Posted 1st April 2017
in Pastor's Desk
Pastor’s Desk 2nd April 2017 - Fifth Sunday of Lent / A
In today’s gospel Jesus receives the message from Mary and Martha that their brother Lazarus is ill.
Although Jerusalem is only around one kilometre from the village of Bethany Jesus is delayed getting there and by that time Lazarus has died. Hearing that he has arrived Martha goes out to meet him while Mary stays indoors. Martha tells Jesus that ‘if he had been here her brother would not have died’ but she knows that no matter what he asks God for, it will be granted. Jesus reassures her that he will rise again on the last day. In return Martha expresses her faith in Jesus’ assurance of the resurrection of her brother Lazarus.
Mary then comes to Jesus and he is immediately moved by her tears. He asks where they have put Lazarus body and is invited to ‘come and see’. When he arrives to the tomb Jesus asks for the stone covering the exit to be moved and then cries in a loud voice ‘Lazarus come out’. He miraculously appears and Jesus tells others to unbind him and let him go free.
In these closing weeks of Lent, we pray that we may be able to roll away any ‘stone’ in our lives that is preventing us from being free and living in God’s light. We can all be bound by different chains in life, addiction to drugs, alcohol, gossip, slander, prejudice, hatred and anger etc. Jesus calls us forward, out of these tombs we often find ourselves in from time to time.
Lord, we have been raised to new life with you through baptism!
Posted 25th March 2017
in Pastor's Desk
Pastor’s Desk 26th March 2017 - Fourth Sunday of Lent / A
When someone had an illness or a condition it was thought by others in society that it was a punishment for some sin they committed in the past. So, in today’s Gospel Jesus is quick to point out that neither the Blind man or his parents have sinned. The man in fact was born blind so that the ‘works of God may be displayed in him’.
Jesus performs the miracle. He covers the man’s eyes in a mixture of spittle and clay and then tells him to go and wash in the pool at Siloam. When the man does this his sight is restored immediately. Those who had seen him earlier in the day recognised him as the Blind Beggar and they questioned what had happened. He told them what Jesus had done and that his sight was restored. Some of the Pharisees questioned that Jesus ‘could not be from God’ as he had broken the sabbath. When they ask the Man ‘what have you say about him’, he declares that ‘Jesus is a Prophet’.
We can all experience a type of blindness in our lives. We can be blind to what’s going on around us and often we choose not to see because we may be challenged to change our ways or attitude. Sometimes those who are close to us can try to point out our ‘blind spot’ but we dismiss it because we don’t want to hear it from them and try to change our ways.
As we journey through these weeks of Lent we pray that we might be open to seeing and listening to what God is saying to each of us in our daily lives.
Posted 18th March 2017
in Pastor's Desk
Pastor’s Desk 19th March 2017 - Third Sunday of Lent / A
Today Jesus arrives into the Samaritan town of Sychar. It’s late in the day and tired by his journey he takes a rest at Jacob’s well while the disciples head into a nearby town to buy food to eat. When the Samaritan woman comes to the well to draw some water Jesus is very forthright and asks her for a drink. Because Jews and Samaritans don’t associate with each other the woman is very surprised by Jesus’ request and she questions why he a Jew, would ask for and accept a drink from a Samaritan.
Initially they get into a general conversation about water and eventually Jesus tries to indicate to the woman that God is offering her something that will take away her ‘thirst’ forever. He was of course speaking of that inner thirst we all have for God in our lives. For example, although the woman had five husbands she had a spiritual void in her life that only a closer relationship with God could take away from her. The woman responds by asking Jesus to give her some of that water so that she will never have to come here again to drink.
The Samaritan woman became an evangelist. She shared her experience with others and they in turn began to believe in him through their own personal encounters with Jesus and responded in faith.
Jesus knew everything about the woman’s life. He knows everything about our lives too and continually invites us to come to the water and drink so that our inner thirst may be satisfied through a deepening of our relationship with him during this Lenten season.
Posted 11th March 2017
in Pastor's Desk
Pastor’s Desk 12th March 2017 - Second Sunday of Lent / A
In today’s gospel, we hear how Jesus takes Peter, James and his brother John up a high mountain so they could be alone and perhaps have time to pray after a busy day. As soon as they reach the summit he is ‘transfigured’ before them with his face shining like the sun and his clothes as white as the light. Moses and Elijah appear and are seen talking to Jesus. Later, a voice from the cloud declares ‘This is my son, the beloved; he enjoys my favour, listen to him.’ The disciples are frightened by what they see and hear but Jesus seeks to reassure them and tells them to stand up and not be afraid.
When they came down the mountain Jesus told them to tell no one about their experience until the ‘Son of Man has risen from the dead’. They could not understand at that time that Jesus was foretelling what was to happen to him in time to come.
Their experience on the mountain was perhaps meant to strengthen and encourage them to remain faithful. We all experience different crises in life. Our lives can often be transformed by these experiences and changed forever. Maybe that’s what Jesus had in mind when he brought the disciples up the mountain. That they might be changed and prepared for what was ahead in his passion and death.
We pray that this Holy season of Lent may transform our hearts and lives in preparation for the forthcoming Easter day and beyond.
That quote I used at Sunday Mass recently…….
‘Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength - carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.’
(Corrie ten Boom)
Posted 4th March 2017
in Pastor's Desk
Pastor’s Desk 5th March 2017 - First Sunday of Lent / A
On Wednesday, we began our journey through the holy season of Lent. It’s a special time of spiritual renewal for each of us in preparation for the celebration of Easter.
Today’s readings tell us that we are constantly tempted by the devil and that each one of us should use God’s grace to overcome our temptations and failings.
During Jesus’ 40 days of preparation in the desert for his public ministry he must decide between using his life for his own purpose or choose to follow the Father’s plan and give it in the service of others. We hear how he is tempted by the devil who presents several ‘proposals’ to him. He found his strength in the words of scripture when he says, ‘You must worship the Lord your God, and serve him alone’. At that moment, we are told, the devil left him and the angels appeared and looked after him. He conquered temptation by relying in faith on God’s word and authority.
We are all tempted daily in different ways to make choices that are not in our best interest. Jesus strengthened himself by prayer and fasting. Perhaps this Lent we could use the time wisely in daily prayer to be alone with God and listen to his voice guiding us, and not to the voice of the evil one whose purpose is to come between us and the Lord.
We pray that we may have the strength to remain faithful to whatever act of penance that we may have chosen to do this Lenten period.