4th Sunday of Lent

The first reading is a  selection of verses (1 Samuel 16:1-13 passim) illustrating the way God choses individuals for different roles – not judging by appearances as we might.  So the youngest son doing the job of a sheperd is called to become the great king David.

From the letter to the Ephesians (5:8-14) Paul calls everyone to try to discover what their vocation is – what God wants of each.  They are not to keep their talents to themselves but to wake up to their vocation!

The Gospel is the rather long story from John about the cure of a man born blind. We should realise that we are all in some aspects of our life blind and we may encounter difficulties if we overcome this and start following the real call of Jesus.

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3rd Sunday of Lent Cycle A

 

This passage is from Exodus – the story of God saving the people from slavery to be His people. But this is not always the luxury we might see it as – it is a hard place but trust God to have a solution even to that!

Here Paul writes to the Romans – through Christ and the gift of God’s Spirit we have a good relationship with God – a state of grace. Christ lived and died to elevate us humans into the love of God.

The section of Good News we hear today is the dramatic story of a Jew encountering a person from a little liked other human group; it is about a single man alone, meeting a woman in a lonely place; it tells of a supposed holy man conversing with a woman who has had several husbands. This could only be God in Christ showing the wonder of His love!

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2nd Sunday of Lent Cycle A

12th March 2017

The first reading is the call of Abram as it was expressed after its retelling through many centuries until it was written up. It is the lure of the hope of happiness – but how should this success be interpreted? People have always understood it with a tinge of selfishness.

The second reading is from a letter to Timothy – it speaks as a leader regarding the significance of the community in God’s plan. It has always been God’s plan for humanity through Christ Jesus; and we all have a role to play – we have been given this grace

In the gospel today, we have the story of the transfiguration. At times we all need to be strengthened as we try to live as Christians, by seeing the world and its people for what they actually are – beautiful, inspiring and divine creations – children of God

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1st Sunday Lent Cycle A

5th March 2017

The first reading is the well-known Biblical story of human temptation; parents will know that forbidding something makes it more alluring and enticing. But temptations as we know from experience don’t lead to the excitement or benefit that at first attracts us – don’t be deceived!

The second reading is from Paul’s more considered letter to the Romans. He refers back to the well-known first reading, but adds to the account that just as human failings seem part of human nature, so Jesus has elevated that nature – now ours -to one pleasing to God!

In our gospel today, Matthew tells his version of the temptations of Jesus, after all He really was human so it is inevitable to be tempted – especially when your life’s work is so demanding. Temptation comes again in the garden of Gethsemane near the end of his life.

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8th Sunday of Ordinary time Cycle A

A moving short passage from the book of Isaiah when the people where in exile from the promised land. It considers God as a mother; she cannot but love us – in our weakness and in our need.

Paul reveals his own humanity in this passage to the Corinthians. As a follower of Christ – as a servant – he cannot even consider himself to be worthy – God alone is the judge who will give due praise in due course.

In this sermon in our gospel today, Matthew writes as Jesus expounding the very radical nature of His message – commit to God, it’s worth it! Here it is illustrated by the beauty of nature under God’s care – often noted in the Celtic attitude to life in this world.

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7th Sunday Ordinary time Cycle A

The first reading from Leviticus is a selection of verses chosen to indicate to us today that the laws which the book is about are really about the inner attitude that people should have, not just externsl actions – just keeping the letter of the law.

In this section of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he is trying to lift them above the differences among them about Christianity.  They should try to realise that they, as a community, have the very Spirit of God within them; and it is this inner reality that Christianity is about and not personal differentces of practice or understanding.

For the gospel reading we have another section from what is presented as a sermon of Jesus.; as we hear it we should realise the very radical – deep – nature of the challenge to us as Christians that it puts forward.

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6th Sunday Ordinary time Cycle A

This reading that Catholics have today is wise words influenced by the cultural environment of Greece in Alexandria, Egypt.  You have the ability to make choices given you by God;  So you must choose the sort of person you want to be in your condition and situation!

In his writings Paul draws upon his own Graeco-Roman education together with the revelation that he has recieved from God.  Here he tells of a wisdom that comes from the very Spirit of God – the Spirit that we must let influence our lives too!

Matthew respects the value of the Jewish Law recieved from God, but we listen to a selection from Chapter 5 where he wants to tell his readers that with Jesus we should interpret the Law in the deeper way that Jesus did in His life here; we must let this be the way we try to live.

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