out on a great adventure, you want the guide who is helping you to choose all the gear, plan your route, and help you train to have hiked the same planned journey – not just watched a video about it on YouTube or Discovery Channel. All too often...

The law of life

The question that Jesus is asked in the gospel today from Matthew 22 was a common one that the Rabbis of the day would be asked – “which is the greatest commandment of the Law?” Since in the first five books of the Hebrew scriptures, also called the Torah, the Rabbis...

Real Revolution

As an Australian, we can often feel small and forgotten, because we seem to be so far away from where all the action is happening. Our population is relatively small, we don’t have a huge army, or nuclear weapons to protect our vast land area. Yet we are also one of...

Wedding Party

Organising a party takes a lot of work. There’s the venue to be set up; the catering, entertainment and music; the invitations. If it’s a wedding then there’s all the ceremony stuff as well. When we throw a significant party, we’re happy to do lots of work and...

The Vineyard and the Stone

I remember always being a little annoyed and scared by this parable. We are used to Jesus talking about the landowner as God, his Father. But as the story goes on and the wickedness of the tenant farmers becomes clearer, I want to shout out to the landowner – no!...

Doing the question

After Jesus had made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem at the start of chapter 21 of Matthew’s gospel, the question that everyone was wondering was – is he the one? Is he the long awaited anointed king, the one the Jewish people and leaders called the Messiah? So,...

God is Generous

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts” says the Lord in the first reading. Which is such good news when I’m having a bad day and my thoughts are all over the place! This truth is so central to getting our heads around this gospel today. Our deeply ingrained...

Reconciliation Flow

Peter asks a very valid question today: "How many times must I forgive a sister or brother (who has not even necessarily repented or asked for forgiveness) - as many as seven times?" He points to the reality that forgiving someone is not easy. It is one thing to...

Learning to forgive

When you are in the middle of a fight – what do you do? Every day we see the results of not doing forgiveness and reconciliation well. On the world scale, it is the continuing threat of terrorism, wars, suicide bombs, ISIS, etc and on a more personal scale, it is seen...

The Cost of Discipleship

Just before our Gospel today, Jesus asked the disciples who the people and then who they said he was. Simon Peter, speaking on behalf of the other disciples, declared that Jesus is not just another prophet like the crowds say he is – Jesus is the true, anointed King...